Since most of the larger sites are stationed overseas, often there is little you can do about it. You can message the sites asking for your work to be taken down. Some will comply with your wishes while others will ignore it, and keep doing what they're doing. And often, even if your work is removed, it's up again within a matter of minutes or hours.
Over the past few years I have heard arguments that actually are in favor of these sites:
- The thieves are helping the author develop a wider readership. Bullshit! If that's the kind of fan that I am going to get from that, I don't want them. If you are downloading my books illegally, you're not fan of mine and I'm sure as hell no fan of yours!
- The people downloading your books illegally wouldn't buy them anyway. This may be true, but it doesn't make it any better. I will argue this point because there are specific requests being put out there for certain authors including myself.
- It's just sharing like you would do with a print book that you bought or borrow from the library. Well no, it isn't. This is illegal. You are NOT borrowing a copy, you're stealing it!
- I can't afford to buy the book. Tough titty! This is the lamest argument of all. I'd love a big screen TV, but you don't see me walking into a store to steal one.
Now for the ones that are against it:
- You're stealing from me, and my publishing company. Yes that's right. This is illegal and if you are caught, you will be fined, and possibly jailed(I'd LOVE to see more of this).
- Supporting authors is a good thing. Without the support of our dedicated readers many of us would stop putting our work out there.
- These downloads often come with virus'. Good on ya I says!
- The people doing this are thieving bastards with no respect for any artist. True!
I know some authors will not speak out about this because they are afraid it will just draw attention to themselves and their books will end up all over the sites. Yet, if we don't speak out more. many will think it's okay to be at this crap. The sad reality is that many 'fans' do think it's fine.
For the people doing this, you need to realize that you are cutting into my income as a writer. I don't sit and write each day, and go through the submission process just for the hell of it. This is my career. It may be part time for now, but in the future I'd like for that to change. And remember, sales count for most of us to view it as a business. This is our livelihood in many cases. If you can't understand that then there is something terribly wrong.