Friday, January 18, 2019

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates!

by Traci Tyne Hilton @TraciTyneHilton

#4 In a series where I answer questions I suspect you are asking

Indie Author:
I’ve been robbed! Google told me my book is free on a site and I KNOW that’s where all of my sales are going! I would have been rich if it hadn’t been for this site stealing my intellectual property! What can I do? How do I fix it? Is all hope gone? Can I sue them? Can I call the police? Can I speak to the manager?

Deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

To be honest, only 1% of all authors get rich in the first place, so don’t worry about that. 

Also, I have a strong feeling that the “site” giving your book away for free, is actually just trying to give someone else a computer virus. Please don’t click attempt to download the file to prove it is real.

That said, maybe you already checked, and you didn’t get a virus…you actually got your book. That can feel pretty gross. Devastating, even. But before you give in to despair consider these three things:

1. You, who know your web presence like the back of your hand, didn’t know that book was on that site. What are the odds your readers know about that site? Slim.

2. You, who know your sales like the back of your hand, are well aware of the difference in sales between say, your Kobo listing and your Amazon listing. Would you go broke without Kobo? I doubt it. You won’t go broke because of this site, either.

3. Amazon, who knows more about you than you are comfortable with, also tracks your books. When they find your book at a legitimate store for free, they will price match it. They will not be beat on low prices. Has Amazon price matched your book? Then the place you found it isn’t doing the kind of damage to your sales that makes Amazon care. So, you shouldn’t care either.

In the year 2ooo Metallica took Napster to court for piracy. Metallica won.
Fans were crazy mad. Fans had made Metallica famous by pirating their music onto cassette tapes and sharing it with friends. Without piracy, Metallica wouldn’t have had the money to take Napster to court. I don’t endorse stealing in any kind, so please don’t take this story of Metallica as an endorsement of piracy but consider the value instead of your book in more readers hands. If you follow any of my advice than you already discount books, advertise books and give books away. If you happen to be on a real piracy site that has real readers who are finding your book, you might consider looking at it as free advertising. Instead of thinking about the price per book you might be losing, you can think about the price per ad you are saving. Metallica didn’t think about the money they were losing when fans shared their early work. And it made them famous.

All of that said, if your book is being pirated on a legitimate site and you really want it removed that, check out which has great step by  step directions to take care of the problem

Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates! @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Piracy and publishing go hand-in-hand, but it's not always a big deal - thoughts from @TraciTyneHilton on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Other Posts in This Series
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—What If I Can't Do It? (Part 1)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Aren’t All Indie Books Bad? (Part 2)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—But Everyone Else is Cheating, Why Can’t I? (Part 3) 
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—Help Pirates! (Part 4)
Answers to Some of the Questions Authors Ask—I'm Ready for the Big Time! (Part 5)

Traci Tyne Hilton is the author of The Plain Jane Mysteries, The Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries and the Tillgiven RomanticMysteries. Traci has a degree in history from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, two busy kids, and their dogs, Dr. Watson and Archie Goodwin.

More of Traci’s work can be found at

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