Illegally downloading music or movies is nothing new. People do it every day and then balked at artists who complained because of one of two reasons. Either:
- It shouldn’t matter to the artist because they make enough money to cover it
- They albums or movies is too expensive to listen to/see legally so this is the only way
I always knew of these two illegal activities since I was young. What I didn’t even consider is that this same type of behavior translates to writers/authors as well.
It happened to me.
My first step was to email my publisher immediately. I didn’t care what time it was. I sent an email asking if they knew about this. He and I have had very open communication so I reached out to him. He replied immediately in the morning and let me know that it was an illegal download of my novel and with my permission is working to put a stop to it.
Speaking with a few people garnered a few surprise responses. Some were upset that this happened. They couldn’t believe it, just as I couldn’t. Others said I should be flattered and it isn’t a big deal. Let’s look at that, shall we?
No one should be flattered that someone is taking what you created, something you cherish and gives it away either for free or for a profit of their own.
My publisher, a man of his word, has taken it off the site (at least from what I can by doing a search) which I am happy for but when I checked other blogs I saw that other authors, many who are self published, are upset that they found their own books on these illegal websites.
If you are a new author to publishing like I am I would recommend the following:
- Send a cease and desist letter to the people who run these websites
- The website should adhere to your request and remove your book from their website in a couple of days
- Do a Google Search
- We all do it at one time or another. I’d recommend you do this to ensure that your book is not on a site it shouldn’t be.
- If you are represented then let your publisher/agent know
- They will appreciate that you are keeping them informed and looking out for your hard work
Don’t let anyone make you fee like you are overreacting about your book being on these illegal download websites. If you want it taken down then work to get it taken down.
Publicity is publicity but you have a right to protect your thoughts and hard work. Don’t let anyone ever sell you short.