My friends...and ebook piracy

Hey guys, I have a question for you. How do you deal with ebook piracy in your lives? I'm sure we've all come across this little problem at least once (heck, I took part of it too a long time ago) and I was wondering how you guys go on about it.

I didn't pay much mind to it a few months ago to tell you the truth. Where I live, reading books is not much of a thing. People rarely read books (at least the people I know), and the ones that do tend to read books far from what I like to read. BUT everything started to change when my friends started looking for YA and NA book recommendations. At first I was thrilled my friends wanted to read the books I loved. So yeah, I recommended and practically listed all the books found on Goodreads. I was overjoyed and I gushed day and night. I felt life was perfect and in a way, I felt good knowing my friends came to me looking for advice.

Now, imagine my surprise (and guilt) when I start hearing from them how much they enjoyed a particular book. A book I was starting at the moment and I knew perfectly they didn't own. How could they? The book they read had to be yet translated in Spanish and they don't read in English. I told them how it was wrong to pirate a book and they should have waited for the translated version to come out, but they simply blew me off with the excuse that they couldn't wait for it to be in Spanish. I let it pass that time.

Sadly, that wasn't the end of it. They haven't stopped. Every single day they keep downloading the books I treasure and I feel helpless because I can't do anything about it. I do tell them that what they are doing is wrong and illegal, but they just ignore me and say things like: "I have better stuff to use my money on than buying books". SERIOUSLY? 

And come on, they know how much this world means to me. They know how much I strive to promote books and think that authors are my rockstars. I feel betrayed  with what they are doing (and I'm not even an author!). Not all the books they have downloaded are unavailable in Spanish. Most of them ARE available and can be found in our few bookstores and they ARE NOT expensive. A book for $200 pesos (like $15 dollars) isn't that pricey, not to mention the lower ebook prices. Besides, we all have to buy our books and support our authors. Authors have struggled a lot to get their works published and for their books to be pirated is pretty low, especially if pirating readers start raving about the authors and say how they have become their favorite authors. Please.

I really don't know what to do. My friends think I have contacted and brought down the websites they have been going to download books, but I haven't done such a thing (though I inwardly smiled in victory). I don't have that power, but sometimes I wish I could.

I won't get into a fight with them that is for sure. I love them and I certainly don't hate them. However, they talk about the books they download in front of me and I feel like they do it on purpose. I try to ignore them as best as I can though it saddens me that I can't talk about my favorite books with them anymore in fear they are going to go download them illegally, and all because of my fault. 

So that brings me back to my question(s)... How do you handle this? Do you have friends who download books illegaly too? 


  1. Hey Melissa! Omg I can't believe this is the first time since coming back to the bloggosphere that I've visited your blog :( I'm so sorry! School has been crazy....

    I remember you asking me this question and I didn't know how much this stressed you out until you wrote this post, so I'm going to try to be more helpful this time and give you some advice :)

    So I have a few friends that download books illegally or read books online. I feel what you feel, I sometimes just can't believe that they'd abuse all the hard work the author has done writing the book. I'd say that your friends wouldn't understand even if you confronted them about it because, well, they're probably not the kind of people who loves books and authors, because I guess that book bloggers and readers who don't want to spend money have some differences.

    Really, I think you should probably just let them do their thing. Even if you talked to them about it, who knows if they're going to do it at home? This is something you really can't control. My advice would be to just focus on your own life and let them download all the books they want. I think I'd be better if you didn't let this thing stress you out that much and let it affect your own happiness. Just move on. ;)

    1. Hey Olivia! Yes I remember when I talked with you about this and wow, that was quite a long time ago. I can't believe it, lol. And yeah, I think you are right about that again. It's just SO hard to ignore. But I'll do that, and stop talking books altogether. Even when they ask me about them, which just sucks because that's what I'm supposed to do as a book blogger. :)

  2. Well, if it helps, I'm an author and I think book piracy can be beneficial sometimes? If it's a strict matter of paying full price versus not reading the book at all, a lot of people think, "Ehh, I'm not THAT interested" and they forget about the book. Whereas if they read a pirated copy, they'll at least be aware of the author and possibly buy a legitimate copy later, or buy the book's sequels, or tell their friends about the book. I'd definitely rather have more readers than a few extra dollars. I do work hard on my books and I'd love to make a living from them — but if money were more important to me than sharing my stories, I'd be better off spending more time at my day job.

    On the other hand, I self-publish, so I'm actually free to make that choice. Traditionally published authors are under pressure for their books to earn a certain amount of money for the publishing company — so if too many people pirate those books instead of paying for them, the author's series might be dropped before the end, or their publisher might drop that author completely. If you haven't already, maybe you could point out to your friends that if their favourite authors don't make any money from their books, those favourite authors might not produce any more books. A lot of people are under the impression that all authors are as rich and successful as Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, so they don't feel like their small amount of pocket money will make a difference. Which isn't true!

    1. Thank you so much for pointing that out Heidi! I hadn't thought about it in that way and I can see how a passionate author would love their books to just be out there and be loved by any amount of readers they can get. The problem is, people keep downloading entire series because they want to, even when they love the story so much and can buy them. I'll try that approach next time. ;)