Is There a New Type of eBook Piracy?

This post, by Sam Cheever, originally appeared on ‘Tween You And Me on 5/4/12.

Over the last week I’ve noticed something that has me really concerned. My titles are selling. And then they’re being returned. I’ve been indie publishing for about 2 years now. I can count on three fingers the number of returns I’ve had of my ebooks over that period of time.

Over the last 2 days I’ve had 8.

Okay, I know that’s not a lot in the overall scheme, but I think it’s a pattern. Amazon has been nice enough in responding to my concerns, though I imagine they think I’m a total loon at this point. The problem isn’t very big yet. However, to a hard working author who counts every penny she earns dearly, 8 lost sales is a smack in the face. Here’s what I think… I believe someone is scamming the system. I think they’re buying the books, reading or copying them, and then returning them.

Paranoid? Maybe. But there’s that pattern to worry about again. I’m not imagining the 300% increase in returns in an extremely condensed timeline. It’s not so farfetched when you think about how many pirate sites authors have to monitor and report in a given year. There are lots of unscrupulous people who apparently only care about getting what they want for themselves and the hell with the author/artist/whatever.

It’s disheartening. I hope I’m wrong. But I really think I’m discovering the leading edge of a new type (or at least growing if not new) of piracy.


Read the rest of the post (and be sure to check out the comments, too) on ‘Tween You And Me.

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