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.
Is That Free Ebook Site REALLY Violating Your Copyright? Maybe Not… By Angela Hoy
Can Your Publisher Get YOU Sued For Copyright Infringement? Yep!! By Angela Hoy
“Amazon Won’t Remove My Book! Are They Violating My Copyright?”
Yet Another Website Lifts our Copyrighted Material
Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, 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).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
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.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
Joel's BookProgram: The Simple Secret To Writing A Non-Fiction Book In 30 Days, At 1 Hour A Day! - SECOND EDITION
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Order "The Simple Secret To Writing A Non-Fiction Book In 30 Days, At 1 Hour A Day!" right away. And picture yourself handing your own book to a prospect, in just a short time!
Over the past few years I’ve found my ebooks on “free” sights. I contacted one of them and told them to take down my books immediately, and their site soon disappeared completely. I guess I was taking a chance by contacting them, but in this case… I don’t really know what happened.
There are scammers everywhere. This is the first I’ve heard of this type, but I’m not surprised. Thanks for the heads up.
Thank you, Angela, for keeping us all on the “know.” Where would we be without you? Cheers!
Just curious, what would be the advantage for these websites to post stolen e-books for free? Do they use it as a way to draw more readers who might buy other books that are for sale there?
1. They can be selling ads on their website that gives away “free” ebooks.
2. They can be charging readers a monthly or annual fee for access to the “free” ebooks.
3. (This is the most likely scenario.) They are pretending to charge people for access to the “free” ebooks but they are actually stealing people’s credit card info. and selling it.
Of course, if somebody is trying to get “free” ebooks, they deserve to have their credit card info. stolen. It’s pretty dumb to trust a firm that has built a business around breaking the law (copyright infringement).
So glad we have you Angela. Hawkeye! You the best.