Wednesday, June 3, 2015

#Bookpirating, #IWSG





Like many writers, we all worry about our stuff being stolen, sold without our consent. This is how I found out about my book being pirated:

After several years of mulling over and finally deciding to upload my book onto Amazon's KDP Select, I receive a nifty letter from them, stating their discovery of finding Darkspell upon a site* and how it falls short of its exclusivity requirement and will result in loss of participation. It provided the exact link and I was stumped.

I've never heard of this particular site, but sure enough, my book was there!

I posted over on my author group, asking if anyone had ever heard of them. One said that it is a site that Smashwords goes through; my old publisher said she'd never heard of this place, and so I looked up names of many of my fellow author friends. Some have been through Smashwords, others not (disproving the Smashwords theory).

The results? They were ALL listed!

I posted my concern over on facebook and a friend, J. Scott Savage, left an unforgettable comment:


"Honestly, I don't worry about illegal download sites at all. First of all, many of them are actually malware sites that try to get people to download viruses by listing lots of books. Second, even the ones that actually do have real books to download are having any major negative impact on my sales. The people who download those files wouldn't have bought my book instead for the most part. Third, if people actually do download my book and read it, they may become fans and buy my future books. If I could wave a wand and get a million people to illegally download my book and read it, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Isn't that why people offer free books on Amazon? Isn't that essentially what happens with a library or when people share a book with their friends and family? I would recommend ignoring those sites and definitely don't visit them."



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J. Scott always has something amazing to say, wouldn't you agree? Have you experienced this? How have you dealt with it?

*It turns out that this particular site is legit, but the principle applies nonetheless to those that are not.

28 comments:

  1. I am not published yet, but many of my fellow author friends have experienced this and though many have taken actions to get their work removed from one website, a few days later another website pops up that sells their book illegally again. So it sounds like an endless cycle. But J. Scott does make an excellent point. Though, i would still feel upset or sad if this had to happen to me. I hope you find a solution that works for you. Wishing you the best.

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    1. This is something that I've always worried about from the first time I started writing. This is comforting advice that he has given!

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  2. My books have been pirated. My publisher goes after those they can, but some they can't do anything about. He's right though - people who download it illegally just to get it free would probably never actually purchase it. So why worry?

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  3. I was going to say it's probably an illegal download site and it sucks that Amazon won't take your book for KDP because of that. It's clearly not your fault, or a real book downloading site.

    I never thought of it in those terms, but I have to agree with J. Scott.

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    1. I'll see what I can do, hopefully something soon before their 5th day warning ends! x(

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  4. I think every writer eventually has their books appear on one pirate site or another. I actually had one of my books appear on a site before it was published. Never, ever click on the download button because they often are malware. I don't worry about them but some authors go through all kinds of hoops to get their books taken down.

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    1. Yikes! How ever did you come across that?

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  5. I found one of mine supposedly available on a site, and it turned out (after some research) to be a malware site that had a number of alerts about it. I follow your friend J. Scott Savage''s advice now and don't bother looking for the same reasons.

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  6. Neil Gaiman has the words that always stick with me, though of course I don't have them SPECIFICALLY, but it is something to the effect that every time his books are pirated, he sells more books. It is both a sign of success and a route for people to find you as an author. I think of course, for that to work, you need to have multiple books. And I DO think you probably need to practice due diligence so you can tell KDP "that is pirated, I've asked them to remove it" (after all YOU didn't break the contract) but I wouldn't WORRY.

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    1. Well said. I'll have to do that then. Thanks, Hart!

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  7. I try not to worry about pirate sites either. J. Scott is right, there's a chance those people wouldn't have bought the book in the first place. Sometimes there are instances where they pirate because they don't have a way to buy it, but as soon as they can, they do pay for it.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. Interesting. I didn't think that would happen.

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  8. I have not experienced this and I hope I don't experience it in future. Best thing would be to write to the site and threaten them with legal action if they don't remove your book.


    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  9. I keep a careful eye out for any of my books being pirated. What people happily forget about piracy when they point to free giveaways on Amazon is one very important thing.

    Consent.

    The author (for self-pub) or publisher (for trad) get to decide is a book will be free, not the reader.

    Regardless of whether or not it increases sales, or the people doing it wouldn't have read the book otherwise, it is not up to people to take something for free when it is not being legitimately offered for free.

    Though I admit, if my sales were like Neil Gaiman's, I wouldn't worry about piracy, either.

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  10. This happened to me too. My daughter said I was on a pirating site and sure enough I was. I reported it to my publisher and tried to contact the site manager. So far nothing.

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    1. Oh, so sorry to hear that! x( I hope it gets resolved soon...

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  11. Scott's view of this is an interesting one, but still the pirating is a send state of things online. There is so much for us to be concerned about without having to look for places where our work is pirated.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

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  12. If I run across a site, I'll send a cease and desist. The one that disturbed me the most was someone who had published my story under their name on another site. That one I went after with teeth.

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    1. Oh, that is WRONG! That happened to Rachel Ann Nunes, too. It was a long and bloody battle. :(

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  13. I can see J. Scott Savage's point, but I also agree with Paul Anthony Shortt's comment above. Pirates shouldn't be giving away what isn't theirs to give.

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  14. I'm not sure I entirely agree with him, though he has a good point. Still, it has impacted you being able to take part in KDP, which I think is an issue beyond just being pirated. I would let Amazon know the situation and see what they say in response. Certainly they must understand that books get pirated.

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