Piracy SUCKS-especially when it affects you

I use to think that this form of evil just effected authors and their work, but with very recent experiences I have found it can effect me too.  It SUCKS having to be in this position where I have to defend my reputation for something that I DID NOT DO!  Those of you who know me know that I would never do this and those of you who don't well I guess you can make a decision based on the facts.

Here is the email that I received last night.

I've had so many problems with piraters that I marked all of the ARC's for (book title) so I would know if the books were leaked or not and who did it. I found the copy that I gave you on sharetermpapers. I've asked them to take it down.
I planned to let you know that I found it. I also saw a couple of tweets where the copy was given to someone else. I'm not sure who put it up on the site, you or the person the copy was given to, but it was there. I know these things go on, especially between book bloggers, but it really sucks for us. Especially when we trust you with something no one else has. This us my job, and I don't think it's asking too much for someone to pay a few bucks for a book. But people who get ARC's get them for free. So to turn around and give that free copy to a site where anyone can get it for free is a slap in the face.
All I plan to do is send this email and tell you that I know. A trusted friend who I confided in has gone behind my back and told others of this and has suspicions about their own copies. Although I don't condone what happened with (book title) being pirated AT ALL, this was all I planned to do was this email. Anything else you may or may not hear from anyone else is them, not me. I will not be posting anything about any if it.
I hate that this happened. I had already decided I won't be doing ARC's anymore, but I've said it all and that's it for me. I really hope nothing else comes if it, but if it does, I was not the one involved with it.

This is my response

First of all, I am completely shocked and devastated by this email…

I am very sorry that this has happened to you, but you have wrongly accused me.  I feel privileged to get ARCs and I have never forwarded an ARC to anyone or posted them on a pirating website, frankly I wouldn't even know how to do that and I never want to know.  I believe the tweet you are referring to is when I bought Brittni Guillen (book title) on Amazon because she didn't have enough money at the time to get it ( I attached the order confirmation from the Amazon website).  I am extremely upset by this because I spend hours promoting Indies and building reputations with authors, and I would never dream of doing this to any of you.  Whether you meant to or not, you very well have ruined and slandered my reputation by misinterpreting my tweet and having evidence that is wrong.  As a blogger something like this would completely ruin me, and it's not right that it has come out of something I didn't do.  I ask that you tell your friend and those she told behind your back that I had been wrongly accused. 

I will be anxiously awaiting your reply, so please get back to me ASAP!


Here is the screen shot of the Amazon order confirmation...why would I buy the book for Brittni if I was going to pirate it? That would make no sense.

And then her response to that

I feel bad as well. But my reason isn't for the tweet I saw. My reason is that I marked my ARCs and numbered them. I'm not sure if you live in a dorm or something, maybe people have access to your computer, I don't know. I just know that I found it.
Now as for the other people, I told them all last night that I had only found your copy, that didn't mean it was you. That I was going to email you about it. And I confronted the girl who was telling people when it wasn't any of her concern. There won't be anything coming from anyone else. I made my case clear.
However, I wasn't the only person to mark my PDF's and one person had the same results as me. That's what I'm saying. I don't know what's going on, but if it's not you, someone must have access to your computer or something.
I hate this. I hate this so bad. I don't like to confront people. In fact, I had no intentions of saying anything to you at all. The only reason I did, is because I wanted you to hear it from me, not hearsay or whatever. But as I said, no one will say anything to you.
You are a very sweet girl from what I've seen, and I really do hope that someone stole it from you and you didn't do this yourself. I am tired. So, so tired of feeling helpless with this pirating crap. I have over 10,000 illegal downloads and it's not right.
Like I told you before, I'm not going to start some kind of boycott Tess campaign. I have no intentions of saying anything else about it. Please look into your computer situation and see what's going on with that.

Just so y'all know I found the number my ARC had and it was #1...how hard is it for someone else to change a number to 1 before posting it on a pirating website... 
Also my dad is an executive computer engineer and he says that there is no way that someone could have gotten the book off my computer

I feel like y'all deserve the truth and I am here to tell you the facts.  It makes me sick that rumors are going around about this and that this author's mistake could effect me. 

If you have any questions for me please let me know.  I would rather everyone that does know confront me about it instead of talking behind my back.  All I have to say is before accusing someone of this evil ask them about it first before going to tell your friends.

*New Information* I found out last night that a blogger friend of mine has the same exact ARC that I do.


  1. This really sucks Tess. :( piracy DOES suck. I hope the author finds the person who really did it.

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  3. why remove it. being publicly accused of stealing is no joke.

  4. Yeah why remove it? She's not slandering the author or saying omg I hate them, they suck, blah blah blah. She's just posting facts about what happened so that we all can see her side and make up our minds on the situation.

    Seriously though, it is beyond easy to change the number of an ARC and then upload it online. Just saying.

  5. I really hope they find the real person who did this too. :(

  6. I totally agree. It sucks to be falsely accused of something like this. Especially something that affects something that you love so much. As someone who was caught in a similar situation a couple of times at no fault of my own, I would say that I know how it feels.

    As for people distributing copies of books, I think it is a good idea to protect your documents that you send to people because you never know if someone is "lending" your pdf to someone else. I am looking into software that might encode books in a more secure manner. When I googled "ebook security" I found a few, but I need to review these more.

    As for people who think stealing one copy of a book is no big deal, look at the example. One copy got out and 10,000 people stole it. While I doubt that all those people would be interested in paying for something that they should be, some of them might have. It all adds up. It is no different than walking into Barnes and Nobles and stashing a book into your shorts.

    Whoever did this should be in trouble.

  7. Another thought...as someone who has worked with PDF software often, I would say that if your number was #1, it was probably numbered incorrectly. I am curious as to how many others got that same number.

  8. I think I need to weigh in on this discussion as Tess' mom. My husband and I have been revelling in this Blog and all that Tess has been doing for author's and her fellow bloggers and readers. It has been such a joy to see how authors were trusting her and talking to her about their books and even acknowledging her sweetness. And let me tell you Tess deserved every bit of it. She did nothing but help promote authors books. She used almost all of her free time and a lot of sleep time to try to figure out how to help authors. We even went on the a trip to Savannah to meet the authors, and I know the authors got a great impression of her and her character. My daughter is a senior in high school who is at Kennesaw State University in a dual enrollment program where this year she has almost completed her freshman year of college. She also works very hard and long hours at Chickfila so that she can have her own money to buy books for herself as well as her friends. She is a mature Christian 18-year old of strong character.

    She had come home late from working 10 hrs at Chickfila on Saturday and received the first email. I was coming home late as well and my husband was out of town. She called me completely devastated. We discussed for a couple of hours what to do about it, and Tess came up with her 1st reply email-which in my opinion as a licensed professional counselor is very gracious and mature. We went to bed and she actually slept in my bed which she never does because we were both so shell shocked and tired.

    We woke up the next morning to get ready for church and found the second email from the author. The author did not even apologize or back off from insisting that the arc came from her computer.

    When we came home she decided that she needed to write a couple of the authors that she knew about the situation and ask them to if they heard about this to please know about the truth. Neither of the authors came to her aid or did anything to help her.

    Upon our advice she posted the emails on her blog, and she left out any identifying information because she does not wish to harm any author. She has the right and obligation to expose this and defend her character.

    Since then she has had messages from this site and privately talking about the same types of things happening to others, so I'm sure there will be some good in this, but there is so much harm. The authors that heard about this are defending each other and each others actions. There is only one author that has done anything to help the victim here who is Tess not the author that victimized her. I am 100% sure the author did not intend on victimzing Tess, but she did, and as a mature woman, she needs to own up to what she did and apologize to Tess and do what she can to rebuild what she devastated. She needs to stop justifying her behavior and the other authors need to as well.

    Authors-this is highly unethical to your profession. This is now a world of the internet, and Bloggers are just as legitimate a profession as authors. Just like you want bloggers to uphold an ethical standard-you must also. And you must govern you own craft and not defend a situation that is unethical.

    What I would like to see is private messages to my daughter from authors apologizing that this happened to her, and I would like lessons to be learned from this situation. I would also like a standard of conduct to be written about the relationship between authors and bloggers.

    1. Very well said!! I hate that this happened to Tess and I hope that well-deserved apologies are soon given to her!

    2. I'm shocked! I don't even know what to say. Frankly, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the copy that was supposedly sent to Tess and TESS ONLY was in fact sent to a at least a handful of other bloggers - why? Because we all make mistakes. We all spend a great deal of time doing what we do -as both authors and bloggers - and we all get tired. People are just that- people. Not machines. I can't believe the author would just go ahead and spread those rumors even before confronting Tess! That's just.. low. According to the self-published author, she has only emailed Tess because she didn't want her to hear about the whole thing from someone else. Well, guess what? Maybe you shouldn't have talked about it with anyone else in the first place. Especially since you have no way of knowing nor proving that it was Tess who leaked the copy. And seriously, it is not at all that hard to change a freaking tracking number. Anyone with a computer and just a little bit of skills could probably do that. And lets not forget - people who do pirate movies, books and programs are good at what they're doing. There are plenty of websites out there offering pirated books, movies, programs etc. It's not just one Tess who woke up one day and thought to herself: gee, why don't I throw away all my hard work and dedication out the window and upload this one miserable ebook online. RIGHT, because that's how we, bloggers think, huh? We spend long hours reading self pubs, writing up reviews, doing interviews and guest post, supporting them by spreading the word, gifting copies of books, tweeting and re-tweeting, just to go behind their backs and post it to some shady websites. RIGHT. Now, I know that piracy sucks. It hurts as hell to have something stolen from you, whether it is a book, a picture, a drawing, or even a review, but hey - if we're gonna point fingers and talk sh*t behind the accused person's back, how about we get our facts straight first? Or simply just ask the person FIRST. Cause in the end being wrongly accused of something like that hurts no less than the piracy itself.

      To me, even the first email the author sent to Tess, is all kinds of uncool. It just seems that she was trying to protect her ars and nothing else, cause she probably realized that she went a little bit too far steering trouble and causing drama - which - obviously - was not even aimed at the right person.

      Also, love that Tess's moms expressed her opinion on here. I am all in support of Tess! Writers can team up together against bloggers/reviewers, well guess what, we bloggers can do the same! And then who is going to be reading your self published books, huh?

  9. This is so terrible. Piracy is the worst, and I definitely know that you wouldn't do anything like that. I really hope people understand that, because it isn't fair for you to be blamed for something someone else did.

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  11. Tess,

    You have defended your honor well. You have learned a life lesson. You have exposed to this community that some Authors wish to protect their "profession" and do not understand their blogging customer base.You have exosed the hypocritical vs the truthful. Take peace in knowing that some of these Authors will learn "life lessons" too. Though they will learn them the hard way. While they continually deface the blogging community, they will be asking themselves why it is not working for them when it is working for others. They will blame the community and they will fail.

    It is simply amazing that some of the Autors would accuse the very people that support them of stealing. It is not your place to post the who. Life will do that for us all. However, It is now time to respect those who follow you and repspect you. It is time to remove from your blog those who did not stand by the bloggers, your followers and you. At the same time, it is now tIme to stand by those Authors who defended your honor. They deserve your hard work and support.

  12. I'm so glad everybody is defending you Tess. You deserve it. I know you did nothing wrong, and I will ALWAYS feel comfortable sending you my ARCs... And not-so-read ARCs ;)

    1. Thank you, Heather, for being an author that is willing to defend Tess and the truth.

  13. Wow, I'm sorry this has happened to you. There's a lot of negative things going on in the blogging world lately, it seems.

  14. This is just preposterous! This is just...beyond me. I don't know that I can sleep soundly until justice is served to the real hooligans behind these shenanigans!! Bah!