Authors and Bloggers Against Piracy Blog Tour

You know, you hear about authors having their books stolen all the time, and you pray it never happens to you. Yesterday, the latest website to illegally distribute books from hard working authors was exposed. The community rose up and has done a lot to have those books removed. Of course, the sad fact remains that that won’t be the last website to provide illegal downloads of books.

Tricia pointed out to me that simply holding copyright doesn’t mean as much as it should. Anyone can still come in and take your hard work simply because they want to. If you don’t have the money to hire a lawyer to fight the person that stole your work, you are out of luck. She also made an excellent point. People think that because we are published, we are all like J.K. Rowling, rolling around in money and on the cusp of a movie deal. They think that we have countless agents and a huge fat cat publisher backing us. So they aren’t really taking money out of our pockets. They’re taking money out of the hands of corporate fat cats… How wrong they are.

So that got me thinking. How can we as a community educate our readers and the general public as well as keep people from downloading our books illegally? The answer was quite simple; a blog tour! A week (or more, depending on how many people sign up) set aside for authors to share as many of their books as they wish for free. Why free you ask? Well, people pirate books because they don’t want to pay for them. So, why shouldn’t we as authors control that? Why shouldn’t we offer our book(s) for free for a week and encourage people to get our books the right way?

So this is a call to arms. We need bloggers to promote and host as few or as many days as they would like. You will not be comp’d because this is a free tour. No money is exchanging hands. If you are willing to use your blog as a platform to speak out against book piracy, please volunteer.

We need authors to offer as few or as many books for free as they can. If you’re fortunate enough to make a living off of your writing, don’t put yourself out. One book is what we would like to see but if you want to contribute more, you are more than welcome to. If you already have a book that is offered for free, you are welcome to contribute that.

I would also like to encourage giveaways, raffles, personalized prizes… Whatever you want to do to make this a fun event. If you sign up for the event, you are not required or expected to do anything more than put one of your books up for free for a day.

This tour isn’t going to be about putting one out or in an awkward position. It’s just a way for authors to take back control of how and when their books are free. It is a way to discourage book piracy.

We also need a logo, so if you’re a graphic artist and are willing to donate a logo, that would be awesome! Depending on the turn out, we’ll do a vote to determine the official logo. If this is successful, I’d love for it to be an annual thing.

I will share more information as it comes in.

Thank you for your time. If you are interested, please request to join our group on Facebook

About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on March 3, 2015, in Blog Tour, Journal and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    AUTHORS – If you’re interested in joining, click on the FB Link at the end of Meagan’s article on her blog 😀

  2. I’m going to play devils advocate. I do not understand how giving away more books is really helping. I know books are given away everyday which is money out of the authors pocket for advertizing. Giving books away to stop pirates seems to be a waste to me because crooks are crooks and cheap people are still cheap people. Personally I think it is a waste of time and money.

    • Well, you aren’t out any money. The reason that the books are free is quite simple. As I explained, people pirate books because they don’t want to pay for them. It sucks but it’s true. So why not give the people what they want? Why not give authors the opportunity to take their books back and say “Hey, *I* can choose to give it away for free.” Again, no one is being charged anything to do the tour. No one is getting paid. For the authors working through KDP, they will get a royalty on the download fees from Amazon. Smashwords and the other platforms is a different story, and I can’t help that. The effort is to encourage people to come to the author as opposed to a piracy site for a free book. Does that mean that it is going to stop the crooks and the pirates? No. It would be delusional to think so. It’s just a chance for authors to get readers to come to them as opposed to turning to illegal means. If you view that as a waste of time and money, I’m sorry. You do not have to participate. But we’re not making money when people pirate our books anyway, right? So why not encourage people to do the right thing?

    • I look at it as a chance to show them that “Hey, see how much better it is to have the official copy? No glitches in it, no messed up formatting, no missing pages, and you can leave reviews if you want because you’ve actually *bought* the book – see how much better this is than getting it from some crappy site that’s full of viruses and often has screwed up copies?” Plus it’s used to raise awareness – just like wearing a pink t-shirt with some witty “ta-tas” slogan doesn’t do ANYTHING to cure breast cancer, but it raises awareness of the issue in a way that (some) people find amusing or fun. (Ta ta jokes annoy me, personally, but…) and free books is a good way to get readers and bloggers to participate and to draw attention to the fact that – hey – this is not okay. We’re not like JK Rowling. We’re not rolling in dough. You’re not hurting a publisher, you’re hurting an author.

      • I love the “We’re not J.K. Rowling” thing. I think it would be great as a banner. Something like “I’m not J.K. Rowling” with a pirate ship or something. You know what I mean?

    • Shirley: You’re not really devil’s advocate – you’re really right. Maegan’s heart is in the right place, but giving away free e-books is just lowering overhead costs for thieves who use them to generate illegal copies. If authors want to give away books, they should be bound paper copies, because you can keep a record of who you gave them to, and take it off your taxes.

      • You are missing the point of the tour, I think. Obviously we’re not going to stop pirates with a simple tour with free books. It is a chance to show readers that there are other means of obtaining copies of our books without turning to illegal means. Just as Joleene said, it is more about raising awareness and educating readers about who they really hurt when they pirate books. I have also said that if doing a freebie is going to affect a person’s livelihood, they shouldn’t participate. This tour isn’t about tax write offs and personal benefit. It isn’t to be self-serving. It’s to show readers that there are real people behind the books they are illegally downloading and giving them the opportunity to obtain legitimate copies of our books instead of whatever crap they get when they pirate.

      • Taking a write-off for advertising or a giveaway isn’t self-serving. It’s just what the government recognizes as a fair business expense. If people want free legit books, they should be willing to identify themselves to the author, to give the author a chance to recoup a fraction of the cost of producing the work, via the tax system. That is best done with bound paper copies, which are also more work for criminals to reproduce, unless they have a digital copy to print from. A free book blog tour is fine, if it doesn’t entail making more books easily available for copyright infringement. Sadly, giving away free e-books does just that.

      • Christine, I understand that you do not agree with the tour, and that’s fine. I do not understand why you feel you must be right on this matter. I am not demanding that you participate. Since you do not agree, I ask that you respect me, my blog, and the others that think this is a good idea to raise awareness, by moving on from this thread. Thank you and good luck in all of your future endeavors.

      • You misstate me. I have not disagreed with the tour. I said to Shirley that your heart was in the right place. I have said nothing disrespectful to or about you, your blog, or your readership. I sincerely wished you well with your tour. I have no problem with distributing free printed books. I do not understand why you wish to exclude me on the basis of a difference that I politely acknowledged, but you own the blog, and you make the rules. Have a good day.

      • I think that there is just a misunderstanding taking place here. Please know that I am not excluding anyone from this tour. I did not say that you were being disrespectful, I simply asked that you respect the space. I welcome everyone’s opinions, this is an open blog where honesty and freedom of expression are honored. It may simply be that because this is a text based conversation, certain things are being misinterpreted.

  3. Reblogged this on Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor and commented:
    An anti-piracy blog tour. I look at this as a chance to say the pirates, “Hey, see how much better it is to have the official copy? No glitches, no messed up formatting, no missing pages, no viruses, no weird files that aren’t what you were trying to download, and you can leave reviews if you want because you’ve actually *bought* the book – see how much better this is than getting it from some crappy site that’s full of viruses and often has screwed up copies?” Plus it’s used to raise awareness – just like wearing a pink t-shirt with a witty slogan doesn’t do ANYTHING to cure breast cancer, but it raises awareness of the issue in a way that people find amusing or fun. And free books are a good way to get readers and bloggers to participate and to draw attention to the fact that this is not okay. We’re not like JK Rowling. We’re not rolling in dough. You’re not hurting a publisher, you’re hurting an author. Or that’s my take on it.

  4. Reblogged this on Tricia Drammeh and commented:
    This is a fun blog tour to raise awareness about piracy. No, it probably won’t stop piracy and won’t prevent crooks from stealing, but I think it will educate some readers who might not realize that downloading a “free” ebook from a shady site hurts authors. Not only do these pirating sites harm authors, but they harm readers too! Readers are opening up their computers to viruses and taking a risk with their personal information in many cases. I like the idea of giving away a free ebook as a way of saying “thank you” to the readers out there who download books the right way. What do you think? Hop over to Maegan’s blog to learn more.

  5. Copyright is as good as the amount of money you have to defend it. Brutal business.
    Rowling wasn’t protected either. As soon as her books were available, we had to fight the unofficial ( and bad) translations while getting the official ones finished. Some places the translators totally had it wrong or just left large passages of English among the poorly translated passages. Once the official translations were available, then it was people buying one copy and heading to copy machines to make lots and lots of others. They even got good at creating covers. Libraries wanting translations were having to be very careful as some sources weren’t as trustworthy as they thought ( and it’s all about whomever can get them the book first)
    Terrible problem. Raising awareness is critical

    • When we say “I’m not J.K. Rowling,” it is more a comment about how she was fortunate enough to earn the kind of money necessary to protecting one’s self. She definitely has to deal with this crap, too.

      The unfortunate truth is that we aren’t going to stop piracy with one tour, but we’re going to try to give voices to the countless authors that are affected and saying “Hey, we have the right to choose how people get our books.” 😀

      • Oh, I know. So many think once you’re there, it’s all smooth sailing. People are going to have to stand up. This affects everyone. Got to start somewhere. Letting the public know is great step in that direction.

    • You are so right about copyright only being as good as your ability to defend it. Anyone can steal your copyright and they will absolutely get away with it if you can’t afford to go to court (pay lawyers up front, court fees, etc). The US Copyright Office does not defend copyright; they only provide a registry for it. Most people don’t realize this. They think official registration defends them against copyright theft, which isn’t the case.

      • And those who steal know all this, too. They bet you won’t be able to do anything or won’t bother to try….Some may back off if you have money and big lawyers at their doors. Otherwise, it’s just stare downs and “try to make us stop.” Sad situation.

  6. Sorry I’m late in all this. This is a great idea. We can only hope it helps.

  7. I just found out last week that someone was asking others online how to download a free copy of my book and others on the site were attempting to talk him down, for the reasons mentioned here. I haven’t sold enough for someone to be stealing them and I’ve participated in giveaways. How do we go preventing people from doing it in the first place is what I’d like to know.

    • Unfortunately, there is not a concrete way to prevent people from pirating. There just isn’t. Piracy sites exist. And the average person doesn’t understand how much we get hurt when they pirate books. So by participating in a giveaway (or several depending on how often you do) you are showing people that if they simply don’t want to pay for your book, they can at least obtain it legitimately. I hope this shines some light.

  8. Reblogged this on TheKingsKidChronicles and commented:
    This is a great idea! Let’s band together as authors and fight piracy while giving away good reading material to all of our loyal readers out there, and to everyone who enjoys books. Also going to try to share this on my website on google+.

  9. I’m in. BTW, you can get a free Google+ author website to further promote your work and other authors you like, as well as publishers, editors, etc. With your permission I would like to copy and paste the above article on my website. Thanks.

  10. Hey, Maegan. I don’t need to copy/paste anything. I just wrote a plea on my website for people to join the tour with us next month and posted a link to this site and the FB page. Thanks for all your hard work.

  11. I just found out my three books were pirated thanks to a dear friend. Please check this site for your books. If you didn’t authorize them to give them away FREE!! you can delete them. Find the book, click on the title, there’s a black flag in the upper right corner, click on it and fill out the form. @v@ heart emoticon

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  2. Pingback: Authors Against Piracy Blog Tour | Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors

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