[LMB] E-book piracy - was "on topic"

Judy R. Johnson jrj at fidalgo.net
Sat Jan 29 07:10:45 GMT 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk
[mailto:lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk] On Behalf Of Anke Wehner
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 1:02 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] E-book piracy - was "on topic"

On 28 January 2011 21:18, Judy R. Johnson <jrj at fidalgo.net> wrote:
> Just ran across this, also.
> http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2011/01/27/writing-on-the-high-seas/
> Since I'm enjoying the disc that came along with Cryoburn,

The bunch of free books on the Cryoburn CD caused a sale - I got Memory to
complete the set. ;) I'm sure I'll buy more once I actually have a working

> I'm wondering if you agree with this guy that piracy effects are 
> (after many many words on his part) neutral to an author's income.

The whole "illegal downloading as sampling" thing he mentiones makes sense
to me. I've used borrowing from friends or from the library for sampling to
decide what to buy for repeated re-reads for a long while, and purely from a
reader's perspective, downloading and reading once isn't much different from
borrowing a book - you read a book without giving the author money either

The blanket statements along the lines of "anyone wo downloads a book is a
thief who would never pay for a book!" make no sense to me, particularly
when keeping in mind common frustrations of non-US readers who would like to
buy legally, but run into  regional limits.

> Do sort of agree that it would be easier if some big corporate 
> interest came up with a tech solution to piracy.  Before I'm ever 
> ready, maybe it will have come to pass (hope, hope).

Sounds like you are really convinced piracy would hurt your sales.


NEW from JRJ> Well, I'm old.  I won't have a long list of books and a long
time to earn royalties.  His arguments for a lengthy scenario make sense,
that in the long run a writer maybe isn't much hurt by piracy.  But in the
short term?

On the other hand, I take Lois' point that a publisher's advance is actually
a debt and, anyway, they won't pay much either - more bother than they're
worth to a midlist genre writer.  So, for me, the optimal would be to self
publish online in some way that gets me to the bank the  firstest with the
mostest.  Not that that will necessarily happen, of course.  But I can hope.
So finish the WIP.  THEN see what I can get for it. 

Just thought it would be interesting meanwhile to see if people agreed with
the analysis in the url.  I do agree that writers need to learn and pursue
the business side of writing (no, I don't like it either) themselves since
there's not enough margin to support middlemen.  Sad times - to lead a
creative life, one must have mundane income (pension or a spouse who works)
to begin with, and to benefit from one's work, it would be nice if that same
spouse were a competent business person.

Me?  I got no youth, I got no spouse.  And being nibbled to death by ducks
does not appeal.

But being in creative control of my writing hobby is a hoot.

Entwife Judy
Who doubts if the status quo is ever well enough to be let alone

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