I frequently get Google alerts directing me to piracy sites where my books are for sale at bargain prices. The physical book is reproduced in its entirety, printed and sold without permission, and with e-books, the electronic file is simply stripped of digital copy protection and uploaded. The author’s recourse—a feeble cease and desist, and the hope that readers won’t be duped into buying books for which the author receives no royalties.
Most recently, though, I had an email from someone who, through a search for one of my titles, came upon an open access e-book of a collection of essays titled, Writing Alberta edited by George Melnyk and Donna Coates. I have been aware of this book since its publication in 2017.There is an essay in the collection by Tamara Palmer Seiler comparing “Strategies for Storying the Terrible Truth in John Estacio’s and John Murrell’s Filumena and Betty Jane Hegerat’s The Boy. I was honoured to have my book paired with the work of Murrell. I am impressed with the generosity of the University of Calgary Press in offering this access to read under the Creative Commons License.
It is a cold hard fact of the writing life that books frequently go out of print and disappear from library shelves in far less time than the years spent in the creating and publishing process. Perhaps it would be a better plan to consider the open access format and graciously offer some of our work as an alternative to the pirates.
Do look at the many books the U of C offers as open e-book access.
2 thoughts on “Generosity vs Piracy”
Thanks for this Betty Jane – I didn’t know this. How are you – have you had Covid yet? Somehow both R and I have dodged the bullet despite all our kids and grandkids getting it. Go figure.
Doing okay. Youngest son in Toronto had the coronavirus, passed along from the friend with whom he shares an apartment, but both had mild symptoms — no worse that the common cold– that resolved in three or four days. He’s now triple vacc’ed, had the virus and says he’s Super Immune. Hoping that is so. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know to whom I’m responding. Who are your writeandteachsawca? Good to hear from you. 😉