Sites offering copies of pirated e-books now abound on the web. Authors work hard… writing alone demands time, energy and commitment, without proofing and editing… and, especially for the small press or Indie writer the work does not stop there. There are covers to design, formatting to be learned and done, author platforms to be built and maintained… and in the fabulous freedom of today’s market, where every voice can be published and heard, it can be appalling difficult to get a book noticed, make sales and get reviews.
Yet writers persevere. They write because there is something in them that needs to write, words that need to be said, ideas that have to be shared… and voices that can only be stilled by spilling them out onto a page. It is a consuming passion.
And, when all this has been poured into launching a book… you turn around and find pirate sites have stolen your work and are offering it for free, as part of a platform for their own money-making.
There is, in such practice, no thought for the hours, months, often years, that have gone into the production of a book. There is no sharing through delight or respect, no quoting as homage. It is, quite simply, theft.
Many readers who are only looking for an interesting book, preferably as cheaply as possible will not be aware that the author has neither supplied the copy nor authorised its inclusion in these sites. Indeed, many authors are not even aware themselves that their books are being supplied as pirate copies.
The problem arises when, once made aware, you try and have the books removed. DMC notices through the pirate sites concerned have elicited tales of technological horror. Most are ignored… the books continue to be offered from countries where the Indie author cannot afford to pursue the legal route and seek redress. About all we can do is trawl the internet for the many helpful articles before starting a long battle to regain control of our own work.
What the reader can do to help is to buy from reputable sites. Many ebooks are free, most are no more than the price of a coffee. Even paperbacks by Indie authors are priced as low as possible, their prices dictated largely by the cost of print.
But what can writers do to stop this piracy? Very little on our own. Some have banded to together with a novel idea… to raise awareness and make a statement. It won’t stop piracy. It may even be seen as an odd idea to give our books away to protest that they are being given away! But it represents a choice… one that we have made, to offer books for free download via reputable channels, because we so choose and not because that choice has been stolen.
For today and tomorrow, I choose to offer Laughter Lines: Life from the Tail End as a free download for Kindle via Amazon. I chose this book simply because it is designed to raise a smile, and laughter is often the best way to deal with the bullying tactics often employed by these pirate sites.
Ani, who for whom each sale is one step closer to the automatic tennis ball launcher of her dreams, has given her permission…
Even if you have no intention of reading the poems penned ‘by’ and about the Small Dog and her pet two-legs… do consider downloading it, just to show your support for Authors and Bloggers Against Piracy, organised by Maegan Provan.
Download Laughter Lines Free on Amazon UK and Amazon.com
Please note: Promotions on Amazon now run from midnight to midnight PST, which is approximately 8 amto 8am GMT.
Visit the Authors and Bloggers Against Piracy website for details of other books being offered for free download as well as helpful articles on what to do if your book appears on a pirate site.