Anyone ever Google Search yourself? Or your family? Your friends? Your works?
I really hadn’t before today. I’d searched my dad years ago (for specific reasons I won’t delve into here), but never myself. Besides, at the time, there probably wasn’t anything on the Internet about a 14-year-old high school student in a town in VA that most people hadn’t heard of. For kicks today, I searched for myself. Unfortunately, out of the first four Google Search results’ pages, there were only about 3 links actually about me, while the rest were either about the children’s book author that shares my name or the lawyer whose name is similar (but not the same) as mine.
When I realized I might find more if I use a more specific, unique search term, I searched for “Terrara Vikos”. And, as you might expect, I got links to my ebooks and this blog. When I flipped to page 2, I learned something new about my authoring life.
Some of my ebooks had been pirated.
I had arrived as an author.
No, seriously! Someone had procured my stories and posted them on a pirated site for the mass public of freeloaders to enjoy. By the logic I had as a child, this would have been a good thing. Utilitarianism. “The most Good for the most people.” And, people were reading my works, which meant PEOPLE WERE READING MY WORKS! However, as an adult and budding author, my opinion is now different.
Question: Is this a good thing?
Answer: No, probably not.
The Reason: Yes, I publish my stories for people to read, which would support the childhood fantasy of my writing being noticed. HOWEVER, when a person downloads my stories from a pirated site, not only am I not receiving royalties and direct attention for those copies, I am also not getting hit on my reports. A person that gets a pirated copy is a person who I will never know saw it. Whether you’re a starting author or one with mounds of experience, hits, views, and copies purchased (sales) is a BIG deal, as it tells us a great deal about the interest in our works. You’ve probably heard that preorder sales help authors (and publishers) to predict the success and profitability of that work. When you, as a reader, gain a pirated copy of ANYTHING – movies, books, music – you may feel you got a good deal from it, but, in the end, make it tough on the creators of that work. You’re hurting each person involved in the creation of that art. You’re hurting them BADLY.
Just this to close out this post. Just buy the book. It means a great deal to authors if anyone reads our works, but not if we don’t know they read them. To be honest, we’re slightly vain in that respect. WE WANT ATTENTION.
Also, those hits let us know that we have support. The only way we know that is if you buy from a reputable source, because then that purchase shows up in our reports. Those figures – # purchased, # of views, sales #’s – are our way of knowing that we are supported, and that’s what makes us feel happy and accomplished.
Does this look happy and accomplished to you?
No, didn’t think so.
But you can change that.
1 thought on “Piracy: The Obvious Facts”
“I had arrived as an author.” – I loved this line. This post was fantastic.
If I were you, (which I’m not, I am actually me), I would go to that pirate website, make an account, and talk to your potential readers. Tell them politely ‘Hey, if you liked this book, you should buy it! I did not choose to put my book out for free, but I am so glad you are reading it.”
Or something to that effect. You might be surprised how much those freeloaders might think of you after that.
Just an idea!