I’ve seen a few other authors complain about it–finding conversations among readers about where they got their free, illegal copy of the author’s book, but I never paid much attention.
I figured, I’m going with a small publisher, so no one will notice my book enough to pirate it. Oh-ho, was I wrong. It’s been just over two weeks since Want was officially released, and pirated digital copies are available on no less than five sites.
Hint: I saw a hint that maybe something was amiss when I clicked on a Goodreads review of Want. The commenters talked about having to print it out to read it. Say what? While I appreciate that they’re reading my book and leaving kind reviews, I wish they’d go about it a different way.
Then, when a listing for an illegal copy popped up in my Google Alerts, my fears were confirmed. A search for “Stephanie Lawton Want epub” turned up even more.
Reaction: I’ve vacillated between disgust and anger all day. I guess I naively figured people are basically good. It would never in a million years occur to me to illegally download a book, and as a former English instructor, I have a very low tolerance for things like piracy and plagiarism.
First, let me say it’s not about the money (I suspect my publisher would have a different opinion!). Sure, the money is a great side product of publishing a book, but let’s be real–I am not going to get rich off this story.
However, I put several years of my life into this book. Time, talent, energy, tears and a lot of my own money–they all went into its creation. My publisher contributed even more.
Stealing: Downloading a pirated copy is no different from walking into an art gallery and stealing a painting off the wall. You take part of that artist with you when you take his or her lifeblood without permission.
Let me be clear: You must pay for intellectual property. In today’s digital climate, there’s no excuse. The e-version of Want is $4.99, which is cheaper than the iced coffee you pick up on the way to school or work. Last week, my publisher even knocked it down to $1.99 for a day. You can find that in your couch cushions.
Action: Both the publisher and I have the links to the illegal sites. We are in the process of addressing them, plus a computer nerd friend (I use that term affectionately) is giving me advice.
I’ll keep you posted and let you know what works and what doesn’t. If you’re an author, be vigilant. If you’re a reader or blogger, please consider adding a graphic to your website that indicates you don’t tolerate book piracy.
And if you’re a reader who steals books, I feel sorry for you. If you’re a reader who’s stolen my book, please go to this listing of places you can buy Want, and leave an honest review.
In the future, consider going to your library and requesting they carry the book or e-book. Then, when they get it, check it out for a week or two. Problem solved and everybody wins.
I’m sorry to hear this. It is horrible that anyone would do this.
I’d think if the illegal downloaders are having to print the books to read them, it’d be a lot cheaper if they just bought the ebook rather than pay for paper and ink. Unless, of course, they are stealing those items as well.
Keep us posted!
The one I saw printed my book out at work, so yes, that was also stolen. 😦
Lynn Worton (@LynnWorton) said:
Hi, I’m sorry that Want has been Pirated. I do not, and have not ever used an illegal downloading site for either books, songs or movies. I think it is morally wrong. I have heard, from several of the groups that I frequent on Facebook, that this seems to be more prevalent than first thought. I understand that a few of the authors have been trying to get these sites shut down, but it’s a bit like fighting a Hydra. The more you try and chop off the heads, more replace them. I sincerely hope that these criminals will be brought to book. But in reality, there are too many of them scattered to the four winds; not all of them will be caught. I will continue to support authors such as yourself, and will download material legally. x
Thanks so much! And you’re right, it’s like fighting a forest fire with a spray bottle.
Julie Antonovich Reece said:
I’m so sorry. I’m afraid I thought the same way about debut authors or smaller publishing houses. I wish we’d been right 😦
Delores Jordan said:
Stephanie, I know your pain. I had 24 pieces of my artwork stolen in an Irish Gallery. In fact, the gallery was a partner in the heist. I feel for you and I hope you catch them.
Claire Gillian said:
Welcome to the club no author wants to be a member of. I’ve found several sites carrying mine too. Good luck getting your books removed. Many use offshore servers where they claim US copyright laws don’t apply. One share site recently told its members it would be removing all books. I couldn’t believe all the righteously indignant comments from its members–pages of them! Only 1 or 2 members pointed out that they knew all along it would only be a matter of time. Excuses given were not having a credit card (um, go buy a single use one from your grocery store!), not being able to buy it their country (try Book Depository), and my favorite, “authors are out of touch with the digital world”. I’m still trying to make sense of the latter one. It’s maddening truly.
Claire Gillian said:
LIke your new blog look by the way. This has always been one of my fave templates.
Hah! It’s not a template! It’s a picture of my great-great uncle’s ledger book and the fountain pen my brother got me for my birthday. A little Photoshop, et voila!
Claire Gillian said:
Sorry, meant to say “theme” not template. This is the Chateau theme and you’ve customized the background and header with those pics, si? I used Chateau for a bit. I recognized the fonts and post layout. Looks very nice, says the girl who changes her blog almost as often as her underwear.
I report all links I find with my book pirated gleefully to the FBI. I even psoted a link to do it on my blog to help others readers. I fight it because I have seen sites beingtaken down over illegal books. Plus, I like being a pest. Keep fighting!
J.M. Blackman said:
Wow, sorry to hear about this, Stephanie. I can’t imagine what that feels like. I’m sure you keep getting flares of totally PO’d when you think about it.There will always be bad apples, but there are a lot of folks who know better, too. And who respect your wonderful work and would be more than happy to buy it. I like your idea of putting up a badge on my blog and making it clear I don’t support that. Keep up the good fight.