But You Know This Already…

Posted November 15, 2010 by Meoskop in Opinion / 4 Comments

A photo of the main pool at WDW Polynesion Resort with the water drained outMy views on Agency Pricing and Piracy are that I am against both. Everyone has had the discussion, everyone knows the talking points. It’s all out there. But in the real world, things happen without discussion. In the real world, water follows the path of least resistance. Pull the plug on the tub, all the water runs out.

This evening I decided to buy a hardcover release from a certain Big Name Author. I had a credit I wanted to use from a Big Name Bookstore and figured putting the two together with a Small Amount Of Cash worked out for both of us. The publisher doesn’t allow any credit to be used on the ebook version. I could order the paper version (and pay shipping) but I don’t read paper anymore. I can go on the waiting list for the library (which I did) but what if I wasn’t me? What if I just wanted to read the book? I googled the name. I found five places to download it ‘for free’ by which I mean ‘stealing’. So I did. I wanted to know what the person who pirates books sees, if they are actually final drafts, page scans, stolen galleys, whatever.

They see the book. And it’s not from a DRM stripper. I doubt it’s from a reviewer, either. This book wasn’t offered to review in digital and the earmarks on the file aren’t the same as I’ve seen on digital review copies.  Because I don’t pirate, I deleted the file after looking at the first five pages to see what it contained. (You might not believe me, but I know the author. She knows where I stand on piracy going back at least a decade. She’d believe me.)

So I’m staying on the library’s e-book wait list. I’m not giving the publisher any money. I’m not paying the Big Name Author (even though I really like her). I’m not reading the pirate copy. I’m not posting a review for those of you considering it for holiday gift giving. We all wait. And while we wait I am absolutely certain that others faced with the joint hurdles of DRM and Agency finger extension just went ahead and read the book.

When you drain the pool, no one can go swimming. I’ve got my floaties on. I hope they get this thing fixed before winter hits.

4 responses to “But You Know This Already…

  1. ATM the eBooks I read are all from small publishers. Otherwise I read paper, but I borrow the vast majority of books from the library. (My library has an amazing range.) I always used to feel guilty about borrowing books from the library, especially when talking to the authors of said books. That is, until one of them pointed out that libraries constitute up to one-third of book purchases. But, like you said, it’s not a direct purchase.

    I’m not sure I fully understand the Agency pricing issue, but it does feel like the ‘Big Five’ are trying to dictate terms…to puch consumers into doing what they want, even while they declare that booksellers not readers are their target.

    I will keep my fingers crossed for a resolution before winter.

  2. The Agency issue is based in some faulty assumptions the music industry already made. It’s human nature to fail in the same way over and over.

    I never feel guilty about the library, although I try to buy a less popular author over a more popular author since their sales are more closely watched. The issue for me is that I can’t read many paper books anymore – visual issues post chemo left me more comfortable with large print. I hate taking a large print book from the library since the wait lists are far longer and the need much greater. I can afford the ebook, I’d rather buy it. But I also get annoyed with Agency Hoop Jumping.

  3. Sorry to hear about the chemo – hope things are OK ATM? And the flexibility with eBooks is amazing – I have a friend with chronic fatigue syndrome who much prefers eBooks as they are less exhausting for her to read. Maybe one day the various Agencies will actually realize their market is us and not the bookseller!

  4. ATM we’re in good shape, I think the disability issue is something people haven’t considered with this market. I was so sad when Kindle shut down auto text conversion – my aunt primarily only does audiobook. Even a robotic voice is better than none for some readers.