Monday, August 16, 2010
The future of the future?
Almost every writer I know sets Google alerts for her/his name and book titles. I do. I want to hear what people are saying about my books. Lately, the alerts have directed me to illegal download sites as well as the usual blog reviews, bookclub discussions and fan comments. As of this morning, I have seen stats claiming that my Resurrection of Magic books have been downloaded over 60,000 times.
I am not a cave-dwelling preservationist, I am a futurist. I am fascinated with the rapid-change era I live in and can easily see many human advantages to being able to access all the arts free of payment. But…wow. So I whined a little on Twitter. ((One of the many good things about Twitter is that even whining must be brief.))
I tweeted that I'd spent the morning a little sad over downloads. Neil Gaiman , a writer I admire a great deal, a man who has 1,480,401 (so far) people who follow his every word and drown him in tweets, somehow noticed and answered my whine:
Neilhimself @kdueykduey I don't mind downloads. I figure nobody who's going to buy something won't, and it just makes readers. Your mileage may vary.
Which is pretty much what I think when I can stop multiplying my royalty rate by 60,000 and let my brain kick in again. It's easier for Neil to say because of his income level, but I think he's right. I also think there is no turning back so I intend to look forward. Cory Doctorow, ((a visionary SF author, journalist, BigBrain, and very nice guy)) drove his publishers crazy putting up whole books to download on his website. But then his book sales went up. WAY up. Word of mouth matters.
So here’s the deal. If you download my work for free, and you like it, do me a favor.
Talk about it.
Tell everyone you know how interesting and odd the books are.
I promise to write more.
Then, consider getting the next book at your local library--also free, and a great place to meet the other reader-teens in your area. Camp by the YA section and see what happens. And when you are happily dating someone who is both hot and your intellectual equal...
And thank me.
The picture is of Volubilis, the southernmost limit of ancient Roma, as far south as they ever got, in what is now Morocco. They did not have free, stolen, downloads but figured out much worse ways to screw over their artists.