Pirates Provide Suspected First for Ralston

A Daily Record sports writer is understood to have become the first Scottish journalist to have had a book of his illegally pirated.

Gary Ralston's Gallant Pioneers is about the early years of Rangers FC and – says publicity for it – the “heartbreaking stories behind the men who formed the club in 1872, researched and told for the first time”.

The book, published two years ago, was made available just before Christmas as an eBook, available via Amazon, and it will have been via this format that it was pirated. It is now available on a pirated books website.

Says Ralston: “I've alerted the publisher and it's now in their hands; I am sure they will deal with it appropriately.”

But former Scottish Daily Mirror journalist-turned-social media consultant, Craig McGill, says it's not necessarily the case that pirated work has a detrimental impact on sales. He says: “I really do believe Gary has become the first Scots journalist to have had a book of his pirated. But have a think about this: is this costing him and his publisher sales or taking his work to another market? 

“For example, I buy books digitally. I’ve read free (legal) stuff online by the likes of Charlie Stross, Peter Watts and others. And very often I’ve then gone and bought other items by these authors – for myself or family and friends. Some authors even report a spike in sales after seeing their material pirated.”