As you likely know, the majority of books are first released in hardcover edition and then within the average of one year later they are released in paperback format at a much lesser cost. This is helpful for writers because it allows them to have two different points in promotion of their work and two spikes in sales, ideally.
In the case of Mr. Harvey things have apparently not gone so smoothly. He was at a book signing in Virginia recently when one of his fans handed him a paperback copy of her book, requesting that he sign it. The woman had the receipt from her purchase, demonstrating that the fraud was no likely perpetuated by her, but rather, part of a larger book fraud scheme. Harvey then offered her $100 and hardback copy of his book to be permitted to keep the paperback copy and receipt, most likely with the intent to investigate the situation.
Steve Harvey’s reps are not yet commenting on the situation, but we can only hope that they are successful in finding the perpetrators. One also hopes that they are working with local law enforcement to investigate these issues.
As part of the entertainment industry, books are significantly less glamorous, and frequently less lucrative than their flashier relatives – movies, television, music, etc. It is so important that we protect literature and we protect artists’ rights.
One of the most discussed potential books leaks surrounds the Harry Potter series. With set release dates for all of the books done sometimes years in advance, there were concerns at every step that they might be released early. Anyone who has worked in a book store knows that the majority of heavily anticipated books arrive in the stores about 4-7 days prior to their scheduled release. This makes sense because of the importance of a coordinated timed mass release. If half of the stores failed to place a book on the shelf as expected, it would be damaging to their reputation and credibility. What likely happens in situations such as the Harry Potter leaks is that an unscrupulous bookseller sneaks a books out of the store and it finds it way onto the internet.
Though Mr. Harvey’s case does not involve a book leaked before its time, rather an issue with format release, it allows us to open the door to this important conversation. It is my position that because of the lessons that Harry Potter andTwilight have taught us, bookstores should be constructed with a vault in the shipping and receiving department to ensure the security of highly anticipated books. Additionally, it would be refreshing to see increased stakes. If the punishment for leaking a book outweighed whatever could be gained, we would hopefully see less of this damaging behavior.