Monday, January 30, 2012

Too Many Buckets, Not Enough Water

I've been thinking about this pirating thing...

Especially in light of the 2011 Book Buying Survey presented at Digital Book World. Check it out. 

Some highlights:
  • 64% of "avid" book buyers are female
  • 33% of book purchases are for entertainment/leisure
These are only numbers from a single survey, of course, but they are in step with my anecdotal experience as a bookseller (I managed a bookstore back in '98).  Fiction was the single largest space in the store, but we sold less fiction titles (proportionately) than other books combined.  

Why is this important?

I don't have survey results or any scientific data to back this up, but plenty of anecdotal experience and reports from other authors: the vast majority of wannabe writers pen fiction. All of these books--now readily available because of digital publishing--are the too many buckets in my title metaphor. The water? Book buyers.

If only 33% of the purchases made by "avid" readers are for leisure/entertainment (and not all of that 33% must be fiction) and the majority (by far) of authors write fiction... Yesh.

No wonder it's so damn hard to break through.

What does this have to do with pirates?

Well, if most wannabe writers write fiction and it's damn hard to make it, maybe some pirate/resellers are just feeding the urge to put their name on something.

Hell, I don't know.

What I do know is I don't mind giving away my stories if I'm doing it. I'm not going to crawl under a rock and hide from the basement-dwelling morlocks who'd do such things. I'm not going to stop writing because of this crap. I'm not going to change a single bit of my behavior just because other people don't want to play nice.

For the next two days, Echoes of the Dead (the thieved book) is free at Amazon. Take that, J.K. "Fake-Name-If-I've-Ever-Seen-One" Patterson.


Daniel Powell said...

Nice, Aaron! Keep on getting the work out there, and just move past the bastards.

JK Patterson...what, Stephen Koontz was taken?

Anthony Rapino said...

Right on, man! I'm glad your keeping a positive spin on this.

Aaron Polson said...

Daniel - Stephen Coonts is a thriller writer. I guess it was too close to the real thing.

Tony - All we have is our spin, right?

Lyn said...

I updated the description of the ripoff book at Goodreads. Haven't looked today, but hopefully the whole thing will be taken down soon like Amazon. Best wishes with this free promotion. Hope you see a sales bump once it's over.

Aaron Polson said...

Lyn - Thanks. I appreciate all the support. Goodreads might be taking down all my Kindle books soon--seems they're having a row with Amazon.


Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Just bought Echoes of the Dead and posted it on my Facebook wall. I let people know I was doing it to protest what's going on.