Book piracy is rampant these days, and many people see nothing wrong with it.
"I'm sampling the book so I can know if I want to buy it," they say. "I can't afford to buy the book right now," they reason. "I can't wait to read it!" they explain. Some don't even try to justify their actions.
Authors are trying to make a living, and they can't if people make their books available for free online. If a publisher sees an author's book isn't selling well, they won't buy anything else from that writer. Writers are people just like you and me - they just earn money by creating fictional worlds (which, to be honest, sounds like the best job ever to me). But they need money to buy food, pay rent (or mortgages), and support their families. Some of you may argue that books are too expensive for kids from low-income families. I acknowledge that issue, but that's not what I want to address today. I could write a whole other post just about how to get books in the hands of minority and low-income children. This article is about making sure authors, particularly diverse writers, can continue to write books for children and teens of all walks of life.
1. Buy books
Pretty straightforward. Publishers like to see that the investment they made is paying off.
Even if you own the books, occasionally requesting them from the library can't hurt. Yes, you didn't pay for the book, but circulation numbers are important. If a library sees that a book is in high demand, they'll buy more copies or they'll be more likely to buy the author's future novels. On a related note, if your local library doesn't have a book you're dying to read, many libraries have systems in place where you can request books for them to add to the collection!
3. Recommend books to your friends
Push your favorite books on your friends. You'll have people to talk with about the characters, the ships, the plot, etc.! Plus, they might buy the book or check it out from the library, both of which help the author.
4. Gift books to your friends
Take my third suggestion one step further and force your friends to read your favorite books by giving them copies. (Or, at the very least, they might exchange it for another book they think looks good...)
5. Create fan art
Art, fan-fiction, videos, and so forth. If you have any artistic talent, use it for good. Someone might stumble upon your art or story and think your inspiration sounds interesting. Plus, it's a good way to express emotions about certain scenes or write what you think should've happened instead.
6. Ask your local bookstore event coordinator to see if the author can come for an event.
Obviously not every author can come (the big authors like Sarah J. Maas and Rick Riordan have pretty set tour schedules now), but it's worth a try! And, if they contact the author's agent or publisher, it shows that there's a demand.
7. Review the book
Make a Goodreads account and review your favorite books (and do something beyond "This was amazing, OMG!"). Do more in-depth reviews of your favorites on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Fellow bibliophiles see Goodreads reviews. People who are just browsing for books at random or for gifts only use retail sites.
8. Tell social media about the book.
If you, too, just read the most wonderful book, tell the world about it! Tweet about why it's amazing, post pictures of it on Instagram and Snapchat, and reblog tons of quotes, fan art, whatever on Tumblr.
So there you have it. Eight things to do instead of pirating books. You can also host book giveaways, if you're fortunate enough to afford those; then hopefully others will pirate fewer books.