Yet again, I’ve visited a web site that pirates books that are in print, without asking permission of author or publisher. The link to this one was sent to ASA members this morning. Most of these sites don’t have any contact emails, but oddly, this one does. And allows comments which I assume are moderated to make sure only the positive ones get through.
It even has a “mission statement” that tells you they believe that “knowledge and information should be free to anyone around the globe.” Yeah, sure. As long as we can get away with not paying for it, and as long as nobody helps themselves to our hard work.
It assures you that unlike other pirate web sites(of course, it doesn’t use the word “pirate”), you will actually get a download from them. Free! All I can say about that is that anyone who gets ripped off on those sites deserves it.
“Oh, but I can’t afford it!” they cry. Have they ever heard of a library? Use a library, you get the books for free and the author gets lending right, win win, right? You don’t have to own them. And you can ask the library to get in a book they don’t have.
This one urges its readers to give their stolen books a “nice review” on Amazon, and buy the next one “when you can afford it”. How kind of them!
People, these “free” books are illegal. You are breaking the law, just as much as if you shoplifted or broke into someone’s home. You are stealing someone else’s hard work. Every time you download a book from a site like this, that is one less royalty for the author. Very few people can make a living out of writing. Those who do are relying on it to put food on the table and pay the rent or the mortgage. “But I wouldn’t have bought it anyway!” you protest. What? You don’t think the book was worth paying for? Then why get it? “Those publishers are robbers! Why shouldn’t I?” Yeah, heard that one too. But publishers are businesses like any other. They can’t keep publishing if people don’t pay. That costs jobs. Think about it.
The thing is, there are a lot of authors and publishers out there offering freebies for a day or a week or whatever. These are legal. You’ll find them all over iBooks and Amazon. There is the Instafreebie app, which sends you an email daily with free books on it. These are offered by the authors, sometimes the first of a series to promote their new ones, and you are put on their mailing lists. They actually sign up for Instafreebie. A friend of mine has done that and also offers free short stories or first volumes in his newsletters. Baen Books offers quite a few free books in its e-book library, from its back list. These are temporary, for promotional purposes.
See the difference? These are legal AND free. You can still do that nice review and buy their next book, or you don’t have to. But at least the author has given permission. I really don’t want to hear “But it’s promotion!” ever again, thank you, unless the promotion is decided by the author or the publisher. It’s their decision to make, nobody else’s.
Right. Rant over, down from soapbox. Time to get back to my TBR pile and reviews. I received two children’s picture books from Macmillan today. As of next week, I will be doing a day a week as a volunteer at a primary school in Sunshine, and these books will go there as soon as reviewed. Watch this space!