Thursday, 15 March 2018

On Did Free Content Kill Paying Customers?

Hopefully, some of you will have watched that last post video Did Free Content Kill Paying Customers?  And I hope that you get the point because this is not just me moaning -this is affecting others, too.

When I really slashed book prices so that I was getting nothing back from any sale -no takers.

When I offered free copies -no takers and comments like: "I don't want to give out my address -can't you make it downloadable?" Listen, the moment you buy and switch on your PC, laptop or whatever -even in "incognito" your ISP knows  what you are looking at and checking out. And being on the internet means I can follow your ISP and identify you any way.

I have actually given my reasons for not allowing cheaper download editions but I will go through it again. I, along with artists Art Wetherell and David Gordon produced two best selling "adult" graphic novels (technically one was a trade but the series sold out so many times).  We were ripped off. That's comic publishing. Foreign editions were produced under licence and only when the internet came along did we find that out. But combined, according to Smithy who is addicted to trawling the net for stats (he needs help) both those books now have a combined illegal download total of 15 million. 15 million and I'd be happy to have a dollar for every download instead I'm stuck here working out what I'm going to eat on Friday!  I have closed one site after another and even offered the deal of them offering the books at a $ per download. They move to another site and up goes their sign again -"The Greatest Comics and the Best Creators -Free!"

That is pure piracy.

And do you know how all of this started?  All of this stealing three creators money? A scan.  A scan of the book that apparently originated at the publishers.

So if I offer any one of my books I know what will happen: it will be uploaded to any and every illegal download site going.  My using an Indian print on demand company a few years back was a mistake.  No books sold but between them, as illegal downloads, they have a total of 6 million.

Total that up and it is an unbelievable (known) 21 million illegal downloads and that is utterly soul destroying to the creators involved. Even if the downloads cost $1 a go, dividing that up would make us very happy.  But, no. These are people who know they are stealing from you and do not care -site owner and downloader alike.

Someone wants to scan one of my books and put it on the net then they have to buy a copy and do all the work.

You can see why I do not like to think of the downloads.  Fleetway/Egmont ripped me off to the total of £5,570 for work I did which is nothing considering this total.  But the easiest example of this want something for nothing and move on is CBO itself.  A total of 3,438.683 views and it is a rarity if anyone comments -and they are usually the same people (and I do appreciate the comments). Post 1 seen by 3,456 people -reaction: zero.  Post 2: 1,234 views. Reaction: zero and it goes on.

The solution?

Screaming and shouting does not help. Explaining the situation does not help because 99.5% of those who read the posts do not care.  Simple as that. Let's not mention the ones who steal posts from CBO and put their names to them to get all the "Great work!" praise.

When you see a book don't do that old bull-shit of "Well, if I download it and like it I'll buy a hard copy" because no one is fooled by that.  You illegally download because you do not want to support creators and publishers but just want to get your grubby fingers on a freebie. I have talked with downloaders who are proud to tell you they have 25,000 -40,000 comics in their collection -all on disc or flash device and not one copy paid for. And they pass scans along to friends. Along the way some of those will set up illegal download pages. Dregs of humanity.

Creator-publishers are the only ones who suffer.  These books are our rent, food and so much more so do not bleat on to me about how hard done by Kirby was.  How Ditko was ripped off. Because those are just two of hundreds in the US and UK who were treated badly but the other guys were not hip and trendy "causes" so who cares, right?

The best way anyone can show their support for creators like Jenny or Zoe or David Gordon or Tommy Ross or even Paul Ashley Brown is to buy a book or books. That one sale can save a publisher or even give them the boost to continue.

Think about that.  Of course, 99.5% won't give a crap.

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