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Bloggers, Giveaways and Piracy Controversy


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#1 AQCrew

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:31 PM

There is a bit of a Twitter blowback happening right now about the insinuation that many bloggers have been giving away pirated copies of authors' books to their blog readers via their giveaways...

 

We believe the controversy was started by this incredibly detailed and interesting post from author Teresa Mummert who realized that a blogger gave away a pirated copy of her book, White Trash Beautiful.  She realized this after receiving an email from the reader who won the giveaway, received the pirated copy of Mummert's book, then quickly questioned the legitimacy of receiving it.

 

http://www.teresamum.../to-the-thieves

 

It isn't this post that seems to be the problem... it's subsequent controversial blog posts from authors and bloggers who are responding to this post as well as the assertion that "more and more bloggers than you think are doing this..."

 

We don't really believe this is a widespread problem among bloggers because most professional bloggers work directly with blog tour organization or the authors themselves, and there's no need to giveaway pirated copies of books when the authors are more than willing to gift them to readers via legitimate giveaways in exchange for being promoted by the bloggers.

 

However, it's an interesting read because it gives you a clear idea about the practices and mechanics of dealing with bloggers as well as how best to gift your books as an author via giveaways.

 

We quoted the below post, lifted from the comments section of Teresa Mummert's article.  It is by a reader/newbie blogger who summarizes the procedure that is likely the most professional way of handling a giveaway.

 

Regardless of how you feel about the controversy, it's all good information if you are an author promoting yourself via giveaways and bloggers, or a blogger who is running a giveaway.

 

 

 

Wow! I have entered and won lots of giveaways, but I've never been asked to provide my kindle email for a book. I've always had them directly gifted from the author. I just started blogging in March and I have only done 2 giveaways, which were for physical copies that I purchased from Amazon and Book Depo. Haven't had one where I actually interacted with an author for a kindle copy of a book, but in the future I will be sure to stay in contact with the author during the giveaway. I will then forward the winner's info to the author who will distribute gifted copies themselves. I have so many PDF files of books that I have reviewed from authors, but I would never host a giveaway and intentionally forward the files as the prize. Is that what they did? The files are for MY review purposes and not to be distributed around like some bootleg movie or CD. Shame on them! So sorry this happened to you. There's no telling how many authors they've done this to.


#2 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:04 PM

I've been watching this blow up over the last day or so and I'm conflicted. Facebook events are fantastic for reaching new readers, normally the host emails me the winners details and I forward the book to them. I have also participated in a couple where the host blogger has asked me to email my book in all formats (epub, mobi & pdf) so they can send them out direct to winners. I am obviously naive, and didn't think of more of that until today. Now I'm thinking "hmm... wonder how many copies went out and who to?"

 

I've seen an explosion of pirated copies of my books over the last couple of months to the point I've given up. It's like playing demonic whack-a-mole and I'm not making any headway. Are the two related? Has emailing the books to a blogger resulted in my books ended up on pirate sites? I don't know, but it will make me more cautious in the future.

 

More disturbing are the cases where an author has sent out a limited number of ARCs to bloggers and the advance copy has ended up on a pirate site.



#3 RSMellette

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:04 PM

Would watermarks help?

 

In the film industry, every single script that goes out has the person's name watermarked across the whole page.  If a copy shows up, you know where it came from.  That can be done on PDFs.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#4 Guest_AWExley_*

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:18 PM

Another update to this - I have a fellow Curiosity Quills author whose novel (not yet released) has already cropped up on a pirate site.

 

A handful of ARCs were given out to a few bloggers, so it would appear that one of them has either passed the ARC to someone who has then uploaded it to a pirate site, or the blogger has been directly involved in the pirating. CQ is looking at water marking ARCs but I'm not sure if that will solve the problem or just make it easier to identify who was responsible?



#5 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:48 PM

By identifying who is responsible it helps slow the problem down.

 

When I worked at a studio they had an anti-piracy unit that did nothing but download movies all day.  They would follow the watermark back to the source and get the FBI involved. 

 

The other thing this does is make the pirates paranoid of each other, since many of them are undercover studio security posing as hackers.

 

Entertainment Narcs.  I feel a new Johnny Depp movie in the works.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.





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