I was busy dealing with actual pirates, who are stealing my book and giving away copies for free. It began in April and has been a thorn in my side ever since.
Some authors may throw up their hands and say, "I can't do anything about it, it's too hard." Others try and look for some kind of silver lining and say, "I will take it as a compliment that people are interested in my book" or even the defeatist attitude "It's good promotion."
This is of course crap. Sure, I shouldn't be swearing, but fuxache pirates shit me. They are breaking the law and stealing the food off my table. So here's what I - and you - can do about it.
1: Set up a Google Alert.
If you have never done this, congratulations. That glowing orb in the sky is our closest star and provides all our heat. How do you walk and chew gum at the same time? Seriously? You're a published author (whether traditionally published or indie) and you've never set up a Google Alert?
OK, here's how you do a Google Alert for your books:
- Go to http://www.google.com/alerts
- Follow the instructions. I can't stress this enough. Follow. The. Instructions.
2: Search your titles. Put your author name, book title and 'free' in a search engine and see what comes up. It could look something like this.
3: Check your emails. When the items in your Google Alert end up on a website somewhere, you'll get an email that might look like this picture to the right.
4: Create a new document called DMCA note. Copy and paste this template which is taken from these amazingly helpful people :
5: Fill the template with the information and links relevant to your particular book.
6: Find an email of the offending pirate site. This may not always be easy, as the dodgiest ones have broken links and might look like they care but in fact do not have any contact information anywhere on their pages.
HOW TO GET AROUND A SNEAKY PIRATE SITE THAT DOES NOT HAVE CONTACT INFORMATION
1: Type 'whois' into a search engine.
2: Type the offending domain into the search function within that 'whois' site.
3: Smile smugly at the amount of information you can get. Eg:
Raw Registrar DataIsn't that awesome?
Yes, yes it is. OK, who cares what number we're up to. Here's what to do next.
1: Look for an email address in the whois information
2: Send your DMCA takedown notice to that email.
3: Keep track of the site and watch it vanish in a puff of smoke. Only to reappear a few days later under another name. Then you get ready to do it all again.
The price of literary freedom is eternal vigilance!