As you can see from the photo on this blog post, my book FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS has been pirated.
No. The photo has not been Photoshopped.
Yes. That really is over twenty-five THOUSAND downloads shown.
For reasons of contractual nondisclosure, I can’t tell you how much money that lost me, not to mention my publisher, but you can imagine I could have bought SOMETHING with what I would have earned from those possible sales as opposed to the NOTHING from the illegally downloaded copies people stole.
Stole. That’s what downloading pirated copies of eBooks is: stealing. Don’t sugarcoat it, readers. The taking of that which is not rightfully yours equals theft.
As authors, we’re well aware what piracy means. We know what it means to our bank accounts and what it means to our publishers, particularly those of us with indie publishers. Big blow to the potential revenue. For those of you self-publishing, I can’t even imagine how hard it is to see that painful loss. And I’m certainly not pretending the Big 5 aren’t affected by piracy.
I am not an attorney and am not dispensing legal advice, but I can share some helpful hints as one author to another based on my personal experience and acquired knowledge.
Whatever version of a cease and desist letter you need, you should definitely keep one on file to email to any site owner where you find your book(s) available for download.
Keep records of the emails you send, who you send them to, and replies received. Expect to get the run around. A lot.
You can’t STOP giving copies of your book to reviewers/book bloggers, but don’t blindly pass out copies to every person who calls themselves a book blogger. If you have a publisher/publicist, it is best to let them make the decisions as to who receives these copies unless the reviewer/blogger is someone with whom you have an established relationship in some way.
And always, Always, ALWAYS know your publisher’s policy on this before giving copies to anyone for anything. You know, all that breech of contract and other basic DON’T BE STUPID stuff we authors must be aware of. Take heed.
This is by no means a fully comprehensive list of information and/or resources, but I hope it helps. eBook piracy continues to run rampant. As authors, we can’t necessarily be proactive in any way to prevent it, but we can actively monitor and quickly react to do whatever possible to stop illegal downloads of our books.
A little knowledge goes a long way in arming ourselves with the tools to fight back.
Best of luck to you all. May the Force be with you.
About the Author:
Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time wife, mom, and author of FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS (Stars and Souls Trilogy #1), an Amazon bestselling New Adult Dark Fantasy Romance. Look for her on Twitter,Facebook, and melissapetreshock.com, where you’ll find her blog. You can pick up a copy of FOSAD at these online retailers: Amazon, BN, iBooks, Kobo. Watch for BLOOD OF STARS AND GODS to release Winter 2014.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.