No one likes a thief. These people will take what most of us have worked hard for without a second thought. Their motives are always the same—to get something for nothing
Yet, most people will download an ebook where it is offered it for free without thinking about whether or not that website is allowed to give away the book. They see an opportunity and think they’re getting a great deal. How true is that?
Most of these giveaway websites are cyber-pirates, taking the work of authors who have labored hard to produce a fabulous story only to discover their sales are low. Sometimes, it’s because they’ve not yet been “discovered” by a large audience. Most of the time it’s due to websites that are taking copies of their books and giving them away, but not extending a royalty payment to the person who wrote the book.
How can you tell what is a pirate website and a genuine website? That is usually very easy. If you discover a book by an author on a particular website, don’t just download it without checking out a few things first.
Visit the author’s website or Facebook fan page. Check out the links they’ve posted about where to purchase their book. Do any of those links lead to the website you’ve discovered is offering a great bargain? No? Back away fast. You’re about to become a thief. Alert the author to the website’s presence by emailing them (many authors have an email dedicated to their fans contacting them) or post on their Facebook fan page about the link. Most of us are willing to do what’s necessary to remove our work from that site.
Of course, there are still a good number of people who are willing to grab that free book. It’s free, after all. Who doesn’t like a good deal. One thing to remember about these sites—you never get something for nothing—and what they accept as payment often is a virus or Trojan horse that could steal important data from you that could lead to bigger problems.
As an author, I don’t just write books. I constantly search for websites offering mine for free. Then comes the long and difficult task of demanding that this site remove my book, and alerting other authors about its presence. I’m willing to do that, because I don’t want my fans being caught up in the problems that can come from downloading one of my books from these places. I want them to enjoy my work, come back for more, but never to be inadvertently angry with me because they discover a problem after getting one of my books from an unauthorized site.
Support your local author, but only from sites authorized to sell their books.