Here is a concrete example of how stealing electronic/digitized books hurts an author, with actual numbers provided. Saundra Mitchell tells exactly how much of an advance she got, and why she’s finding it hard to get published again, even though her book should be hitting some bestseller lists (if you count the number of illegal downloads).
“Free” Books Aren’t Free
It’s going out of print in hardcover because demand for it has dwindled to 10 or so copies a month. This means I will never get a royalty check for this book. By all appearances, nobody wants it anymore.
But those appearances are deceiving. According to one download site’s stats, people are downloading SHADOWED SUMMER at a rate of 800 copies a week. When the book first came out, it topped out at 3000+ downloads a week.
As I said on Saundra’s site, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle, either. The technology to digitize books is out there and being used to make a profit by those with no right to a red cent off these books. Even without it, all you need is one person to type a copy in to any computer, save the file and distribute it. I think people have this idea that if there is nothing tangible, no physical book to hold and pages to turn, nothing has really been stolen. Or so they tell themselves. I’m so appalled that there are that many people willing to do this, and then actually tell the author “Hi! I stole your book!” as if it’s a good thing.
In Other News
Patrick Rothfuss, author of “The Name of the Wind” and “The Wise Man’s Fear” is going to be out on a book tour this spring, and will be signing at Powells Book in Beaverton on March 2! Very excited, already marked the calendar. Check his tour schedule here to see where he’ll be when. I am told he is “dynamic, funny, and lives up to the hype.” Well worth going to hear him read.
For the booksluts among us, view, if you dare, Libraries of the Rich and Famous. Who knew Rod Stewart was such a geek?