This has been described as a ‘golden age of occult publishing’.
From the internet it appears that there is a thriving international occult community and that publishers are reaping the benefits.
This could not be further from the truth.
Most magical publishers are very small businesses struggling to survive.
Occult authors are making precious little, if any, money.
This is not the motivation behind the work.
We work a seven day week at Scarlet Imprint because we believe in what we are doing.
Producing books is a massively demanding occupation.
We wasted another day today trying to stop illegal copies of our books when we could have been finishing Geosophia for the printers and working on our own writing. We are sick to death of this, as are Ixaxaar, Golden Hoard, Xoanon et al.
Occult books are printed in limited numbers, for many reasons - financial constraints being one, and because there are precious few serious students.
Occult bookshops are struggling to survive. The number of members in actual magical orders (rather than internet fantasies) is tiny. Illegal files really hurt small communities such as ours. We are not Metallica or Time Warner, we cannot afford lawyers or any more of our precious time on monitoring or blocking file sharing sites.
If you own our books you are some of the very few students committed to the art.
The most supportive action you can take is to buy books produced by genuine magical publishers written by authors who have something worthwhile to say.
Free for all
There is a massive amount of free, out of copyright occult material online. More information than at any stage in history. Authors are also contactable and generous with their knowledge. Students are not starved of source material or living contact, if they seek it out.
Many illegal uploaders believe that they are providing a service, that they are disseminating knowledge for the right reasons. However their actions are destroying the marginal livelihood of the authors they are copying. They are seriously jeopardising any future work.
If you just want online twitter and reprints of dead authors from fewer and fewer sources, then this is what you will get. If you understand the book arts, then you will know how precious the skills are that our books keep alive.
Illegally uploading the work of an author is disrespectful. Copying the work of a magician and then seeking to work with those spirits is quite frankly stupid. A hacked pdf violates a simple magical principle of not haggling when you buy a black hen’s egg. The author and publisher have deliberately chosen to produce the book as a magical object, it stands to reason that this should be respected.
If you are exchanging files then you are making a serious magical mistake.
If you have the luxury of a laptop, an internet connection and a scanner, you are not too poor to buy books. Give something back to the occult community rather than simply taking, or getting online kudos for someone else’s work. Saving money for a book or going without can be in itself a magical act.
We recognise that not everyone can afford a full vellum book, or even a standard hardback, which is why we have announced Bibliothèque Rouge as a paperback imprint. We also want information to reach students. We also want our authors to be paid for their work. They deserve it.
If you read and appreciate books from occult publishers and find illegal uploads, write to the publishers with the URL so that we can file a DMCA notice and get the content removed where we can.
You are also welcome to contact the uploaders and patiently explain why this is such a damaging practice. It is up to all of us to take responsible action on this.
If the uploads are on a closed community or forum, write to the uploader through their profile or post on the forum asking them politely to remove the files. If you are on a forum then write to the moderators and ask them to support small occult publishers by not allowing uploads of their books.
If you have illegal files, delete them and buy the physical book.
It is up to the occult community to stop the illegal file sharing by not tolerating the uploading of copyright material. The alternative is that no new work is produced, small publishers are utterly marginalised and the book arts go into terminal decline.
We want to keep making radical, progressive books for serious students of magic.
The book is a physical and magical object which cannot be replaced with a digital clone.
Support us in our work and that of the other committed magical publishers.