So I thought I would weigh in on SOPA.
This isn’t going to be another article on how SOPA could lead to censorship. No, this is about Piracy.
As many of you know, since I started writing at Super Powered Fiction and Paper Dragon Ink , I write comics. I wrote the comic 31 over at 215ink. In that time it’s been out digitally and has sold out of it’s initial print run. Digital sales have been pretty good for my standards, around $60, print sales around $300 dollars.
So I was browsing the net for some BBC shows, (I’m an anglophile, if it isn’t same day in the US like Doctor Who is now, I try to view it), I came across a 31 torrent. Out of curiosity, I opened it. To my surprise it had been downloaded 300 times. That’s a lost profit of $600. So I started tracking it. To date, 31 issues one and two have been illegally obtained over 6,000 times. That’s a loss profit of around $1,200 dollars.
Now, I noticed something a little different. People started going to my blog, tweeting me, sending me kind words about how much they loved 31. Physical request have shot through the roof. So in a sense, piracy has helped my career. If people don’t buy this book, they’ll buy my next book. If they don’t, they’ll by the one after that. How many people found their favorite author by going to the library, or by being lent a copy of a book. Same goes for musician, or film maker. Some one lent you a movie, book, cd, vinyl record. You saw it on the tv. I know once I find a favorite author, musician, or so on I have to go out and get everything by them.
So that $1,000 I lost due to piracy? I’ll make that back. Like any business, writing is a risk. I’m just going to put out what I want to read.