In a digital world, where content is turned into 1s and 0s, piracy has become an issue. As a consumer, one often reads about Warner Brothers or other studios “cracking down” on movie pirates, or music thieves. But how often does the average reader see anything about book piracy?
Before I was an author, I didn’t know book piracy existed. Sure, I knew there were places to “steal” movies, and TV, but it never occurred to me that there were people – or websites – stealing books. yet Piracy accounts for at least 12% of ebooks in the United States alone. I’d bet that there are plenty of other readers (and maybe even authors) as naive as I was, people who have no idea that downloading that “free” PDF of a novel is stealing. To raise awareness of the book piracy epidemic, Maegan Provan is organizing an Authors Against Piracy Blog Tour. Just like with any awareness drive, she needs bloggers, and authors, who want to participate and draw attention to the issue by posting blogs. And what better way for authors to get people’s attention than by offering free ebooks?
“Say what? How is giving away my book for free going to stop pirates?”
It’s not. You can’t *make* people stop, anymore than you can singlehandedly cure cancer, but you can show them that a legally obtained version is better – the formatting isn’t messed up, all of the chapters are there and, even better, there are no viruses and no surprises. Besides, the point of the “giveaway” isn’t to fill pirates’ kindles, it’s to get people to share the links to the blog posts, because the more people clicking on those posts, the more people are reading about the problem, and the more people reading, the more people that are made aware of the issue, and just maybe those people who are made aware of what an issue it really is will be less likely to pirate in the future, or more likely to tell a friend or loved one who’s pirating to stop. Just as with Breast Cancer Awareness pins – wearing a pin doesn’t cure the problem, it just makes people aware that it IS a serious issue; it gets the conversation started, and that’s what Maegan is trying to do.
If you’d like to join her you can read further details on her blog and join the Facebook group. If you’re not interested in joining, or you can’t, no worries. You can always start that conversation your own way.