Of course, with different technology it has always been that way.
And I feel the same about quoting works in blogs: I don't believe it ever detracts from sales. I think it was Wendy Cope - whom I love by the way - who complained about people quoting her poems online. But every piece of her work is an advert for her books. Everything she writes is out there, persuading people she's worth reading.
Ian McMillan in the Guardian points out that today is Death day for poets: Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Cervantes, Henry Vaughan, and Rupert Brooke all died on this day.
I went out for a drink today with someone who might publish some of my poetry - we will see. I don't want to say too much. I mentioned it before in an f-locked post. It was lovely to sit and talk about poems for a while with someone who reads them very thoroughly and with great interest, because obviously that sort of talk is usually online.
He recommended the poets Alice Oswald and Jackie Kay. I don't know them at all. The thing is, I'm really so ignorant about modern writing.
And anyway, that brings me back to where I began which is that it's text online and copies and illicit readings which is likely to make me find out about the poetry that I like. I'm not sure whether writers of novels would feel that way - the whole relationship between the work and the artefact is different. I don't think I'd want to read a novel from any kind of dubious download, though a short story - yes.