Please be advised a man by the name of Steve Perry is offering pirated copies of a number of chicken ebooks via Facebook. The page he set up to do this has already vanished, perhaps because of Facebook getting involved but the site generally can’t be relied upon to tackle criminal abuses.
I am not angry. Piracy is a fact of life in this digital age. It was always going to happen eventually, sooner or later. It is often said by pirates, though, that they are all about freedom and yet it is the poorer content producers who suffer the devastating loss of income while the richer content producers barely feel a financial hit.
In what way is an illegal distribution system that impacts most heavily on the lowest-paid artists and writers somehow noble, just and socially responsible?
I do not make a lot of money from CHICKENS AS PETS. It took me three months to write and design the iPad edition, another month’s work to produce the Kindle/ebook editions and six weeks to then produce the paperback. Most months I earn less from my labours as a writer than I would get on state benefits.
I put in several hours of work every day, all year round, offering people support in the CHICKENS AS PETS social network communities, for which I receive no pay at all. That isn’t in any way a complaint. The least anyone can do is buy my book, which is not expensive, as a thank you. But I don’t demand it of them. I do, however, demand that if people want to read the book, they must buy it and support me as a writer or I go under financially, simply put. I cannot live on fresh air and being appreciated.
Just because a book is a bestseller does not mean I have a JK Rowling bank balance. A book can be a bestseller if it sells only a thousand copies a year. Do the math.
To pirate any creative work is to rob artists and writers but to pirate books that are not mainstream, are not bought by people in their millions, is to rob people who are not rich and the loss of even one book purchase is damaging. People who do this are not helping authors or the communities they write their works for. If even works aimed at relatively small demographics, like the global chicken-keeping community, which even when taken as a whole is made up of less people than the number who bought, say, Fifty Shades of Grey, are pirated, writing books for such communities becomes untenable.
The ebook is £2.99 for goodness’ sake. The iPad edition and paperback £5.99. A packet of cigarettes costs more!
As soon as someone is able to provide me with proof in the form of one of his posts that he is indeed illegally distributing free copies of my own book, I will be straight onto the police to report him for stealing my work. As is, I have already added my own complaint to Facebook along with others who are affected.
Please do not accept stolen goods, which is what pirated ebooks are. Thank you. Meanwhile, I would love the opportunity to grab three months of this man’s wages, for whatever job he does, out of his hand. See how he likes it. I am sure he would approve. Wouldn’t he?