Friday, April 03, 2015

Pirates Ahoy and Closing Fast

I have my email program set to alert me anytime someone writes something about my mysteries. It's a handy little gizmo. Whenever Deadly Descent, Lethal Linage, or Hidden Heritage comes up, I get an email.

The past week I've received a number of messages offering my books for free. It burns me up! Someone has pirated my books. Again. This is so unfair. I don't earn a cent from this kind of operation. I'm going to paste in the contents of the email:

If you want to get Lethal Lineage pdf eBook copy write by good author ... The Lethal Lineage we think have quite excellent writing style that make it

PDF eBooks Free Download | Page 1

Lethal Lineage (Lottie Albright Mystery #2) by Charlotte ... Lethal Lineage has 35 ... Carol said: LETHAL LINEAGE Poisoned Pen Press 2011ISBN.

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Some English, huh? And please note that it's really my book. Not some other book by the same name. It's clearly labeled as part of the Lottie Albright Series. I would be willing to bet that this company is not based here in the USA.

All of the large publishing houses attached to the giant conglomerates (the Big Five) and large independents such as my publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, send Advance Reader's Copies (ARCs) to reviewers associated with magazines and newspapers well in advance of a book's publication date. Librarians also get their share of goodies. Publishers hope that libraries will order the books for their patron’s enjoyment, and that bookstores will stock the book. ARCs are in paperback and they are surprisingly expensive to produce.

It's well worth the expense and effort to have a book reviewed in one of the big four magazines that are especially influential in the trade. They are Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. A good review in Mystery Scene sends us over the moon. Needless to say making the New York Times is almost too much to hope for. That's here in America. I imagine our Canadian friends could contribute a lot more venues.

Imagine the disappointment when three months before a book is published and available for sale to readers, a paperback version of this book is offered on Amazon by a third party vendor at a low price. How does this happen? Well, some reviewers offer their ARCs for sale perhaps even before they have read it. They have a little side business. But the bottom line is that there is no bottom line. The author doesn't make a cent from the transaction.

Pirates are an entirely different matter, although the outcome is the same: no money for the writer. Since my books will be downloaded for free, I'm a bit bewildered as to who makes money on this kind of a deal. There were more links I could have clicked on. I suspected that would be a mistake so I didn't do it. The free books could have been a ploy to collect information and numbers they had no business using.

If you are reluctant to spend the money for a book, please support your local library. This gives an enormous boost to authors. Librarians only stock books the patrons want to read. If no one ever checks out our books, eventually they stop stocking them.


Eileen Goudge said...

It's an outrage, Charlotte. Piracy is also a huge problem in the film industry. My husband, the movie reviewer, gets "screeners" watermarked with his name so if they get in the wrong hands, the culprit is easily identified. Would that we could do something to protect books. Sadly, we're often at the mercy of bad guys.

Rick Blechta said...

There's not a lot that can be done, and now that publishers are sending out e-book copies to reviewers, this is going to become VERY widespread.

And the poor authors can do little about it.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Eileen--You're right. There are no protections for books. It's a hard fact that writers have to have some other income and piracy is making it even worse.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Rick--It seems like a new problem crops up daily in book publishing. I'm on 35 sides on every issue. I can't even take a firm stance on the Amazon Controversy.

I know at one time Poisoned Pen thought send ebooks to NetGalley was a great idea. I wonder what they think now?