Yes, you read that right. My ebook, Blood of Midnight: The Broken Prophecy, which is available for only three dollars, got pirated by General EBooks. Not just once, but twice. For the Smashwords/Barnes & Noble version and again for the Kobo version. If it hadn’t been for a post on the NaNoWriMo Facebook community, it probably would have been ages before I found out about it.
I’m not alone in this either. There are many other ebooks that have been offered up for free download without consultation with the authors. If you have been a victim as well, you should take a moment to read Has Your eBook Been Pirated?, an article by Molly Greene on what to do to protect yourself.
As for me, I’m still reeling from this. I attract very little attention. I’m not in-your-face with my advertising. I don’t regularly google myself or my work. I guess I’m the kind of person who (naively) thinks that if my book is good enough it will be discovered and enjoyed. I priced my book as low as possible while still making a very small profit (about a dollar a book), knowing how it feels to love books but have very little income.
Look, if you absolutely can’t afford my book but desperately want to read it, message me and explain your situation and we can work something out. I’m human too. I won’t be a jerk to you.
If you are an author, especially an indie author, or you know anyone else who is, please let them know about this so they can have a chance to protect their property.
EDIT: A friend of mine also linked me to the SFWA Information Centre where you can find lots of helpful info including templates for DMCA Takedown notices. It’s a site geared toward sci-fi and fantasy writers but the info is applicable to any writer. You don’t have to be fluent in legalese. There is help out there for you.