I heard from an author this week who found her book being given away for free on a foreign website. She had received a personal message on a social media site from someone in Singapore. The person who sent that email offered to “swap ebooks” with her.
It is not illegal for an author to give away free copies of their own book. It is, however, illegal for someone to receive a copyright-protected ebook from someone, and to then upload that file to a free ebook website, give it away to others, sell, or even republish the book. Yes, while these situations are rare, they have happened.
Each time an ebook is sent from one person to another, a new copy of that file is produced. If you send a copyright-protected ebook to anyone, you have duplicated the product and given it away, which is illegal. Copyright infringement judgments can be very expensive but, unfortunately, finding and suing someone overseas can be costly and unsuccessful. Copyright infringement judgments can also be very expensive, especially if the infringer knew the book was copyrighted.
So, if someone asks if they can “swap” ebooks with you, decline the request, and block that person from your website. They just might be planning to make your book available for free to the masses.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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