Sunday, 30 June 2013

Watch for Pirated Versions of your Book

I first published Text Me, Guido through the KDP Select program last July, and as early as September (after a promo) I started noticing a pirated version of the book appearing on the web.

At first I was flattered. Someone thought my book was worth pirating! But after some thought, I became angry. It's one thing to pirate a copy of J.K. Rowling's latest book (she's a billionaire, I'm sure she can handle it), but little old me? My books are priced at $0.99 and I barely make peanuts!

What's more, the pirates converted it to other formats like epub and nook. I downloaded a few copies just to see how it functioned, and to my horror, it was awful: poorly formatted and not at all indicative of the quality of a legit copy.

The easiest way to find out if your book is being pirated is to google the title. Pirate websites will show up near the top. The biggest offenders are sites like and The good news is, most of these pirate sites have a copyright policy. You can notify them of your copyright ownership, and they will remove the links. However, when notifying these sites of a copyright violation, you need to use very specific wording, or your inquiry will be ignored. Here's what I had to write before anyone started listening to me:

Title: Text Me, Guido
Author: Adrian Staccato
Link: (Direct link to pirated book)

I am the legal copyright owner of the novel 'Text Me, Guido' by Adrian Staccato. I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by me (the copyright owner) or the law.  The information in this notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. Please remove this link immediately.

Please feel free to contact me if necessary,

Address and contact number

You need to be vigilant about this. Sometimes, they won't take down the links, even if they said they would, and other times they'll just ignore your inquiry. I've had to email a few sites more than once before they actually followed through and removed the links.