One I am sure our resident authors can sympathise with.

edwest2

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As someone with some experience in book publishing, that is the reality. This is theft - THEFT. And anyone who thinks it's OK is literally hurting authors and publishers. At the company I work for, imagine seeing an exact copy of one of our books appearing online shortly after release or a bootleg printing.

And yes, people should think twice about downloading books since a string of malicious code could be added. I have confirmed that this is possible.
 

muttly

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Sadly, it's the same for books ,magazines, music, and movies. Something
for nothing.
 

gatoraptor

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That's why Specialty Press stopped publishing their own books for a number of years. Their Chinese printers were allegedly putting their manuscripts on line for free.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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That's why Specialty Press stopped publishing their own books for a number of years. Their Chinese printers were allegedly putting their manuscripts on line for free.
I think that would be "some individual who worked at their Chinese printers", doubt it was official policy.

This problem is as old as the hills. When I was a kid, if a computer game wasn't leaked directly from the publishers, the minute it went to the disk pressing plant, often weeks or months before release, someone at the plant would take a copy home and share with piracy groups, who'd remove any copy protection and upload to bulletin boards.
 

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Sadly, that's the internet. It was designed to lower the cost of finding and moving information to near zero.

The industry to go talk to is of course the music industry. They've already been dealing with this issue very aggressively for decades now. They may have some alternate business models (or ideas for same) that leverage internet technology to distribute music which might be adapted to fit the publishing business too.
 

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I'm not sure that 'knowledge as a service' would be a good thing - but it's probably a matter of time until (say) Specialty Press hits on the idea of £7.99/month to access their entire catalogue through a secure web service. Amazon kind-of does this already with Kindle Unlimited, though that's targeted more at fiction readers.
 

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I'm not sure that 'knowledge as a service' would be a good thing

So... tutors and colleges and universities and teachers should all work for free?

but it's probably a matter of time until (say) Specialty Press hits on the idea of £7.99/month to access their entire catalogue through a secure web service.

That wouldn't be "£7.99/month," it'd be "£7.99 to download all our stuff all at once and then unsubscribe."
 

Hood

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They've already been dealing with this issue very aggressively for decades now.
I thought the music business's plan was to moan that people are not buying their latest song on gramophones or some such to make sure they get royalties?

Sadly, Tony Buttler selling $200 tickets to see him at a large concert venue might not be a good model.
Surely there must be enough secret project nerds to pack Wembley?

That wouldn't be "£7.99/month," it'd be "£7.99 to download all our stuff all at once and then unsubscribe."
Or £7.99/month with a restriction to download twenty pages a month (for slow readers).
Or maybe just restrict it to books now out of print and out of stock? It would make the longevity of books better, improve access and stop those thieves trying to charge a million quid for an old book.
 

RLBH

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So... tutors and colleges and universities and teachers should all work for free?
Not for free: providing an ongoing service, rather than a buy-once-then-use-forever commodity. Think 'software as a service'. Ten years ago, you bought software once, with a licence that allowed you to keep using it effectively forever. Today, it's provided for a low, low monthly payment. And if you stop making the payment, your software stops working.
That wouldn't be "£7.99/month," it'd be "£7.99 to download all our stuff all at once and then unsubscribe."
If they did it, it'd be DRMed up the wazoo. Definitely no printing or sharing files, maybe even no reading offline. Probably some kind of 'walled garden' so that whatever winds up getting downloaded can't be used by anything else. Think Netflix - the concern for them isn't someone downloading the entire catalogue in one go then unsubscribing. The system architecture doesn't allow it. The concern is someone buying a subscription then sharing it with fifty to a thousand of their closest friends.

I'm not saying it's a good idea, but it's an obvious one. Conceptually, it isn't even that alien: it's just a form of private library, run by a publishing company. Software, music, and video are all moving to the service model; I'd be surprised if some traditional print publisher doesn't try it at some point. It solves some problems for the publishers, and introduces others, but that's capitalism for you - if you don't innovate, you stagnate and die.
 

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As author, obviously, I've experienced such kind of...let say "pdf piracy".
Indeed there is little one (authors and publishers) can do about it.

It is sign of the time, and I take in this way.

Anyway, luckily, there is still a lot of people that prefer to have a physical copy of a book, especially the one with hi-rez illustrations prited on good glossy paper, rather than a shitty pdf grainy copy of it.

It's matter of choice, if you want quality you have to pay (more or less doesn't matter) if you want something for free forget the quality....

Of course theare are electronic copy of the same book delivered in high quality kindle (or other) format released by the same publisher that cost less and preserve quality (even if in digital way), indeed you have to pay for it.
 

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Some of the e-books I have bought come with the restriction they can only be read on one device - tablet, e-reader, laptop. When that device dies, you lose your e-books. This encourages de-DRMing :-/
 

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Some of the e-books I have bought come with the restriction they can only be read on one device - tablet, e-reader, laptop. When that device dies, you lose your e-books. This encourages de-DRMing :-/

Problem to date is that there's usually a way around the DRM. Making it a particularly onerous way around probably works pretty well in that only the people with the skills and a lot of patience will bother to crack it.

Other way is the takedown notifications. The publishers contribute to a service that searches for PDF versions of their publications and issues takedown notices (or copyright complaints). Not sure of the legal status of that though, pretty sure that youtube will take down videos with music playing in the background that's subject to copyright.
 

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Other way is the takedown notifications. The publishers contribute to a service that searches for PDF versions of their publications and issues takedown notices (or copyright complaints). Not sure of the legal status of that though, pretty sure that youtube will take down videos with music playing in the background that's subject to copyright.

The problem with this is while there are systems for it in the States, DMCA takedown notices, with the possibilities of legal penalties if they aren't honoured, there are regimes where foreign copyrights are just laughed at.

Equally you have major groups trying to undermine copyright. The group behind the Wayback Machine also have a major PDF site. They try to argue that they're functioning just like a library, only letting one person at a time look at an individual PDF of a book they have a physical copy of, but there are systems for ensuring authors don't lose out through library borrowing that they aren't signed up to, and they threw out the one copy at a time restriction as soon as Covid appeared, arguing it was a public service. My theory is they actively want someone to sue them in order to create a test case they hope will undermine copyright.

What they don't seem to have thought through is why anyone would write a book if copyright didn't exist.
 

edwest2

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That's why Specialty Press stopped publishing their own books for a number of years. Their Chinese printers were allegedly putting their manuscripts on line for free.

Do you have a source for this? My company does not print in China and I've been personally involved in sending takedown notices.
 

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I'll quote an author of my acquaintance - if the book isn't worth doing for the advance alone, don't do it.

And I'll add to that that most advances aren't enough to live one - often mid four figures to low five figures. It's fairly exceptional that an author will pull a six figure deal, and even that will usually be for multiple books and more likely in some genres than others - YA pays better than adult SFF, for instance. I'm not sure where advances for non-fiction tend to lie.
 

edwest2

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So... tutors and colleges and universities and teachers should all work for free?
Not for free: providing an ongoing service, rather than a buy-once-then-use-forever commodity. Think 'software as a service'. Ten years ago, you bought software once, with a licence that allowed you to keep using it effectively forever. Today, it's provided for a low, low monthly payment. And if you stop making the payment, your software stops working.
That wouldn't be "£7.99/month," it'd be "£7.99 to download all our stuff all at once and then unsubscribe."
If they did it, it'd be DRMed up the wazoo. Definitely no printing or sharing files, maybe even no reading offline. Probably some kind of 'walled garden' so that whatever winds up getting downloaded can't be used by anything else. Think Netflix - the concern for them isn't someone downloading the entire catalogue in one go then unsubscribing. The system architecture doesn't allow it. The concern is someone buying a subscription then sharing it with fifty to a thousand of their closest friends.

I'm not saying it's a good idea, but it's an obvious one. Conceptually, it isn't even that alien: it's just a form of private library, run by a publishing company. Software, music, and video are all moving to the service model; I'd be surprised if some traditional print publisher doesn't try it at some point. It solves some problems for the publishers, and introduces others, but that's capitalism for you - if you don't innovate, you stagnate and die.

"if you don't innovate..." I'm tired of seeing slogans. The heart of the matter is this: Servers located in Ubombistan, or some other stan, are set up to steal, nothing more. Instead of physically pilfering books, just scan and copy, then post. I've seen it, I'm still seeing it. Online thieves are thieves. They are hoping, like any thief, that no one notices the theft. I am sending takedown notices to various places and will no doubt send more.
 

edwest2

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I'll quote an author of my acquaintance - if the book isn't worth doing for the advance alone, don't do it.

And I'll add to that that most advances aren't enough to live one - often mid four figures to low five figures. It's fairly exceptional that an author will pull a six figure deal, and even that will usually be for multiple books and more likely in some genres than others - YA pays better than adult SFF, for instance. I'm not sure where advances for non-fiction tend to lie.

Such deals are usually kept confidential. All parties involved usually do not want competitors, and others, to know.

Then there's the "there's no money in it" old saw. I work for an independent fiction publisher, who has also published non-fiction. This is how I've made my living for decades, along with most of the staff, not counting a few new hires.
 
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Archibald

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Why hasn't [well-known book piracy website] been taken down for a decade or more ? the losses to aerospace publishers must be enormous.

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DWG

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Why hasn't [well-known book piracy website] been taken down for a decade or more ? the losses to aerospace publishers must be enormous.

Elsevier won a case against it, The Publisher's Association also won one against it, they both tried to block it at the ISP/domain registrar level, but it's still there. The problem is the availability of multiple ISPs and domain registrars, and no means to enforce an order against more than one at a time.
 
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Foo Fighter

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I don't know about anyone else but, as a Trekkie, I thought I would be right up the the digital age. Turns out, not so much.

When I read a physical book, I get a connection to the author and it is very hands on in a literary sense. The smell of new books beats the sterility of a pdf which is had to read a lot of time due to poor formatting for the media.

That folk on this forum take the lot of authors seriously is a given but knowledge, like many things, seems to have lost much of it's value to those with leanings towards embracing the light fingered approach to life. If I or other forum members cannot afford to buy a book, we wait a while until we can.

I value paying for books because I get the feeling that I am enabling more knowledge to come my way later. In that vein, I see the potential for a book club where members pay a certain amount for the opportunity to do just that and get the books at a discount later. There are wine clubs that do this. Of course, this could just be the pain meds talking and it's all hyperbole.
 

uk 75

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I will buy a new book from a bookshop if I can. There is nothing nicer than finding a new book I am interested in, leafing through it and taking it to the counter and reading it on the bus home. If it costs me more than Amatheft I dont mind, as to be honest it happens less and less often.
While others moan in UK about Charity shops in the High Street they allow me to buy books I would never have bothered buying new.
The Internet is a godsend for reference and images. But a book is a pleasure to leaf through. It has been so since I was a kid. see attached.
 

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edwest2

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I don't know about anyone else but, as a Trekkie, I thought I would be right up the the digital age. Turns out, not so much.

When I read a physical book, I get a connection to the author and it is very hands on in a literary sense. The smell of new books beats the sterility of a pdf which is had to read a lot of time due to poor formatting for the media.

That folk on this forum take the lot of authors seriously is a given but knowledge, like many things, seems to have lost much of it's value to those with leanings towards embracing the light fingered approach to life. If I or other forum members cannot afford to buy a book, we wait a while until we can.

I value paying for books because I get the feeling that I am enabling more knowledge to come my way later. In that vein, I see the potential for a book club where members pay a certain amount for the opportunity to do just that and get the books at a discount later. There are wine clubs that do this. Of course, this could just be the pain meds talking and it's all hyperbole.

People don't get the obvious "everything is digital bits now." In the past, reading a physical book or magazine or newspaper were discrete tasks. And a very important thing: no losses if the digital bits disappear. I am sick of screens. The computer screen, the TV screen and the book reader screen. Paper will exist as something tangible. Digital bits could disappear tomorrow and all of those """""digital""""" books, magazines and newspapers go with them. Think about it. The power goes out and where is your library? It's gone. You have nothing to read.

On the business side, I know for a fact that people prefer physical books. After Amazon spent years without making money so that they could convince people that they **deserved** a discount on books, we fed the beast and Jeff Bezos is now worth over 250 billion dollars. He had a strategy and it worked - for his benefit. Today, the book trade press is telling me that people prefer physical printed books. The other problem was created in 2007 when the U.S. Postal Service dropped Surface Mail from its international shipping options. Surface Mail allowed us to send several pounds of books to Australia for little money. The change meant that the new cost of shipping could equal the cost of the books being sent. We lost 95% of our foreign customers overnight. BUT, this was a huge boon to those who provided PDFs that required no shipping charge.
 

Orionblamblam

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The other problem was created in 2007 when the U.S. Postal Service dropped Surface Mail from its international shipping options. Surface Mail allowed us to send several pounds of books to Australia for little money. The change meant that the new cost of shipping could equal the cost of the books being sent.

Preach it. When I recently sold signed copies of my SR-71 book, the cost of shipping something the size and weight of a decent *magazine* to Europe was twenty four freakin' dollars.
 

Calum Douglas

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The other problem was created in 2007 when the U.S. Postal Service dropped Surface Mail from its international shipping options. Surface Mail allowed us to send several pounds of books to Australia for little money. The change meant that the new cost of shipping could equal the cost of the books being sent.

Preach it. When I recently sold signed copies of my SR-71 book, the cost of shipping something the size and weight of a decent *magazine* to Europe was twenty four freakin' dollars.
I have a friend in Poland, he asked me if I`d send him a signed copy of my book, I said "ok".

It cost more than the entire book (which is £35 GBP) just to post it from the UK. Hillariously this is because my book is 2.05kg, and the "large parcel" price range starts at 2kg - and it wasnt even express delivery.

I had to stop doing "favours" after that.
 

edwest2

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And the plot is now revealed. What is it? "VEE vill force people to use der PDFs! They vill haff no choice!"

Paid for by the We Will Force People to Use Their Computers and Smart Phones More to the Point That They will Feel they Can't LIVE Without Them CABAL.
 

Calum Douglas

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I don't know about anyone else but, as a Trekkie, I thought I would be right up the the digital age. Turns out, not so much.

When I read a physical book, I get a connection to the author and it is very hands on in a literary sense. The smell of new books beats the sterility of a pdf which is had to read a lot of time due to poor formatting for the media.

That folk on this forum take the lot of authors seriously is a given but knowledge, like many things, seems to have lost much of it's value to those with leanings towards embracing the light fingered approach to life. If I or other forum members cannot afford to buy a book, we wait a while until we can.

I value paying for books because I get the feeling that I am enabling more knowledge to come my way later. In that vein, I see the potential for a book club where members pay a certain amount for the opportunity to do just that and get the books at a discount later. There are wine clubs that do this. Of course, this could just be the pain meds talking and it's all hyperbole.

People don't get the obvious "everything is digital bits now." In the past, reading a physical book or magazine or newspaper were discrete tasks. And a very important thing: no losses if the digital bits disappear. I am sick of screens. The computer screen, the TV screen and the book reader screen. Paper will exist as something tangible. Digital bits could disappear tomorrow and all of those """""digital""""" books, magazines and newspapers go with them. Think about it. The power goes out and where is your library? It's gone. You have nothing to read.

On the business side, I know for a fact that people prefer physical books. After Amazon spent years without making money so that they could convince people that they **deserved** a discount on books, we fed the beast and Jeff Bezos is now worth over 250 billion dollars. He had a strategy and it worked - for his benefit. Today, the book trade press is telling me that people prefer physical printed books. The other problem was created in 2007 when the U.S. Postal Service dropped Surface Mail from its international shipping options. Surface Mail allowed us to send several pounds of books to Australia for little money. The change meant that the new cost of shipping could equal the cost of the books being sent. We lost 95% of our foreign customers overnight. BUT, this was a huge boon to those who provided PDFs that required no shipping charge.

My book in epub format costs £16 GBP from Amazon.co.uk - its nearly £30 GBP from Amazon.com

A reader asked me why, and I have no idea - other than that there is obviously some outrageous profiteering happening somewhere...or... perhaps its the cost of pumping the electrons up the gangplank at the NY Harbour ?

1634161705374.png

1634161718067.png
 

edwest2

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It does appear that profiteering is occurring. As Amazon literally controls such a massive amount of ecommerce, as planned, they can control prices as they see fit. The U.S. Justice Department is aware of this since a near-monopoly situation is building online and in the U.S. print industry. I do hope some action is taken since Mr. Bezos has the money to move into more and more product niches, with some already being "invitation only."
 

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I read fiction books happily on my Kindle but for aviation books i prefer printed copies where possible.

Ditto, though it depends on the book. If it's primarily text - for instance I just read Alfred Price's Instruments of Darkness on WWII electronic warfare, which has a few simple diagrams - I'll read that happily enough on my kindle. If it's got large plans, for instance one of Norman Friedman's books, then I'll want a physical copy.

WRT fiction, it was go kindle, or buy a bigger house because all the bookshelves are full.
 

YouCantbeCirrus

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I feel like I should chime in as a certified "youngin'" on this site (23 yrs old, yes I know most of you are much older) and just offer an alternate view for the sake of discussion.
As someone who has always lived with internet and digital downloading of his media I also understand that there are indeed people behind the books, articles and other info put out there. I get that not seeing the royalties on a very niche book like the ones written by contributors on this forum is hurtful and it might seem purely malicious but I'd like for you to consider why people might do this regardless.
From my young eyes having grown up in the culture of pirating there are indeed plenty of people who do it just to get things for free simply because they don't want to pay for stuff.
However as the movie/television and video game industries found out in the early 2010's, easy access to a large catalogue of media kills piracy in the bud.
Steam (for videogames) and Netflix (before all the major media companies made their own streaming services) all but killed piracy when they where around for just a couple years.

One of the biggest reasons people will pirate things that's not out of pure malice is because they simply have no other way of acquiring it.
I guarantee that for such niche books, the type of person who would pirate such a book is a real avgeek and is either not able to buy it due to the infrastructure of a bookstore or online retailer not existing where they live or simply wants to buy it but has no legal way of acquiring the book.

I myself love physical books, and have taken part of my collection with me over many other practical things when I moved out from my parent's house this year. There are plenty of young(er) people who want to buy physical books but cannot due to the previously discussed postage problems and our almighty overlord Amazon.

This is a hard thing to fix that will benefit all parties involved; what route each author and reader takes is up to a lot of things. The amin thing you can do as an author is to offer as many options as possible in this modern day. I know it is not what it used to be, and it's not ideal for everyone.
What all of us who are not authors can do is to try not to buy from Amazon and buy directly from publishers or authors who have their own stores and inform authors when their work has been put out there for free.

I hope everyone here can understand this perspective a little better and I hope for all the authors here to send me copies of their books since most of the ones promoted here seem well researched and well written. :cool:
 

edwest2

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Your perspective has NOTHING to do with your age. I hope you understand that as you read further. The issue is 100% about respecting legal and moral situations. A book published by an individual, or a company has a right to copy attached to it. This copyright means that legally and morally, NO ONE has a right to to copy the book. Not you. Not anyone. My company has taken people who violated this law to court. The penalty in the U.S. is 10,000 dollars. Out of respect for all parties, this type of legal action is not made public and the parties are not identified. Respect for persons applies.

If you or anyone can't afford the postage or cannot find a copy is not the problem. You are, and your belief that you can do as you please. That is legally and morally wrong.

The "modern day" means what? Not a few years ago? Not last month? Wake up and realize that you, and others, are just lying to yourself. I have personally been involved in sending legal takedown notices to various companies, including Amazom and eBay, for copyright infringement, which they take with appropriate seriousness.

Piracy is alive and well and I will be sending more takedown notices in the near future.
 

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That's why Specialty Press stopped publishing their own books for a number of years. Their Chinese printers were allegedly putting their manuscripts on line for free.

Do you have a source for this? My company does not print in China and I've been personally involved in sending takedown notices.
They told me themselves when I asked them years ago why they had stopped publishing new books.
 

edwest2

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That's why Specialty Press stopped publishing their own books for a number of years. Their Chinese printers were allegedly putting their manuscripts on line for free.

Do you have a source for this? My company does not print in China and I've been personally involved in sending takedown notices.
They told me themselves when I asked them years ago why they had stopped publishing new books.

Thank you for your reply.
 

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