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Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Do You Pirate EBooks (Redux)

The quickest way to get a reaction out of any author these days is to mention one word: "piracy". About four years ago, I ran a poll here on this blog, where I asked my readers whether they regularly pirated e-books. The results were quite telling, back then (click here to see them), but the landscape has changed significantly since then, and the topic has reared its ugly head again in recent months.


Whether it's technically true or not, many authors can't help but see piracy as nothing more than simple theft, and often blame rampant piracy of their books for their financial woes -- particularly if they write full time and rely on income from book sales to support their families. Others who've kept their day jobs, swear that were it not for piracy, they'd be writing full time by now. And still others have given up writing altogether, believing it's not worth creating art at all anymore if people are just going to steal it.

A more concrete, provable consequence is that many authors, who are enrolled in KDP Select, have found themselves in breach of contract with Amazon, because their books have appeared on pirate sites. Sure, this is one of the reasons why I refuse to support Kindle Unlimited (see my blog post about it, here), but that still doesn't justify piracy.

All this means that it's impossible to have a reasonable, dispassionate discussion with authors about piracy, and if you're a pirate who feels justified, your situation will fall on deaf ears, almost guaranteed.

So I've created this new poll. And it's completely anonymous, and super simple -- it'll take you under a minute to answer these questions, and I will never know who you are.

Please click one of the options below, and then click the Next button to tell me: do you pirate books? If you answer Yes, you'll be presented with a single additional question, to help me understand why.


 Similar to last time, I'm going to leave this poll running for a while. I'll close it down on 25 June 2019, to give me some time to crunch the results, and then I'll post those results here in my blog post on 2 July.

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