The Price of Fame

Beware Book Pirates!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been running an Instafreebie promotion (where science fiction readers sign up to my newsletter and receive a free copy of my novel, “FACES OF JANUS“).

Then Google Alerts notified me that the novel was available on a few pirate sites. I checked and found that one site claimed not only to have my novels but also every anthology I ever was published in. Some charge for their copies (and keep the income). Others hand out copies for free. Forever.

I explored a few pirate sites’ extensive book lists. Some of these pirates claim to have as many ebooks as Amazon! Most likely, these were cover shots only and downloaders would get a nice virus instead of my book. (Be warned!)

As my free offer was limited in time and scope, I was at first unhappy about this. But I decided to ignore it, because…

Cease and Desist letters seem to be a waste of time and are unenforcible, according to other commentators:-

When my free promo ends, I’d be losing royalty income from novels distributed via these various pirate sites.

  • As it usually retails at 99c, my royalty loss would be 30c per copy after Amazon fees and currency conversion costs. Hardly a huge loss.

If the result was a downloaded virus, would there be irrational resentment against me?

  • Nothing I can do about that. And surely downloaders from pirate sites must realize the risks and that the work is stolen from me, not authorized by me… Surely?

No edits or updates to my books would be made available to pirates’ future prospective downloaders – ever.

  • I can update official sites, but not pirates’. Oh, well, that’s the price a downloader pays for free stuff!


If the site is truly a generous distributor of unvirused quality reading matter for free, why should I care?

  • It gets the first novel in my trilogy into even more hands.
  • Hopefully, readers will like it enough to buy the second and concluding part of the trilogy.
  • If they don’t like the novel, then I’ve not lost eager readers. And downloaders can’t resent me for charging them a whopping 99c for a book they don’t like.


  • It’s the Price of Fame
  • The internet is a dangerous place
  • There’s always some lazy parasite making money out of other people’s hard work – on and off the ‘net
  • The pirate sites think my work is worthy of stealing! (Is that equal to a 5-star Amazon review?)
  • Move on and forget it

Whatever you’re reading and however you sourced it…

Happy Reading!

9 thoughts on “The Price of Fame

  1. Andy, my friend, I’m impressed by your equanimity and restraint. I suppose there is a wee bit of satisfaction in knowing that some of those trying to pirate books get viruses instead. Sorry to hear of your challenges. Thank you for the thoughtful piece.


    1. I don’t wish ill on those who choose to download free. Not everyone can afford 99c…
      Seriously, I’ve learned that you fix what you can fix and roll with what you can’t.
      And I know my work is getting to a wider readership, so it’s not all bad.


    1. At least I know how a multi-billionaire pop singer feels when one of their albums gets downloaded for free and they lose a couple of bucks.
      Yes, I know EXACTLY how it feels to be a multi-billionaire pop singer
      Honest 😉


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