Sandra Mitchell has a blog up about how illegal downloading affects authors*. She presents some specific numbers that she’s seen from her first book, Shadowed Summer, revealing the clear and discernible effect pirating had on authors. The comments reveal that other authors have had similar experiences in regards to pirating.
If the 800+ downloads a week of my book were only HALF converted into sales, I would earn out in one more month. But I’m never going to earn out. And my book is never going to be available in your $region, not for lack of trying.”
This kind of thing breaks my heart when I hear it for a couple reasons. One, because I love book and I love authors, and I want authors to write books that I love and be able to make a living doing it. It would never occur to me to pirate an author’s book. I have too much respect for the work that goes in to it. I firmly believe authors have a right to earn money for the work they produce (in fact, sometimes I even feel a wee guilty about using the library, instead of buying my own copy of a book, but that’s me). If they don’t earn that money, if they don’t get a certain level of numbers, then there is a very good chance they will not be able to publish their next book — what a depressing thought.
So, I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, but seriously, don’t illegally download copies of books, people. If you really can’t afford it, Sandra Mitchell presents some alternatives to pirating, such as going to the library or requesting a review copy from the publisher.
*which I found the link for through mizkit‘s rather awesome blog.