Question via my contact form on my website:
Lisa G. asked: How do you not lose your cool entirely when you see your book being downloaded for free? All that hard work for nothing, I’d freak out
Sadly, every single traditionally published author has had to go through the experience of seeing links and torrents to free downloads of their books. It’s kind of a rite of passage, really.
At first, my blood boiled every time. The very first one I saw, for my debut novel Skylark, made me cry. It was before the book had even been released, and the illegal copies had been ripped from the e-galley.
As an author, you just have to learn to ignore them. Like bad reviews, you’ll cry over the first few you see, and then you’ll lift your head and realize “Hey, this doesn’t actually change anything about me, my work, or the people who support me.” It says far, far more about the people doing the pirating than it does about you.
As a reader, don’t give into temptation. Yes, you’d read a book for free. But you’d be giving in to an utterly destructive practice to this industry (and other creative industries, for that matter) and if you want to have good, professionally-written and produced books to read five years from now, ten years from now, you need to be willing to pay for them, or to go through the proper channels to read them for free (libraries). To pirate a book, any book, is to say that you don’t care about books, literacy, imagination, learning, or love of story. Pirating is contributing to the destruction of books.