Now that large outlets like Amazon and Barnes and Noble make it easier than ever for e-book writers to self-publish their works, ebook theft is rampant. I know two authors personally who’ve had their whole ebooks ripped off – not just parts of it. Someone stole parts of one of my ebooks and passed it off as their own.
In my opinion (and experience), if you write and publish ebooks online it’s not a matter of “if” ebook theft will happen to you, it’s a matter of “when.” So when it does, following are three things you can do to turn it around to your advantage.
I. Link to the Stolen Content from Your Site: “What!,” you may be thinking, “Why would I want to link to a thief who stole my content?” Let me explain.
Once, I had someone spreading some nasty, untrue rumors about me on the web. One day I read a post by a prominent blogger who said that it happened to him all the time – and he was glad when it did because it meant more traffic for his site.
He went on to say that once people clicked through to his site, he was able to turn a lot of them into paying customers because once they actually read the truth on his blog, then they knew that what they’d previously read was untrue.
So, if you think that someone has stolen one of your works and is selling it as their own, if they won’t stop after you’ve exhausted all of the ebook protection methods at your fingertips, then link to the stolen work from your site with a tongue-in-cheek notation saying something like, “This ebook is so good, it’s being stolen by others.”
Not only does this “out” the thief for stealing your work, it clearly identifies them to others as unworthy of doing business with. Pretty soon, not only will your content be removed, the whole site may go down as a result (that’s what happened in my case).
Talk about some e-justice!
II. Blog about It: The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. So when someone steals one of your works, blog about it. Why would you want to do this? Well, it builds credibility as an ebook writer and self publisher.
What should you say in your blog post? Tell your readers what you learned from the experience, how you handled it and how they can prevent ebook theft from happening to them.
First-hand experience rocks – and resonates! – with readers. It’s a surefire way to cement your relationship with readers. This gets them on the road to becoming loyal, long-term customers, which you’ll see in your ebook sales.
III. Write a Book About It: Piggy backing on the last point, first-hand experiences make great ebook material. When I was being slandered all over the web, this is exactly what I did. I co-authored a book showing other e-book writers how to protect themselves if they were ever accused of copyright infringement (which is part of what I was accused of). My co-author explained how to keep other from stealing your material, the opposite of my problem.
Ebook Theft: Conclusion
As an ebook writer, you do have options if someone steals from you. And, they go beyond the obvious of filing DMCA notices, etc. I felt so much better once I’d reclaimed my online reputation, which I did by blogging about it (No II). And, every time my co-author and I make a sale of the copyright infringement ebook we wrote to help others (No III), it reminds me that good always triumphs over evil.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black has been writing and selling ebooks online since 2004. To date, she’s self-published over 50. Get everything you need to start making a living as an ebook writer / self-publisher – from how to write an ebook, to how to create professional ebook covers, to how to set up an affiliate program.
Keywords used in this article: Ebook writer, ebook theft, ebook protection, self-publishing, self publish, write an ebook, write your ebook, publish ebook,sell ebooks online
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.