Myths about pirated books from an employee at Llewellyn.
If you've ever downloaded a copy of a book from the Internet and it was not an authorized copy, read this. There are very few pagan authors who can afford to support themselves fully off of their writing alone. From the post:
Most authors support themselves with full-time jobs in addition to writing and enriching their communities. The very few who don’t work a “day job” have to tour and teach constantly to make a salary to live off of. Some even sell potions, spells, or courses on the internet to add a little income. And yet they still provide plenty of free content on their websites, blogs, facebook pages and other media. They are more than willing to share – up to a point. If they approach a publisher to publish their book, it means, by default, that they want to get paid for it. It has value. So do them a favor and buy their book if you appreciate their work and want to make sure that they continue to write for, communicate with, and teach the community in the future.
That's precisely why I always buy my books, especially pagan ones - I imagine that it's damn near impossible to earn a living off of it unless people who wish to learn do it the legitimate way. I also prefer to actually have a physical copy of a book - I don't own a Kindle-type thing, and I seldom use the computer edition of it.
People have such an unrealistic view of the publishing business. I did a post on the subject a few months back ... http://btripp.livejournal.com/1094502.html
It's hard to believe, but the average newly-published book in the USA only sells 500 copies, and only 2% of all books published each year sell as many as 5,000 copies. Considering how little per copy most authors get paid, the top 2% of authors would be lucky to get a couple of thousand dollars, the rest (unless they got an amazing deal with a big advance) barely make anything.
When I ran Eschaton Books, I strongly encouraged our authors to go out and do readings/signings/events on their own. I'd send them copies, which they'd get at a discount from the wholesalers' price, and they'd be able to sell the books to the bookstore at their regular wholesale discount, and the authors would make the mark-up that the wholesalers would normally get (about 15%) plus the discount I was giving them, meaning they'd be getting about 20% of the cover price. This was a lot better than getting 10% of whatever the wholesalers paid for the book (which would have worked out to under 5% of the cover price).
It's always best, if possible, to buy books and music directly from the author/musician or their web site. Sure, it's easier to get it from Amazon, but they get the deepest discounts from anybody in the book publishing food chain, something like 66% off of cover, so a book sold via that channel is likely to only net the author 3.4% of cover, meaning for a $25 book, they'd only be making 85¢ ... and quite possibly less. A book that was bought directly from one of our authors (and again, I don't know what sort of discounts other publishers offer, this is the deal we had in place), and not sold via a store, would have given them 60% of cover, making $15.00 on a $25 book!
Needless to say, this is a HUGE difference, so I always recommend getting books/music direct if you can.