I don't normally swear on this blog, but that's how crazy I went.
Because the reality is that if every one of those people had bought a copy, or even gone on their library website and requested the book instead of doing the exact same thing on an illegal sharing site? If they'd done that, IT WOULD HAVE MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE TO ME. And not just in terms of my ability to stay relatively sane, but also in terms of my career. I'd explain this, but the lovely and hilarious Saundra Mitchell already has, and she's smarter than me. Seriously, it's worth a read, and I'll be here when you get back.
Book pirating is a real problem. And I've been thinking a lot about this whole issue and what to do about it. Beyond the obvious, which is SICCING RANDOM HOUSE on them and composing emails to them in my head that start with "AAAAAAAAAWHYDIDYOUDOTHAT?!?!" I've been doing both of those things, and they have an immediate effect, I guess, in that they make me feel marginally better and RH is now on their trail to hopefully make them take it down. But somehow that feels insufficient. I needed something bigger to get the attention of those pirates.
I needed ninjas.
Everyone knows that pirates and ninjas don't get along. When ninjas are involved, I think it's a given that pirates pay attention. And I think that many book pirates honestly don't understand that their actions are seriously contributing to the fact that their favorite series doesn't have an ending...because the publishing house chose not to pick up the next book due to low sales. I think they're so busy stomping around with their peglegs and illegal downloads that they don't REALIZE that they're not just sticking it to the man, but they're also sticking it to authors...who can't afford to be authors any more.
Now, I'm not in that situation at this point. I'm very lucky to have two more books coming out in the next two years, and I'm working my butt off to insure that they're followed by more of the same! But that doesn't change the fact that it PISSETH ME OFF AND MAKETH ME SPEAK IN A PSEUDO ACCENT.
I know that to a certain extent, I'm preaching to the chorus. I know a lot of you, and you wouldn't dream of pirating a book. Most of the people who need to hear this aren't on book blogs, so we're all stuck dealing with it, right?
Maybe so, but there's still an opportunity to make a difference. Be a book ninja. Nodding in agreement when reading blog posts like this is GREAT, and I'm glad if you're doing that. (Heck, I'm just happy that you're spending a few minutes with me in the first place.) But there are plenty of easy things you can do to help make sure your favorite authors can still write. Help spread the word about library programs that allow you to download FREE BUT LEGAL ebooks for people who are desperate to read but just can't scrape up the cash. If you're in school, write about these things for a report or the school newspaper. If you know someone who has downloaded books, take a minute to point them towards Saundra's post so they understand that it really DOES make a difference. Speak out against book piracy. You can even wear a ninja cowl when you do it if it makes you feel cooler. It does for me.
Be a book ninja.