Something’s got me seriously confused. I saw a post about getting your books taken down from some pirate sites, so as a matter of interest I googled mine again, and found that not only has African Me been loaded on to heaps more torrent sites for free or paid download, but that now Shadow People has joined the pirate party as well. The thing that’s got me wondering is that they’re both being offered on ebay too as paper books. I stopped looking after four different sellers there. (Click on pics to see them bigger)
At first I thought it could be a reader selling them second hand, but when I had a proper squiz I saw that they’re being offered as brand new/unopened. The sellers have multiple copies too – ten each mostly in stock, and they’re selling them for less than what Amazon’s charging for them.
I looked around online and only found one small thread about paper book piracy on KB where nobody seemed to know what was going on. One person kept saying that these sellers must buy the books from Createspace and then resell them cheaply by marking up the shipping costs. This just doesn’t make sense to me. And anyway I saw where some have how many they’ve sold listed, and I know for a fact that they weren’t bought from Createspace after checking my royalties there.
I also saw a thread on some sort of black hat site suggesting that you should resell other peoples books cheaply by having them printed yourself at small cafe presses. This is absolutely doable. Small POD is all over the place these days. This guy’s suggestion wasn’t too popular on this site, but clearly the idea is out there.
And a couple of other odd posts popped up in my google search too.
Elvis worked for the government? Who’s a drug agent? 😀
I popped back to a couple of the ebay sites and ordered a thousand copies of each of my books listed there, and the orders where accepted – I didn’t finish the sale obviously or I’d be eating turnips for a long while. I still don’t get it though. I wrote to ebay and received a very friendly response – here’s a bit:
“I cannot disclose any information on how the seller got more copies than you. Now, it is best that we take necessary to action to this and to request the removal of listings that violate intellectual property rights, you’ll need to participate in our Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program. To join the VeRO Program, please fill out a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) form for the listings you reported in your previous email.”
I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to. These (top rated) sellers have millions of books listed – including some of YOURS fellow bloggers – I looked for a couple. They’re also listed as having ten brand new copies in stock and ready to ship. I don’t believe the inflating shipping costs theory, because a couple of them actually offer free shipping in their own countries, and people who regularly buy on line are probably going to know when they’re getting ripped off that way. Also I know how many paper books I’ve sold and it’s not that many.
Do any of you guys know anything about these ebay booksellers? I’m not keen on causing trouble for anyone legitimately selling my work, but I just can’t see how this is legitimate. Those torrent sites seem to exist more for the purpose of infecting the downloaders of stolen books computers with some pretty vicious malware, so I try to ignore them – but pirating paper books – if that’s what this is – is a different kettle of fish I think. Have a go at googling Your Book by You on ebay, and see what happens.
PS. Pardon the slow catching up on comments – I’ll get to them all chop chop.