Storytelling Nomad posted some of Neil Gaimen’s thoughts on internet piracy, copyright, and sales. He makes some great points, some of which I’d already heard from Eric Flint on the Baen Free Library (just scroll down a little).
One of the comments I read on a different site implied that Mr. Gaimen can afford the loss. I’m not so sure. That it’s a loss, I mean. I know it’s a very rare book that I buy without reading from a friend or the library first. Also, there are things I’ve read online that were translated from other languages. As a result, I’ve fallen in love with those authors and have made a point of buying their books when I can, both because I feel it’s a worthy addition to my personal library and because I want to support great art. I think that’s true of most people. The problem is that more and more writers are trying to be “literary”, playing around with words, instead of reaching into the hearts of their audience. They get applause from other writers for the former. They get sales from the latter. And I think making your stories available for free will, like Mr. Gaimen observed, boost sales in the long run.
I could say more (and I might) but I think I’ll save it for another time.