One More Way to Combat Piracy

Ah the never ending loop of sending takedown notices only to see the same sites repopulate your copyrighted materials through another user. It’s a vicious cycle and unfortunately won’t be squashed any time soon because pirate sites don’t care. So how can we further combat the problem? Let me share you something that was passed on to me.

You know that old phrase when you’re searching for something on the internet called “Just Google it”? There’s your answer.

wpid-20140807_000838.jpgFun fact: Most of the file pirate sites get their money (it takes a LOT of money to run a file sharing site) through click-through links, ad money, etc. Unless, of course, they’re distributing malware with the files which many do. That makes me all warm inside to think that people illegally downloading copyrighted material might get a little nefarious virus on their computer that could potentially crash or steal information. Karma, bitches.

So one way to choke them off is to remove the links from Google, the biggest search engine out there. Whether other search engines give you the same recourse, I have no idea. I searched on Bing and turned up nada. So, if you choke off the access points AKA searchable pages, the average person who isn’t a “file sharer” and who doesn’t know any better will have a harder time finding those files. Hard core asshole pirates won’t be deterred, unfortunately. All you can hope for is they eat a bad dose of fast food and bleed out through their ass.

Where do you go to report a link to Google? Right here —-> https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-dashboard?hl=en

File DMCA complaints through that link and make sure to include all the information.

The more people who complain about the same websites will eventually get Google’s notice, and then Google will start delisting the whole site for repetitive violations. Due diligence is a must. Tell the other authors from your publisher or social group and tell them about the sites you find. Encourage them to also hammer out a DMCA complaint via the Google link above.

Another addition to the piracy-fighting toolbox: If the site is a WordPress-hosted site (read: free), as opposed to a privately hosted WordPress site, you can file a complaint about the site here —> http://automattic.com/dmca/  A good way to tell is the link will read “http://website.wordpress.com” , much like the url for my blog. Why report it? It’s a violation to their TOS and they’ll yank it down.

Use Search engine optimization on your own website. This makes your site be the first thing that pops up when someone searches for your pen name. Make the purchase links clear and concise. Don’t make them search for a legit way of getting your book.

As always, don’t engage in a verbal spat with a scum-sucking pirate site. Just get the word out to your fellow authors, preferably in private nooks of the internet. Never directly advertise a pirate site by making a vitriol post about them. Keep their name out of it it or it’s like you’re promoting their douchebaggery.

Is Amazon a Threat to our First Amendment rights? @Suzdemello @MFRW_ORG #ellorascave #notchilled

The following guest post does not represent the views of The Eclectic Zaftig Chick. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author of said post. My views are expressed here and here. Even so, read on and comment with your thoughts. Conversation is always welcome.

 

Amazon is known for its ruthless business practices—it doesn’t merely squeeze competition, it strangles it until it dies.

 

Amazon currently sells 40% of all new books sold in the USA. Their percentage of the market in ebooks is even larger—perhaps 66% according to the above-cited Salon.com article.

 

Amazon is not merely a book seller, but a publisher, and it favors its own imprints and minimizes the ability for readers to find its competitors. The most famous case on point is that of Hachette. The below is quoted from a letter sent by a group of authors to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and its BOD:

About six months ago…Amazon began sanctioning Hachette authors’ books. These sanctions included refusing preorders, delaying shipping, reducing discounting, and using pop-up windows to cover authors’ pages and redirect buyers to non-Hachette books.

These sanctions have driven down Hachette authors’ sales at Amazon.com by at least 50 percent and in some cases as much as 90 percent. These sales drops are occurring across the board: in hardcovers, paperbacks, and e-books. (http://www.authorsunited.net/)

Well-known is Amazon’s dislike of sexy covers, adult-oriented books and erotica; it seems to especially target purveyors of steamy books. Though Amazon touts its independent publishing program as a boon for writers, many indie published authors, especially in erotic romance, complain that Amazon’s search engine has made it difficult if not impossible for readers to find their books. The Kindle Unlimited program has cut further into their book revenues. Ellora’s Cave, one of the most prominent publishers of steamy and erotic romance on the web, has downsized radically, citing a massive drop in Amazon sales of its books as the reason.

 

The loyalty of many customers to Amazon is misplaced. For example, Amazon often does not feature the best online price for a book or other item. A couple of cases in point:

Amazon blog HV1

On 30 Sept, the price of one of my shorties, Highland Vampire, on Amazon was $2.51. The price at Harlequin’s site was $2.39.

 

Amazon blog HV2

 

 

Being the daughter of Brits, I’m a tea drinker and lately have been into using loose teas (they really do make a better cuppa). Initially I had been purchasing from Amazon—isn’t that the place we’ve all become accustomed to checking first? Then I went to the Twinings Tea site and found that I’d been grotesquely overpaying. My fave Darjeeling at Amazon costs $8.24 and it’s an “add-on item,” which is some sort of irritating practice at Amazon—I couldn’t get the tea without buying other stuff, and I couldn’t find a work-around for that bit of Amazonian weirdness.

Amazon tea 1

 

The same tea is almost half the price–$4.49—at Twinings.

 

 

Amazon blog tea 2

 

 

Like many, I have come to rely on Amazon for so much! I listen to music on my Amazon music player on both laptop and cellphone, and download music from Amazon as well. I’m an Amazon affiliate. I also buy books for my Kindle Paperwhite, which I love, from Amazon.

 

But maybe it’s time to cut the cord. Why should I fund an entity that seeks to exploit me, maybe even put me out of business?

 

I’ll probably take down my Amazon affiliate ads—that won’t hurt, as they’ve never earned me a penny. I’ve changed my email signature line, which used to direct folks to my Amazon author pages, to instead include my website and blog. Other changes will be harder.

 

I’m an Ellora’s Cave author. I also have books placed with two other publishers that have disappointed me in myriad ways—see these links:

http://www.harlequinlawsuit.com/ and scroll down to #9 at

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194729–scroll.

 

So I want to go indie. But Createspace and KDP are fabulous platforms for self-publishing. How ethical is it, given my concerns, to use those platforms?

 

And beyond my personal worries, there’s the greater problem. Amazon sells a huge number of books, films, music and other creative and factual works.

 

Should one entity control so much of what goes into our minds and thoughts?

 

 

About the Author:

 

suz w name venice maskBest-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

 

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

 

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SuzDeMello, and visit her group page at  https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/suzdemello/

–Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SuzATGoodreads

–Her current blog is http://www.TheVelvetLair.com

 

 

 

Unexpected by J. J. Lore

This is one hot multi-author series that is blazing across the galaxy. Alien races from across the stars looking for the perfect human female to call their own.

Unexpected

By J. J. Lore

Evernight Publishing

Published 3 October 2013

Blurb: As two Alphan warriors on the fast track to promotion and improved status, Mikel and Felix of the Tauride have their future planned out. They intend to go from performing security duties for the Prince while he visits Earth to eventually earning the right to seek out their human mate and rescue her in some dramatic way, impressing her and earning her love. But a chance encounter with a lovely young woman sends them both down a markedly different path.  Shy Alisa Sorrel merely wanted to see a rose garden, then retreat back to her safe and sequestered life in the Women’s Refuge on Earth, but once she encounters two earnest and determined Alphan officers, she’s forced out of her shell and into a whole new world of passion.  Even as the bonds they share tighten and satisfy needs they’d never imagined, Alisa, Felix, and Mikel are soon faced with danger and betrayal from the machinations of humans and Alphans alike. The Alphans will have the chance to rescue their fair damsel after all, but will they make it in time?

Purchase links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Evernight Publishing

Bio

J. Lore needs three things; strong, black coffee, time to write, and…well…you can guess the third. When she isn’t inventing fantastical tales filled with passionate people, she’s shaking sriracha on whatever she’s eating or reading about the Justinian plague. For updates on her erotic romance releases, visit her at http://www.jjlore.com/ She’s also on Facebook, Twitter,  Goodreads, and Amazon.