Tuesday, January 7, 2014

BEWARE: Protest Book Piracy or Use For Promotional Publicity?

When Internet Writing Workshop [IWW] members discovered their books were pirated by General eBooks, and being illegally downloaded by General eBooks visitors using a provided  DOWNLOAD NOW option without the author's permission or any remuneration, some authors took action to have their books removed.

In addition, IWW discussions about anything related to writing and marketing always produce a variety of interesting considerations. This situation included the following:
  • Ignore it.
  • Better to spend time on writing than chasing pirates.
  • Having your books pirated can be used as a marketing tool -- find imaginative ways to spin book piracy into publicity. (you can do better) ie:
"This book is so good, book pirates must have it. Get your legit copy at:[......]" 

If, instead of protesting and asking for removal of their ebook(s) from the listing, an author decides to use General eBooks to maximize publicity -- below the DOWNLOAD NOW option is another option -- a venue for optimizing publicity: 

Dear user, you can suggest a new link to this book. Help us to make General-Ebooks better! 

There are other ways to find it when that offer doesn't appear -- it seems to only appeared AFTER an author protested -- the invitation is here, http://www.general-ebooks.com/submit.

OR Login first. Then go to, http://tinyurl.com/olvjtf9

Will it do any good?
For authors wanting broader exposure, and sales [via links to markets which handle their ebook], yes,

The instructions say, "You can submit direct links to fb2 and epub files, and Open Publication Distribution System [
OPDS feeds] of libraries and book stores," which includes free read sites in addition to paying markets such as Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

Authors who do not protest the listing can get exposure to new readers who, rather than downloading from General eBooks, MIGHT choose to click the additional links.
  • Links to where potential customers read about the author.
  • Links to legitimate Epub markets.
  • Links to where customers get to "Look Inside".
  • Links which give a decided advantage to the indie author.
Certainly readers intent on not paying for illegally obtained ebooks are not going to click links to legitimate markets. Nevertheless, not every visitor to General eBooks will realize YOUR ebook(s) are pirated.

Curious people do click links and HONEST people do not download pirated ebooks.

What happens when an author uses the Report Copyright Violation option?
Number 1: Potentially being listed in totally inappropriate genre highly objectionable to the author!

Number 2: He or she will receive the following terse email:
Sorry for the inconvenience, the links will be removed.
Number 3: At General eBooks, below DOWNLOAD NOW, a Links panel will subsequently display a different message:
Sorry, but some links to this book were deleted according to copyright claims, or because the book was removed from hosting.
Number 4: Also, after the author complains, the listing is not removed, it only changes: When anyone clicks on the author's name-link it jumps to the message:

This page was removed due to copyright claims :(

BEWARE: You may rue the day you chose to object, as I do, since requesting that my ebook be removed.

After viewing the results of my polite request -- in a last ditch attempt, I have emailed General World, advising them that I find it insulting to find they have subsequently listed my ebook in the following inappropriate genre: http://tinyurl.com/omww6dj
However, since that listing appeared, close to a thousand downloads have resulted! I wonder how satisfied those General eBook customers are? My ebook undoubtedly isn't what they expected from that genre! LOL!

My ebook,  Behind These Mountains, Vol. I: People of the Shining Mountains Where The Clark's Fork River Churns, belongs in History and Genealogy genres!

General World's latest response said in part,
 "Consider that none of the GW websites host any kind of copyright infringing media content. Our Service provides only a possibility to search through different file sharing services (Mediafire.com, Uploading.com and so on)...."

Whatever option you decide is best for you and your eBook(s), Good Luck!