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Ebooks, Giveaways and Piracy

12 Jun 2014
So the book and blogging world always seems to be surprisingly full of drama. I say surprisingly because before I saw all the drama for myself I imagined the bookish community to (virtually) be sat around in a big circle contentedly drinking tea, loving books, being respectful of people opinions, never doing anything hurtful and generally just being happy to share their love with other people. I now know that is a very na├»ve thought.

A large amount of drama tends to stem from plagiarism and piracy; people doing things they shouldn't with things that don't belong to them. Most authors know that piracy is a terribly unpleasant but unfortunately unavoidable part of publishing. Piracy hurts authors and affects their livelihood; imagine how much more it must hurt to find out that an instance of piracy comes from a blogger and "fan".

You may be wondering what I'm talking about in which case jump over to Teresa Mummert's blog where it all started. Basically a thoughtful and concerned reader contacted the above (fantastic :P) author as she had received a book won in a giveaway direct from the blogger rather than through the author or gifted from amazon or similar. This was without the authors knowledge and was therefore piracy.


2 - The unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work

Unfortunately this one case is not where it ended. After Teresa Mummert posted her story yesterday many more readers realised that books they had won through giveaways may not have been authorized copies. Multiple authors have now reported readers telling them (with proof) about pirated ebooks that they unwittingly received.

As a blogger this saddens me as how are authors and publishers supposed to trust us with arcs and review copies if some people are illegally sharing them. These are by no means the majority of bloggers but the few rotten apples just tar peoples image of the rest of us. All bloggers need to be aware that ebooks are for YOUR EYES ONLY unless stated otherwise though I think most are and those pirating are doing it knowingly and without shame. People  also need to remember that their actions do not affect only themselves.

The one silver lining to this story are the readers who alerted authors to the wrongdoings that were occurring and the outrage by many bloggers that someone had dared to do this. Most people do not tolerate things like this from taking place.

If you are ever suspicious about the legality of a giveaway PLEASE contact the author whose book it is. They will truly appreciate you if it is indeed a case of piracy. We all just need to keep our eyes peeled for things like this occurring. Hopefully know that it is getting around that if you are receiving an e-file from a blogger rather than author it may be pirated it will be harder for people to get away with this in the future.

I could go on about how wrong piracy is and the duty we have as book bloggers for hours (and I fully intended to have a rant when I started writing this post) but once I start I probably won't stop and the truth is this topic makes me sad :(

It would be nice to have one month in the book world without drama you know. Can we do that? How about 1 week? Lets try :P


  1. This is such a shame. I mean, how do we expect to be trusted and considered worthy and reliable if people keep doing things like this.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader

  2. When I heard about it on FB I was flabbergasted. As an author I feel like I should be more and more cautious, which saddens me a lot.
    As you wrote it in your post, could we go for a little while without drama? Every time I read about some piracy or plagiarism thing it breaks a little more that bookish bubble I love so much.


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