Don't Be A Jackass

Piracy is not something new. I’m sure from the beginning of time, jerks have been stealing other people’s art. No different than stealing someone’s blow-up Santa straight off of their lawn, downloading books for free is a jerkoff move.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve received pirated e-books, knowing the person who gave me the e-books didn’t pay for them. It didn’t feel good to do it, nor did I feel like I was doing something right. I’m not perfect, and I doubt you are either.

But I admit that yes, I have received a few pirated e-books; however, I did what I felt was right for me, and I bought the pirated book I read. I have deleted the other e-books I was sent, and I won’t accept any more books that I don’t know for sure of their origin.

The majority of the books I read, I purchase with my own made money. The other percentage of books I read are given to me from either the author of the book or the publisher. These ARCs (advance reader copies) are provided with permission to people like me who promote and recommend books. We, the reviewers, are accepting these ARCs with the strict understanding that we do not share or sell the books we’re given.

Today, Madeline Sheehan, author of the book Undeniable and its upcoming sequels, announced that she is removing her books from digital formats. Until there are stricter restrictions put on sharing e-books, Sheehan will only sell her books in a paperback format. (For people like me who read 99% of our books on an e-reader, this is disappointing.) The following is the announcement Sheehan made on her Facebook page:

[su_quote]This will be my final post on book piracy.

Because I do not have a traditional publisher to help me with this increasing problem, I will no longer be offering my books as eBooks. I will soon be taking down my existing ones and only selling them as paperbacks. If you haven’t read my books and wish to do so, I suggest buying them within the next week.

My upcoming releases will also only be offered in paperback and if someone wants to take the time to type out my entire book and steal/sell/illegally upload and download, godspeed.[/su_quote]

This is a huge move by an indie author. I would guess that most of her books are purchased in e-format, so by taking this stand against piracy, she’s effectively cutting her income.

She would rather reduce her income of her own volition rather than reduce her income at the hands of people stealing her books. Sheehan stated on Facebook that she’s found a website that has provided access to 13,000 instances of downloads of her books alone. At $2.99 apiece, that’s …doing math… $38,870 of lost potential income.

$38,870 stolen from just this one author. 

That’s basically a HOLY SHIT moment.

The next time you consider reading a pirated book, think about how you’d feel if your beloved blow-up Santa was stolen off of your front lawn.

Or hell, think of your brand new Lexus being stolen from your driveway while you’re watching it happen, yelling, “STOP JACKASS THIEF!” but your neighbors are helping the asshole get away.

UPDATE 3.28.13 from Madeline Sheehan here

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