Well fudge ripple ice cream, my first book has sold more copies than I anticipated.
Before you start sending me congratulations, I should add that I can’t claim credit for all of those sales. I was googling myself, as I randomly do whenever I want to ruin a perfectly good day. My ratings on Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, and various blog posts were all in the top results (exactly what I want), but then I saw something a little lower in the ranking that gave me a pause. An interested reader was trying to find my book (not just any book) in their library and was complaining that their library charged a monthly subscription fee for books.
Oh dear! A frustrated reader (exactly what I do not want). I obviously haven’t done a good enough job advertising where you can currently find a copy in ebook format.
My heart went out to this would-be-reader, but then I read other comments in the chain and my heart went out for a completely different reason. Another ‘helpful’ citizen of the world wide web posted an image of my cover along with a link to a site offering books at a discount, followed by the original commenter thanking the second for the suggestion. “I was able to download four books for less than five dollars!”
Now you might think I would be excited that someone else is helping me to sell my book, but here’s the thing – unless the other three books were fifty cents or less, it would have been hard to purchase my book as well as three others for that price. Not to say that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities, it’s just highly unlikely.
I looked at the link again. It seemed I had seen the name before, but where? Then it hit me. Several of the blogs I follow had recently posted a story about a site hosting pirated books being taken down on Facebook. It had the same name. I had been victimized and didn’t even know it (sometimes ignorance is bliss).
I started drafting this post. A short time later I attempted to go back to the forum site to take screen shots, only the link was no longer in the Google search results. It wasn’t in Bing’s or Yahoo’s search results either. Where did it go? (Son of a biscuit eater!)
Had I merely stumbled across a cached page? (Me binnacle!) Had the site read my cookies and blocked my IP address upon realization as to who I was? (Weigh anchor and back to pirate cove!) Was it possible that the site and its content was taken down exactly at the same moment as I came across it? (Now you are just being a drivelswigger.)
I went to my browser history and scanned the places I had visited. What had been listed as booklibrary was now showing as http://www.allpdfs.pw, a site, by the way, that will now send you a guide on chicken breeds if you click the download button (buyer beware) rather than sending a copy of my book.
If you’ve read down this far I assume you are at least slightly interested in what I have to say. Maybe you’ve already read my book (if so, thank you very much, your support means the world to me – especially on days like today). Maybe you haven’t (where does the time go?) Maybe you’d like to read my book one day but have thus far been put off by the price? While I personally feel the price is market fair, I know that everyone’s financial situation is different and that not everyone wants to pay full market price, especially not on a new author. I understand, but those sales dollars help me finance my next books (editors, cover artists, publicists, and distributors demand to get paid up front – the nerve of some people!)
So let’s make a deal.
Contact me. My details are all there on my About page. Let me know your situation and how you can help me with some grass-roots marketing. Create a pitch video I can use in an IndieGoGo or Kickstarter campaign. Go to your local library and ask them to stock my book (I’ve reached out to Overdrive, they just have to pay for a license). Suggest it for your book club. If you can find a way to help me, I’ll find a way to help you back. Together I am sure we can work out how to get you that free copy without going through the hassle of using sites more interested in stealing your identity than honoring copyright.
Places you can legitimately buy my ebook at the time of this post:
Once again, my thanks to Chris the Story Telling Ape’s blog for not only alerting me to several potential pirated sites as well as providing very detailed instructions as to how you can fight back. I may have joked around a little in this post, but that doesn’t mean I take this event or other threats to my business any less seriously. Nor should you.