Saturday, May 01, 2010

Piracy and self publishing.

I was following a message board thread recently that discussed written works being offered illegally on download sites all over the net. Some of these sites offer the work for free, others want to charge for it. All have one thing in common: they do not have the right to offer the work in the first place.

Now of course I don’t agree with this, and I wouldn’t like seeing my own work offered in this way. But it’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, because who can hand on heart say they’ve never watched a pirated copy of a film, who’s never bought or downloaded an illegal computer game, who’s never seen and bought a ‘brand name’ article sold on a market stall that’s clearly not the real deal, who’s not succumbed to anything that’s been offered to them at a knock down price because it’s not legal: a fake watch, bag etc. Where pirates once sailed the high seas, they now ride the internet wave and trawl the high street. And the reason they proliferate is down to money. If something costs £10 and up for the official item, but you can pick it up for £5 from a nudge, nudge, wink, wink seller, then many people will turn a blind eye and hand over the money. It’s a fact of life. And it’s not something I think anyone will ever be able to stop.

For those who follow my writing, they’ll know that I wrote a novel called Fangtooth. Said novel was accepted twice by different publishers, but for varying reasons, I withdrew it from both parties. Now I was recently made aware of a film called Snakehead Terror that when I read the synopsis, sounded an awful lot like my story. To make sure, I rented the film (an official version to boot), and I’m glad to say that the actual film is hardly anything like my manuscript. I was relieved as it takes me months to write a novel, and I’d hate to think it was all a waste of time. Of course, I’ve not yet sold Fangtooth again, but then I’ve not really submitted it to many places either. The submission process is the worst part about writing.

Which brings me on to self publishing. There seems to be a renaissance surrounding this path. With the advent of electronic books, more and more people are putting their own work out at little to no cost to themselves. Of course, there’s still a lot of bad writing out there, and it helps if someone has a fan base, but what do people think about self publishing? Would you be prepared to pay for a book published by the author? Does it make a difference if you’ve read something by the author before? Do you prefer printed copies or electronic copies?

And last but not least, the Audition Sides for The Kult are online for those intending to go for one of the roles in the film. Auditions are set to take place at 41133 Raintree Court Murrieta, Ca 92562 on May 16th and 23rd at 8:00 am – 5:00 pm:


Cherry said...

Sure, I would read a self- published book. To me, it does not matter who published the damned book! What matters is that, is it a good read?!

Yes, it matters a lot if I have read a previous work of the author. The first book that I've ever picked up of that author more or less determines my life-long opinion of his/her writing skills. Probably not good. But that is how I more or less operate as a reader. Take for example, the first book I've ever read of Gena Showalter was The Nymph King. I studiously avoided Showalter ever since. Probably missed a lot of good reads there but I don't mind if they were anywhere near like The Nymph King!

Annika Howells said...

I'm guilty of downloading a fair bit of music. But I tend to download music from artists who aren't going to be heard on commercial radio, and if it weren't for album leaks I'd probably never even know the band existed. By downloading music i discover my new favourite artists, I buy their t-shirts, go to their concerts and buy their fancy limited edition vinyls. I may have gotten their music illegally, but the artist still benefits in the long run. In the case of pirated books, I think I would rather people read my book illegally than never read it at all. Maybe it wll become their new favourite book and they will end up buying it.