Writing Life #7: Pirated!

I’m on teh torrentz…

If you punch “Barry Lyga torrent” into Google, you’ll get hundreds of links, leading you to web sites online where you can download my books for free. There’s really nothing anyone can do about this — it’s like fighting the hydra or playing Whac-A-Mole or whatever other metaphor for fruitless endeavor you prefer.

It drives me nuts.

This is not going to be a post about the righteous indignation of someone who’s been stolen from. Nor is it a polemic on the morality of piracy. I’m not particularly interested in that argument for the simple reason that it’s impossible to win. The people on each side have dug in their heels and they aren’t budging. You’ve got guys like Cory Doctorow or JA Konrath who have a philosophy of “free sells,” meaning that when you give stuff away, it gooses your actual sales.

Whatever. That’s not what this is about. Here’s what bugs me:

The quality is shit.

I put a lot of work into my books. My publishers put a lot of work into them. And it drives me crazy that people just slap up a shitty scan or a lousy OCR of my work. In one scan I saw of my first book, the chapter title “The Panty Algorithm” came out “The Parity Algorithm.”

That’s just one example of how a reader will have a less-than-ideal, often confusing experience reading it.

Look, if you want to read my work, but can’t buy it, please don’t download a shitty version of it. Please go to your local library. If they don’t have a copy, ask them to get one — they will. And, yeah, I know it might take a week or so and you want that book NOW, but you know what? Good things really do come to those who wait. Deferred gratification used to be a widespread life philosophy, and I think it’s long past time for it to come back into style. Trust me — you’ll have a vastly superior reading experience and enjoy the book much more if you read the real deal. There are other cool things to do and to read in the meantime.

When I told a friend about the torrents, she empathized, but she also said, “Isn’t it flattering, in a way?”

And you know what? I get that. It is flattering. I am flattered. So, mission accomplished, pirates. I’m flattered.

Now take the books down.

This has nothing to do with legal or illegal or copyright or any of that. It has everything to do with the fact that what I do is ART. Please respect that.

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