My book was released yesterday! Yay me! What have I been doing in between all of the other "real-life" duties and responsibilities that wait for no one - not even a newly published author? When I wasn’t taking care of my day job to-do list, running errands with the hubby, appointments, etc., I was checking my Amazon sales rank. (They have a cool little chart for authors that lets you see your book rise – and fall – on an hourly basis; yeah, probably not great for someone who thinks she has obsessive tendencies.)
Oh, and, I found out my book got pirated!
Yep, it happened about 6 hours into the day that my book went on sale. How did I find out? Through a dear friend of mine who has been a cheerleader for my book’s release. She mentioned that she had done a search online for my book and saw that it was listed on a whole bunch of sites for sale. She was super excited for me! This didn’t immediately set off alarm bells, as I knew my publisher was putting my book on various sites. But, my interest piqued, I did my own search later in the day. There I am on Amazon – sweet! All Romance eBooks – alright! Barnes and Noble – awesome! Wait, what’s this one?
Why am I listed on a Facebook page? And, why are there weird characters in front of my name? Well, when I visited the page, I see my book listed with links to “Download Here.” I click and get taken to this page that looks legit, but is offering a free version of my book to download or read online.
Now, my book is not available for free so I get a little panicky. Luckily, being the overly thorough person that I am, I’ve read about the very real possibility of piracy and copyright infringement. This happens all the time. It’s the same issue movie production companies and recording artists deal with. If there’s a way to pirate something, someone will find a way to do it.
Another reason I’m not pushing the panic button just yet – this particular site that is offering my book for “free” actually wants a person to setup a “free” account to access my file by putting in their credit card information.
Oh, they aren’t going to charge the unsuspecting reader anything, it’s just in case they want to buy an item in the future. Yeah. If someone is dumb enough to put in their credit card, then maybe this is the sort of lesson they’ll need to not illegally download someone else’s work. They might think twice next time and realize that the author is proud of their accomplishment, has taken months, sometimes years to finish their work, and that the author should be able to dictate how they want their work distributed to the world (be it free or paid). Clicking that one button to submit your information because you want to save $2.99? I’ve paid more for a cup of coffee at Starbucks that I’ve finished in twenty minutes. Yeah. I think that’s karma.
I plan to keep myself in the loop and monitor the situation. I’ve setup a Google alert to let me know weekly if something comes up with my author name, the name of my book, and the word “free.” If I see that a site offers a direct link to a download of my book, then I may take action.
There’s a detailed article by Author Molly Greene that explains the steps that can be taken if you choose to contact a site that's pirating your work: http://www.molly-greene.com/what-to-do-when-your-ebook-is-pirated/. Step by step from WikiHow even: http://www.wikihow.com/Combat-Book-Piracy
So, all in all, a productive week. And, I'll tell you what - I'll be celebrating with a glass of wine or two on Friday night!