Two weeks ago I was reading an online forum for authors and the subject of piracy came up. Some authors were troubled to find their books being offered on freebie sites that have no association with them or their publishers. Copyright infringement isn’t a new thing and pirating music and books have been going on since the world went digital. In a blog posted a few years back, Chuck Wendig related the phenomenon to the old-days when children of the 70s and 80s created mixed tapes to be shared with friends and family. If you can get past the crude language, the post is actually pretty funny and puts things into perspective for us lowly writers.
One such site is called graycity dot net. Honestly I was completely flattered to be a part of the “pirated” club but I want my readers to understand when you risk a deal, you might get what you pay for, i.e. an incomplete manuscript or your email being spammed like porn sites into a yahoo account.
The second type of site, however, is something much more nefarious. When I reported kisslibrary dot net to my publishers, they were VERY CONCERNED. It seems this site copies information from legitimate online booksellers, posts the book covers with marked down prices and waits. Once you find your “deal” and make a purchase, what actually downloads into your device is not a copy of my books but malware, spyware, and/or viruses. There have been reports of computers, e-readers and other mobile devices hacked (best case scenario) or damaged beyond repair.
Remember, if you are looking for a deal please stick to legitimate booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks/iTunes, Kobo etc, or if you are outside the US, Waterstones (who just purchased Barnes and Noble).
Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Take care out there and happy reading!