My 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.