“My previous publisher will NOT stop selling my ebook!”

“My previous publisher will NOT stop selling my ebook!”

Q –

My book was published by (name removed). I terminated my agreement with them but I keep finding my ebook for sale on lots of sites. I can understand that some print books are still available because they are still in inventory at some retailers. But, why ebooks?

I contacted the publisher three weeks ago, and then again two weeks ago, and again last week. They will not answer me. What should I do?


A –

Some authors of defunct publishers continue to find their ebooks for sale online, too. Using Amazon as an example, I know that they continue to send the money for those ebook sales to the distributor or publisher every month. And, while there is a lag of a couple of months, they send out the ebook payments like clockwork. And, like with your situation, some publishers don’t stop selling an ebook even after the author has terminated the contract.

If you are seeing your ebook for sale online, somebody is getting the money for those sales. If it’s not you, it’s your publisher (or a distributor, who is then sending the money to the publisher). And, yes, if you have terminated your contract with your publisher, and if they’re still selling your ebook, they are scamming you (and violating your copyright).

I recommend sending a DMCA takedown notice to all of the websites that are still selling your book. There is a sample one (entirely free) RIGHT HERE.

Also, using your personal letterhead, send a copyright infringement notice to your previous publisher via a trackable mailing/shipping method that requires a signature. Don’t trust certified mail. Those green cards often come back with no signature. I, myself, send them via “UPS Express Envelope.”

If the publisher does not respond, and does not remove your ebook from the market, consider legal action. Copyright infringement carries heavy penalties when the infringer knows they’re violating the law, and keeps doing so anyway.

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