Free books, piracy and scams
This morning during my pre-dawn-caffeine-fix–blog-post-reading-time I read Carrie Rubin’s Be Careful What You Search For.
As she states in this post, Periodically I Google the name of my book to see if there’s anything out in cyberspace I’ve missed. Every now and then I stumble upon a review or listing I hadn’t noticed before.
What she found was a reader looking for a free copy of her book and an unflattering comment about it’s cover. (I love Carrie’s posts, they’re always interesting, informative and highly entertaining. If you don’t already know her I strongly recommend you pay her a visit.)
After reading this post I got to thinking maybe I should check my own books to see what’s happening in cyberspace.
What a shock!
I came across a site that has all my books for free to download. Not only in every format but also in audio. I’ve never produced an audio book and was dying to know how they had done this. I didn’t want to download any of them (because I had a distinct feeling that this was a scam website and I didn’t want to invite the malware fairy to a party on my hard drive) so I sent an email-link to my son in the hope that one of his tech-savvy friends could check it out safely.
I also went to the Scam Adviser website (always a handy place to go) to check the status of the site offering freebies of my books.
What I learned from Scam Adviser:
- This website is 37 Days old
- The website expected life (365 days) is relatively short.
Although this website appears to be based in United States there are other countries involved and you should review this information carefully and decide if it is as you expect. This website is very new, and as such doesn’t have an online reputation yet. As with all new businesses, we suggest that you take care and if necessary get in contact with the owners before placing an order of value.
The website has been newly registered with a short life expectancy, which follows the pattern used by many fraudulent and fake selling websites. Please be vigilant and take extra care before providing any payment information.
So there you go. If you’re looking for free books you may just end up getting more than you bargained for. With all the so-called ‘share’ sites out there where you can download music, movies and books, no wonder the scammers who want to infect your PC with hideous malware are developing sites like this. They know people are constantly looking for freebies and this is an easy way to infect your computer and collect your data. The old Latin saying caveat emptor is alive and well in this online world of ours.
Carrie also pointed me in the direction of S.K Nicholls’ site and her great post The Author Delusion – Your Book is Free. Reading this post is a scary indication of how widespread piracy is.
On a lighter note – while I was searching for free copies of my books and reading these posts I was also trying to eat breakfast while snapping pictures of a crop duster flying over a neighbouring field. It swooped my house a few times (with the duster OFF, thank goodness!)
It reminded me of the dragonflies I had seen last week 😀
I hope you all have a great week and if you search for yourself or your books and find anything interesting, please feel free to share it here (unless it’s X-rated and then a private email will suffice)