Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Real Pirates Aren't Cool

First you might think of the bandits preying on ships of all sorts off the cost of Africa, but they're not the ones I'm speaking about. Though I admit, I don't understand why those ships don't mount some guns on their vessels. Those pirates are usually in some really small speed boats. It's not like they're in armored battle ships.
But back to my point. Yesterday I discovered all three of my books from NCP were available for download from a pirate site. Those SOBs were giving my books away right beside free downloads of The Dark Night and every other movie recently released on DVD. And considering A Ruthless Good has only been for sale for a few weeks, it was fast and evil work.
I've sympathized with other authors when their books appeared on pirate sites, but mine have never been there before. At least I didn't catch it if they were. It's so infuriating. I couldn't sleep last night for my fuming and today I took it out on my poor students at school.
Finally one of my colleagues pointed out the upside. If my books haven't been on a pirate site before and they are now, should I be complimented that I'm finally popular enough to make it worth their while to steal from me? Is that really reaching for the silver lining?
I think the more popular ebooks become, the more widespread the pirating of novels will become. Just as it's impossible to protect the illegal sales of video and music, I don't believe there's any technological answer to protection for authors. In the end, we can only trust the honesty of our customers to purchase our books through honest means.


  1. Sorry that happened to you, Sue. It really sucks.

    I don't think Joe Average realizes that published authors aren't sitting around eating bon bons, ordering mai tais and watching the pool boy clean the filters. They don't understand how difficult it is to write a book. And they don't understand the small portion of the profits that authors get from each sale of an ebook. That or they're too selfish to care.

    Megan Hart made a great public service announcement on her site about this. Very powerful.

    Good luck with getting your books taken down.

  2. Susan,

    My sympathies.

    Now you have arrived, there are several support groups you could join for extra eyes on the street.
    I think there is a membership fee for this org, and the idea is for all artists in all media to work together to protect copyright.

    A free-to-join yahoogroup started by some of the most brilliant and proactive authors around.

    They have a sample take-down letter.

    I noticed some rather alarming talk about Kindle today on a paranormal yahoo group. I won't repeat it.

    Best wishes,

    Rowena Cherry
    Space Snark