Friday, October 23, 2009

Avast there, me hearties

The October 4, New York Times business section offers a disturbing look at piracy--not in Somalia, or even the music industry, but in books. With e-readers becoming widespread, the electronic piracy business isn't far behind. For those of us who write for a living, a bleak future has been looking bleaker. The publishing industry, which has been aware of the impending problem for some time, doesn't have any advice to offer beyond going every day to look for all your titles and report them when found. In the UK, if someone pirates your material, they are fined heavily, as is the website that offers the free download. Here, we have to go through the cumbersome business of finding which files are out there, whether they're audio or text, reporting them to our editors, and hoping that the site will respond to a take-down letter. Right now, all I know to do is have a google alert for each title and check them all daily--not how I most want to spend my time. So--who out there in the blogosphere has a better suggestion?

P.S. For those who wanted to know what I actually wrote about trees in the Bouchercon panel on Poe, you can read it here. It was great fun to be on the panel with Peter Lovesey and John Lutz, both of whom know a huge amount about Poe, and to see Sue Grafton and Michael Connelly again--it's been awhile.

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