Friday, February 5, 2010

Astatalk.com...Athena99

Update 12/5/10: Since I wrote this post and others like it, I've learned a great deal from readers and I hope to continue to learn. I'm seeing a different POV that I never expected to see, and the comment thread for this post has presented some interesting discussion. I hope it continues, too. I'm now seeing there are two differents sides to *every* story. If I were to have written this same blog post today, I don't think I would have been so harsh, and I apologize to anyone who may have been offended.


Every once in a while I like to post about book pirates. The worst of the worst is a place called http://www.astatalk.com/. They abuse writers, steal their work, and absolutely ignore all requests to take the books down.

But it's the people who use these sites that interest me. What kind of a person steals, knowing they are stealing, and thinks they can get away with it. I've already exposed a few of them. And now I'm going after someone who goes by the name "Athena99"

Athena99 thinks they can't be exposed and that their real identity is private. They think they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet forever. But there are ways to track people like Athena99 down, as there are ways to track other's down.

At the top of this post, you'll find Athena99's astatalk photo. People who steal books don't seem to understand it's punishable by law, with fines and/or imprisonment.

62 comments:

DKSmall said...

Yes it is punishable but only if someone actually goes after them and sees it through. Most don't unfortunately. Exposing them helps a little but obviously not enough.

ryan field said...

I know people who are starting to take the extra step. I think in the near future you're going to see changes.

Thanks for commenting about it.

Anonymous said...

The big cheese pirate/thief Melissa Mergen has been busted stealing over 1300 books. More on the way.

Anonymous said...

And apparently MM has just changed her ID and continued on...

ryan field said...

Doesn't surprise me.

Waffa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ryan field said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryan field said...

I removed a comment left by a notorious book pirate. I'd rather not give him the attention he's craving.

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised how many people use that site to find new authors to read, and buy books from later down the road.

Honestly, there are some books that I have felt would have been a waste of money if I had actually bought it. But for all the decent books I enjoyed, I actually go find the ebook online and buy it even AFTER i've already read it.

I want to support authors who I feel deserve it, but I wouldn't have been able to find them without sites like astatalk. Look this up on the forums, I'm not the only one supporting authors with this round-about method. I wouldn't be able to afford reading if I had had to buy every crappy book I've ever read.

ryan field said...

"Honestly, there are some books that I have felt would have been a waste of money if I had actually bought it. But for all the decent books I enjoyed, I actually go find the ebook online and buy it even AFTER i've already read it."

Then instead of going to pirate sites, try contacting the author first if you have questions. Personally, I'd rather give you a free book of mine than see you pirate one. This way it's my choice, it's customer service, and I like hearing from readers whether they like my books not not. I can't speak for all authors, but I'd be happy to answer questions, too.

ryan field said...

And if this is the way readers are thinking, then please feel free to contact publishers and let them know you're not getting enough information about the books you want to buy. Most authors and publishers work hard to give out blurbs, sell copy, and as much info about the book without giving spoilers.

I've even had readers e-mail me and ask about the ending of abook to see if they wanted to buy the book. I was more than happy to answer their questions.

There is a lot of info out there about these books. And in my case, the first two chapters of the books are up for free on many sites already. And if you don't know by reading the first two chapters whether or not you like the book, there might be other problems or challenges you haven't mentioned to me.

Either way, authors and publishers are more than willing to answer your questions...they look forward to this kind of interaction with readers.

Anonymous said...

I agree I contacted the author of an e-book I was interested in but I couldn't find much information or a reveiw so I found contacting the author actually did help me decide on whether it would be something I would like

I don't see why people go to pirate sites when it's not even that expensive to purchase an e-book for instance I recently bought Blood Signs and I found it much cheaper than some of my paper back editions I wonder though if anyone going to pirate sites to donwload realizes they are taking away an author's profit

I don't beleive in downloading a book unless it's free to dowload in the first place I like buying my e-book's and I have to say it's much better than stealing some one else's punblished work

Anonymous said...

I agree I contacted the author of an e-book I was interested in but I couldn't find much information or a reveiw so I found contacting the author actually did help me decide on whether it would be something I would like

I don't see why people go to pirate sites when it's not even that expensive to purchase an e-book for instance I recently bought Blood Signs and I found it much cheaper than some of my paper back editions I wonder though if anyone going to pirate sites to donwload realizes they are taking away an author's profit

I don't beleive in downloading a book unless it's free to dowload in the first place I like buying my e-book's and I have to say it's much better than stealing some one else's punblished work

ryan field said...

Anon...thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

I'm a different anon and I'd like to add something in my defense. I have many books that I have downloaded from the internet and this is an issue that I am still trying to weigh in my mind. I feel that I am a very honest person and it bothers me that I have these books (and I am very near to deleting them all, I might add.) However, 90% of the books I have downloaded I already owned in paperback or hardback form. The other 10% I bought after I read the book. I carry my computer everywhere and I hate to have to take my favorite books along as well. It's so much easier to have a copy on my computer. I'd go completely e-book, but I still prefer the sensory experience of holding a book over the electronic way.

In the music industry, when you buy a cd, it is perfectly legal to import that cd to your computer and then put your music on your various other portable devices. If I buy a dvd I can import it to my computer as well. If I buy a book, the only way to accomplish this is to scan every page into my computer and make a pdf file. Which, if I so choose to do, is legal. Why then does the publishing industry force me to buy a separate copy of something I already own, just to have it in another form. Then, I am not just spending $20 for the hardback, but another $8-$10 for the ebook. It's ridiculous. And as I said before, despite owning every book I've downloaded, I still feel guilty for illegally obtaining another version. I don't know... I just think the way the system is set up right now sucks. Anyway, thanks for the discussion... I'm interested to hear your feedback as an author.

Anonymous said...

i just want to understand what is the difference between a site like that and going to the library or doing book swaps. or better yet a book yard sale or discount book shops. at least these sites are not making a profit. if ur going to be mad at them be mad at ur public library too.

ryan field said...

Anon @ 2;58

Thanks for commenting.

Anon @ 5:10

A lot of people think the same way you do. And there are too many arguments to list on a comment thread. I will, however, make a note to do an entire blog post about this in the future. I might even get a guest blogger who know all the details.

Anonymous said...

You are all pathetic, do you think you can stop everything on the Internet? Piracy has exsisted since the birth of Internet. like a billion ppl download music, apps, films, music, and much more every minute 24/7. Why do you think you can stop this? You have nothing else to do but complaining. Get a life and be happy!

ryan field said...

Anon @ 3:23

I don't make the laws, pal. I just follow them. It's what civilized people usually do.

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in a smart man making many brilliant observations:

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2010/05/piracy-again.html

ryan field said...

I'll check it out.

Rowena Cherry said...

Ryan,
As you may know, the US Government is considering whether or not to proceed with the COICA which is intended to protect copyright owners against piracy. This Bill has been characterized by pirates and anti-copyright advocates as an assault on free speech.

Not enough copyright owners are speaking up about what piracy means to them, and why copyright protection is important, and what measures would be reasonable. From the horrible shambles in the UK (leaving enforcement and all enforcement costs to the copyright owners) we can learn what happens if we do not take a few moments to comment.

The government is requesting input and advice.

copyright-noi-2010@ntia.doc.gov

Please write.

ryan field said...

Thanks. I will send them an e-mail now.

Anonymous said...

They pirated mine, as well. I've followed their process for notifying them of the violation and sent three take-down notices. Guess what? My book is still on their site.

After doing some more digging, it turns out that astatalk.com has, big surprise, an IP address based in the Cayman Islands. It also consists of layers within layers, like a rotten onion. Dig far enough and you'll find a site called 10xdownloads.com. It's so blasted convoluted, I talked with my publishing attorney and here's what he said:

I looked into sending a takedown notice to 10xdownloads.com. Thought you’d be interested in their page on the topic (pasted below). I am sending them the notice shortly, but I expect it will be denied. These sites are set up to disclaim liability for infringement, even when they are posting the download link. Basically, the master file (your book) is resting on someone’s computer in their home or office (the “host”). The host decided to share it with others through one of these sites. However, the sites only post links to allow users to download the file directly from the “host." The file itself never passes through the site, and thus, the site owners claim they are only acting as road maps, helping users connect and share files directly. This is what the disclaimers below are referring to. Also, these sites are hosted in countries with questionable jurisdiction and incomplete copyright protection schemes. Here is the domain name owner information on 10xdownloads.com:
Registrant:
Oleg Veselov (vais@hotmail.ru)
Moscow,110987

So, any cease and desist letter would be threatening a Russian individual with United States copyright law. You can imagine why they don’t take threats seriously. I know it is beyond frustrating, but I wanted to be pretty clear in setting your expectations regarding combating this breed of online piracy: for the time being, it is nearly impossible to do so with the new wave of file-sharing sites that don’t touch the copyrighted files themselves.

Here's what I found on the site regarding take-downs:
(10xdownloads.com’s message re: takedown notices is below):

We take copyright infringement VERY seriously !!!
Please note that we DO NOT host any files or copyrighted material on this website. We DO NOT host torrent files, torrent hash data, and or any torrent metafiles. Furthermore, we have absolutely no control over removing any content from any other site. If you found us using a site that linked to us, then please contact THEM.

That being said, you CAN NOT in "good faith" believe that any copyrighted work that you believe is being infringed is not authorized to be displayed on our site.

If you still insist on sending us a notice of content removal, then we provide a copyrighted content removal service to copyright owners or their authorized representatives.

If you wish to report a copyright infringement that you have found on this website, please send us a formal request which our Copyright Abuse Department will thoroughly review. As an important reminder, WE DO NOT HOST any copyrighted materials on this website and we must, as such, thoroughly review all copyrighted content removal requests.

To begin the copyrighted content removal request process, please send us a proper copyrighted content removal request. A copyrighted content removal request MUST HAVE ALL of the following information or our Copyright Abuse Department will not be able to properly review your request…..

Important Notice
Anonymous or incomplete messages will not be dealt with.

We don't react to threats and will ban your email address from ever reaching us. Please be polite, and REMEMBER, WE DO NOT HOST ANY FILES!

ryan field said...

Anon above...sorry I'm just posting your comment now. It went to spam and I didn't see it.

Anonymous said...

Piracy works both ways. I've bought too many ebooks that all ended up like something my teenage daughter could write for her English assignment.

And yes of course their covers and blurbs were enticing enough hence why I bought them, but they ended up supremely disappointing, I felt cheated. Even free slash fiction/gay fiction writers write better. :/ The sad thing is some of these authors often have awesome previous work, but seemed to now bow down to the simplified money-making machine by cranking out subpar works. And while their prices may seem like peanuts to you guys, for the rest of us in other parts of the world, it's still expensive.

If quality of writing went up, I wouldn't hesitate to pay up front. Lord knows there are plenty of free works online that I'd happily pay for simply because the authors actually put real effort into them. But while it still remains hopelessly juvenile and formulaic, I really have no choice but to screen them first before spending. I don't believe covers and book jacket descriptions anymore.

ryan field said...

Anon...I can't comment on the quality of books, but I know for a fact no one writes a book, takes the time to publish it and promote it, and puts that much time into something with the thought process they will be stealing money from readers. That's just not how it works. Whether or not you like the book is another matter. But no author or publisher is intentionally trying to pirate your money.

Frankly, I'm not thrilled with a lot of books I've read, or for that matter films I've seen and television shows that leave me wondering what producers are thinking. But I still pay my cable bill each month and I'm not downloading free movies.

My suggestion to you is that if you have any questions about a book, contact the author. I just wrote a blog post about this topic and welcome all questions from readers who are thinking about buying my books but aren't sure. I can't speak for all authors, but I'm more than willing to explain or answer questions. And please take the time to research before you buy. I always post more info about books on my blog than readers see on back cover copy and book covers. I even post excerpts from the book that aren't part of the back cover copy. And I do this for the very reason you feel you're being ripped off: so readers know what they are buying.

Check out e-book online retailers like allromanceebooks.com or fictionwise.com. You will get the first chapter of the book for free, in most cases, and if you can't tell whether or not you like a book by reading the first chapter, it's most likely not the book for you.

Anonymous said...

'And while their prices may seem like peanuts to you guys, for the rest of us in other parts of the world, it's still expensive.'

I'd just like to comment on this. I download ebooks, but I support and buy my favorite authors, like Ann Somerville and Stormy Glenn. One of these, however, cost enough, after conversion, to feed me for a week.

It's a weak argument, I know, and I'm not complaining, as I love the them, but I still feel that books are meant to be read. I feel sad that something as trivial as money (as important as is it) comes in the way of people appreciating a work of art. Somebody spent hours of time and effort in creating something beautiful, so regardless of how it was distributed, as illegal as it is, it puts the work OUT THERE to be enjoyed by countless others. In a 'the ends justify the means' way, it's totally justifiable.

Piracy is not personal - it's not like they target one particular artist or author. It have existed long before internet (back in the days, people would steal incomplete manuscripts and sell them before the official versions was sold). The battle should be not how to fight it, but to know how to work with the system so it works in their (the creators') favor.

To be honest, I'm not sure some authors can be as famous as they are without the existence of these websites. It's all about exposure - the more exposed you are, the more likelihood that you'll have a band of fans behind you, supporting you and anxiously waiting for your next works. That kind of loyalty is what authors should aim for.

It's just my personal opinion, feel free to argue on the points, I'd love to hear some counter arguments.

ryan field said...

I appreciate your opinion, anon. Thanks for commenting. I'm sure there are many authors who would offer a counter argument. But I'm really interested in learning your POV.

Anonymous said...

I understand if a book is not to my liking, but so many that I am reading are just poorly written. By that I mean, they are rife with misspellings, grammar errors, punctuation isues, continuity problems, etc. I am willing to pay for a book that I picked out that I just didn't like, but I am NOT willng to pay 8-12 dollars for a written work that is written and edited so poorly that the constant errors make it impossible to read. These are not rare occurences in the e-book realm, and in fact, I would say they are probably 50% of the books that I read that are published first in e-book format. These books ARE stealing my hard-earned money.

ryan field said...

Anon...I didn't know this was going on. I usually stick with publishers I know and I check e-books out on web sites that give me all kinds of information before I buy anything. I just wrote a post about this. Allromanceebooks give the entire first chapter with some books. And I know that all my books go to editoral, then a copyeditor, and then I read the final proof before it goes digital.

I do know that sometimes there are glitches with spelling and certain punctuation marks with e-books. It happens during the conversion. But it should be happening less and less.

I'm curious. Is it all publishers or just certain publishers? And is it more prominent with self-published books? Or it doesn't matter? And if any of my books had these errors, I'd like to know.

My process goes like this: I submit a book after I do an initial edit. Then it goes to an editor, and then to a copyeditor. After the copyeditor, I get it back and re-read for any final changes or mistakes. And so far I haven't seen any in the final manuscripts. What happens during conversion, though, I don't know.

I'd hate to think all that hard work was for nothing...in the sense that all these mistakes are showing up in spite of all the editing.

Anonymous said...

I saw this,and i cannot help to say my opinion . I bought some of ur book,but i got to know ur work from sites like astatalk ,i like it,so i went and bought more . I buy ebooks but 7/10 ended up to be crap . The excerpt are not enough to see if i will like the author still . And im sure there s lots of ppl like me . You should post a short novel for free,to attract ppl .If they will like ur style,they will buy ur books. I would !! anyway,u are one of my fav author ,and i wish u good luck,but pls think at the readers too :) We spend money,and we dont want to buy crap.

Thx :)

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting anon. I'll talk to the publisher about more free books. But I don't always get to make that choice. Sorry :(

But please check out Allromanceebooks.com and the ravenous romance web site. Free books of mine are offered in both places at various times. And I always post about it here on the blog when the free books are offered.

Anonymous said...

I find that the lack of adequate editing happens at predominantly at the mid- to smaller sized epublishers. I have at least one book a week where the spelling errors are so bad that I cannot complete the book, and the constant use of the wrong words is probably present in 50 - 60% of the books that I read. i.e. - kneeled instead of knelt, bear instead of bare, dominate instead of dominant, and on and on and on...

I just read the first two books in a series where the sex scenes were EXACTLY the same - just the names were changed. I went back to the first book just to make sure! I do use sites like astatalk for just this reason. After I have completed the book however; I do go to the publishers honor box and pay for the ones that have actually been written and edited, regardless of if I liked the book or not.

ryan field said...

Wow, anon. I didn't know the editing was that bad with some books.

I read an interesting blog post once where the blogger said that the public...we as readers...are now reading the new slush pile. I didn't fully understand it at the time. But after reading your comment I do now.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge reader. I'm now a huge ebook reader. I buy a lot of ebooks from amazon but i also download a lot of ebooks from pirate sites. If i like them i tend to buy other e-titles by the same author from amazon for myself or hard copies to give to friends. The pirate sites open up a great 'try and see' option.
The other reason for downloading pirate books is that the titles are not yet on sale from amazon.
I'm not ashamed in the slightest for reading books for free. I've done it for years by belonging to libraries.
I'm 57 years old and have read about 3 books a week throughout my life.

ryan field said...

Anon...thanks for commenting. I've also always been a huge supporter of my local library.

Matchy said...

I've been following this discussion for quite some time now and would like to say that I do understand your frustration in regards of the pirating of e-books. We all want to get paid for our work and the effort we put into it and there is no excuse whatsoever that makes the pirating anything but theft.

That said, i would like to address issues you as an author should be aware of as well:

For years I had been buying e-books from Amazon. They were only accessible through a Microsoft Passport to activate the Adobe Reader. This activation could only happen a limited amount of times (i.e. three times). Over the years and several computer mishaps later I am the proud (and legal) owner of about 400 e-books that I can't access. They are worthless and thanks to Amazon not readable. I'm still asking myself what exactly I did pay for.

Another issue is that I do understand those among us that do not want to buy an e-book for anywhere between $4 to $7 and receive a pdf-file with 80 pages, of which the first 10 are taken for the cover, publisher information, dedication, plot summary and the last 4 are used up for author's bio and preview of other authors and/or books. I bought some of these and I do feel cheated. And yes, I also own four of your books and they only have 3 to 4 pages that are not actually part of the book.

Also, as mentioned before, the editing and proofing of a lot of those e-books are beyond the acceptable. If the publisher/author does not know the difference between "they're"; "their" and "there" - they have no business asking money for whatever it is they're selling.

I can see that some authors are pressured to produce books at a rather fast pace if they intend to live of their writing. However, that does not excuse the poor quality of the work, the endless typos, an inconsistent plot, the changing of names (main character) during the books or other fatal flaws like it. And no, I do not talk about self-published books.

Considering how absolutely disappointing some of the works from promising writers are becoming I do understand that some people like to know what they are getting before spending the money.

I'm aware that most people do not have the time to thoroughly look through a book they plan on buying, that a lot of the books in smaller genres are not being offered in the stores and are only available online. So what can they do? Your books sell for about $13.00 in paperback - for some people that's too much money to be spend on an inferior book and there are a lot of them out there.

Until the publishers/authors/distributors can't come up with a solution to these problems, I'm sure the pirating will commence and considering what is being sold today it is - in my opinion - to a certain degree understandable.

As you are one of the authors that produces quality books I do understand your anger, but as there are more and more sub-standard published writers out there than not, you will suffer the consequences of their 'work' and the money they have no right charging for it.

ryan field said...

Matchy...I'm sorry I just pubbed your comment. It went to spam and I just noticed it today.

Thanks for weighing in on the topic. I'm learning more and more with each comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ryan Field,
You are correct in getting another POV in all this talk of piracy
so here I m offering my POV.
I live in a major city in India. We have stores like Landmark and Crossword here which carry books by foreign authors. But majority of time the books are not available with them. I mostly read Fantasy and Sci fi. And they dont have a collection of them unless its by some famous author like Robert Jorden. You say contact the authors and publishers. I have. And was not satisfied by their response. My fellow readers after much discussion decided that we would make a list of all the titles that we have in common and order paperback copy from amazon so that we could get many more titles. but at that time amazon refused to ship books to my city. Shrugging that of we decided to contact the publisher with the proposal that our group will bulk order from them all the titles that we like from their catalogs so there would be reasonable cost on both sides the publisher refused stating that they were sorry but they could not entertain us because shipping to our city was not cost effective and when we asked for a alternative idea they didnt even bother to reply to our repeated emails. When we contacted the author with our problem om sure she did not even read our mail as we received a generic email giving list of the stores in UK where as we had catagorically mentioned we where having problems getting the books in India. now i ask you for a person who is always going on about how much piracy hurts the author and how fans are important to them is this the answer to give. What is not our money good enough?
But leaving that aside i purchased the same books which i wanted when they came online. to date I have not been able to read them because of the same experience as Matchy.
So now you tell me are we supposed to not read books because of the hassles getting them?
do write and tell.
regards
a book fan

ryan field said...

Anon...thanks for commenting. I honestly don't have any answers right now. But I will forward this to a few people and see what they say. I'm curious myself as to why there are so many problems. I receive e-mail from readers all over the world, and no one has mentioned these things.

I'm also surprised a lot of authors didn't respond well to requests.

By the way...if anyone comments and it doesn't show up right away that's because it went to spam. I don't know why this happens. But it does. I've even lost comments, unfortunately. So don't think it's personal. Google blogger sometimes has a mind of its own.

ashlynn monroe said...

Hi Ryan, I think astatalk might be down for good. I celebrated when a friend told me to go Google them and nothing worked!!!

A rant...for those people complaining about authors complaining, I hope this clears a few things up. I have nothing against the library if you prefer to borrow books go buy a Nook and use the library feature! I have no problem with that. If you borrow a book from the library, you don't give it to a friend to keep or keep it yourself because the library would fine you. File sharing is illegal and it's not the library. Many authors offer free reads. If you want to check them out read a freebie or buy a 0.99 book. If you email the author and tell them you want to try them out, I'm sure they'd be happy to send you some free chapters or even a completely free book. This is just a poor excuse to steal. If I came to your yard sale and took the TV you tagged at 3.99 and took it home plugged it in and used it without paying you you'd be upset. If I told you I didn’t think it was worth 3.99 so I thought I should just take it to be sure, you’d be upset again. A thief is a thief, sorry, it's the truth. If you download a eBook without paying for it you suck and if you're cool with that I guess that’s where you moral compass points.

Anonymous said...

I treat these sites like my local library. I read new authors, browse the first and last pages of books and get recommendations from other readers.

I buy more books now than I did before I started downloading, as I have access to information about books and authors that never make it to my countries bookstores and libraries.

If an author/book is good I want to own it. I love the experience of flipping the pages in a physical book.

But if I couldn't try these authors risk free online I would not take the chance to buy these books from sites like amazon . com and pay postage fees of up to $30.

This may be of absolutely no comfort to authors, and I can understand that, but my conscience is clear.

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting. I just ordered "Freedom" from amazon and paid 30 bucks, with postage. I also ordered Anne Tyler's "Breathing Lessons" and bought it used (and authors make no money at all on used books) for one dollar. With postage, that one came to ten dollars for a used book.

As long as you're reading and buying books, in this case that's all that matters.

ryan field said...

Ashlynn...Sorry I just posted your comment. It went to spam. It's been happening a lot lately.

I'm not weighing in on this discussion with an opinion because I want people to feel free to comment with their opinions either way. And, frankly, I'm learning a lot from this thread I didn't know about.

Thanks for commenting!!

Anonymous said...

hi
i have another POV to add
i love books but i only read most of them once, so most of the time i use my local library. However sometimes my library doesn't have the book i want and this is very annyoing, especially when that book is part of a series i have been reading. So i download ebooks from sites like astatalk and then delete them when i have read them. i dont know if that is piracy, like someone earlier posted i also have been using them as a library.

ryan field said...

Thanks, anon. Appreciate your comment.

Nil said...

I just realized yesterday that one of my published novels was on Astatalk. Luckily, it was one of my first attempts at writing a novel so it was not, and by far, a best seller. I also had previously given proper rights to an online authors' site to publish it on their pages, so no biggie... No biggie, right? Wrong! This authors' site on which my story has been stored for a bit more than four years now actually has in its possession a legal document which allows its owners to post my story on a defined address, they provide all proper credits and even the name of my agent, his address and phone number along with a list of my published work, which is updated daily, and a biography of who I am. On their site, people can even see when my story has been posted, year, month, day and even hour. The site owners also provide its readers with the legal act I provided them, which include their rights and duties, along with my rights and all the information about copyrights. They know how to contact me and they do contact me every now and then to keep me updated with their site and anything concerning my book. They are have legal right to post my story as long as they respect my rights. But Astatalk never asked me to post my story on their site. They simply ripped it off from the Web pages then offered it for the world to download and use as they please. That is illegal and I intend on not leaving things the way they are. My work is protected under the Canadian copyrights law, which is very strict when it comes to intellectual property.

I'm sick and tired of seeing comments from people who think authors don't get anything out of library books and second hand bookstores. Both, at least in Canada they do pay special copyrights, group reading copyrights for libraries and a small amount of money on second hand books.

ryan field said...

Thanks, Nil, for commenting.

Anonymous said...

2 days ago all books were deleted from astatalk because it is a full crap and is not worth wasting time on it.
you spend your life writing it and people do`nt want to waste time even to take keep the stolen.
relax, your rubbish is useless for the society )

ryan field said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment, Anon @ 6:58. If you'd bothered to read this post, and all the comments on this thread (Everything on this blog is free, and it's legal, too) you would have seen that I wasn't knocking astatalk. I even wrote an update after reading the other comments on this thread. I was listening and trying to learn. I stopped making comments about book pirating a long time ago...other than the fact that I don't do it.

Anonymous said...

I will not say that sites like astatalk are right or wrong... I will just give you my life as an example:
I am a student, I live from 400 eur/month. 225 is rent, about 150 is food if I am lucky. I am left with cca 25 euros to do with as I please.
From these 25 euros I use about 15 to buy ebooks. And this means I want to buy books that have style, world crafting and characters that are absolutely awesome.
Normally I buy books from my favorite authors, but sometimes I want something different. And here come sites like astatalk handy. I have found there authors which books I now buy. Without site like this I would never ever found these authors...
Another thing- I need to read about 10 pages of a book to know if I like it... now you would say, go to an author website and read the free chapters. But the thing is if I don't like the 10 pages, I hop into the middle of the book to see if I really do not like the book... and this is not possible with the free chapters...
And the conclusion? Without these sites I would not buy books from new authors because I'd not want to pay what little money I have for a possibly crappy book. And not only that I would not know that these authors exist...
*and just an afterthought a review from a critic or a reader is not enough to me, because I read awesome reviews just to find out that I do not like the book

ryan field said...

Anon @ 2:15...

Thank you for commenting. As I've said before, I really value comments like yours and I take them very seriously. Since I first wrote this post, I've learned and I've changed my own opinions in many ways.

Also, as a book buyer and reader, I agree with you about reviews. I can't just go by reviews either. The same thing has happened to me, where I've bought a book based on reviews and I've hated the book.

One thing I might add...check out web sites like allromanceebooks.com and fictionwise.com. There are others, too. Sometimes they offer special deals for readers and books are free. Take advantage of that.

Anonymous said...

I state proudly that I support sites like astatalk! I made a mistake 3 years back buying quite a few Ebooks (over 20) base on the descriptions to go overseas for work. The quality of Ebook frankly just stinks!!! Most are just smut trash- plots and characters development are nowhere in site. I I swore to myself that I will never buy another Ebook...REMEMBER even in the STORES you are ALLOW to read the books BEFORE purchasing them...nevermind getting them for FREE at the library. Then I ran across astatalk and were able to read the books before I need to buy them. I have to admit that I did start buying Ebooks again. I do not see what the big deal about these sites are! If you are upset about not getting money for every time someone reads your work (the only reason I even KNOW you are an author is because of astatalk), then I suggest you keep in mind that ANY book store will allow you to read the book first before purchasing. How is that different from sites like astatalk?

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting, Anon.

I decided when I startd getting comments on this blog post I would remain objective and willing to learn more about the other side, so I can't answer your question because I don't have enough information.

If you notice, I've updated this post to reflect this. When I originally wrote it I didn't know much about book pirating at all.

Sara Sheppard said...

Pirating E-books is a weird issue.

You stated that you've seen many movies/telivision series that you didn't like, but you still pay your cable bill.

One error I see with that is you can cancel your service. If you pay for the premium package and don't like the 400 sports channels, you can pay for a different package that doesn't have those channels, thus saving your money. If you go to a car dealership, buy a car, and it breaks down a week later, you can get your money back. If you go buy
a T.V. from Wal-Mart and you don't like it you have the option of returning it.

This is true of almost every product available for purchase, not just T.V.'s or cars. It is NOT true for Ebooks.

Another thing, when you buy a regular book, you can keep it. I'm a collector, I have over 400 books (Both regular and Ebook.) and I've never kept a book I didn't like. These 400+ books are the ones I like. Everytime I buy an Ebook (Wich I've never bought from Amazon, like one of your commenters did.) I get one download and that's it. I have constant computer trouble and my system crashes constantly. To combat this I copy the book onto a
flashdrive and store it. According to the blurb in some of these books, even that is piracy. Wether I actually pirate the book or not.
That's not fair.

Another thing is that most of my friends are book lovers as well.
I could always recommend a book but our tastes differ so much that I can't be sure she would like it.
With a regular book, I could simply loan it to her. 'Loan'
being the operative word, I keep my books. With an E-book I can only recommend the book, and if she doesn't like it I've just cost my friend money she can't afford to waste. I can't even allow her to come to my house and read the book on my computer, because that's piracy.

Also, I've read books where the first three or four chapters
were nothing but boring character introduction and setting description.
Three or four chapters and I hated that book, (I can't stop reading a book. If I start it, I have to finish it.) but once I got past those few chapters I loved it. And re-read it several times. The reverse is also true, just because
the first chapter is good, doesn't mean the rest of the book will follow through.

Dana Marie Bell is one of my favorite authors,(She gives one chapter exerpts on her site.)
Being familiar with her work, that one chapter is probaly enough to know if I'm going to like it
so there's no need to pirate the book.

Unfortunately, I cannot afford to take that chance on other authors, because I don't know if I'll like them. I have about 50 dollars a week for luxuries, That's about 8-10 ebooks. I can easily read that in a week. I don't see the big issue with downloading a book to see if you will like it, as long as you buy it.

If you download a book and don't like it, wether it's because the authors talent is questionable, or because of errors, why should you have to pay for the e-book when you would simply have returned the actual, physical book.

I don't want to steal from anyone (In any way.) but I'm not going to get ripped off either. This doesn't seem such a bad comprimise.

Regards,
Sara

ryan field said...

Thanks for commenting, Sara. I'm pubishing it late because it went to spam and I didn't see it.

I'm going to remain objective here. But I will say you make some good points. I just bought John Irving's "Last Night in Twisted River" and the first part of the book is about rivers, logging, and character development. Snore. And I paid a lot more for that book than people pay for my books. I'm just hoping it get better. I love his other books, especially "A Prayer For Owen Meaney."

You're right. The whole thing is weird. Which is why I'm encouraging comments this way. I hope this becomes a place for people to vent.

Anonymous said...

hello ryan,

i will say i like the site astatalk not only did i get other readers opinions on books i was able to check out that writer and their writing myself the first time i read one of your books which i still have on my reader (whatever dude) someone told me about it on that site so i checked it out i read it i liked it and decided i wanted to read more by you i dont watch t.v. at all only the news and that is odd considering i am a 26 year old female but any free time i have during the day i read my reader if i had to avarage it, it would round out to about 5 hours or so a day if not more on my days off now that would be alot of money spent on writers im not sure of i go through phases rightnow im on a m/m vampire phase and there are alot of books out there and alot of them i dont even complete cause i really dont care for the characters or the story line or just how darned boring it is but there are some like the blood eclipse series 4 books i got the first off of the site but i went to the pub website and bought all 4 cause the copy of the 1st one i had didnt have a cover page and with your books i got the first one free but the rest i have bought the virgin billionaire and once i get over my little biteing fetish for the month ill be reading it so just because i get the first book off of a site it doesnt mean ill get them all as a matter of a fact i belive when i got the first book of yours that was the only one on the site so i had to google you to figure out where i could buy the rest

ryan field said...

Thank you for commenting, Anon. I find your comment very enlightening, and I really can't thank you enough for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is releveant to your discussion: ebooks.dreamwidth.org/33443.html

ryan field said...

I'll check it out.

Thank you.

And, I wrote a recent post about how one author I won't name slammed readers for buying .99 e-books. I don't see anything wrong with .99 e-books. I also wonder whether or not people would pirate if more e-books were priced at .99...even if they were only priced that way for a short time, at certain times of the year. There's no information to back it up one way or the other. But it would be an interesting marketing study.

ryan field said...

Link to post about .99 e-books...

http://ryan-field.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-take-on-99-e-books-and-type-of.html