Hey Henri, thanks for sharing. It still looks to me like you’re rationalizing not paying for your own benefit.

That said, my bias is of course that of an author. I didn’t feel so strongly about piracy until I became an author myself. While it’s flattering to have someone want to read my words at all, it hurts to see your book on torrents — or to have fans openly admit to stealing your work — knowing you’re getting paid that much less for something that’s taken a lifetime to put together (your estimates of author share are off by about 100%).

I like being an author because many books have changed my life. The potential impact of a book is immeasurable — a bargain given the price. I like the prospect of having that impact, though it’s not a lucrative profession, and I’ve chosen to make that and many other sacrifices to be an author.

I worked with a publisher on my first book, and I hope to work with a publisher on my next book. Publishers have rightfully suffered a downturn in business, but I still think they perform valuable services: editing, proofreading, distribution (I once met a reader who had bought my book down the street — in Singapore. Later, a friend in Warsaw took a picture of my book in a store window — translated into Polish, btw. I couldn’t have done that, have no interest in doing that, yet at the same time that scale made the book feasible), and the oft-overlooked importance of understanding where a book fits the market. They also give authors advance payment so they can actually take the time to write the book.

As for the reasons you cited, I get it: they impede you getting what you want, exactly how you want it. But that doesn’t make it right to steal when there are viable options for squaring up economically.

Not that anybody wants to hear it, but if the book (or associated taxes) are too much, don’t buy it, and don’t read it. If you want control and ownership, at the very least pay for the book in some other form before you pirate it (which, I think, is still technically stealing, since that’s not the license you’re buying, but at least it doesn’t hurt the author).

Folks like yourself will do what they want, and convince themselves they’re doing no wrong, but the more that happens, the more quality and quantity of thoughtful writing will decline.

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