Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY) discussion

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Readers' Questions > The true cost of piracy from ebook-community...pt 2

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message 1: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 93 comments Mod
*Are there any real consequences to piracy? Any measurable consequences?

My thoughts... Yes, there are measurable consequences. Not in dollars per book pirated, because it doesn't work that way, but consequences. They include the following...

Lost contracts. When a book doesn't sell (and if it's being pirated all over creation, those copies aren't selling, no matter that one pirate in a thousand will report they bought a book after pirating that book), the publisher chooses not to continue buying from that author, and no further contracts are extended. If it's a NY author, the author may further not be able to get another publisher, because they can check past sales. One NY Times bestseller I know (no joke) has her publisher asking her to make her next few "books" in a popular series into novellas in anthologies, because she's being pirated so much the sales are down on the novel-length works in the series, compared to the first book. I'm on a list with more than a thousand of her avid readers, and we're furious!

In indie, you've got a little more breathing room, but many perks authors get are based on reaching the publisher's bestseller list, resell site bestseller list, winning awards, etc. You've cut their exposure to the quick by pirating the book, because decreasing sales takes away the perks they get from the publisher that help the books sell to still other readers that aren't pirating. I sometimes see this one personally. It burns me up when I miss the bestseller of the month, and I find thousands of pirated copies in that month. 5% of what I find pirated would push me back into the running for bestseller again. It's enough to make some authors wish they would never be noticed by a pirate.

Authors giving up publishing. It does happen, and it often happens because authors are so frustrated and tired of fighting pirates, losing contracts, and seeing the money bleed away, they simply give up and write for themselves. Who can blame them? When you're hoping to get the kids a happy meal, and there are hundreds or thousands of copies being passed free... It's disheartening.

Worse is seeing pirates heisting books you donated to charity. Give it a rest, people! If I donate a story or book to premature babies, fire or flood victims, autistic children, cancer victims... What sort of malfunction is in someone's head that they think they need a free read more than someone else needs a cure or treatment or necessities after a disaster? That's crap thinking.

Publishers going out of businesses. I know a lot of pirates have the gross misconception that all publishers are NY conglomerates and run by greedy boards and stockholders, but the truth is that there are 6 NY conglomerate publishers (4 of which are foreign owned, if you want a real laugh), and in the US alone, there are more than 70,000 small, medium, and self-publishers out there. Those are single proprietorship, partnership, and maybe LLC. There are no greedy stockholders or boards involved. If piracy hurts NY, it is capable of (and has done so) killing a small indie press. The owners of these companies do it for love. They have to, because they stand to lose money for the first 3-7 years, and they aren't getting rich after that.

For that matter, neither are the authors. The fallacy of the author with a couple of yachts is just that. Whether we're talking NY or indie, the blockbuster author (like Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Rowlings, or Dan Brown) is less than one in 10,000 authors in NY. No one in indie is making that money. Even NY Times bestsellers are reporting that they often take home less than $35,000 in a couple years total on a bestseller. Why? Because the bestsellers are not based on sales. They are based on ORDERS. You can make that list without selling a single book, because they order, don't sell, and return/strip. And while authors make a decent percentage in indie/e, NY authors' cut of the pie is miniscule, and if they have agents, they lose even more of that slice.

Other consequences of piracy...to give the reader's seat...include the mistrust some readers feel authors and publishers have toward them, the honest e-book readers being punished with DRM in a vain attempt to stop the pirates, and the honest e-book readers being punished with non-availaibility of the titles they want to purchase (them being released in print only) in a vain attempt to slow the pirates.


message 2: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Dear Copyright Advocates,

The Obama Administration is asking to hear from YOU, the creative backbone of our country, about how intellectual property infringement affects YOUR livelihood. The Administration is also seeking advice on what the government could be doing to better protect the rights of artists and creators in our country. HERE'S A CHANCE FOR YOU TO BE HEARD!
BACKGROUND:

Last year President Obama appointed and the U.S. Senate confirmed Victoria Espinel to be the first U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. Her job is "to help protect the creativity of the American public" by coordinating with all the federal agencies that fight the infringement of intellectual property, which includes creating and selling counterfeit goods; pirating video games, music, and books; and infringing upon the many other creative works that are produced by artists in this country.

As you know, the unauthorized copying, sale, and distribution of artists' intellectual property directly impact the ability of artists and creators to control the use of their own creativity, not to mention their ability to receive income they have earned from their labor. This impacts U.S. employment and the economy, and our ability to globally compete.

As required by an Act of Congress (The PRO-IP Act of 2008), Ms. Espinel and her White House team are preparing a Joint Strategic Plan that will include YOUR FEEDBACK on the costs and risks that intellectual property infringement has on the American public.

Here's how to make yourself heard!
1. Send an email to Ms. Espinel and the Obama Administration: intellectualproperty@omb.eop.gov and copy the Copyright Alliance on your email: info@copyrightalliance.org
2. Begin your letter with "The Copyright Alliance has informed me of this welcome invitation from the Obama Administration to share my thoughts on my rights as a creator."
3. Include in your email: your story, why intellectual property rights are important to you, how piracy and infringement affect you, and what the U.S. government can do to better protect the rights of creative Americans.
4. Also include in your email: your name, city, state, and what type of artist you are.
5. DO NOT include any personal or private information as all comments will be posted publically on the White House website.
All comments must be submitted by Wednesday, March 24 by 5:00 p.m. EST. To read the entire call for comments, click here.
Don't be shy! Take two minutes today to make your voice heard, and don't forget to spread the word to everyone you know. Forward this notice using this short URL - http://bit.ly/cjDZJt - by email, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and more!

Best,
Lucinda Dugger


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