What do you to when you find out someone has pirated your eBook? Don’t laugh… it happens more than you think. There are thousands of websites out there that offer free eBooks of unsuspecting authors for free – in exchange for an email address or a tweet. So, what if you look up your book on google and add the word “free” to your query? What if there are hundreds of websites offering your book for free? What to do against these websites that pirated your kindle eBook?
EBook pirate websites often do not have the file of your book
Many eBook pirate websites do not actually have the book file. They are pages made by robots or digital farms (hundreds of people behind screens, filling in queries, website pages or keywords) to attract visitors. Once the visitors are on their website, they ask to download a program (5 seconds later there will be advertising all over your computer) or fill in a survey ( which will ask you to text WIN to some weird number – only $5 to win the $1.000.000 jackpot). They do not actually have your eBook. It is a scam.
It is not worth to get upset about so it is best to just leave it when you see “your book” being “pirated” on these dodgy websites.
What if the website offering my eBook does have the file on their servers?
If the website does have the eBook on your server, it is best to start a discussion with the website itself. I have sent multiple of these emails myself and most of the times people are incredibly friendly and understand that you would like the book deleted. I think that one of the most important things to understand is that these people are not sharing your eBook because they want to be malicious or because they do not like you, they are doing it out of love for reading. If you keep calm, friendly and let the owners of the website see your side of the case, things should turn out perfectly fine.
What if the pirate website does not want to delete my eBook?
Just let it go. Honestly. There is not something like “the internet police” that goes around arresting pirates – we wish. It took years for websites like ThePirateBay and KickassTorrents to be closed and even now they keep popping up. Piracy will always be likely when you are producing digital content. Your publisher might be able to threaten the website with a lawsuit, but even for them the risks are too high. Why? Because the number of sales you missed because of the pirated book are almost neglectable. Not many people know how to find pirated books, and if they do, the chance they would pay for your book in the first place is very slim.
How can pirated eBooks help you?
Did you know authors and some publishers use pirated eBooks to their advantage? They themselves leaking the book? Yes it happens! Especially for Young Adult authors. There’s a number of teenagers and young adults that pirate books because they love to read – but they just cannot afford to pay for the books. ( I mean, we have all been 16). HOWEVER, they have an INCREDIBLE influence over their peers. If they like a book, be sure that their friends will read it. This is how for instance Kerstin Gier’s trilogy became a bestseller in Europe. Teenagers had pirated the book, told their friends and before the publisher knew what was happening they had to put in a second and third print of the book.
I hope this gives you a bit of a direction in what to do if your kindle eBook gets pirated.
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