Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Half-Blood and Pirates

Ever since Half-Blood released early on the Kindle and Nook formats, I've been getting one to two google alerts a day, notifying me of sites that have pirated versions of Half-Blood.

I'd prepared myself for this moment as much as I'd prepared myself for the scathing 1 star review, but I don't think I could really prepare myself for the anger of being pirating days after an early release.  And when I say pirated, I mean it's practically on every site. Each having dozens and dozens and dozens of downloads.


Worse yet, most of them have comments like, "You're enjoy this book. It kept me up at night!" Uh, thanks for the great review. How about paying for it next time? 

But I lied. That's not the worst part. The worst part is that my book is not even OFFICIALLY released yet. Yep. You read that correct.


Everyone knows what book pirating is. And I really hope everyone realizes how many people you're hurting when you click on that download link or upload an ebook. Contrary to popular belief, most authors aren't extraordinarily wealthy. We all don't get 6 figure advances and roll around in our money all day. We live off our royalties. If we are that lucky.

In our instance, the most shocking part of all of this, the pirating copies were E ARCS. It's easy for the publisher to tell due to how e books are formatted, protected, and by the changes made after the ARC. Every copy we've found (and reported) were all E ARCs. So someone who requested an advanced reader copy of Half-Blood, someone that my publisher trusted, actually pirated it. And I am sure that "somebody" is several "somebodies". That is really a kick in the junk.

And maybe the people who are searching for free copies of Half-Blood will find and read this. You're actually taking money from me. Not only are you taking money from me, you're taking money from the editors, the agents, the publicist and the publisher. This is not an easy business. One sale is a huge thing. Now multiply that one sale by HUNDREDS that were pirated in a FEW few days. 

That's like you slapped me in the face and kicked my dog.


I spent YEARS writing that book. It wasn't like I threw it together and sent it out to the world. I've shed tears over this book: good and bad tears. Went through hope, loss of hope, rejections, edits, revisions, copy edits, first proof pages, tears, laughter and so many hours I can't even begin to count. There is A WHOLE team of people who put their life into that book.

You're stealing from all of us.


And most importantly, you're stealing from other readers who PAY for their books. There has been countless authors who lost 2nd and 3rd book deals because their book was so heavily pirated that they didn't get enough sales. Publishing is about making money. It's hard to do that when there's 10 free copies floating around on various sites and being uploaded.

Pirating is not a victimless crime. You think you're just downloading a book. Big Deal. Right? It's a  huge deal. 

If you can't afford the book, go to library. If you're library doesn't have it, request it. If you don't have a library, the book is only 3.99. And if you can't afford 3.99, then you shouldn't be able to afford the internet that you're using to download the book illegally. That's the truth. There has been many times in my life I couldn't afford a book. Guess what? I didn't buy it until I could.  The argument that people can't afford a book and that's why they download it is total bunk. You can't afford that shirt you saw in the store. Did you go in and steal it? Or did you save up money to buy it? If you stole it, then well, we got bigger problems then pirating.

Treat books with respect and realize the amount of people you are harming by pirating them. 


On a side note: There will most likely be no E ARCs of Pure and any book in that series due to the pirating of the ARCs. Unfortunately, the publishers have to protect their investment and I understand that. It sucks.


And in closing: Thank you to all the people who have bought the book with their money. You rock my socks, yo.

EDIT: Like Mindy said in the comments. There needs to be better laws protecting authors and publishers. Especially since only one site has actually responded to us and taken it down.


EDIT 2:  The lovely Pam posted about pirating too over at her website. One thing I want bloggers to know is that none of you should feel ashamed. One or a handful of bad apples don't spoil the bunch. You guys respect books more than anyone else. 


Also one pirated book is as bad as a 1000 in my opinion. But that's me!

61 comments:

  1. That saddens me so much! :(

    I can't believe some people.

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  2. That is just sad! and well I am so sorry that has happened to you :(

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  3. That is so bunk sorry Jennifer. I can't believe some people. I am waiting patiently until Half Blood comes out. I am so excited to know that it will be on my doorstesp soon and in my hands. Only 20 more days :)

    Sara

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  4. Jennifer I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR THIS! I am hearing so much of this from so many authors. I don't understand why there are no laws helping authors stop this. I love what you said above. I am going to share this and help spread the word! The impact this has on everyone that had something to do with this book to make it available is huge. I hope that everyone who has ever downloaded a "free" book realizes it is pirated and it is STEALING! I say we start a movement to make the government get on top of this and start making people accountable for this. It is illegal to download music, why are books any different?

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  5. Grr! I'm angry for you! That stuff really ticks me off. It's a shame it had to come from people you trusted, too.

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  6. I am absolutely disgusted. I'm not a fan of e-readers but I totally feel your pain. Shame on the people who did this. SHAME ON YOU ALL.

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  7. I agree 100% and I am so sorry!
    It sucks that there won't be an E-ARC of Pure but I can live with that. When I saw Half-Blood was leaked I honestly got angry. I guess There will always be pirating but it sucks that the book hasn't been released yet. If I find more links I'll send them to you through twitter if that helps. it's the least we could do as fans.

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  8. That's so bad. I had a ARC paperback (which I still have) but when Half-Blood was released, I order both Half-Blood and the prequel because of how cheap there were. - Donna

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  9. This makes me so angry for you, Jennifer. It's so uncool how people are so narcissistic nowadays and no one thinks about how their actions can affect others.

    Pirating is just so wrong. :(

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  10. Wow, I just can't believe that (no... the sad thing is... I can believe it.)

    I am so sorry for you. :(

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  11. Thanks guys for the comments. I feel like standing on my soap box and screaming, lol. And yeah, the books are pretty cheap as they are. As my friend Cindy said, they are cheaper than a pack of smokes.

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  12. I'm so sorry Jennifer! I'm actually reading Half-Blood right now (got an ARC from Kate at BEA - thank you!) and I'm loving it - like "I should really put this book down and feed my family but I'll just read one more chapter" loving it.
    I planned on buying a finished copy. Now I'm thinking I'll buy two!

    Hope you're feeling a little better.

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  13. I had no idea an eARC was leaked. That's the worst kind of betrayal! I'm so sorry.

    In response to what Mindy said, I so agree they need stronger enforcement. They stopped book piracy on the major torrent sites that used to have them, but it's not enough.

    I hope you're able to pinpoint the person who shared the file. That's just wrong on so many levels. Bloggers should know better. It makes me so sad.

    I wish they figured out a way to insert some kind of code that would send an alert out every time a book was pirated. It's not like most of the book pirates are major hackers here.

    But if you tracked the amount of missed sales, I'm sure their actions would be seen as grand larceny, a felony!

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  14. I completely agree! I'm sorry you've been robbed. I'm sorry some idiots ruined ARCs for the rest of us who legitimately read & review to spread the news of great authors like yourself.

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  15. There will still be physical ARCs, so don't worry about that. =)

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  16. I'm so angry for you!! And for all the authors that are pirated by those people. Don't they realize what they're doing? Why don't they care that they're trashing someone's livelihood? I just don't get it at all.

    Is there anything we can do to help? And why aren't there stronger laws on the books to prosecute those who both upload the books and those who download them? What about nailing those who run the torrent sites to the wall? That'd be good.

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  17. I am so sorry that has happened to your books. Thats just wrong on so many levels.Hugs

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  18. Oh my gosh, I can't believe people would do that! That makes me angry and sad and even more angry & sad at the same time! :( That's not fair to you or your team who've been working your butts off to get it published! You're one-hundred percent right -- piracy is SO WRONG! And the people who uploaded those eARCs online -- which they'd been TRUSTED with from Kate! -- have absolutely zero respect from me!

    I'm so sorry to hear that, Jen! I really wish that things like that wouldn't be possible!

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  19. *hugs* I'm so sorry, sweetie. It sucks that people think it's okay to steal something someone's dedicated such a huge part of themselves and their life to and distribute it. I hope you get some more responses from the offending websites. I'm sad and angry with you!

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  20. This is absolutely awful! I'm so sorry. And when the book is only 3.99 too!! There's no excuse in general, but at only 3.99?! It just makes me so mad.

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  21. God I hate hearing stuff like this. I am so sorry this is being done to you Jennifer. Your book is amazing and it doesn't deserve this AT ALL. No author does. Like you wouldn't walk into a store and start pocketing things, so why would you steal an eARC... It's the same crime! Ugh. I'm so sorry. I hope everything works out for you <3

    Karma will get em don't worry!

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  22. Jennifer,
    This flat sucks & I am so sorry for you & the company. Not only have these idiots hurt your Half-Blood sales, but could potentially hurt Pure b/c word will be harder to spread w/out eARCs.
    The sense of entitlement dome people have astounds me.
    So in the spirit of Book Buying, I'm going to BUY two copies of Half-Blood and give one away (I have to keep one for myself, duh!)
    Best of luck catching those ass-hats!

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  23. WOW this is soooo wrong. Sorry Jennifer. I will keep my eyes open and let you know if I see any of these floating around the internet.

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  24. All of you guys are so awesome!! Seriously. Brings a tear to my eyes.

    I think there will be some e ARCs that will go to bloggers that the pub or I know very, very well. Also, it may be a Net Galley grab eventually. If not for Pure, for Deity and the 4th novel.

    Funny thing is, that these sites also pirated Daimon. Which is free. WTH.

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  25. I'm sorry for you Jennifer and I'm really glad that I decided to wait til I saw the book at Walmart before I read it. I'm sorry people are pooheads! :(

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  26. Well written article...and good control of your emotions when the subject is so angering, Jennifer! It's unfortunate to be sure...but may give some possible consolation to you?

    In the end, you might see this as a blessing if you hold on and take another perspective. Now, I'm not saying I'm right here--every instance is different, but I had a similar experience and decided to turn it around to my advantage.

    Most people are not thieves. Took me a while to actually believe that...but the numbers proved it over time. I had five publications that people stole--but as word got around, the purchases ended up far outweighing the theft (which I could not control).

    The second aspect I think you already figured out: the price of an eBook. This is a HUGE factor and with the market going the way of digital, it will be volume that will make us the money as authors. So lowering the price to make it affordable, taking away the motive is helpful.

    I sure wish you the very best in your writing, Jennifer. None of this is fun when you pour your heart into a book and others take advantage of you. However, you may be surprised...when your stories are exceptional, things have a way of turning to your advantage.

    God Bless.
    -Jaime Buckley

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  27. I retweeted about this to spread the word. It's a shame that people do this... :(

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  28. This is horrible.

    I was so happy when I recieved my first eARC from you and Kate from Spencer Hill Press, for someone to go out and upload an eARC that was given in trust is just so low, it makes me mad and upset, not only as a reviewer but as a reader also.

    Your book is amazing, and I'll be buying a copy and another for my giveaway. and all the sequels and other books that you make. you deserves every sale.

    -Kate
    (http://nomaliciousreads.blogspot.com)

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  29. This is rotten!

    Want us to hunt down the pirates for you and teach them some hard lessons in manners?

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  30. This is so horrible and sickening. It makes me sad that people can do this. So sorry that this has happened to you.

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  31. I'm sorry! It's unfair to those of us who love books and buy them! Kick them hard!! I know I will!

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  32. I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you. I can't believe that somebody that had the privilege of getting an eARC would do that. Maybe there is a way that publishers/authors could know who is uploading their eARC online in the future. For example, a different ISBN or something that the person wouldn't realize connects them to the copy.

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  33. This is the worst thing I've heard all day, and completely unfair to you and your publisher. Personally, I am very, very disappointed in who ever leaked/pirated the eARCs of Half-Blood.
    >:(

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  34. Wow. An eARC?? What a betrayal. How disrespectful. That book is amazing and worth way more than 3.99. Perhaps there should be differences in eARCs so it can be traced back. That way eARCs can still be distributed to the honest bloggers and reviewers. What total crap. Sorry Jennifer :o(

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  35. I came by from Pam's blog (Bookalicious), and I wanted to say I am so sorry. It isn't right for pirating, but an ARC? That is *so* not right. I am disgusted by the blogger(s) who did that. Why would they do such a thing? All the book bloggers I know are nice and are against pirating.

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  37. I'm so sorry to here this Jennifer and this does totally suck!
    I can't believe some people could possibly do that they were lucky enough to even get an E-ARC and then they go around and put them up for free download! I love Half-Blood and I will buy all the books you write because they're AMAZING and PURE AWESOMENESS and so are you. You totally don't deserve, no one does! >.<

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  38. How utterly awful! I am appalled that people would deliberately do such a thing. I hope to see it not happen in the future then. :(

    -Meredith

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  39. I hate hearing about this. Such a privilege as it is to obtain an ARC as a blogger, I am sad to think about some becoming leery to send the ARC's out.

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  40. So sorry to hear about this:( Totally sucks. As a blogger that is disappointing, why would they do that. I am sad to think about it. I hope it doesnt happen again, u dont deserve that.:(

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  41. I am so sorry to hear that people of have done this to you! It's pathetic and shameful that a few people find no harm in STEALING! Stealing is stealing. There's no excuse for it. It's a privilege, not a right to be able to read an ARC.

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  42. I was really sad to see your post and that of your publishers earlier today. I'm so sorry to hear that someone (or many someones) felt as though they could steal your work and distribute it around the web. As a blogger living in Canada I feel privileged to receive E ARCs and without them there are many books that I would not be able to review advanced copies of (due to higher shipping costs).

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  43. Its really hurtful to hear this. All I can think of is karma. What comes around goes around. Hopefully, anyone who has a pirated copy will eventually suffer some time of consequence. I don't usually buy ebooks, I pick them up at the library later on. But Half Blod is one I have really been looking forward too. This makes me want to preorder a full price copy right now!

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  44. Jennifer- this sucks. I hate that people are doing this to you. It's so wrong. Gonna order a finished copy to give away on the blog just to do my part in helping the cause. This book deserves strong sales!

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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  45. That's HORRIBLE!! How could they *do* that??? There should be some sort of tracing code embedded into e-ARCs (and books, period), so people can catch who did it?

    *hugs*

    Plus, it's so not fair that you missed your release completely if even e-readers are launching the title now! Usually, they're the last ones to release!

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  46. I am SO sorry to hear about this, Jennifer! It always makes me so angry to know that there are people out there who do this! And people actually DOWNLOADING it when they know good and well what they are doing is illegal!
    But, on the bright side--I just got an ARC of Half-Blood in the mail today that I won from you off of Twitter, and I CANNOT wait to read and review it for you!
    And I just wanted to say here that I am so sorry I have not emailed you back with my questions for the interview you agreed to do for my blog. I'm actually having a lot of family problems right now, but hopefully everything will be better by this weekend. And now that I have my own ARC of Half-Blood, I figured I would read that first before the interview, just to get a handle on things. :)
    Thank you once again, and I'm so sorry this happened to you! Just remember that no matter what happens, it won't change how good a writer you are, or how much someone will enjoy your story.
    -Angel

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  47. I'm so very sorry Jennifer. It makes me feel sad and angry that bloggers did a thing like this! ((hugs))

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  48. I AM SO SORRY !
    God....
    This is so SAD and BAD :(

    Your book is AMAZING! Even though I got the ARC I want to buy a copy and I will!!

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  49. Argh! I am so sorry! How frustrating and sad. Especially since they are pirating eArcs!? :( I wish you all the best on the true book sales, and I am really sorry this happened to you! I am spreading the word.

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  50. This is an author's nightmare come true. I'm so very sorry you are having to deal with this.
    But thank you for sharing this with the world, because authors like me need to know about things like this.
    And all of society needs to know the devastation caused by pirating!

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  51. PS: I'm going to purchase a copy of Half-Blood today.

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  52. I am so sorry to hear this! I can't believe that some people had the nerve to pirate an e-arc of the book. It's a disgrace.

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  53. *heavy sigh* I've been hunting pirates at Share Term Papers today, searching for all the illegal links to my books. It just makes me weary and defeated. Were they one of your responsive sites? Trying to find a way to communicate/report with them. In the meantime, I've posted on each individual thread. *hits head on desk*

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  54. @Lisa Share Term Papers pretty much ignored us. Which means they'll getting request from a lawyer next.

    And thank you again everyone!

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  55. This stinks that it happened to you. You could try to look at it like Neil Gaimain does, as free publicity. :( I know that doesn't help make you feel better, but I wanted to try to show you a bright side. (http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/02/10/neil-gaiman-piracy-lending-books/)

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  56. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards,
    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

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  57. You know, it's bad enough for anyone to do something like this, but for a trusted early reader to stoop to pirating? That's disgusting. And for readers--people who theoretically appreciate books and appreciate authors--to download pirated books is just very saddening.

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  58. wow I am so sorry Jennifer I was lucky enough to get a paperback arc of Half Blood and it was amazing, one of my favorite reads this year, it is deff worth more then the 10$ it cost to buy it, so for them to download it for free is disgusting. ):

    Haley @ Ya-Aholic.com

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  59. Oh my goodness!! I would so horrified if this happened to me; I empathize with you so much as a fellow writer.

    I heard about this from a book blog that's doing a wonderful giveaway of Half-Blood to spread word about what's happened. I'm also looking forward to Obsidian of course!

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  60. I'm sorry this happened to you but can I just mention that the people who did download the file may not have done it illegally. Say they were from Canada or Spain (it's only in a few countries that this applies) and downloaded the file, they didn't do anything illegal. It would be illegal if they did sell the file for a price though.

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