Saturday, October 15, 2011

Piracy Sucks!

In less than 24 hours, my book has popped up on FIVE sites for illegal download. Worse, two of the sites plagiarized my dear friend Jaime's review along with the posting. Jaime is spitting mad and so am I.

Between is practically free as it is! The ebook only costs 99 cents. Who doesn't have that? I've had bloggers email me and request a free review copy, which I willingly give. So if a person doesn't have a buck and is desperate for the book, there are ways to get a copy without stealing.

And I'm not the only one. Jennifer Armentrout, the author of the upcoming Half Blood, was recently plagued by illegal postings of her book as well.

So what can we do about it?

We've emailed the sites to ask that the pirated copies be removed, but Jennifer called them gremlins that multiply at night, and I have to agree with her. My Twitter friend Trina M. Lee told me that her books have been pirated for years and that even if a site agreed to take the posting down, it would pop up again a few weeks later.

Jaime is fighting back. And so am I.

Okay, so maybe I can't stop the books from being posted illegally. People who wish to do evil will find a way. So we choose to counter that with good.

Jaime is hosting a contest on her blog where she's going to buy and give away a copy of Between. Go and show your support! HappyTwilighter made a Piracy Sucks twibbon to add to your Twitter avatar. HeyItsFishy is making a Piracy Sucks banner. What The Cat Read has already posted about this. Larissa's Bookish Life is the awesome talent behind the icon above. Add it to your blog! Unabridged Bookshelf is giving away 5 copies of Between and another 5 of Angeline Kace's Descended by Blood (which has also been plagued by illegal postings).

Figure out how you can be part of the movement to speak out against piracy.

For me, I will give a free ecopy of Between to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who blogs about this and comments back here with the link.

This isn't about me and my book. It's obviously not about money, since the book is dang near free already.

This is about stealing that which should be a gift. When an author pours her heart onto the page in order to make you laugh, cry, and fall in love, it is a gift. From her to you. It's a special time capsule of hours spent when you were swept up in another world and just for a little while, were able to set aside the trials of this world. Don't steal the gift. It won't mean as much to you in the end, I promise.

Go and spread the message that Piracy Sucks and come back here to let me know you have. Be sure to leave your email so I can send you the free copy.

Because above all else, I want to share the gift of Between with you. From my heart to yours.


  1. Good for you for speaking out! I'm beyond disgusted with this despicable behavior. All three of my books are being pirated on multiple sites. I've spent hours sending out DMCA notices in the past. The site takes my book down, then a few days later it's back up again. It sucks the joy out of writing for me. I hate it!!!!

  2. I'm so sorry this has happened to you! It DEFINITELY sucks! There's been a lot of threads about this on KindBoards ... it's very distressing.

    But take heart--some indicates that having your book pirated can actually help sales, as backward as that sounds. Some well-known authors actually have encouraged piracy of their books because it boosted their sales so much (Neil Gaiman, for instance). That doesn't make what those thieves are doing right, or fair, or in any way acceptable, of course ... but it might help you stay calm while you're trying to get all this sorted out.

    Also, a lot of those sites give people a TON of nasty viruses when they download. Or the books are just some kind of front and instead the person trying to steal just gets a virus. Karma, what can I say? :)


    PS Here's a link to an article about Neil Gaiman talking about piracy and sales:

  3. Lisa- I'm so sorry to hear that you've been in the same boat. It's frustrating to not feel like there's a way to really get them taken down once and for all. :(

    Katie- Thanks for your kind words! I watched the Gaiman video and he makes interesting points, particularly for authors with many books (as compared to me, who only has one). Woah, I just spoke of myself in the third person in that sentence. LOL

    Many authors post their books for free on Amazon to generate buzz and get excited about thousands of downloads. I totally get that. Still, it would really only make sense if you were luring in the reader with a loss leader, hoping that they'd return to buy other titles. Not too practical if you only have one book. :) However, it's a positive way to look at something you can't truly affect, and I appreciate that!

    And I've heard about those nasty viruses! Karma, as you said! *grin*

  4. YES! I hate piracy! I find it ridiculous, hence why i made the badge LOl Thanks for the shout out! Awesome post! totally agree! =D

  5. You have my (angry, shocked, p**d off) sympathy - thats awful. I love the way you describe the writing process and the fact that our stories are a gift that we share with our readers and to have people steal them is sickening. And as you point out - theyre getting Between at a STEAL anyway at 99 cents! aaaargh. A curse on all book pirates and pirate readers - may they be ravaged by viruses and drown in system failures.

  6. While it appears to be true the vast majority of people who pirate wouldn't buy the book in the first place, it also seems to be true some who would have otherwise paid will download if it's there free. Losing even one sale is damaging.

    For me it's not about money, well that's a lie. It is a little about the money. I want to be paid for my work. What it's really about for me is someone taking from me and my publisher without permission. Taking something illegally is stealing. I have work I've shared for free, I have work I expect to be paid for. I don't mind legal sharing. I have no problem with that at all. But sticking it on a site for hundreds or thousands to download is not sharing, it's pirating. I believe some do not see the difference.

    Let's be clear, a contracted author pirating their own book is most likely in violation of their contract because they have leased the license of the work to the publisher. A publisher and author in collaboration allowing a book to be shared free is not pirating anymore than an author offering a book free on Amazon is pirating. There is a massive difference.

    What Neil Gaiman did was share his book with the backing of his publisher. I believe it's doing a dis-service to writers and to those trying to combat piracy to call what he and his publisher did pirating and many people hold him up as an example of pirating helping the author. It was essentially a loss leader for promotion purposes. His stance has turned me off ever reading any of his books.

  7. Can I point out that Mr. Gaiman is a huge name in publishing? It's easy for someone who is backed by a big publisher, who sells a ton of books to begin with to say that piracy helps sell books. Piracy might not put a dent in Mr. Gaiman's pocket, but it certainly does mine.

  8. Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry that that happened to you! I'll definitely write a post on this - anything to help! You don't have to give me a free copy :)


  9. It is awful that there are so many people out there that have no respect for others. Buying an authors book (and all artist's works) is showing your support and love for what they do! I loved your book Cyndi and I plan on buying more from you and others <3

  10. Hi,

    A few lines down at the very end of your book post numbers/letters before and aft of copyright symbol. Then post the following message. "If you pirate copy this you will have activated a code to corrupt your data web site files!"

    If you then find a pirated copy on a web site - contact the owner and tell them their site keeps crashing!!!!!!!


  11. I'll stick a link on my blog post "ebook stampede." Posted link on the Authonomy blog, but it got burned so re-posted with some extra comments and up to now it's still there.xx

  12. Lisa Sanchez - I so agree.

    Someone had mentioned him on my blog post dealing with pirating. He's a HUGE author with a platform, existing sales, and his publisher offered the book for free. My publisher offered Daimon for free, too. It was also pirated.

    And any author who supports pirating will not get a dime out of me. It is about money, but more importantly, principal.

    I know if I have dozens of books under my belt, my perspective would not change. One book illegally downloaded hurts the author ad whoever worked on the book. It's not a victimless crime.

  13. You're gonna have to get used to it if you choose to use the digital arena. Mp3 files and movies are still out there. Once someone designs protection software one day, someone cracks it the next. Welcome to the interworld.

  14. So sorry this has happened to you (and Jaime)! These people that steal are the worst kind of scumbags. This is your intellectual property. They're taking money out of your pocket just because they can. Even if it doesn't affect sales in any real way, it's still a violation. You will still feel violated and wronged.

    I just hate the idea that being digital means having to "get used to it." Just because things happen doesn't make them right and doesn't mean that we should sit back and let things happen without doing something about it.

    Also, it's not just digital books. How many times have Harry Potter books (and Stephen King's books before he turned them digital) were on the torrents? Tons. People scan them in and turn them digital.

    It disgusts me how many searches people do for terms like "free eBook" or "illegal download" or "torrent download" of books that have just been released.

    Yes, people probably don't want to pay, but some people could pay and might if it weren't so easily accessible. And sites like the one Jaime mentioned in her post make things too easy.

    So sorry your lovely book was stolen and that you join the ranks of hundreds of authors who've had their work taken. I hope the site takes it down. But it's true, once it's viral, it won't be easy.

  15. This is so terrible =/ I remember reading Jennifer Armentrout's post and thinking that was so infuriating - before her book was even published?!?! That's so ridiculous. But so is four sites in 24 hours. I wonder what someone would say if you asked them why the hell they decided that would be a good idea o.o

  16. This has made me so mad today, so I am did my own post and Giveaway for five copies of both your book, Between, and Angeline Kace's Book,Descended by Blood.


  17. I'm not going to enter...since I already have a copy. But I'm going to do the same thing I did for Jennifer. I'm going to run another giveaway. I am sooooo sorry! I'll be purchasing 1 or 2 (signed) copies to have shipped directly to the winner if that is OK with you?

  18. Thank you, Mindy! *hug* I would love that. Let me know when you have it posted and I will update the blog to link back to it.

    All- check out the awesome pic of me and Mindy on the Fan Gallery page! <333

  19. I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I hate the idea of piracy, it is just wrong. When Jennifer Armentrout's book was released early and then pirated I didn't head straight to the internet to try and read a copy I waited like a patient little book addict for the book to come out. I will be at a book store right after work to get that book and the feeling of buying the book and not stealing is so much more rewarding.

    I don't think people realize or maybe they dont care but pirating books is stealing and that my dear is completely illegal. They wont steal a shirt or food or anything else for that matter so why is pirating a book any differnt. It just makes me so crazy. I hope you are able to get your book of the illegal sites. I wish you the best of luck with that.

    I totally support your cause to stop pirating, I don't have a blog but I posted on FB!/permalink.php?story_fbid=170483403040135&id=6310102

    and twitter:!/cynditefft/status/126338997470498817

    I know this isn't much but ever little effort counts.



  20. You can count me in, I'll be posting about it for sure! It's infuriating that anyone would do this.

  21. Hi Cyndi, I love your post on book piracy! Just posted the Book Piracy Sucks button on my blog!:)

  22. Yes book piracy does suck! I will be writing a post about this topic this week. I am so sorry to hear how you have been affected by piracy and just have to say - good for you for standing up against it and speaking out!

  23. Thanks, everyone, for taking a stand against piracy and spreading the word! If I owe you a copy of Between and haven't sent it yet, shoot me an email at cynditefft (at) gmail (dot) com along with the link to your posting and I'll get you one! :)


  24. Hi. Sorry your book was pirated. Is the banner available to use on websites and blogs?

  25. Sandra,

    Yes! Larissa who made the awesome icon has made it available for all to use. Cuz she rocks. :)


  26. It's terrible of how people can just go and steal books like that and have it for everyone else like that. It's no easy task writing a novel--long or short--it's wrong.

    People disgust me at times. /: