26 Jul 2016
Blasty is an online tool that monitors Google for illegal copies of your content and allows you to remove them with one click. The product is in beta and you can get free access now. I signed for the early beta of the service in 2015 and then promptly forgot about it. Then, a few weeks ago, Blasty’s system alerted me by email that several of my books were being advertised as free downloads at a number of sites.
My first response? Freak out, of course. I dropped everything to open my dashboard at Blasty and followed the links. Sure enough, there they were, my precious books being offered for free in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB format. Not only that, there were comments from people who downloaded them thanking the company for making them available. Spamming scourges of the internet, all! Aaaarg!
Blasty is trusted by Google so when you click the orange BLAST button next to an infringing site, the listing will disappear, often in a few hours. Removing search results from Google means that people searching for my books won’t see that they’re offered for free.
In your justified outrage, you may be tempted to sign up for a free account at the infringing site to investigate. Do. Not. Do. This.
Many of these sites are doing something called phishing. They probably don’t really have my files at all.
Phishing is an attempt to collect information like usernames, passwords, social security and credit card numbers, or even to launch malware on your computer. They look like legitimate sites, even going so far as to post comments from fake users. Your book cover and description are used as bait to the phish. That is, people who are looking for free books, music, movies, software and games.
Rest the rest at Bookworks
Since I started writing The Career Indie Author, I’ve been thinking about ways to share other people’s stories. There’s tons of material on the Internet, but I’ve read so much that it’s rare to come across something that challenged my knowledge or added to it.
So I figured, why not borrow a page from The Passive Voice and link to an excerpt?
This is an experiment, and we’ll see how it goes, but in the meantime I’ll get out of my own way and Just Do It.