Discussion Board

Topic: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville, La
Date: 05/13/2009

Greg,
I noticed Ursala LeGuin was on a rampage about Bittorrent and E-Piracy in a NY Times Article. I was wondering about your thoughts on this subject. She found her novel Left Hand of Darkness on a site,What she was doing on this site is still a mystery.

http://www.p2p-blog.com/item-1048.html

I read half of my books from the public library collection do theses take away from your sales? How do Authors feel about Librarys and second hand book sales? I'm not into PDF Book reraders like the Kindle DX but understand the concept.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/09/rampant-piracy-will-be-the-kindle-dxs-savior/

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Greg Bear
Date: 05/22/2009

Big issue here. The copyright laws allow sale and exchange of physical books originally purchased from the publisher/author, and loans through libraries--an old tradition. In some countries, library loans are now accompanied by fees to the authors, an interesting and attractive concept--to authors. A similar pattern might be established for library "loans" of e-texts, if they can be made safe from multiple copies. The whole territory is rapidly evolving as Kindle and iPhone book sales grow. Some authors post their novels complete on the web--but that's their choice, and such postings might decline if they can be easily converted to more comfortable, accessible Kindle copies or iPhone copies. Fact is, authors are laborers and need to be paid for their work--they need to eat, and so do their families. If information wants to be free, then so do hamburgers!

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 05/22/2009

Check out The Venus Project. Sounds hokie, I know, but seemingly a sensible idea. I think I've mentioned this before.

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Randy Merkel
Location: California
Date: 07/14/2009

More on the Kindle; why are only some of your books available on the Kindle? Is it a matter of cost (yours) or Amazon's interest, or??

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Greg Bear
Date: 07/28/2009

We're putting together a number of back titles for the Kindle, and I'm impatient to see them too... As a new Kindle owner! Very cool device.

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Jim Duron
Location: Prairieville,La
Date: 07/29/2009

Greg,
What is really appealing about these devices is also scary.

On the upside you can in theory replace all the paper, Ink and book covers and the gas needed to ship the books all around the world. You can by pass the retail middle man(Book Stores, publishers etc.). You can replace a Library in your home with a small device that takes up less space. Not standing line for a new book or waiting for the UPS/Fedx guy to come down your street and leaving it at someone else house.

On the Down side it could eventually replace books and the jobs associated with them, shipping, retail and even Libraries.
Without Libraries low income people may by pass up reading or resources for their children will be limited. The thought of literacy being class driven again is a nightmare book of it's own.

For me Piracy is the least of the issues, most of those people would not purchase most books anyway(ala. song and movie downloads people download things they would never buy. But the impact on our society positive or negative is what makes my mind spin.

My wife though loves the thought of having one device and thousands of books and thousands more in the near future to choose from.

Jim

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Jim Duron
Location: prairieville, La
Date: 07/29/2009

Do you know what on average it cost to produce a book, ship it, and the actual amount you and or your publisher actually receive from each retail sale Online or From a book store?

Jim

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Rainbow Starchild
Location: London
Date: 08/03/2009

I work in a Public Library here in England, and as far as I know, all authors receive royalties from book loans. I am also involved with bookcrossing, and have personally bought and wild released 6 copies of "Forge".
Without wishing to sound like an advert, blog readers may like to have a look at www.bookcrossing.com. I'll have a look for some statistics on Greg's books, but I know for sure he's popular among London 'crossers. My copy of Darwin's Radio is still travelling, but has so far visited France, Australia, and I believe it's now in the US.

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/03/2009

I've been pondering some of these difficulties since the early nineties. There's nothing that stops physical copies being used in libraries, and special dispensation for limited-use e-copies for the poor--but that might mean having to register as poor. On the up side, the book industry is currently in a messy decline, and e-books are one of the few areas of real growth, with real potential for profit--for authors, at least.

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/03/2009

Not sure what the actual price breakdown is for a hardback, but several dollars per copy is a good estimate for production cost, and about the same for shipping, stocking, etc. Publishers receive around 50-60 % of the list price for wholesale, less for some markets. Authors typically receive 8-10 % of cover price, less for heavy discounts. Returns have typically run more than fifty percent of print totals, more for mass market paperbacks--which of course are not returned, but stripped and pulped or thrown away. It's a hugely wasteful industry, from the publisher's perspective, and retailers often use inventory as a cash cow during times of economic difficulty--simply returning large numbers of titles and not restocking. Online or wireless, there are few if any returns, no shipping costs, and marginal stocking and conversion fees for each title. An author may receive fifty percent or more of the sales price. If the author is the e-book publisher, that could go even higher.

Re: Bittorrent Book Piracy

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/03/2009

Books in used bookstores and libraries can indeed act like "chum" and attract fish--er, readers. But the new e-book markets give liberal samples to serve some of the same needs--and a few authors even give all the text for some of their books for free, an interesting strategy...

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