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So I happened to do a search on my book and discovered that the top results no longer link to my website (or Amazon or Powell's or Alibris or whatever) but instead to a wide variety of file-sharing networks.

Is this normal these days? Do I combat it by doing the same, offering my own free download on my website as an "official" way to get it free? Do I contact all the forum managers to remove such posts - or is that a Sisyphean effort? Or do I not try to combat it at all and learn to like it?


EDIT: Or should I just take it as a compliment that someone liked it enough to share it? *sigh*

EDIT2: I've decided to fight fire with fire and just give it away electronically!

Thanks for any advice,


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think if you try to find all the places that are putting your work up without your permission, and attempt to get them to remove it, you're never going to have the time to write anything new.
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid so. It's kind of flattering that someone worked so hard to create multiple file types from a ripped Kindle. Maybe they'll send me copies, too, so I don't have to make them for my own site ;-)
Nov. 16th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately the only thing you can do is contact each site and ask them to take the file down as the original copyright holder. Most sites have a DMCA policy at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately, as red said, that is eat all your time.
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
I started contacting sites, but it's a mega-pain, mostly because it's nearly impossible to find contact info unless you're a member. Egad.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I do not know of this magic contact tool of which you speak. Please enlighten me!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 18th, 2010 03:11 am (UTC)
Neat, thanks!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
I think you know google search rankings, is there a way we can link to McKitterick's stie or Amazon en-masse in blogs and such to at least push the crap down the search page?
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
That's a great idea, thanks! Here are the links:

My site with an HTML excerpt (where people can download the whole thing in .pdf format for free):

My publisher's website with my book:

Here's the link to Amazon:

It's also been Kindled:


Barnes & Noble:

It's at lots of other places, too, like Alibris and so forth.

Thank you!
Nov. 17th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
And I created a Creative Commons license for it. I'm clever! ;-)
Nov. 16th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
Sadly, I don't think there's any way to stop it. I'd say just relax, be happy people are reading it no matter where they're getting it, and know that the people who read it and enjoy it will search out your next one--and at least a few of those will decide "hey, I liked his last one, this time I'm going to actually buy it from him!" :)
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's half of how I feel!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
I vote for gwyndolin!

That seems most sensible to me. Knock down the ones you find, but don't drive yourself nuts.
Nov. 18th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
I did contact the two biggest torrent sources (as opposed to the sharing sites), and they've already said they took down the file.
Nov. 18th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
As far as I've heard, the bigger sights are quick to rectify the situation. Still, wouldn't it be wiser to check BEFORE posting it up?
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
I tried contacting a few of the file-sharing places, but it's a HUGE PITA - most don't have a way to contact the admin without becoming a paying member. Good lord.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Excellent point! Thanks for the tip.
Nov. 16th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
That makes a certain amount of sense, too.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
I vote for Laird too! Very wise words, here.
Nov. 16th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
So true. I'm going to have to get on the ball about posting free downloads from my OWN site!
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
...and now I've done it! Posted the whole thing to my site so that maybe people will go there first to get it (free) rather than from unscrupulous types.
Nov. 16th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I hear you. The ONLY Google Alerts I've had for my book have been ripped eBooks up on share sites. I decided that people who shopped on file sharing sites for books were not people who shopped on Amazon, so I probably didn't lose any actual sales for it.
Nov. 16th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Ha! Good point.
Nov. 16th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
I 100% agree. More to the point, it's free advertising. I have overheard variants of the following conversation more than once:

"Who's this guy?"
"Good author."
"Where'd you hear about him?"

As they were buying the book in the local megastore.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this sucks and people oughta know better, but... I've seen a LOT of torrented books and magazines with my name on them. Take down the worst offenders, make your own site the home for this as far as you can, and hope your fans also put down cash for other things.

I'm always amazed that people don't seem to think authors who are paid for their work are likely to make more of it. But the siren call of "free books" is pretty strong.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
I'm hoping my new strategy of giving it away, myself, and asking friends to link to the "official" sites does the trick!
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
A most appropriate tag: "decline of civilization." Sigh.
Nov. 17th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
Yep. That and road-rage: Two big indicators.
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC)
Well hell. Maybe just think of the Internet as a big library or something.
Nov. 16th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
True, but libraries tend to pay for their books, except for the few that are donated.
Nov. 17th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC)
It's a compliment for sure, a terrible one.

I posted about this on FB and LJ. Charles Tan has also added it to his daily links.

Nov. 18th, 2010 01:10 am (UTC)
Thanks, Sophy! And neat to hear about Tan linking it.
( 39 comments — Leave a comment )

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