Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kelly's Topic Thursday

So my topic for this first Thursday in June may spark some chit chat. I received this message from one of my groups on Goodreads and I can't stop thinking about it. I don't know what the answers are -- I'm just not that smart -- but I think it's a problem that someone should figure out. An author found her book on a torrent site and is completely horrified. Here is her letter as it was sent to me.

* * *

I wrote The Undead Heart (the first book in The Blood Thirst Series) and a few days ago I found out I was ROBBED! I worked for months writing the book and have gotten some really great reviews but noticed that more people were reading it than copies sold. A friend called and told me to look up The Undead Heart torrent and that I wouldn't believe what I found. She was right, I was shocked! Someone had taken my book and uploaded it on a torrent site to be given away for free! It spread from there to many other torrent sites as well. After some investigation we found that The Undead Heart has been illegally downloaded over 50,000 times. I'm not a rich or famous author. All the money that went into publishing The Undead Heart came out of my pocket and now I have nothing but lose to show for it. It's unfair and unstoppable! As far as profits are concerned it breaks down like this: The Undead Heart e-book is for sale on Kindle and Nook for $6.99 per copy. My royalty is $4.83 per copy sold. If the 50,000 illegal downloads had been legally purchased it would have netted me a profit of $241,500.00. Instead, I got nothing. I can't begin to describe how hurt, angry and disappointed I felt when I discovered this theft. To have someone take a piece of you and just give it away to everyone is incomprehensible! Blood Thirst (the second book in the series)is completed and nearly ready to be released. Because of the theft I actually consider not publishing the last 2 books in the series. My friends said they understand my anger but to not publish the next book would be unfair to the people who did legal purchase The Undead Heart and who were so kind with their comments and reviews. I don't know what to do! I'm sure I will publish Blood Thirst but would love to hear the thoughts and advise from the group! What would you do? Please feel free to repost this wherever you like! Advice and comments can also be sent to

Love Always,
Tate Jackson

* * *

I sincerely feel awful for this author. I have mixed feelings about what happened. I feel that anything that gets put on the internet, is wide open for anyone to steal or to use in any way they want. Is that right? No. But it's the way it is. That's why I hate Facebook. All that information is there for anyone to see. Anyone. Don't tell me about privacy settings. Things are easily hacked into. On the other hand, I see where it's wrong that people do that. There's a morality issue here. On yet another hand, I think that it should be okay for people to lend any of their ebooks out. If I have a hardbound book (or even a much loved paperback) and I'm having you over for coffee and I tell you about this great book and you want to read it, chances are, I'm going to lend it to you. The same should be for ebooks. Now, if I lend that book to a printer and they mass produce it and sell it, then THAT is absolutely wrong. Same with an ebook. If I put it on a torrent site, then that's just theft.

As I said earlier, I'm not smart enough to know the answers, but there are big problems out there. Some people go anal crazy on piracy issues, some are more lax on them. Some are absolutely afraid to talk about any of this and I might stir up some sort of problem by posting this. I keep thinking about it though. Wondering and trying to come up with some sort of solution. What about you? What are your thoughts on this issue?

for Book Lover's Hideaway


BLHmistress said...

I think there is a difference between lending the books and down right theft which is what some of these piracy sites are - I am not sure how they get the book to begin with (do they buy it) then upload it to these sites? That's one question I always wanted to know but I have a very dear friend that this happened to and I felt so badly for her because i know how hard she worked to get published to begin with and when she did here her book is on a piracy site- she managed to get the book off but not after there was about 1000 downloads I believe(could be wrong in the amount) but it was a lot I do know that and she was heartbroken over this almost didn't want to write ever again but I talked to her and begged her not to stop don't let these jerks win. I think its theft anyway you look at it -

BLHmistress said...

I didn't mean some I mean all piracy sites sorry

Jo K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo K said...

This is horrible, I feel so much for the author. There is a big difference between lending and stealing and such a theft is totally unpardonable. I can imagine how horrible I would feel if something like that happened to me.
As long as there is internet, these things will be prone to happen. However, I don't think there is a problem with the internet or sharing sites (after all someone might want to share something of their own for free) - the problem is with people. It is a moral responsibility of each one of us not to steal other people's work and offer it to other people for free and even more every one should have enough conscience not to take advantage of things that appear on the internet, but think about whose hard work it results from and how we would feel should something like that happened to us. It is just like stumbling upon a wallet on the sidewalk - will you take out the cash and go or will you return everything to the owner? It's all the question of people's honesty.

BLHmistress said...

I agree it is the people, and its a shame that there is such dishonesty in this world.

Jackie said...

Music, Books, Art, blog posts any kind of piracy is just plain wrong... However I can see why the author would want to "give up", it makes me ticked just to read that someone did this but can guarantee you it will not be the last time it happens as the Internet Piracy for everything you can think of is so widespread it is totally unreal!

It breaks my heart for Ms. Jackson, can only hope it does not happen to her again!

Michelle Franklin is a said...

As an author, I can understand her horror. However, I purposely placed one of my books on a torrent site to see how many downloads it would get. Quite a few, and quite a few of those turned into purchases. Many authors do this, even Neil Gaiman has said he does it because he considers it free advertising- as in, instead of sending out hundreds of free review copies, he puts his book on a torrent and people review it once they've read it. To me, and I know many don't feel this way, I feel if the person likes it, he will buy it and support it.

Post a Comment