Book Piracy: What Should Authors Do?

Authors are entitled to take whatever approach they like to book piracy; it’s their work after all. That said, I’d like to see if I can convince some of you to approach the issue a little differently, because I think taking a hardline approach can actually be counter-productive.

Everyone saw what happened to the music industry. An MP3 is usually around 5MB; with a good connection, you can download it in sixty seconds or less. An ebook can be as small as 200kb, meaning pirates can download a year’s reading material in the same time it takes to grab one album. File-sharing sites are full of ebooks, sometimes in torrents containing over 10,000 ebook files, ready to download in one fell swoop, often including titles available prior to their official release date.

The publishing industry has responded in two ways, both of which are amazingly short-sighted, ineffective, and have served only to alienate the wrong people—you know, those who do pay for books. Read More…