Okay, folks, as some of you might have seen, I’ve decided to do a bit of research (more qualitative rather than quantitative) about piracy. There’s a decent amount of quantitative research out there – but I’m more interested in what people are thinking for this. Many, many people – myself included – have projected our own experience, thoughts, and ideals onto piracy… and the only solution to that is to ask ourselves.
So, from that comes the below quick survey. Depending on your answers, the length of time needed to complete this survey/interview is going to vary.
If you have pirated any book – especially if you’ve uploaded files yourself, but even if you’ve just downloaded them – I would like to hear from you. If you’ve pirated video or music, that works too; alter some of the questions below as necessary to fit the format. Please pass this around to others who might qualify or be interested.
If you’d rather do a voice interview, e-mail me (AT THE BELOW ADDRESS, with the subject line of “SURVEY”) and we’ll arrange things.
Hi! I’m Steven Saus, and I’m an author and publisher. I am also a sociologist. I am asking about some of your thoughts, feelings, and actions about eBooks. If you choose to post your replies publicly, I cannot guarantee your confidentiality; likewise, if you send them via PM. If you contact me through e-mail or phone, I will not divulge your identity, though I would like your permission to use direct quotes. I will change identifying details whenever possible in order to protect your confidentiality.
The most secure way to send me your answers is through a service such as
Send your replies (plaintext is great) to email@example.com with a subject line of SURVEY (that way it shouldn’t get eaten by spam traps.)
These are largely open-ended questions. The more descriptive and specific you can be with your answers, the better.
If you know others who would be interested in talking to me, please feel free to refer them to me.
1. Can you give me some specific examples of how you’ve personally promoted books through uploading?
2. Do you participate in other promotional activities (review sites such as LibraryThing or GoodReads)?
3. Do you review the books you read on Amazon, B&N, your own blog, or elsewhere?
The following questions apply to an “average” month. If you can’t think of an average, use last month instead.
1. How many books (digital or paper) do you buy a month?
2. How many books (digital or paper) do you upload a month?
3. How many books (digital or paper) do you read a month?
4. About what percent of the books you upload do you read?
5. Are there any authors or publishers you will NOT upload? Why not, and can you give me examples?
Some file services pay uploaders for the number of downloads (such as $25 per 1K downloads).
1. Do you use any of those services? If so, about how much have you earned from them on an average month?
2. Do you have advertisements on your own site/blog/etc? If so, about how much have you earned from them on an average month?
1. How much do you think the average best-selling author makes from writing fiction per year?
2. How much do you think the average author makes per year from writing fiction?
3. Have you ever written a book?
4. How much time do you think goes into writing the average novel?
5. About how much time do you think goes into writing a non-fiction book?
6. Do you use the library system where you live?
6a. Can you tell me about what it has available?
7. If an author or publisher asks you to take down a work, what do you
7a. Can you tell me about a specific time that happened?
8 . Have you ever met any authors in person?
Are there any other things you would like to tell me about the ways you interact with eBooks?
Thanks for your time!