Advice on Managing Pirate Sites

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Mar 30 2016

You have given such great advice in the past, I am hoping you have a pearl of wisdom again.

[My Book] is doing well in publicity and posting great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Book will be listed with Ingram spark by Monday as book retailers want to place orders through them. Between newsprint articles, book signings, twitter, Instagram and Facebook campaigns, the word is getting out. That’s a good thing.

Last night, I Googled the title as suggested and found the book being promoted on subscription sites ( Playster for example) without permission. I suppose that it is a good thing to get the exposure, but…..

I sent a copy right complaint, but wondered if there is more I should do?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,

I’m hoping some of our published authors/readers will pipe in with how they handle copyright issues. Typically filing a complaint is how it’s handled, by authors and by their publishers. One of the nice things about having a publisher is that you have someone to pass this information on to and they have a strategy in place for dealing with illegal subscription sites. Unfortunately, your book could still appear on the site again, but at least you catch them when you can.

The one suggestion I have is to set up Google Alerts so that you are alerted anytime your name or your book’s title (or both) appear online. This should help you catch these services the minute the book is posted or reposted.

4 responses to “Advice on Managing Pirate Sites”

  1. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    I’m actually beginning to wonder if Google Alerts is such a good idea. I get them daily, and they are really stressful. Seeing the multiple daily reports can be pretty demoralizing. I have a lot of books available, many of the ebook files going back over fifteen years, and so often the links lead to offshore torrent sites where a DMCA doesn’t do any good at all. Many of the so called pirate sites don’t actually have downloads of our books–they’re merely set up to either steal credit card information or upload malware onto your computer’s hard drive.

    Of the dozens of of sites I’ve reported to Digimarc, a piracy referral company one of my publishers uses, I’ve only had one “valid”–as in, a site actually selling my books illegally–in months. It’s really frustrating, but I’ve sort of reached a point where I know I can’t fight it without stressing out about it, so I report when a site looks like it might actually be valid and ignore the others.

  2. Avatar Hollie says:

    I think the only thing that hasn’t been said is, talk to your readers.
    There is still an unbelievable amount of people who don’t understand that you can’t share ebooks and that by joining these sites, the author is not getting paid. And no its not the same Amazon.

    There will always be people who pirate, those who will never pay for anything. All that can be done is make life as hard for them as possible, while educating as many of the others as we can.

  3. Avatar AJ Blythe says:

    I’ve heard a few different discussions on this topic now, and it’s interesting the opposite opinions published authors have. There are those who try and keep on top of it and request removal – because stealing is stealing! Then there are those who have decided because of one or a combination of reasons (the stress/angst of worrying about it isn’t worth it, don’t believe they lose many sales, those who use pirate sites wouldn’t have bought it anyway) that they don’t bother about them.

    I’m not published so I have no help for the original poster other than to say don’t let it overwhelm you and best of luck dealing with the pirates.

  4. Avatar Kate Douglas says:

    I think that my rather spineless approach is because I keep a heavy writing schedule and the time involved in chasing down and trying to remove pirated works is counterproductive. In the case of the smaller presses I write for, that “chasing down and removing” is usually handled in-house, and I would rather my editor was working on editing instead of dealing with piracy. For most of the “alerts” that I get regarding piracy, I have to rely on the integrity of my readers and hope that they realize how much reading pirated works hurts the authors.