P is for Pirate – Alphabet Challenge
Earlier this month, I fired up a free MUSO account. They’re an online anti-piracy group that does automatic, targeted takedown notices for you, if you buy a subscription. My free account is for 14 days, and includes up to 5 takedown notices (and persistent takedown notices until the book is removed from circulation on that site). They didn’t even ask for a credit card to sign up. They’re that confident. And they have a right to be. MUSO found 192 instances of piracy of my books in their first search. These are all pirates, not legitimate sites that got mistakenly tagged. One hundred and ninety-two! My puny 5 takedown notices mean nothing.
[Note: since the date I wrote this post, I opened a paid Muso account, and Muso found — are you ready for this? — over 1800 pirate sites either selling or giving away my books (mostly giving away). I’ve set them the challenge of eliminating those links.]
It frustrates and angers me that all these people are downloading and reselling my books, or giving them away for free. On Eddie, My Love alone there were 87 people giving it away for free on torrent sites. That was within 5 days of its release. I figure, if even a fraction of those books were sales, it would pay for a MUSO subscription (approx. $20 for 50 takedowns is the least expensive account).
I don’t mean to be an ad, what I mean to share is a rant. If you are a reader, never, ever download from a site that is questionable. If they’re selling the book for less than Amazon or the publisher, they are doing it illegally. Not only do you do a huge disservice to the author who gets zero for this sale (and who might just quit out of frustration–believe me, sometimes it’s tempting), but you are also opening up yourself to viruses, trojans, credit card fraud, identity theft, and a host of other nasty results. Don’t do it.
So today is P for Pirates. May all their heads explode.
Questions on this blog topic… Authors: Are you fighting piracy of your books? How? Readers: Did you realize there were so many active book pirates out there? What do you think a reader can do to help authors combat this thievery?
Remember: One person who answers each day’s question in a comment for that day’s post will win a $26 Blushing Books gift certificate. You have to comment on all 26 posts to be eligible to win, but I’ve asked easy questions at the end of each short post, so it shouldn’t be onerous. If you’ve missed the previous posts, do a search on “Alphabet Challenge” in the search box at the bottom right of the site. All the posts will be listed for you and you can go back and participate.
PS: I realize this is out of sequence, but for some reason, my blog platform didn’t release it on time. It says, “missed schedule,” which it’s never done before. Of course, this had to happen when I was on vacation and less attentive. Grr. Anyway, things should progress more smoothly from this point onward.
For your hopping convenience: