Sorry to take with a grain of salt but I have bought many a book with ‘good reviews’ only to realise I have been ripped off - typically because here we have to order everything as you won’t find a lot on the shelf (so even the situation whereby you buy a magazine you see in the corner store you can see whether the articles are good or not and make an informed decision is not available.
In this age you can get the summary of almost any subject online in some form or other - even on these forums.
I personally don’t likevreading books/long articles online as it is usually bad for your eyes, an I remember more of what I read in print.
I have used Scribd previously and it has saved me many a bad purchase. Anything I really like I look out for - but some out of print books are now in speculators hands and I won’t be paying scalpers prices thanks.
If I go to the library am I ripping an author off? If I read a friends book, or book exchange am I ripping author off? Even if I go to the library if I find a worthy book I will put it on my wanted list.
I suppose I think of it as an honor thing - if it’s worthy I will get a copy. But if out of print - fair game to share it out as the publisher doesn’t think it’s worth continuing. But if it is a ham fisted attempt to trick a learner out of their hard earned money - stuff em... do I hear anyone complain about Amazon reviews? What about google docs previews?
Quoting Chaplain242 here, but my comments are not specific to him.
It is not really about the money. Yes a royalty check ever quarter is nice! My last one was $3.13 US. Gunna get that Sunday paper I’ve been saving for! (Low profit is more probably indicitive of my writing than anything else)
The vast majority of authors do not make loads of money on the books. You can make money with a book though. Often authors include a call to action at the end of the book. A “if you like my ideas check out. XYZ.” The online sources often circumvent that.
The other factor is just knowing something is reading the book. My sales, such as they are, show me that the material is being read. This in turn allows me motovation and a bit of financial supprt to produce yet more. It also give me marketing insight and the like. Independent published books can only rise in the search engine market through sales. By downloading for “free” you may be keeping soemone esle from finding the book.
Sharing books is a long standing tradition. One I honor and use as well. It does not circumvent the “call to action” and mostly, for me just serves to show me which book I need to buy after I retrun the borrowed one.
Run your show as you see fit, just don’t forget the small things that make a lot of difference. The forgotten skill so often today is research.
As for On Rope. I’d get it right from the source.
while I don’t agree with your view that buying books only allows the wealthy to learn, (I know, paraphrased, probably poorly) feel free to PM me. I would gladly trade autographed book for autographed book. I have quite the collection of other’s signed work.