Now that my first novel, Aure, the Topaz, is released and being read, I am reminded that with success comes a price. I was browse a torrent site I like to frequent. I use the site to see what others are reading (or stealing) as a way to know what to read or consider reading.
As I browsed, I saw the book of a friend listed. I wrote to her to let her know. Let me stop here and explain that torrent sites are places where people upload files to share. Often this is fine when the files being shared are public domain and not protected by copyright. In this case however the book is under copyright protection. So sharing the book is theft. My friend's book hasn't even been out for a month and already people think it is good enough to steal.
I've known this has been a risk in this line of work for some time. Writers, musicians, software publishers, and filmmakers all have this problem. When a product is good, people want it and will find anyway they can not to pay for it.
Worse still it is very hard to stop them. You can go after the site, of course, but they aren't really to blame. It is the individual users who share the illegal content that are to blame. Most folks don't try. But for a new writer each book not paid for is like a drop of blood out of the writer's veins. Pretty soon, you've got enough for a transfusion. No long after that, the writer is weak from blood loss and unable to write any more books.
And that's the real shame here. My friend's success depends on everyone who is interested in her work paying for it. And I'm in the same boat with her, having just released my first book.
So please, if you receive illegal content and you like it, but yourself a real copy to support the writer. Thanks.