I knew it was bound to happen. At least I hoped it was. No one wants to have their work pirated. After all, it’s hard work to write a book and get it published. So, once it is finally available, any writer wants folks to actually buy it. We have bills to pay, after all. But then there’s that niggling of self-doubt at the back of your mind. What if no one thinks your book is good enough to pirate? Okay, maybe I’m weird there. But I had wondered.
Now, though, seeing a site that has Origins available for a free download — and it’s not a site NRP has an agreement with — I don’t know whether to be pleased or insulted. Pirating really doesn’t bother me that much. Not on an intellectual level. Maybe I’ve spent too much time hanging around Baen that I’ve been infected by their point of view. I really do feel that pirating is nothing more than a form of promotion. It gets our books into hands that might not otherwise have gotten it. Some of those folks will then go out and buy the book and others by me or other NRP authors.
But this site is one that bothers me. Most pirate sites have contact addresses you can send a take down notice to. This one doesn’t. No, only after a searching and finally clicking on the “sign up for a new account” did I find a “contact us” link. And that opened up an email form to fill out. Further investigation shows that this particular site has only been around for three months. But…and this is the big but…if you keep looking around, it is clear the site has been around much longer. It is simply one of those that changes its address and name from time to time.
Now, like I said, I’m not all that worried about someone pirating my book. In fact, I am sort of pleased — again, in a perverse sort of way — that only one site has, so far, posted it for free download. (And no, I didn’t sign up for an account nor did I try to download it. I like my computer too much to risk the sorts of bugs these sites tend to carry). One of the reasons I like NRP, both as my publisher and as my employer, is the fact that it doesn’t attach DRM to its titles. The fact that NRP titles aren’t showing up en masse on pirate sites tends to prove my theory that it is the challenge of DRM that brings out a lot of these guys, not just their need/desire to give away something that should be paid for. Add in the fact that NRP doesn’t charge more than $4.99 so far and, well, there really is no reason to pirate their titles.
Still, part of me is outraged to find my first book on a pirate site even as it is thrilled to be there. Mind you, I’ll be keeping my eye out for other sites as well as keeping an eye on this particular one. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing. After all, we do have to keep these pirates in business….right?