It’s not particularly new for social media, or sectors of it, to be enabling book thieves. Just like music thieves, and film thieves, the internet is full of the idea that stealing art, particularly digital art, is somehow sticking it to The Man. It’s possible that all those TikTok ‘stars’ encouraging people to buy ebooks, read and enjoy them, then get their money back, genuinely believe that it’s only Jeff B they are getting the better of.
It isn’t, though. It’s the authors who suffer. Not only do they get money taken back from them but too many fully-read returns can get a book flagged up for unspecified dubiousness and taken down.
Yes, of course, everyone is feeling the pinch at the moment, and we’re getting bombarded with advice to cut back on treats – but one thing the Zon does offer is a library function, so you can ‘borrow’ large numbers of books for a reasonable subscription – and the authors still get some pay, which they get to keep rather than having it snatched away.
It appears some people are nearly as irate with the book poseurs as they are with the book thieves, which seems a bit daft to me. The poseurs are the ones who buy physical books either by the yard, or according to spine colour or cover art, the aim being to make their Insta backgrounds look cool rather than to enjoy reading the books. I can’t get terribly bothered about this, because someone, somewhere, is getting paid whether the books are read or not. Naturally, I would welcome anyone who wanted to drop a load of money for a random selection of books, whether at an event or via the (once I have sorted the bugger out and got it running again). But don’t get me started on the people who buy books to cut up for tacky craft projects…