A Letter to Book Pirates – Please Stop (For Your Own Sake)!

Dear Book Pirate,

My point can be summed up in two words – Please Stop!

I don’t know how you came to realize my book existed. It has been out for less than a month, and it is not even available in all retail outlets. I’m a first-time author. This book is a novella. It was published by a small-press ePublisher. Considering it is a post apocalyptic erotic zombie romance based on a fairy tale, I would say the genre is pretty darn niche.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered what you were doing.

I wrote Tower in the Woods while working close to 50 hours a week and adjusting to life in a rather dangerous place. For over three months, instead of turning on the TV or Xbox when I got home, I turned on my laptop. I wrote every weekend, after work every day, and I even snuck in writing spurts while sitting in an FAV to meet people at the airport. Once I was done, my publisher paid a number of people to make my manuscript better – readers, a copy editor, line editor, and cover artist. Then we spent a great deal of time trying to get the book reviewed so potential buyers can make an informed purchasing decision.

Do you want to read the sequel? Do you want to read my next books? Do you want quality works of fiction and non-fiction to exist at all? Please understand–authors, editors, publishers and cover artists need to make a living. The only way we can recoup the time and effort spent on this book is by selling it. Most ebooks (including mine) are priced less than a Frapuccino at Starbucks, and they give many more hours of enjoyment.

One day, I would like to be able to write full-time. Heck, I’ll take part-time over sneaking in writing moments whenever I can. Maybe then, I will have the energy to write a full-length novel. I would also like to have multiple books out in a year instead of one or two. It will never be economically possible if you, book pirate, do not let me sell my book in peace.

You don’t think my book is worth $3.99 (occasionally on sale for $2.99)? That’s fine. Don’t buy it. But please do not buy it once and post it online for other people to download for free. Please do not try to obtain it illegally for free. I’m not discussing morality or ethics here, just pure self-interest. Apply this rule – if everyone chooses to pirate books instead of buying them, then authors will not write books, editors won’t be able to make a living, and publishers won’t make the investment. In short, you won’t have anything worth reading to pirate.

For your own sake, please stop!

Very Angrily Yours,



3 responses to “A Letter to Book Pirates – Please Stop (For Your Own Sake)!

  1. Tara–I think my book released a week or two after yours, from the same ePub, and let me just say, this post struck fear into my heart. I want to hug you while at the same time knowing it could happen to me at any moment. I will now vigilantly troll the internet knowing that there isn’t much I can do about the pirates of the world but hoping that this never happens to you again.

    • Well…all is not lost (I’m back to my positive mode). The website that had the files up is actually hosted in the US (by GoDaddy, of all places), so I submitted a DMCA takedown request politely asking that they remove the content (well, at least mine). The domain name is pretty close to being ebookpiratingwebsite.com, so I’m hoping the GoDaddy folks will see the obvious. I also submitted a request for Google to remove it from its searches.

      Essentially – I filled out two forms. It took me less than half an hour. It might work, it might not, but I feel better for at least trying to do something about it. At least, it’ll add 1 more request to the whole bunch of requests they’re probably getting (this site has hundreds of ebooks on there…including cookbooks and stuff. And they seem to have a thing for romances…lots of big names…so it’s a matter of time before the bigger publishers pounce).

  2. Pirates do suck, don’t they (unless they’re the ‘swashbuckling’ rogues we like to read about in a good adventure, of course). Personally, I want to see all book pirates hanged from the yardarm. I can’t abide people who think that they’re somehow justified in posting copyrighted materials – especially from us independent-types.


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