Say NO To E-book Piracy: Kelley Armstrong's View

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Last year, I talked to you a little about pirating ebooks. The subject was merely touched, however, as I only mentioned do's and dont's when it comes to ebooks that you have bought. I have never showed you an author's perspective, even though I was planning to. I'm taking the liberty of quoting Kelley Armstrong on one of her tumblr posts answering to a question.

 


My priority is being read. Buy the hardcover. Buy the paperback. Buy the ebook. Buy it from a used book store. Borrow it from a library. Borrow it from a friend. It’s all good.
Now, that being said, while it’s lovely to say “I just want to be read,” I kinda need to get paid. Otherwise, I have to go back to a day job, which means I could probably write a book every other year, instead of 2.5 a year.
I get royalties from every book sold: hardcover, paperback, ebook. First run, second run, it doesn’t matter. I get paid. I won’t get into which gives me more because I want readers to buy whichever one suits them and not worry about that. I’m making a living at this, so I’m happy :)
Buying used or borrowing from a friend means I get nothing…except a potential new reader. My hope, then, is that if someone is borrowing or buying used, at some point, they’ll start buying new. Or maybe they’ll recommend my books to friends who’ll buy them.
Now, when I say I’m fine with borrowed books, I don’t mean pirated ebooks. Sorry. Here’s where I draw the line. I have to, because I like my job and I’d kinda like to keep doing it ;) What’s the difference between borrowing from a library/friend and downloading a pirated copy? The library must purchase copies, which only last a limited time (both ebook and physical) The friend must buy the physical copy, which will wear out if he/she lends it too often. That reduces the ratio of purchases to readers. In piracy, one copy can be lent countless times.
The problem there is sales—not just for me but for my publisher. The publisher judges the success of a series based on sales (including to libraries) A series may have a massive readership via piracy, but that doesn’t matter to the publisher. To them, dropping sales = failing series. Or. in the case of a new series, low sales = failed series. Rack up enough falling series or failed series and that’s the end of the line for an author. The bottom line there is: if you like an author, please, please, please don’t read his/her work pirated. Support him/her by buying or borrowing from a legit source.

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