Reader Jon R. sent in a great story about author Michael Stackpole, where he talks about embracing new technologies and tools
to better reach your audience, while also ignoring things like "piracy." On the "piracy issue," he notes:
"People downloading my stories from the big torrent sites were never going to buy them anyway. It's no money out of my pocket."
Following that, he pointed out that he
has sometimes downloaded his own books from torrent sites because it was easier than scanning the work himself, if he didn't already have a digital copy of it. Stackpole is taking exactly the right attitude on all of this. First, he's embracing new technologies and new distribution channels, rather than ignoring them (or worse) complaining about them. Second, he recognizes that he needs to focus on his real customers (those actually willing to spend money on things) and that he needs to provide them with real value that they'll actually pay for. Finally, he recognizes that there's little benefit in caring about those who get the works by unauthorized means, since there's a pretty strong chance that they were never going to pay for anything anyway. What does complaining about them or trying to stop them really do -- other than distract from providing good value for your true fans?