Because I'm a little fish in a big pond and this is important to me, I emailed some of the big fish and asked for their help in exposing this topic. They very graciously agreed to help. Jane of Dear Author did a post as did Aztec Lady and Karen Scott of It's My Blog. Smart Bitches have also done posts on it. I also contacted All About Romance, a site that has had a profound effect on me as a romance reader over the years. This is the place where I first found 'my people'. I heard back from Lynn Spencer and she was interested in exploring this issue herself. We exchanged a few emails and she took up the cause. Until then, she hadn't realized the extent of book piracy on our well loved books and the effect it has on authors.
Today she posted a well researched and almost sad post. She has done her research and it shows. This was brought home to me even further at the RWA conference when I had a short talk with one an author whose books I have really enjoyed. I asked her when her next book in the series she is writing is coming out and her response was she didn't know if she would keep it going. And one of the big reasons why is because of the direct result of piracy. She is a mid-list author whose works have been pirated and she is tired of working so hard on something she loves only to have it stolen from under her.
All of us have authors we adore and as readers who love them, it should hurt us too that they are being robbed of the fruits of the work they work so hard on. And - as Lynn points out in her post
"I was aware that book piracy was a big problem, but hearing people’s personal stories made it clear that this is a HUGE deal. Huge as in authors losing tens of thousands of copies of a single book to book piracy. For a midlist author, these losses could feasibly affect sales enough to result in lost contracts – and we as readers may end up losing a storytelling voice we value."As others who have spoken on the subject, I don't know what all we as readers can do to help, but whatever it might be, I will be willing to do it and support those who brought me so many, many hours of enjoyment; who have taken me to worlds I never would have visited; back in history to ancient Rome, to Medieval England, to Scotland, to Regency and Victorian times; to other continents; to the old West. We have met and fallen in love with Vampires, with Werewolves and many other otherworldly creatures. Authors have shared with us what is in their imaginations. And I hate, hate, hate that their reward is to have their hearts work stolen by modern day internet pirates.
At the risk of bringing out my own little troll Amber and/or Anonymous (and isn't she/he a brave little soul??) again with her bizarro justifications for thievery, I strongly urge you to read Lynn's piece and perhaps linking it on your own blogs so that the word will get out that this kind of action is NOT to be tolerated. If enough of us raise a ruckus, maybe the publishers will get on board and track down these sites and work on cutting them off. I don't think its right that authors alone should be the police in this situation.
Who knows what a small pebble can do when thrown into a body of water can do?