Saturday, July 07, 2018

Guest Post: "The First Pirate Hurts Most" by Addison Brae

Today, Addison Brae shares a debut author's rude awakening.

The first pirate hurts most
July 8, 2018
By Addison Brae

Digital piracy is rarely discussed in the publishing world, so seeing an unauthorized PDF of my book for the first time for free download was a shocker. Then add the extra punch that the site owner invites people to pay to join, and the first month is free. How did this jerk get the PDF? And what nerve to sell something that isn’t theirs.

The even bigger bombshell is how many authors have given up on chasing down pirated copies of their books. Last time best-selling crime writer Sue Coletta ( checked the pirate sites, her books neared 1,000. “If I wasted time trying to get every book off these sites, I’d be sending copyright notices full-time, with no time to write another book, never mind market my existing ones,” Sue said. “Sometimes we need to pick our battles.”

Piracy is cybercrime. It drastically changed the music, movie, and book publishing industries, and it’s spawned other industries to help stop it. But why does piracy continue?

My theory? No one’s looking. People do it thinking no one will notice or care.

A June 6, 2018 Digital Music News (  article says 53% of UK adults surveyed felt accessing media content illegally is wrong, but did it anyway.

It takes two. One steals the file and makes it available. You have a say in whether pirates are successful. Don’t download from shady sites. Besides, if they steal what they’re selling, they’ll steal and sell the personal information you provide.

Someone I know recently captured an unauthorized version of my book trailer ( from the web to play for a group. The intention was good, but the video quality suffered since it was pirated.

I found the first copyright violation instance with a simple Google alert on the book title and author name. I spent about an hour contacting the company that owns the site, and they disabled the link three days later, but hundreds of other titles remain. It was time I should have spent writing or doing something else productive.

Authors overwhelmingly use Blasty ( to monitor for copyright infringement. Monitoring is free, but the company charges $156 per year to blast the violator with automated notices about DMCA—the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It took me about a minute to set up a free monitoring account. Another author recently shared with an author email group, “They have taken down over 4k pirates offering my work in the last year.”

Wow. I’m not endorsing the service, but speechless at the number of people who will steal content for their own profit.

Please consider carefully before you swipe a book, piece of art, video, song, or anything without paying.

Think twice before you download!

A version of this post first appeared on Addison Brae’s blog ( Addison’s first novel is Becker Circle (Tirgearr Publishing, March 2018). Read more on her website (

Thank you, Addison!

No comments:

Post a Comment