Sunday, March 7, 2010


Hi Everyone,

Today, I’m going to talk to you a bit about piracy. For those of you who think piracy only affect e-books you are mistaken. There are people out there who get hold of print books, scan them and turn them into e-books without the permission of the author. This is theft plain and simple.

Have you ever gone to a garage sale and bought a paperback book without its book cover. I did before I became a writer. After starting my career as a writer, I learned those books were being shipped back to the publisher or their warehouse to be disposed of because they hadn’t sold at the bookstore.

Now, I’m hearing you say what’s wrong with taking a few of those books and reading them or selling them. Okay, let’s say you read the book and you like what you read so you buy the next book by that author. There’s nothing wrong with that is there? Most authors have contests when they have a new release and they give away a book as a prize so why not pick up a few throwaways.

There’s a huge difference in those two scenarios. The first one, they’re not only reading the book but making money from the book they stole, which means the author makes nothing. Now, you’re saying to yourself: What is the difference of taking a book to the used bookstore and selling it after I bought it and read it. The difference is you paid for it and can do anything you want with it as long as you don’t make copies and sell them. The second one, the author herself/himself is giving the book away to promote her story.

To take a book without permission from the author violates copyright law and if caught there are consequences.

Some of the worse piracy sites are Astatalk, Demonoid, Plunder, Underground and tehparadise. Some sites are overseas and that makes it even more difficult to stop the underground traffic. The sad thing is that many of the people who buy their books at these sites believe that all authors are rich, and this just isn’t so. Most authors work for years to get published and when they do they still have to work full-time or part-time to support themselves before they start making decent money.

Being an author is a full-time job and we work hard. Writing is not a hobby for those who are serious about getting published, and it’s not an eight hour job. It’s more like a ten to fourteen hour job when you consider the writing of the book, all the promotion, website design, and blogging.

There are ways for authors to protect themselves, but it can turn into a full-time job. Here is a site to visit to learn ways to protect your work.

Thank you for listening to my rant. Have a great week everyone.

Sandy AKA Sandra K. Marshall


Christie Craig said...



Elle J Rossi said...

I've heard of piracy, but never even thought about checking out those sites. I guess there will always be "pirates" in the world, but we need to avoid them and hope that others will too. I think blogs like this, that show people what is really behind all this, is a great way to start. Thanks, Sandy!

Sandy said...

Thanks, Christie.

Sandy said...

You are very welcome, Elle.

Thanks for your comment.

K.T. Bishop said...

I'm with you on that one. It's hard enough trying to make money as it is, and some mo-ron stealing from you.

Paris said...

I'm so disgusted with these sites. Within twenty-four hours of being published someone named one person posts a request for the books. Her/his favorite sites so far are Astatalk and the Underground Forum. She just got her hands on my paranormal.

This problem has made me re-think giving away downloads as contest prizes. Short of someone getting prosecuted (which at this point, I think is unlikely) I don't see an end to this anytime soon.

Ilona Fridl said...

Thank you, Sandy, for bringing this subject up. I know my first royality check wouldn't have paid for my groceries. I have a pet peeve of celebrities writing a book and selling millions on their name alone and we nameless authors have to struggle to get anywhere! Anyway, here come the people who steal our books and make a profit on them. Can we ever catch a break?

robynl said...

Once upon a time I worked in a Drug Store and we did that very thing - taking the covers off of magazines and books that hadn't sold and then shipping them back. I remember the lady who trained me telling me that they had to be shipped back. It takes all kinds to make the world go round; some not so kind.

April Ash said...

Great job of explaining piracy...and how authors aren't really "rich"! More readers need to understand about book piracy and how it huts struggling authors trying to make a living.

Sandy said...

Thanks, K.T.

Sandy said...

Oh, Paris, I'm so sorry to hear that. I know I don't like to give away my book even if it's an ARC because I want people to buy it.

Sandy said...

Good comment, Ilona.

You definitely would think that we could catch a break sometime.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Robyn, for understanding.

Sandy said...

Thank you, April.

Charisma Knight said...

Hi Sandy, this is an awesome post indeed.

I hate those sites. This subject is controversial among the publishing industry. Some authors feel that we shouldn't stress ourselves over this situation, that we waste precious time and could be writing. Others feel like giving up, because every time they have a new release, their books are on those sites. Half the fun with the ebooks is searching for them on publishers sites & buying them. I compare them to shoe shopping. ; )

Well, what if we as authors were to go to those sites and post our buy links for those that rave so much about our awesome books. I've been on Asatalk, didn't join, just reading what I could. Some of those readers don't even know it is a crime. I feel if we post our links there maybe they will see the light. What do you think? Do you think this will go on for quite some time? Will there ever be an end to this? I know books by JD Robb, Nora Roberts, & Christine Feehan are on some of those sites. It is disheartening.

Thanks Sandy, awesome blog post.


Angela Drake said...

Sandy, thanks so much for posting this information. As authors, we know piracy is out there but just don't think about it as often as we should. Doing everything we can to promote and guard against it is important.

I remember being in High School... my English teacher's sister owned a book store. My teacher would line one entire wall in her class room with the long tables and display soda flat boxes of books minus the covers. Mostly Harlequins and some westerns for the boys. She never sold them, but I do have to say without the opportunity to read those I might never have begun writing them. She also used many as examples to teach story construction. I thank Mrs. Reeves and her sister for putting those books into hands of young minds who might have been in their 20s before ever understanding there was more to reading than just the classics we were required to read. She just wanted us to READ.

WoW CD Key said...

This subject is notorious among the known industry. Few authors think that we shouldn't strain ourselves over these circumstances, that we waste valuable time and could be writing.