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Friday, September 23, 2016

Don't be a Thief: Pirating and Downloading Illegal Copies of Books

Everyone, I’d like you to meet OVERDRIVE (the site & app). OVERDRIVE this is EVERYONE! You guys are going to get along beautifully!!

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m introducing you to OVERDRIVE. See recently… okay not recently, it’s been around for forever. The “IT” I’m referring to isn’t Steven King’s “IT” but rather the act of stealing someone’s work and in this case I’m talking about pirating and stealing BOOKS. There are other acts of stealing, like using graphics and pictures that don’t belong to you but using them to promote your business/books and even the misuse of videos, content, images, etc. But we've already discussed that in the " No, You Can't Use That Image" (Post #1 & Post #2) series and there is still a few other things to discuss, but that’s another topic for another day (trust me, I’m working on it). Back to the act of stealing books…..

Since we live in this world where technology is vast, the majority of things are global and we all have more access to… well basically everything, some may lose sight to what traditionally is known as “theft”. Many may think stealing is when you go into a physical store and take something without paying for it. That is a “physical” example of theft. However, pirating a book or getting a book file online from a sharable site (that is not official like the Lend program from Amazon) and you download it for FREE, it is exactly the same thing. It’s theft! The individual who created that item (i.e. the author who wrote the book) isn’t getting compensation for the time spent and everything else that went into creating that item.

On a similar note, would you ever think about going into Starbucks and telling the barista that you’d like a drink (whatever you like.… coffee, latte, Frappuccino something… pumpkin laced… etc.) but then tell them that you’d like it for free because they are just so expensive and really it should only cost you 99 Cents if not you know, be free! Would you do that? Would you go into Bath and Body Works and tell them that you want that scented candle and LOVE their products and how the candles makes the house smell wonderful and how it relaxes you…. And ask them to provide you with a free candle. I mean, come on, you did tell them that you LOVE their product! You also mentioned how you’re a huge fan, it’s just that those candle is so darn expensive. Would you?

No, you wouldn’t. Right? NO FREAKING WAY would you do that, so what in bloody hell would make you think that you could email/reach out to an author and ask for a free book because you just can’t afford the $3.99 cost of it.  Oh and I know there are LOTS of books that cost more than $3.99. I used that example as that is a ‘happy medium’ price point. Regardless of the book costing $0.99 Cents or $24.99… you want to read it… you PAY for it!

“But Viviana, the author makes A LOT of money and they are being greedy by selling their book for anything more than $0.99!”

LIE!! That’s a lie!!!! Are there authors who make a NICE (and by nice I mean a LOT) amount of money on their books? YES! Yes they are. HOWEVER, many, before they were making all the $$, they were also a struggling author! Additionally, many that you think are making a lot of $$, because you see them on FB traveling or they posted that they got a new coach bag, it may be more about their other job (many still have day jobs) and we can’t attribute their wealth to just being an author. Yet, if that is the case! GOOD FOR THEM! It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay for their book nor does it mean that EVERY author is making money.

The sad truth is that there are MANY phenomenal authors that make less in a year on their books than a high school student, working part-time at a fast food restaurant earns monthly. YEAH, you read that right. I’m not going to go into the cost of creating that book and the numbers. It should be enough that stealing is stealing and if you WANT something you SHOULD pay the amount of money it costs for YOU to get what you desire.

Just like you wouldn’t go into Starbucks and complain that the latte cost way too much or that the scented candle is too pricey at Bath and Body Works, don’t go to an author and ask for their work for free! Or steal it via download sharing sites.

“But Viviana, I need to budget my hard earn money for things like food and gas…. The book is only currently available in hardcover and its $24.99… I can’t justify paying that much for a book I may not even like.”

Uhm I get that…. Totally. I have to budget too! Here’s the thing… either SAVE MONEY and WAIT until you CAN afford the hardcover book or WAIT until either the book is available in paperback (usually 6 months to a year after the hardcover is published) or… this part may come as a shocker…. There is actually a place where you can get free books and get them legally for FREE..…its call the LIBRARY!!!

Libraries people!!! They have existed in our world for many years and they provide you with the opportunity to BORROW a book for FREE!!!!! You can’t wait until the book is available in a format that is more affordable to your budget… or you just plainly refuse to spend money on a book… the library will become your BFF!

“But Viviana, the book I want to read is only available as an eBook!”

Yeah… and? Seriously, I did mention how we live in this world with VAST technology abilities, right? This includes eBooks being available from the libraries. Audio books too while we’re chatting about different formats! And before you start with “But Viviana, I don’t own a device that plays audio books or a device in general to read an eBook…” speech , how were you planning on reading the eBook or listen to the audio that you illegally downloaded from the sharing file site OR that you just messaged the author for a free copy? That excuse doesn’t fly! The library has several different methods for you to “read” or “listen” to the book. If you have a laptop or computer, there you go! Download their apps and enjoy the immense volume of books! For audiobooks, there are several options as well including that many books are available on a device from the library. All you have to do is provide the batteries for it and the ear buds.

“But Viviana, the book I want to read isn’t available at the library.”

First of all, the library doesn’t only carry books from Shakespeare or Jane Austin (I mean they do have LOTS of classics which is AWESOME). The have some of the latest and greatest that are currently available! The libraries also utilize the vast technology that is available and this includes the option for those that use the library to request a book to be included in their catalog! This means you can either fill out the electronic form that is online or visit your local library and chat with the librarian! Amazing right? Instead of asking the author for the free book, ask the librarian to add it to their catalog!

The idea of asking your local librarian to add a book you wish to read (or listen to) to the library system isn’t new people. The same goes for requesting the different formats of a book (i.e. large print, eBook, Audio, etc.). And if you go back to the excuse of “I don’t have a device”, many will help you add the apps to your PHONE!! You know, that smart phone you have in your hand or pocket!

This brings me back to OVERDRIVE, HOOPLA, OneClickdigital, Freading etc. They are ALL apps that you can download for free and access books via the library. The only caveat is that you have to have a library card/account! Which is also FREE! Look at all the FREE stuff you can get!! Seriously! The library is this magical place that allows you the reader, to access to MILLIONS of books. MILLIONS! And at no cost to you. 

So don’t tell me that the $7.99 book is to expensive. Save the money to buy it. Wait til it goes on sale! Add it to your wish list for birthday and/or holidays. Seriously if you want it that badly, skip the latte and use that cash towards the book! Okay fine! So if you can’t skip the latte (I have a love of coffee… Charley Davidson and I would be BFF due to our love our coffee… and if she was, you know, a real person.), then get a library card! Don't be a thief!!

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