The topic of pirated, or stolen, digital books and audio books comes up often when I am chatting with other authors. Everyone has an opinion about this topic, though all agree it sucks.Here's my 2-cents. It may make you feel better, it may make you hate me. We shall see.In the beginning, I struggled with piracy, as I should think every author in today's world does. Any way you slice it, it sucks, and for a multitude of reasons. It sucks to pour your soul into a product for months, only to have someone steal it. It sucks to feel like they are taking food right out of your family's mouths.However....There are several facts I have come to understand about Internet thieves. First and foremost, (and the topic of this post) the vast majority of the people who steal ebooks (or music, games, movies, tv) will not be purchasing your product anyway. I think it boils down to just a few reasons: they have no disposable income, they justify it saying it is a victimless crime, they see no value in what I do for a living, or they feel I must be so rich that I will never miss this one sale. These reasons will never go away. But the fact remains that I believe these people would have never been my customers anyway. So, while it sucks, I don't feel it is money out of my pocket. Not all of them, mind you. Some most definitely are lost sales. But, in my humble opinion, only a very small margin. If I was to guess, less than 5%. The rest were never going to buy.My hope is that those who steal my products like it enough to become a fan, and then either support me by purchasing a legal copy (unlikely) or by telling their friends about me (plausible).So, while you could call it the price of doing business in today's digital age, I call it the price of doing marketing in today's digital age.There are a huge amount (millions upon millions) of readers who would never dream of stealing books. They can simply read only so many books a year, however. Our goal (and the reason authors are so competitive with each other) is to collect as many of them as we can into our fan base.Hope this helps.Drake
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