A few months ago with a group of authors, together we successfully eliminated about 6-7 book pirate sites. Now the sites are not found in Google search, thus they they went packing. When we found our books on the sites offered as FREE download, first we bombarded the sites with take down demands and then we reported the sites to:
However, most likely the same people, started new sites and continue stealing the hard work of the authors.
A list of links that are most likely pirate sites:
Click "request support" on the left sidebar, send them a message
Contact at the bottom of the home page
Contact at the bottom of the home page
Contact at the bottom of the page
Posts links to pirate sites, report it
I can't find any contact or even a "catch" why they're offering a free PDF download. Most likely the file is infected with spy cookies or viruses.
Leave a open comment, I couldn't find contact
If you've come across a piracy site that is offering free eBooks but are not my list, please post it in comment.
Let's fight them together!
Pirates don't value the author's work. People who don't mind paying from 99 cents to $5-6 for our eBooks are honest, decent people who value the work of others.
What do you do when you find out that your book is pirated?
You get mad, furious and want to wring the pirate site owners' necks. Yup, I know the feeling, but better if you think rationally. Until the publishing sites change their methods and provide better protection against pirating, we, authors have to take the matter into our hands.
Most of these sites have copyright compliance officers or other support staff that handle these issues, usually within a couple of days after your request. They may not care about the ethics of piracy, but they do want to avoid lawsuits. At first contact, approach them in a matter of fact way, rather than accusatory, threatening, or demanding. If they don't reply, warn them that you're taking legal steps if your books are not removed from their site.
Search the sites above for your author name and book titles.
Please note: if the download is under 100kb, most likely the free downloads are reviews clipped from Amazon or other sites.
If you find files over 175kb, chances are they are your entire book or eBook that's being shared for free. You can use the email addresses or links to forms to file your take-down order.
If you find one of your books on the pirate site, the chances are that they stole you other books as well. Look for the title, your author name, and be aware that the cleverer pirates may misspell your name or the title of the book in order to fool Google alert. I found my book on a pirate site that Google didn't alert me for, just because they put a dot after the middle initial of my author name.
Book pirates are nothing but thieves!
Most pirate sites are nothing but scammers.
They dangle the bait in front of your nose offering a free book. You get the book you're hoping for, but file of junk and a nasty spyware that you download with the free PDF file. Good luck getting rid of the viruses and spyware, and that's just the best scenario. If they get a hold of your personal and credit card info, then you're in trouble.
There are pirates sites that do offer stolen books.
Free books from pirate sites? Yeah, right! Do you Really think it's Free? Think Again!
But, the readers who support them are either:
Not informed and believe that they're really getting books for nothing in return.
Not aware of the dangers of these sites.
Or knowing exactly that they're helping the pirate sites to steal books and don't care about the harm they cause are no better than the thieves who steal the authors' hard work.
Without people who download free books, these pirate site would not exist!
I started a new post where I listed pirate sites. Authors if you want to check if your books were pirated by them, click on this link:
Book pirate sites are a painful issue for nearly every author (myself included), and dealing with the pirate sites can be very frustrating.
A site that is designed to profit from the THEFT of the work of others, it is set up in a deceptive way while appearing to comply with US Copyright Law.
Some sites even list legitimate selling site links such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes&Noble, but…
People who are looking for free downloads will look further down the page for the free download option, and there it is: the button for DOWNLOAD FREE. This is the link to the illegal download. If you don’t scroll far enough down the page, you may not notice this unauthorized link.
I click on these links, but don’t download the book. Why?
Because most of these sites have a darker goal in mind. Do you think you’re getting a free book for FREE? Think again!
Thieves are smart! I wish they would use their great knowledge of how to steal and cheat others to make money the honest way, but they don’t! They’re criminals and lowly thieves.
Do you think they will give you a free book for nothing in return?
Think again! They’re not good Samaritans; they’re thieves who want to make a quick buck! Yes, they let you download an authors’ hard work that they stole, but you will pay a lot more later. They’re clever, I must give them that.
They will either:
Bombard your mailbox with advertisements
Sell your email address to marketers
Infect your computer with a spy cookie or worse that they hide in the FREE book that you download
Moreover, you might unknowingly give the site permission to add a spy program to your browser
Do you think your passwords or credit card information are safe? Think again before you download a FREE book from pirate sites! You will pay a greater price that the price of an eBook you'd pay on legitimate selling sites that protect your personal information!
Google alert let me know that one of my books is offered for free download by this site. Really? That fast? I just published this book in January for God's sake!
This is what I found:
This is the site that advertises free download:
When I click on the link, this site pops up:
Surprise! Twenty nine people commented and happy to get my book for FREE!
Isn't that nice a cozy?
My note to these brave readers:
Are you brave enough to give your email address and credit card to these shady sites? I wouldn't be!
Does it make you feel good about yourself that you saved 99 cents or the price of less than you pay for a cup of coffee, knowing that you cheated me, the author who worked hard for months producing this eBook, out of 30 cents or a bit more royalty payments?
I click on the buttons that are almost invisible at the bottom of the page:
So I click the contact and send them this massage:
“This book and any other books are written by Erika M Szabo and published by Golden Box Books Publishing are protected by United States copyright law. The copyright is owned by the author Erika M Szabo. FREE downloads are not authorized by the author and publisher, and offering a free download of the author’s books is a blatant violation of copyright law and an infringement of the author's copyright. Remove all free download books by this author from your website, all the related URLs, and databases IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, the appropriate legal steps will be taken.”
These sites are even smarter
They post short videos, this is the site I found today and reported the user:
This one posted a few videos about books with links to the download site, but there are hundreds of them on this site and on YouTube:
Here is the clever part, you cannot find out if your book is in fact pirated and offered for free, until you sign up and of course, give them your credit card. I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!
My books are available for the price
Erika M Szabo
Author of magical realism, fantasy and children's books, Publishing Coach at
Print & eBook