I’ve sat on this post for almost two weeks, unsure of hitting publish. It’s been changed a hundred times. This is becoming quite common with authors I know.

On the heels of publishing a new book, I’ve dealt with this kind of BS:

I’m talking about a different book going up on the same Thieving site each day. There are a lot of comments on the book links from those who have STOLEN them, and they are happy to have their stolen books.

I don’t usually make a big deal out of this other than pulling out hair. I’ll handle the site and move on, but suddenly it was as if a NEW thief discovered my books, and went nuts with all of them. Apparently, they caught me in the wrong mood this time.

One of my friends who found her books on the same site, pointed out that all the comments were the same on all the books. HUH? I checked, and yep, the same comments are on all my books, too, word for word. Did they steal the photos for use in fake comments? This sounds like a phishing scam where a person can sign up for the membership then have access to books…stolen books. If this is the case, they get something FREE all right and it isn’t usually a STOLEN book.

If the site truly has my books, sure, I can send the site a *DMCA Take Down Notice, which is time consuming when you have multiple books. In fact, I could’ve written seven chapters for the time it took to write this blog alone after many revisions and deletions. Many.

I suppose I will have to pay big bucks, to hire a service do do takedown notices for me. I’d rather spend time writing instead of chasing thieves–unless it’s one sexy hunk of a pirate we all love from a famous movie series. *WINK*

You don’t see me freaking upset very often, well, maybe never, and I’m sorry for this rant, but anyone who depends on book sales to survive–to pay bills and eat, which I DO, dammit, understands where I’m coming from.

If you are concerned about this, I advise you to set up alerts to be notified of where your content is popping up on the web. I use Google Alerts. To find out more, go to your search engine and type in Google Alerts.

Disclaimer: No, I’m not making anything by mentioning them. This is what I use, and you can use whatever alert system/site you choose.

  • What kind of items should I add to an alert? I can only tell you what I use. You will have to use what fits your particular need.

In my alerts, I use:

  • Phrases found in the books.
  • Book title.
  • Phrases from excerpts.This also alerts me to webpages who use some of my lines without permission. Grrr…

I’ve seen lines from my book, Howdy, Ma’am, as the title of a blog post. Of course, howdy, ma’am by itself is common, but when they use lines from my book as a quote to go with their blog post titled Howdy, Ma’am–without permission, I might add, and with no acknowledgement, then they are infringing on my copyright.

  • Series titles.
  • Tags. (Which is how I was notified for some of the recent THEFTS–bull rider for instance.)
  • Whatever else fits my need per book.

western romance, mary j McCoy-Dressel

Yes, I do get some very weird alerts for tags on my Bull Rider Series titles–especially Hey, Cowboy from personal ads. Can you imagine what I get using the keyword “cowboy” during football season? Actually, I like getting these kind of alerts because it isn’t about a stolen book. I don’t go searching for my stolen books unless I get an alert, because I don’t have time.

If you set up alerts like this for whatever capacity in which you are posting creative works, you may be surprised at what you find. Unless you don’t want to know, of course. It does tend to raise the blood pressure and increase the heart rate. And, dealing with the whole situation takes up a hell of a lot of time.

I’m done now.

*DMCA = Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
  • This law lets copyright owners have their stolen work removed from infringing sites.

 

I suggest you do your own search for more information. There are too many sites out there providing DMCA information, and I’m not comfortable posting a link to a site I know nothing about.

One site I know of, which is used by many authors to search for their books and issue takedown notices, is Muso. I don’t use them as of yet. There are others, so do your research. Also, if using a site such as this, you have the option to check each suspected thief manually instead of letting notices be sent to every alert on your behalf. You surely don’t want a book taken down from a site you might’ve used for promotion, and have allowed the book to be there.

Disclaimer: I am not personally recommending any service or website in particular, and do not receive anything from Muso for mentioning their name. You can send your own DMCA Take Down Notices without the help of any service. Everyone has to do what is best for them. Again, do your own research. 

It’s a good idea to have a post office box and maybe a separate email for filling out forms such as takedown notices.


I’ve turned off Sharing buttons for this because I don’t want to scream to the world, however, you guys are the world, but you’re special and know how hard I work at this business.

Thanks for sitting through my rant. I’m sure it’ll be a long time before I blow up again.


 

Have a great summer.