A bestselling author’s book piracy story

“A pirated copy isn’t ‘good advertising’ or ‘great word of mouth’ or ‘not really a lost sale.’”

via Contents of Maggie Stiefvater’s Brain

A lot of authors dismiss book piracy with blasé misconceptions like those Maggie Stiefvater quoted above. They’re wrong. Maggie Stefvater almost lost traction her Raven King series (a series I like, btw) because pirated copies were diluting sales to the extent that her publisher thought the public was losing interest.

As she says, authors generally expect the first book in a series to sell the best and for sales to go down in the follow-up books. But she tried a nifty way of proving that there was more to it than expected reader attrition.

This is a cautionary tale for authors, especially those who think piracy either doesn’t hurt you or that it might actually help you. Click on the link to see how she saved her series.



Review: ‘The Raven Boys’ by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The Raven Boys” has a compelling premise” and a very interesting set of characters in a contemporary fantasy playing off “locals” (including a family of psychics) against the ultra rich male studens at a local upscale school.

The life of protagonist Blue Sargent, who is the adolescent member of that psychic family of readers, intersects with several of the young men from Aglionby Academy when she learns that one of them is about to die–and he might be the one she’ll fall in love with.

I enjoyed the premise and the characters, but didn’t like the ending or the pacing. Inasmuch as this book is the beginning of the series, the ending seemed abrupt, skewed off on a secondary character, and more designed to prepare readers for the next installment than to properly wrap of Blue’s involvement. The pacing dragged because the rich students had a heavy, but essential, backstory about a search for ley lines and (possibly) to keep the book from straying too far into the territory reserved for the next book.

This is a young adult book that also works for adult readers.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of two contemporary fantasies, “Sarabande” and “The Sun Singer,” both of which are available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and multiple e-book formats at Smashwords.