Recently, I blogged about the fact that many of my books were appearing “for free” on paid web sites in which the web site owner (and not the author) were profiting from the books. I listed a few examples so that authors could check that their own work had not been stolen, breaching the very copyright at the beginning of their book.
I have one more site to add to that list:
Again, many books (including my own) have been found which are not free-for-all and the authors are missing out on their payments. The first giveaway that this site was not honest was all the spelling errors, followed by the fact that so many of the books they are supplying are new release. Then the final piece of the puzzle that they are gimps comes from the fact that they were stocking my books, when I had never provided it to them to begin with!
If you are an author and you are followed by a Twitter user called “@epublibrary,” you might want to do yourself a favour and block them from your site immediately.
I urge you, readers, do not go to these sites. They steal from the writer, disguise themselves as honest sites, and ask you to spread the word and link to them all over the many social media sites online, encouraging you to help further empty the authors’ pockets. It’s unfair to anyone who writes for a living. Kindle books are inexpensive, do not harm the environment, and are provided to you with trust that you will not share the book illegally to others.
Last week, I inadvertently discovered how these sites are taking our “secured” work from Amazon Kindle and are turning them into free documents for distribution, and it has everything to do with the Digital Rights Management (DRM) setting with Kindle. When I discovered a glitch with two of my books, where the DRM setting had been switched off, I enquired as to why, only to be told by staff that they could not fix it and that my only option was to unpublish and republish a fresh copy of my book. I did so, resulting in all of my five star ratings over the past year vanishing. So I googled how to “change setting DRM” to see if there was a way I could reinstate the DRM without losing my reviews. What I found left my jaw on the floor.
There are now programs which allow you to forcibly remove any digital protection from Amazon Kindle downloads, turning them into any type of document you want before distributing it illegally on these sites and claiming them as your own. I will not be providing links to that here, in case the thieves and morons who have been doing this to hard-working authors who are trying to make an honest living are reading. But I will say this — at the END of each of these “how to steal an author’s work” pages was a pathetic request in tiny writing that you do not use the thieving software for illegal use. As this blog is for all ages, I will not post my thoughts on that.
Again, I urge all authors to do a weekly search of their own name (or pseudonym) to see how many sites are illegally selling their work, report the infringement and have them shut down. To the thieves who are stealing from us (authors), may your undies turn into rusted barbed wire before you sit naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks.
To the authors out there, may your weekend be a good one!
– Rosie xx