Writer Ian Sharman wants readers to buy his new book Hero: 9 to 5 – Quietus, but he realizes some folks haven’t read the first volume, which comprises issues #1-#4.
So he’s making the first collection available digitally, for free, but he’s letting others do the work: On his Tumblr, Sharman posted a link to a downloadable copy on what is obviously a pirate site.
Yup, I’m giving you a link to illegally download my work. Shocking, eh? But, hey, you have Google, you could find it anyway if you really wanted. And if it persuades just one of you to pre-order the new book then I think it’ll be more than worth it. And, hey, maybe some of you will love it so much you’ll want to own a copy.
If you look at it one way, his logic is pretty solid. The book has been out since 2010, so it’s probably hard to find in a comics shop. He’s using the pirate site as a way to provide digital samples, which saves him the trouble of hosting it himself.
It seems like a missed opportunity, though. If he were to host the download himself, he could add a promo for the second book as the last page. That’s what Mark Waid is doing with his comic Insufferable, which also is available on the Thrillbent website and via comiXology. Waid says he is thrilled that people are downloading his comic (which is free on the web anyway) because that means more people are reading it–and the information at the end is leading more people to Thrillbent.
And there’s something else. Maybe it’s not good to lead your readers to a pirate site. The site Sharman links to has a number of other comics visible on the page, including the first two issues of Heroes: 9 to 5 – Quietus, the very book he wants readers to buy. It seems a bit chancy to show them a page where they can get it for free.
On the other had, perhaps readers will use that to sample the new comic and the pre-order it, which is exactly what Sharman wants at the end of the day.
(Via Down the Tubes.)
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org