Most publishers and some authors believe online piracy robs them of potential income, but at least one writer has managed to turn the digital pilfering of his wares into a potential gain. He says he’s downloaded copies of out-of-print work with the idea of converting the files into legit e-books he can sell.
On his site, the author says he’s disappointed with the quality of the pirated manuscripts and is asking for fans’ help to set things right:
I embarked upon a Cunning Plan. I discovered that my work had been pirated, and was available for free on BitTorrent sites located in the many outlaw server dens of former Marxist countries. So I downloaded my own work from thence with the intention of saving the work of scanning my books– I figured I’d let the pirates do the work, and steal from them. While this seemed karmically sound, there proved a couple problems.
First, the scans were truly dreadful and full of errors. (Even if you’re desperate for my work, I can’t really recommend them.) A lot of time has been spent copy-editing, both by me and by Kathy– which isn’t really so bad, because this would have to be d0ne anyway.
But second, apparently a few of my books were so obscure that they flew under the radar of even the pirates! You can’t imagine how astounded I was when I discovered this.
I could really use some decent scans of some of my books, and I figure some among you must have better scanners and OCR than the piece of crap that’s currently sitting on my shelf.
The author offers a signed copy of any one of his books chosen by a fan who gives him what he needs, as well as a mention in the e-book.