Friday, October 5, 2012

Why Being Pirated Is a Good Thing

I know you all think I'm insane already. The title of this blog proves it, right?

But right now, in the crazy maelstrom that is publishing, one theme keeps popping up under different guises:

Too many pundits to pick just one: How's a reader supposed to find anything worthwhile in the giant slush pile publishing has become?

Bob Mayer: The writer's big problem is no longer distribution. It's discoverability.

Jason Ashlock: The author's biggest enemy today is not piracy, but obscurity.

Here's my thinking: If your book has gotten enough attention that someone wants to pirate it, then you've risen above the slush.

I'll probably get a lot of flack for this view, and that's all right.

I'm not advocating piracy. I think it's a douche move. This is my livelihood you're talking about. My sales are how I pay for my groceries, my son's school supplies, the roof over my head. I'd really appreciate it if no one would pirate my books.

But reality is 180 degrees from our ideal world, and I acknowledge the fact that there are douches out there who think stealing is okay and justifiable. Here's the thing--a thief isn't going to steal something unless they believe it's valuable and they think other people find value in the object as well.

In a weird sort of way, it was a compliment when I stumbled across two of my books on two different pirate sites. It meant my books had received enough attention and someone found enough value in my work to think it was worth stealing.

At least, the pirates were a little more honest in their theft than the jerk on Amazon who bought four of my books, read them and returned them for a full refund.

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