Pirates Ahoy!

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Amazon’s been refusing to raise the price of African Me & Satellite TV above $2.99 on the grounds that it’s being sold for that price elsewhere, but I couldn’t figure out where because it’s $3.99 on all the other platforms that I know of. I googled it and came up with a couple of foreign language sites I’ve never heard of before, but I’m guessing that they are Smashwords affiliates. One is definitely a pirate site though, offering PDF copies for download.

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When I headed over to the site my Bitdefender blocked it, so I’m guessing that whoever downloaded it probably don’t have proper security on their computers, and got more than a book when they did. Jolly dee. I checked out the download site on WhoIs but I don’t see any way to contact them, so I’ve decided to ignore it for now. I’ve always said that if anyone is on a tight book budget and would like to read any of my books, all they have to do is ask anyway. I’m a bit amazed that the site offering the download links is hosted by WordPress, so I’ll contact them and see what they have to say.

I’ve never sent anyone a PDF copy of any of my books, but I suppose with all the different formats available to buy on Smashwords, pirating is made easier. Pirating is here to stay in the digital world, and I don’t think there is much you can do about it. My thinking is that whoever braves the malware on these sites to get these “free” books would never buy them to begin with, so I’m not losing royalties. I really do understand that some people just can’t afford to spend their money on books, and maybe this is the only way they get to read what they fancy. African Me has never been on free promotion, so it does bother me a little that someone else is doing one without my permission. Most of them probably just like getting free stuff just because they can. Buggers.

PublicDomain.net
Image Credit: PublicDomain.net

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33 thoughts on “Pirates Ahoy!

    eloisedesousa said:
    November 21, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I’ve discovered a similar problem with someone with a wordpress account offering my book for free. Not sure what I can do about it, but as you pointed out, they can’t be getting much from their download. http://priddilihemracapelryahigh.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/gratis-epub-descargar-deception-eloise-de-sousa/
    Looking at their page, they seem to have listings of other authors’ books too. Might be worthwhile checking if yours is listed here too. 😒

    Liked by 1 person

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Another WordPress site – wow! Your one doesn’t have a search box. It’s a bit sick making isn’t it, seeing troll pirates handing your hard work out as if it’s no biggie? 😦

      Like

        eloisedesousa said:
        November 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

        Yes and frustrating because I don’t know how to stop it. This page came up when I googled my name to see which sites had advertised my books. Didn’t look further as this completely stumped me. We need to go a-hunting for some pirates!

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          November 22, 2014 at 9:02 am

          We definitely need to do something. I’m going to do more googling and reporting for now. Plague of pirates need to be nobbled! 😀

          Like

      Charles Yallowitz said:
      November 21, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Since it’s a WordPress site, you can report them for copyright infringement. I’ve seen this before and there should be a section under the ‘Report This for Content’ that only the copyright owner can fill out. If enough of the authors who find themselves on the site report it then it will probably be shut down.

      Like

        eloisedesousa said:
        November 21, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Thank you. I will look into it this weekend and send a report because I can see a lot of authors listed on their blog.

        Like

        jorobinson176 responded:
        November 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

        Cool Charles – thank you! 🙂

        Like

    Mira Prabhu said:
    November 21, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Another great post, Jo Robinson! Thank you — yes, I too am aware that people are downloading my novel illegally.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Sorry Mira – it seems to be rampant. Someone recommended reporting the site to Google and requesting that it be removed from search engines, but there’s not much point with so many people sharing the links.

      Like

        Mira Prabhu said:
        November 21, 2014 at 9:40 am

        Fortunately I write because I am compelled to and suck at the marketing and promo aspects….as long as people are reading my book, i personally don’t care — but can imagine how frustrating it must be for those authors who rely on royalties to put butter on their bread. Om!

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          November 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

          I’m with you there. It’s probably my control issues that are my biggest problem with this – I like to know what’s happening with my scribbles, so it’s a shock to see all this going on behind my back. 😀

          Like

    ebooksinternational said:
    November 21, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Hello Jo,
    yes Google can help, I had a problem last year with an article, Google can take sites off the internet. The problem with pirates is: Even if you find and sue them, they might not even be able to pay the fine, or live in super-corrupt countries…
    I would twice think about working with SW. Check out ebookpartnership. Have a look at my latest post. If your books sells, you are better off there.
    Another option is to sell from your website.
    Cheers, Doris SavvyBookWriters.com/blog

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Doris! I have been wondering a little about Smashwords to be honest, although they make it really easy to sell on iTunes and B&N and so on. I’ll definitely check out ebookpartnership and see about publishing my new one differently – don’t want that one swiped too. 🙂

      Like

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    November 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Most of my print books are being offered on numerous sites. However, since I have the only copies of the books printed in 2002 – 2004 they would have a problem fulfilling a sale.. however, their purpose is to get you into their site where they announce the book is out of stock but they have one that is similar..a bit like going into a shoe shop and asking for a size 7 and they produce a size 5 instead as if you are prepared to cut your toes off… Piracy is here to stay and it is grossly unfair but most buyers who genuinely want to read your books will go through proper channels. Great article as always lovely friend. ♥

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      You’re right – it’s a moral thing too. I would never read a pirated book. May as well go around being a shoplifter. I wouldn’t mind getting that amount of real downloads every day though. 😀 It’s amazing what people will think up to buck the system. I should probably be really cross, but it’s funny in a way – they swipe your book, but at least they rate it afterwards – ha haaaa! Thank you my lovely Sally and happy, happy Friday! X

      Liked by 1 person

    Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. said:
    November 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Still on the subject of book marketing – piracy – one of the downsides of E-books- from Jo Robinson

    Like

    Charles Yallowitz said:
    November 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I always dread doing searches for book pirates because I always find something. There are some sites that are impossible to stop because you can’t get to a living person. One out there has a ton of indie and trad books listed (the entire collections of Yallowitz and King) and they have a fake ‘report copyright infringement’ page. If you have any malware blocker then it will go off like a rocket if you try to get near that site.

    As for the pricing, what about asking Amazon what you can do in the situation? If they find out that it’s a pirate site then maybe they’ll let you do the price change anyway.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      That sucks that they have all your books Charles! I only googled African Me, and as you say I’m a bit wary of looking any more now. I wonder why people still carry on and open the sites with the malware there – they must really want free books! I’ll contact Amazon again – they haven’t been very helpful lately, but if I just leave it that book will be stuck on that price forever. I’m definitely reporting the site to whoever I can though – there must be loads of authors on there who don’t even know their books are being stolen.

      Like

        Charles Yallowitz said:
        November 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

        I think the people who go there are simply unaware of the danger. Especially if you factor in people who will leap at anything free and crow about ‘sticking it to the man’. I actually saw someone defend stealing eBooks with that reasoning. Definitely report the site and see what they say. Sometimes the file they are offering is on a Torrent site, which is what you’ll have to contact to get it removed. For some reason, all of these sites ask for name, address, and phone number when you are reporting copyright infringement.

        Like

          jorobinson176 responded:
          November 22, 2014 at 9:06 am

          Us poor scribblers definitely aren’t the man. I’m going to spend some time today reporting everywhere I can, and also send a letter to Google. I rechecked all my prices again yesterday & tried to up the price back to 3.99 and still no go, so if I don’t sort it out that book will be cheap for ever. 😀

          Like

            Charles Yallowitz said:
            November 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm

            It’s really scary how a pirate site can do so much damage. If they even have the book in the first place and it isn’t just a virus behind the link.

            Liked by 1 person

    Pamela Beckford said:
    November 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I hate pirates.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Me too now. I definitely hate them more now that it’s personal. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

    Let's CUT the Crap! said:
    November 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    This is so terrible. I can’t get my head around why people do this. Yes, it’s the money for t.h.e.m. but still… Sorry to hear this. I hope you get to the bottom of this. Seems to me not that long ago I read of a similar infringement. Someone’s book was found on other sites. Didn’t hear the end of the story.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

      It seems to be really really common out there. I saw loads of writer bloggers trying to figure out what to do when I googled. Didn’t see any solutions though – they all seemed to give up in the end.

      Like

    danniehill said:
    November 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    It would seem to me that Amazon would provide a list of sites that charge the lower price. Thank you, also, to Eloise for the info.

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

      I’m going to ask them again, but I don’t think that will work because it seems to be some automated thing that sets price matches.

      Like

    olganm said:
    November 22, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Dannie you have a point there as if somebody reports a lower price you have to include the link. But I wouldn’t have thought illegal sites would count…Yes, it’s a nightmare but I’m not checking. Never looked into ebookpartnership. I use Draft2Digital for everywhere but Amazon (although they also distribute to Amazon) and they offer the option of paperback through Create Space. They are very helpful and don’t require anything in the way of formatting…

    Like

      jorobinson176 responded:
      November 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Another new possibility – thanks Olga! You’re right about illegal sites not counting, but I think Amazon’s search engines are to blame rather that real people. 🙂

      Like

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