Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde
Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pirating Spinward Fringe

Piracy happens, and in many cases it's a testament to the popularity of a thing. Having Google report that Rapidshare, Uploading, and Deposit Files (Scribd was also a minor, unwitting contributor to the problem, hosting one book), all had copies of the Spinward Fringe series, available for public download was a bitter sweet experience.

Someone had purchased the books from Smashwords and thought that they were good enough to share. That's a nice sentiment, in its way. Sadly, less than 10% of my income comes from print, disproving that eBook sales and downloads lead to print sales - in my case. So, the idea that people downloading my work from hosting sites that are generally used for piracy will lead to print sales simply isn't true. If people stop buying my work legally for reasonable prices, then I can't afford to write full time. It's that simple. Too much piracy would worsen my quality of life a great degree, it wouldn't take much.

So, the legal notices went out, and all the sites involved pulled the books down within 24 hours. If you're looking for my work for free, I'm happy to tell you that I offer The First Light Chronicles, an entire trilogy, for free on Smashwords.com. The rest of the books are available there for less than $5.00 apiece, DRM free so you can use them on whatever device you like.

Piracy won't end, it's here to stay. Sadly its effects on independent writers like me are different from the effect it's had on the music industry. In the music industry someone might pirate an album and as a result buy concert tickets, or a T-shirt, DVD, etc... With my writing all I really have time to do is keep writing and make more people aware of my work. There are no public speaking engagements to purchase tickets to (especially since I'm an independent and there's NO interest in having me as a speaker or a panelist - the Canadian publishing / events world just doesn't want me there - they've made that very clear), I don't have T-shirts for sale (and I don't expect they'd be popular anyway), and other merchandise is even less likely to appear, even though I've had more than one request for a resin model of the First Light. If that ever comes out, I want the first one!

So, sorry, Google will keep searching these pirated copies out, and I'll keep sending legal notices while notifying the Canadian Copyright Office of breaches of international copyright law.

I wish that weren't the case, but if I could afford to offer all my books for free, I would.

RL

7 comments:

Allan B. said...

Why apologize? You're absolutely correct! If only there were a way to create a file that could not be copied, only moved, then maybe people would feel as if those files were more like "property".

Randolph said...

Hey, I'm Canadian. If someone steps on my foot, I say "I'm sorry." If it happened to be another Canadian who did it, they say "I'm sorry" and a funny sort of apology contest ensues!

Thanks for commenting Allan, you make a good point.

Shawn Gray said...

Good to hear they pulled them down. You never know with download sites, so I'm happy to see they've complied. I echo Allan's thought about finding a way they could be moved or traded, much like a library book, but not reproduced. Even with that though, there's no coin for an indy when it gets passed on.

Hopefully most of your readers respect the fact that this is what puts the bread on your table, and they refrain from passing it to yet more download sites. But as always, humans are humans, and we don't always think.

Oh, and that apology war thing is totally true. I've been caught in way too many of them in the past.

Justin said...

Piracy is, sadly, something that happens, and it's unfortunate that you may have to look like the overzealous bad guy by sending cease and desist letters to various places. Just don't go the DRM route; it tends to create more problems than it solves >.<

Randolph said...

After going DRM free on Smashwords and the DRM free versions of the books on Kindle will appear as the Spinward Fringe 2.0 project continues.

I trust my readers, and I'm not going to react to one or two of them in a way that will inconvenience everyone.

Martin Krischik said...

Well Allan, taking into account that Harddrives crash more often then Bookshelfs burn down I don't think that movable files would be such a great idea.

Apart from that there is no excuse to pirate a DRM free book which is available for worldwide distribution.

Nightguy said...

Well...I am almost done with the first (free) trilogy. Realized last night I was close to the end so I jumped on the B&N site and grabbed the next one.
Thanks for the time you put into these stories. I am really enjoying them.