Etxebarria's latest novel, El Contenido del Silencio, was published in October but is not available as a legal ebook, even though you can find it on various illicit websites. Why? "We decided against publishing it as an ebook because that is easy to pirate. It would have been like throwing it straight to the lions," Etxebarria said. That worked well, I must say.
Actually, her refusal to release an ebook renders this situation as fairly straightforward. Since she has refused to sell the ebook, her readers have gotten it elsewhere. If piracy really bothered her that much then she would be offering a legitimate alternative.
How can anyone be angry about pirates while simultaneously not allowing customers who want to buy an ebook to pay for the content? I don't get it.
I know that I've already pissed off a number of people by this point, but let me tell you where I'm coming from.
The reality is that the the faceless mob (the internet) is the one that decides whether content gets released as an ebook. Authors can claim ownership and moral rights, but they have long since lost any effective control. I'm not making a moral judgment here; this is a statement of fact.
Take JK Rowling , for example. She refused to allow ebooks for the longest time, but her novels were still released as ebooks within days (if not hours) of the official launch. It is not something one can stop, so one must learn to survive in spite of it.
My greatest issue with Etxebarria (and the reason why I don't respect her) is that she refuses to face the reality of her situation and adapt to face it. I could name you any number of authors or publishers that have learned how to thrive in spite of piracy, but I won't. That list would include pretty much the whole of publishing (with the exception of a few holdouts).
via The Guardian