A Tough Time in the Publishing Industry

Please stop piracy!Everywhere I turn lately there is bad news in the publishing industry.

The NY Times reports that mass market sales have fallen 14% from 2008.

The AAP reported that while e-book trade sales rose, overall sales were down 11% with trade print sales down a whopping 36.5%.

The closing of Borders is surely impacting the market overall. With the loss of 399 locations and layoffs of 11,000 employees, there is certainly the affect on the publishing industry, but also the greater toll on those who may lose their jobs. My heart goes out to all my bookseller friends at Borders who were always so wonderful to me.

Add to all of the above the piracy situation. On a daily basis I get alerts pointing me to sites where my books are being stolen. In the past my practice has been to send the links to the publishers, but with more and more pirated materials, I am sure they are overwhelmed.

I finally took the step to send out my first take down notice to Blogger over a site that not only offered links to my book, but to dozens of other books. Google was quick to respond and the post with my content was taken down, but not the entire blog. Really? One look would have shown that this blogger had link after link after link to pirated materials and yet the blog is still up.

What’s sadder is that after reviewing the policies of many providers, which are compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA ), it’s clear that authors need an easier way to locate offending materials and have them removed from these sites.

The Curtis Agency and E-reads recently announced a program to help combat piracy and it may be worth it to check it out.

Now there are some who say that pirating books actually boost sales. I’m not sure about that. If someone was unwilling to buy a book in the first place, what makes them suddenly decided to pay for a book? The proverbial tiger changing its stripes?

On that note, is all of the above enough to keep me from writing? Nah. I love it too much. But it certainly makes me consider that it’s time to try new things and new ways to share my stories with you.

How do you feel about what’s happening with print/e-books/piracy? I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: Thanks to Intense Whispers Blogspot for the piracy graphic.

5 thoughts on “A Tough Time in the Publishing Industry”

  1. Hi Caridad.
    I’m with you. I work retail and I’m sure not the richest person on this planet but when I want a book I go out and buy it; or fortunately I’ve won some by checking all my favorite author’s blogs! I admit if I can win one, I’m a happy camper but I still buy all the ones I really want to read. In the past few years it’s become a little harder for me to buy every book so I’m getting more “choosy”.

  2. Hey Caridad! As you know, with me being a former Borders employee, I feel everyone’s pain! Unfortunately now that my store has closed, I have troubles finding the books that I want. I’m also not big on the on line ordering and our B&N never seems to have anything I’m looking for. I do have an e-reader, but I really haven’t warmed up to it yet. I guess that I’m just old fashioned, I love that book in my hand. I also know about the prob with pirating, most recently my friend Cynthia Eden’s incident. All I can say, is that hope springs eternal, that all things will improve.

  3. I agree with you 100%! I grieve the loss of the “local” bookstore as much as anyone. My Borders (the LAST bookstore anywhere around here) is slated to close at the end of the month. Thankfully it was bought by Books-A-Million and will stay open as it changes hands.

    Most of my sales are in e-books. I understand the appeal of the e-book even though I don’t own an e-reader…yet. It does increase theft and it’s heartbreaking to find your work on some ‘torrent/free download’ site knowing you’re being ripped off. Maybe it’s “easier” when you have a big publisher behind you, all I know is I’m out here on my own working my tail off to get somewhere…anywhere…it’s almost enough to make me give up and cry. Or at least go back to just posting my stories free on my own site. At least that way I wouldn’t feel used, abused, and put away dirty.

    I’m strong (that’s what I tell myself anyway!) and so it won’t stop me from writing and trying to get my works out there as best I can. This is my dream after all and I’m going for it with all I can muster. It would just be nice if those who felt my work should be ‘free’ would step off for a while.

  4. I love to read, but with the economy the way it is you either buy books or gas & groceries for your kids. The prices went up on almost everything. I don’t like e-books only due to the fact I dont own one yet & I still have not won one. Otherwise I don’t see myself spending the money on one. I am also still in the dark ages & have my little brother buy stuff on amazon for me because I wont use a credit card on line. But like you said there is CHANGE and I guess I need to get with it.——-Rachel

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