This is a followup to Part One.
First, I’d like to address the issue of piracy. If you’re not too concerned with reading Part One, here’s the context: Someone has ripped the ebook version of INFECTED.
I know that movie studios have a hell of a time dealing with piracy, but this is for something self-published so I’m kind of on my own. Let me reiterate: No guild, lawyer, etc. I’m a small independent ship out on the seas. No guns with which to shoot pirates.
Here are my options (as I see them):
1) Look into sending a DMCA Takedown Notice and start the game of virtual whack-a-mole. They put something up, I tell them to take it down, repeat.
2) Post a comment on the page. “Glad you are interested in INFECTED! If you really like it, I ask that you support an indie author and tell ten friends to buy it, leave me an amazon review, and (if you can spare it), fork over the $3.99 to buy a legit copy.”
3) Shut up and be happy that people are noticing my book.
I realize that some high-profile self-publishers think piracy may actually help sales, but I can’t say I agree. Right now, there are 2-3 illegal downloads of my book per day on this piracy site. Compare that with the 1-2 legitimate sales I get each day (which I am eternally grateful for–thank you, readers!). As one friend put it, “Well, definitely not number three. Maybe if you were typing this in your mansion. That sucks.” So I think I can cross #3 off right away.
I will say, however, that it does feel like fighting back would be akin trying to punch a school of fish. And after looking into it, I see that the website is hosted out of Poland, so #1 is off the table. As I understand it, US law (DMCA) only applies in the US.
So, how about #2? I believe most people who pirate TV or movies seem to mainly be impatient. Take, for example, the fact that Game Of Thrones was the most pirated TV show last year and many say that if they could pay for HBO streaming without getting cable, they would. My book is already published and (was) widely available, so my particular crowd of pirates must just be cheap. Therefore the chance of lost sales is pretty low…
I tried to post in the site’s comment section, and that probably would’ve been the end of it. But (surprise, surprise) comments appear to be disabled. So I sent the host site a nice message, hoping they’d take it down (they haven’t yet, nor have they replied). I also flagged the URL to google, so hopefully that will kill its SEO rating.
I had to do something. In the end, I couldn’t justify the piracy in my head. If I wanted to give the book away for free, I would, but the choice should be mine.
In fact, now that INFECTED is only available as an ebook through Amazon (the paperback is still widely available), you can get it for FREE if you’re an Amazon Prime member. If not, it’s still cheaper than a Subway footlong.
Last thought: For the time being, if you don’t see this, it is most likely a pirated copy:
Now then. Let’s round off this post with a positive thought.
Yesterday I was approached by my first ever twitter fan account. I’m flattered, of course, but it was also a much needed reminder. A reminder of what? That when I put in the extra effort, my readers notice.
Other authors I’ve talked to seem to think the best idea is to split apart a traditional novel into bite-sized chunks: maybe three books at 30k words each. This way you can sell them each separately, and you’ll be noticed more since you have a series and not just one book.
I’ve been called crazy for making INFECTED three books in one. It’s somewhere around 115k words and easily could have been INFECTED: Part 1, 2, and 3. But I believe that readers will appreciate not being manipulated and that (eventually) a superior product will rise to the top.
It appears to be working. Now I need to get back to writing Click Your Poison #2 before all this fan love goes to my head.
First of all, congratulations on creating something that someone else found interesting enough to pirate. 🙂 It is painful to have others ripping off your work. It’s happened to me before too. You can read about some of my experiences on my site at http://www.trollmystic.com/pub/2012/05/10/taking-action-against-outlaw-press-james-shipman/ and http://www.trollmystic.com/pub/2012/05/17/more-on-the-outlaw-press-james-shipman-saga/. There have been other cases of piracy and outright plagiarism I’ve had to deal with in the past too. I still don’t know what the answer is to this problem. It feels like no matter what you do, it’s the wrong thing.
The good thing I can tell you is that I purchased a copy of INFECTED and am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve died a few times so far, but right now I feel like I’m headed down a good path. We’ll see where it goes. I like that I can jump to the chapter I was last reading before I made a bad choice (as long as I remember the chapter name, or set a bookmark).
I hope you will not let this pirate discourage you from creating more Choose Your Poison books. A lot of people want to support authors by obtaining their works through authorized channels, and will do so even if they could download a pirated copy instead. Whatever you do concerning the pirate, don’t let it harm your relationships with your true fans.
Thanks for weighing in, Michael. To tell the truth, your situation might give me more heartburn than my own. To have someone pirate your work is one thing, to have them try and pass it off as their own is something completely different. Yeesh…
Don’t worry about me, though — I’m still moving forward on CYP #2. And thanks for your generous support! It’s greatly appreciated.