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.