The travesty of piracy
Updated: Jan 4
There are so many times in my journey down the self publishing route I’ve contemplated giving up and walking away.
When I received my first critical review it hurt, so bad. I contemplated quitting. It was like putting a part of myself out there only for someone to stomp all over me. But after taking a few days to lick my wounds, I put my big girl panties on and got over it.
I’ll never forget the day I found one of my published books being pirated on some dodgy website. It felt like I’d been robbed. I experienced a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why would someone do this?
Or more importantly, who would believe it was okay to read or download an illegal copy of my book? And that’s the problem. Most people who do this don’t really believe they’re doing anything wrong.
Taking something you haven’t paid for is stealing, isn’t it? Apparently, not if it’s over the internet.
And then comes the whole process of getting it removed. This is when you realize it’s easier to post illegal content than get it taken down.
First you need to find contact details for the website to send them a DMCA (the thing that tells them they’re infringing on your copyright). Most websites that distribute illegal books wont do anything when they receive your email.
So then the hunt begins. I’m lucky to have some technical knowledge but most authors wouldn’t know where to start. It’s pretty confusing but I’ve learnt you need to contact the company that hosts the website. They are the only ones who can remove it. This is most difficult part. Most websites that offer illegal downloads hide this information so it’s more difficult for authors to get their content removed.
So by the time the link is removed you’re ready to celebrate. Now your books are safe.
Until you find another website with a pirated copy of your book a few days later and you realize you have to do it all over again.
I’ve lost count of how many times my books have been pirated across the internet and each time it happens I question if it’s worth continuing as an author. And one day I'm scared I'll decide it isn't.
It breaks my heart that this happens to most authors but it’s the small indie authors who it affects the most.
Most readers believe authors make a lot of money. It’s a myth. Most authors do not make enough money to be able to write full time.
So remember that the next time you find an illegal copy of your favourite author’s book. Remember how much time and energy has gone into that book. Remember the thousands of pounds the author has invested to get it edited and to get a beautiful cover designed. And last of all, remember if the author fails to recoup the time and cost of what they have invested they are less likely to continue to write.
Think about that!
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