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Stop Book Pirates! Share Book Titles not Books!

by on September 17, 2014

Imagine for a moment, that you’ve spent days, weeks, or even months, working on a huge sales pitch and campaign that’s going to be a huge income boost to your wallet, only to walk into work one day and find that someone has stolen all of your research, and your painstakingly drafted plans, and handed them over to the public—for free.

Everyday authors are faced with this exact scenario. We pour our heart and soul into our work, only to have pirates give it away. In general book pirates aren’t bad people. A woman who sends it to her mom and her sister, and oh yeah, that lady at the PTO that she saw reading a similar story the other day—is still a book pirate. A member of a social media group that’s “private” where everyone “shares” the books they love so that everyone has a chance to read them—is still a pirate. Sure, there are terrible websites out there where books have been uploaded by the thousands, and those are highly publicized pirates, but most of the illegal downloading happens between everyday people. The moment you send that book to another person, you’ve literally stolen money out of the author’s pocket.

Authors are rarely high-income earners. Most have to scrape and make it paycheck to paycheck just like you, so please remember that when you attach that eBook you won last month to an email and mass send it to your book club. How many authors have had to stop writing because they couldn’t make enough money to survive? Would things have been different if all the copies illegally downloaded had been paid for?

How can you help? Share book titles with your friends, not books. Make a list of your favorite eBooks and post them in the comments here, or post them on your social media sites. Share the links when your favorite authors have new releases, but don’t share the actual book file.

And, if you see an illegal download site, or spot a book pirate sharing books illegally PLEASE get in contact with the author directly or the publisher. DO NOT SHARE THE LINK on your social media sites. It’s only advertising for them. Help authors so that we can continue to write stories for you.

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  1. I understand what you are saying. But i buy romance books by the dozens from used book stores. How is that any different?

    • The difference is that when you’re purchasing an eBook you’re purchasing a one-time personal license to read that book. If you read the TOS on any of the eRetailer sites it specifies that the book is for your personal use only, and not for sharing. When you buy a paperback you’re buying ownership of that physical book. You have the right to loan it out because if something happens to that copy you’ve lost it for good. If you share an eBook you still have a copy for yourself. You wouldn’t copy all of the DVD’s on your shelf and pass them out at church, so why would you make copies of eBooks and share them with friends?

  2. I think it’s a shame people have to be told this, but years of library sharing, used book reselling, and paperback sharing has confused our readers. They don’t understand that the ebook is just a license for them to read it. They don’t understand when Amazon shares it authors have agreed to that. There are loads of mixed signals out there for naive readers, but there are always the scam artists looking for something for nothing that go into pirating with their eyes wide-open and without a care about stealing someone’s hard earned efforts.

    We can’t expose these people enough!

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