Saturday, June 20, 2009

To the Person Posting as BUGCHICKLV on Demonoid

Thanks for expressing interest in my story, "Learning to Love Yourself," as well as a number of my colleague Mike Shade's stories. It's great to know there are people out there who want to read my stuff.

But seriously, dude, it costs $1.29. You can buy a copy right here for, like, a quarter of what a cup of coffee costs these days.

Now I'll admit that with the many, many stories which were passed around on that particular Demonoid thread, you ripped off saved quite a lot more money than that. I'm afraid I can't find it in my heart to admire your frugality, however, since it comes at the expense of my own earnings and those of other writers I know.

If you're really that strapped for cash, there are plenty of legitimately free stories around on the internet. There's some great stuff in fanfic fandom (look for rec lists) plus a lot of published writers have free stories on their web sites. Archives like Nifty are free and specialize in gay erotica. Oh, and there are also places called libraries where you can borrow books for free -- I'll bet there's one near you.

But you know, the pirated e-book thing? Please knock it the fuck off. Thank you.



writtenwyrdd said...

Blatant sharing of ebooks/stories? They deserve to catch a virus.

Angie said...

WW -- I agree. And yes, very blatant. People do this crap all the time; there are several sites which get mentioned in my publisher's mailing list periodically. :/ But yeah, they're right out in the open like they don't even think they're doing anything wrong. [stabinate]


Anonymous said...

So, I am actually going to probably take some heat for saying this, but I don't think that sharing ebooks is necessarily a bad thing. As a reader, I'm wary to spend money (even a mere $1.29) on a new author that I haven't heard of because I've been burned too many times to count. Out of the 100+ books I purchased from various e-book retailers for instance, only a handful turned out to be true "keepers". For me, checking out books I acquire from torrents is an opportunity to learn about new authors that I haven't heard of before as well as determine if those authors are going to be added to my "auto buy" list in the near future. Without torrents, I would have never discovered such wonderful authors as Evangeline Anderson, ZA Maxfield, and JM Snyder -- all authors that I now buy books from whenever they are released. Yes, you may loose out on some sales becaused of torrents, but I can't help but wonder how many readers you gain over the long haul from that exposure as well. Also, while I understand your feelings of anger (part of my income is derived from film royalties so I get it--I really do), it doesn't make much business sense to attack or "stabinate" your readership. A simple "please don't disseminate my book" is direct and would likely suffice.

Angie said...

Anon -- taking something which isn't yours without paying for it is stealing. I shouldn't have to ask people nicely to please not steal from me or my publisher; the kind of people who'd listen to me don't steal already, and the ones who do steal don't care what I think. I disagree with you that a polite request would likely make any difference. I've been asking nicely among my friends and family for decades with no luck, over videos and computer games, and now that I'm a producer myself I doubt anything has changed.

I do feel for people who simply don't have money to buy e-books, and there are work-arounds which I personally don't mind. But there are ways of spreading the joy without ripping people off.

If, for example, you think something you read by one of those three writers you mentioned is awesome, you can buy a copy for a friend; it would make a nice gift for someone who can't afford to buy on their own, or just for someone who'd rather try before they hand over money.

Or if someone is the sort of person who only reads books once, then I personally wouldn't mind if they gave my e-books to a friend once they were done with them IF they only gave them to ONE friend, and IF deleted the books off their own hard drive (e-book reader, PDA, whatever) after they were sure their friend had received the files intact. That's treating an e-book like a paper book -- pass it around as many times as you like so long as only one person has that particular copy (the one which was paid for) at any one time, and multiple copies aren't made from it.

Or if a book or a set of short stories you have in electronic format comes out in paper book format, and you decide you'd rather have those, you can (IMO -- my publisher might disagree) buy the paper book, give the e-book(s) to one (1) friend, then delete them off your system. I've done this myself. In fact, I just ordered a paper book recently of a set of stories I've loved; when it shows up safely, a friend of mine who's raising a family on a limited income will inherit all the e-books, which will be erased off my computer.

People who post books, huge files containing a five or a dozen or twenty or more books to the torrents, don't care what anyone thinks, or what the right or wrong of the situation is. The person I referred to in the post here said, at one point in the discussion thread:

I have a feeling I'm going to have to buy these; the pairing type such an unusual kink/fetish that I don't think many people read them.


Wow. Poor baby. They might actually "have" to buy the books. :/

This isn't someone who can't afford to pay for what they want. Nor is this someone who intends to buy a legitimate copy if they find they enjoy the books they've "tried." This is someone who thinks they're entitled to take whatever they want. They get annoyed when they can't find them to steal and "have" to pay. I have nothing but contempt for people like that and I don't regret anything I said in the post or in comments.

Oh, and I agree with you that X number of torrent downloads does not equal X number of lost sales. I've spoken out against that kind of bogus loss-accounting in other public venues; it's used by music executives and others to inflate their claimed losses and stir up hysteria, which they then use to justify "piracy taxes" and DRM schemes which help no one and mess over only the honest customers.

The fact is, though, that taking illegal copies is stealing, and even if I wouldn't have made any money otherwise, it's still stealing. There are a lot of things I want but can't afford; that doesn't justify my taking them, whether or not it hurts the original owner. In this particular case, though, it's clear that the person requesting that someone hand them free copies of these stories does intend to buy the ones they can't find illegally. There's no justification for that, from any point of view.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for ideas))).

Angie said...

Anon@5:36 -- welcome. :)