I have a google alert set up for my name, and at least a few times per week, I get a notification that one of my books is available in PDF format at some website. Most of the time, the book isn’t actually at that site. They claim to have it, but it’s just a clickhole to collect email address so they can spam you.
I’ve mostly stopped checking to see if they even have the books at those sites. I keep getting the alerts because I’m curious. But I don’t feel the need to act on it.
I know, you’re freaked out about piracy. You’re thinking, “but I’m losing money!”
Anyone who would pirate your book wouldn’t have paid for it anyway. They’re probably not going to join your mailing list, or share your books on social media, or leave you reviews.
Probably. But, then again, maybe getting that book for free will leave an impression.
Maybe you’ll find a new reader. Maybe someone will pirate your book, and tell someone else about it, and that person becomes a fan of your fiction. That’s how we grow: by getting our books into people’s hands.
So don’t sweat piracy. Shrug it off, because you can’t control it anyway. Lars and his Metallica cronies have been fighting it for years, and I could still get a Metallica album for free from a dozen pirate sites in only two or three clicks.
Focus instead of what you can do: writing awesome books, and getting them into the hands of people who will read more.