Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Fresh Take on Piracy! (By Shelly M. Burrows)

As new authors, it’s easy to forget that book piracy is out there. I recently come across our book on one of these sites. My first response was indignation. “How dare they give away a book that we worked so hard on!” I even sent out tweets to some of the authors listed on that website. I’ll admit, I was a bit naive to think that our book would ever fall victim to piracy. Yet here we are.
I asked another author how they dealt with piracy. He said that he’d try to get his books removed from sites like this in the past, but it was mostly in vain. However, he’s changed his philosophy. He quoted Neil Gaiman, “A writer’s enemy isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.” That made sense to me. Though, my co-author may not agree.
But the more I looked at the website, I saw that our book was alongside some of the most popular authors. John Grisham, Stuart Woods, Dan Brown and Jeaniene Frost to name a few. It made me think of things in a different light.
Someone out there thinks our book is worth pirating. Now Michael and I know our book is great. Yet someone went through the effort of putting our book up and even added the reviews.
Our book is out there and people want to read it. How is this different than Michael or I giving a book away? The only difference is that we didn’t consent. Our goal is to get people to read our work. It’s like this, if someone reads a pirated copy of our book and then talks about it with friends, we’re getting noticed. Ultimately we’re gaining far more than we’re losing. We gain new readers.
I’m not condoning piracy, but I’m not exactly against it. I know this isn’t a popular opinion. For me at least, it’s a good sign.


  1. I wouldn't have thought about piracy in that light. But I find merit in what you say.

  2. Very good post Shelly, this is something I have thought about myself and I tend to agree. It is bad that there are people out there that will take advantage in this way, but it also brings good with it. As you say, if they think you'r books are good enough to pirate then that must mean you're doing something right! :) Love the post! Keep them coming! This is exactly what I want our authors to start taking part in, discussions and things so we can gain more interest in our community as well as our publishing house and authors over all!