I'm in the final steps of publishing my latest novel and I was waiting for my editor so I do my usual and googled myself only to find my unpublished novel already available on some sites. So, here are some things about pirates.
1. You can't stop them- to be honest you can try but it is one little ole you versus a hell of a lot more of them. You can watermark the reviewer copies you send out to see where the leak is but what is the point. All of my books have been pirated. Two of them I have sent out reviewer copies. One is completely free so anyone can pick that one up but I have three novels that have been exclusive on Amazon and one of them hasn't even been free on one of those deals. Pirates can break any protections you have and even if you knew who it was who first pirated your work it still won't stop it popping up over and over.
2. Online libraries are cool- The legit online libraries will remove any of your books if you didn't give permission. They also regulate the books, it isn't really free as people have to pay a subscription so there aren't millions out there reading your book for free. The only thing is you don't see a cent. I know in New Zealand if your book is in a certain amount of libraries you get a royalty and I will love the day when this happens with online libraries.
3. Beware the scammers- Many sites that say they have your book don't actually. They are just using your good name to get you to click on their site to sell you stuff or to get you to download a virus or cookie. Especially the ones that have multiple places for them to download your books. If you check out the comments at the bottom you will see they are the same for every book.
4. It is not always a bad thing- I made my first novel perma-free. For every dozen or so books I give away free I sell one of my other books. I'm picky about who I read so I like a free book just to see if they are any good. I'm a baby author so of course putting my books out there is awesome even if it is free.
5. Don't be such a hypocrite- Before piracy or online libraries we used to share books or go to the library to the point where pages are falling out and the pages are dog eared. For that one book dozens read it. Even I won't turn my nose up at a free book and no questions asked where it was from. Checking out some of these libraries I'm tempted to sign up and I'll happily put blinkers on and ignore that some of them got there from someone buying it off Amazon and then stripping it of DRM's.
I know it sucks that your hard work is put up there for anyone to read and pass along but more people buy their books than pirate it.