I discovered this week one of my books, Breathing For The First Time, was stolen and published on another site. I’m not going to tell you which site because it doesn’t matter. They took it down within hours of me finding it and reporting it to them. But I am going to tell you why I did it.
Hubby said it was a compliment that someone uploaded my file to a file sharing site. I was annoyed. I still am a little bit. Okay a lot.
Here’s the thing. I work hard on my books. I write for days, weeks, months, to create something I’m proud of. And it’s my job. I take it very seriously because I love it and I want to do well.
To have someone take my hard work and publish it for anyone who wanted to go read, without my permission, is effectively stealing from me. It hurt my feelings to think someone who (I’m assuming) bought my book thought it was okay to share it.
I don’t encrypt my books. That means when you buy my book there’s nothing in there to stop you from doing this. I TRUST that people will be honest. I’d love for you to share my books with your friends. Amazon has a great sharing program that controls sharing (I’m assuming so one person doesn’t buy books for a book club or organization then give them to everyone – it’s their rule, not mine so I can only speculate). I’m great with sharing. But I’m not happy about stealing.
Why am I sharing this with you? I don’t know. A part of my feels like a whiny kid whose sibling just stole her favorite toy. But a part of me feels violated. I think that’s why I’m sharing. The best news about all this is that companies that support file sharing and publishing are great at cracking down on thieves. The site my book was on had it removed within hours (instead of a day or two like their website said). I’ve read Amazon is very aggressive with it as well. I just wish people didn’t do things like this.
I don’t know who published my book. I didn’t look at their profile. Maybe s/he didn’t realize it wasn’t okay. Maybe they thought they were doing me a favor. I hope that’s the case. But the reality is I price my books low so they are accessible for everyone. I want you to be able to buy my books without it being a hardship. I love to read and I know how expensive it gets. I don’t want my readers to feel like it’s a burden to buy my books.
All this is why my next book is going to be free. Completely. For Everyone.
But I’ll still report it if I find it on a site I didn’t publish it on.
Thanks for reading my rant today. Tell me, do you think I’m overreacting? What would you have done in my shoes?