No author wants to see pirated copies of their work floating around out there on the Internet.
So imagine the irritation I felt earlier this week when, upon running a routine Google search, I stumbled across a site offering free digital downloads of "The Long Road to Heaven" with paid membership.
Excuse me? I never authorized anything like that.
I promptly used the "Contact Us" form on the site to submit a strongly worded "Cease and Desist" letter. I included my name, the name of my book and a link where it could be found.
Thankfully, within a short period of time, it was removed from the site.
Unfortunately, the site had already allowed more than 600 downloads of my book. Sigh.
It's not about the money. I already get paid to do what I love in my day job. If it was about money, I wouldn't allow my novel to be available in serial format without a paywall on a news website.
It's about the principle. Someone else was making money off of my work, and that's not right.
Plus, another site offering my work available digitally could interfere if I eventually decide to enroll in KDP Select. (In order to enroll your work in KDP Select, it has to be offered there exclusively.)
On the bright side, those 600 downloads resulted in 41 reviews, most of which were positive enough to average out to five stars. If anything, it helped get the word out about the story. But still...
If you're a writer, don't kid yourself into believing you won't become a victim of piracy. It's a good idea to draft a strongly worded cease and desist letter.
Chances are pretty good you'll eventually use it.
Have a great Saturday!
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Kathryn Harris is a journalist, a weekend blogger, a wife, a mother of two and the author of "The Long Road to Heaven," a novel about finding faith and forgiveness in the aftermath of addiction.