Book Stolen: The Consequences of Placing Your Book on a ARC Site

After two years, I finally finished my book, What Million-Dollar Brands Know: Marketing & Branding Strategies for Today’s Entrepreneur. During the process, I lost my mom and my sister, conducted 15 interviews with 15 amazing women business owners, two interview audio transcriptions, and a major rewrite. When it was all done, all was left was to make advanced reader copies (ARCs) available to interested readers in exchange for book reviews.

There are a number of sites that will host your ARC and collect reviews. Some offer that service for free, others for a fee. I chose Booksprout.co.

I found the site cumbersome and not entirely user-friendly and so did a few of my readers. So I can’t say I’d recommend them.

What was most troubling about using such a service is the potential of theft. You’re basically releasing a free version of your book on the Internet and there are bound to be some unscrupulous people out there.

And unfortunately, my book found its way to those people via Booksprout.co.

A recent Google search of my book title showed the book being offered for free on a rouge website.

I. Was. Livid. Even though I wasn’t too terribly surprised. It’s a risk you take when you offer ARCs. These folk had the nerve to even offer an audio version of the book when I hadn’t even created one yet. I didn’t download anything from the site because I couldn’t be sure that would be the only thing I downloaded. Malware is real!

Thanks to whois.com I found out who was hosting the site and filed a copyright infringement complaint. I even contacted a few other author’s whose work appeared on the site to make them aware.

Now, I’m waiting for the hosting company to remove the site and I’ll probably have to monitor because they can just as easily create another site and repeat the madness all over again.

So, would I use such a service again?

Probably not. I know unscrupulous people can still buy the electronic version of the book and do with it what they will. But at least I got some money out of them! I urge fellow authors to continue building their email lists and ask trusted readers for reviews.

That’s my plan for the next book.

Have you used an ARC service? What was your experience?

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