This morning two pirates decided to use their Sunday leisure to upload three different books of mine to a popular, legit file sharing service. They’ll be down by the end of the day. Of course instead of finishing my last short story, I was dealing with that.
One user is an experienced pirate, posting everything in Nook format s/he can find. Nothing I say will change that person’s mind – they’re a thief and no argument about big book publisher price wars and Amazon back room deals versus small publisher and small niche writer realities will make a bit of difference. That person feels entitled to anything they want for free, and I’m sure paid for their Nook reader just fine. I’m sure everything that someone would arrest them for stealing they pay for as well. But I can’t have them arrested so he or she steals from me and hundreds of other writers. This is a legit popular service, and I can’t believe that 5 people haven’t complained to get them banned. I hope I was #5. I’m not sure how my lesfic book even came to their notice; it’s not the usual reading this person chooses. I am more than happy to be an unknown to this person, believe me.
This type of pirate, who probably thinks that ebooks are just too expensive and the [fill in anonymous corporation] is ripping them off by charging [fill in any price], has managed to buy a Nook reader. The pricing of that reader has nothing to do with the cost to make it, and nothing to do with the other ways the manufacturer makes money. But I don’t see waves of pirates rushing the stores to steal them–probably because in the stores, ereaders are nailed to the shelves. Instead, they buy the reader and take their “prices are unfair” feelings out on the people who made the entertainment that makes having a reader worthwhile.
The other user was brand new to the service and posted “hope everyone will visit my page often and find it interesting” and her first step toward that goal was uploading two books by me.
So much for my Sunday leisure, and the motivation to write instead of taking a walk on a beautiful day. I can’t put the cost, to me, in any plainer terms than that.