A Caution

May 31st, 2005 · 8 Comments
by Booksquare

Over the weekend, we received word that a site out there is selling unauthorized versions of electronic books. Various authors have assured us that the bookseller has not entered into arrangements with their publishers to sell these titles (also, we did find it peculiar that the only electronic versions of the Harry Potter books and certain Michael Connelly titles were available via this site). The authors have assured us that their publishers are attempting to contact this seller.

Sites like this one come and go with alarming regularity. Sometimes the problem is genuinely criminal; sometimes it’s the result of genuine cluelessness. The bottom line, of course, is that booksellers and publishers enter into financial agreements when books are sold. Authors should certainly be apprised when new sales avenues are opened — if only to provide a new method for obsessing over the important things.

Though we do not like to encourage time-wasting, we would suggest that authors, publishers, and agents add a regular google of names and titles to their routines. It’s not narcissism if you’re fighting piracy. Also, if your publisher does contract with a site like this, may we humbly suggest better spelling, punctuation, and grammar for the copywriters?

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs

8 responses so far ↓

  • Naba Barkakati // May 31, 2005 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up. I checked the site and sure enough in the Linux category they had a bunch of Wiley titles, including my Linux book (an older edition) – – http://bookaza.com/category/linux.html I passed the information on to Wiley. I wonder how they get the electronic files…

  • Booksquare // Jun 1, 2005 at 8:25 am

    Alas, getting the electronic files isn’t as hard as you think. Since you asked this question, I’ve come up with at least three (devious) methods. And that’s without caffeine. These scam sites (and there’s been further verification that this is indeed not operating legally) are usually uncovered by authors googling their names and titles. It’s the only time I suggest this type of obessive behavior (this means you, Jill!).

  • Rebecca // Jun 1, 2005 at 7:19 pm

    If you find one of these sites, here is how to trace these people:

    http://www.whois.com

    type in the domain name and press enter. Get the IP address of the server and then visit

    http://www.arin.net

    type in the IP address and hit enter

    It will list the owner of the IP subnet – these are the people you want to talk to because they can turn off the IP address or refer you to the hosting company. The whois database may or may not be accurate and is easily changable, ARIN is accurate and is not easily changable.

    Give this guy no room to grow. Make him pay for domain names until he’s out of cash.

  • Mike Feury // Jun 7, 2005 at 8:24 pm

    As the publisher of some books ‘on offer’ at the Bookaza site, I can definitely confirm that this is an illegal scam.

    There are a lot of big guns after this guy but he’s proving resilient, popping up with different domains and with hosting in different countries.

    This is one time when a small publisher like me is cheering for the big guys :)

  • Booksquare // Jun 7, 2005 at 9:55 pm

    Mike, thanks for checking in with facts (we do so love to make stuff up, but when it matters). I am a huge proponent of ebook technology, but realize the risks. I’m not sure what the answer is, but do have faith in readers.

  • Andrew // Jun 14, 2005 at 5:14 pm

    Looks like these kind made it shut down:

    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=4186

  • Anonymous // Jun 14, 2005 at 5:50 pm

    It looks like they’re threatening some people now. I’m sure the FBI will get involved and investigate this now. They take threats very seriously.

  • Booksquare // Jun 14, 2005 at 7:35 pm

    Who is threatening whom? I presume it’s the illegal booksellers? Yeah, stupidity always works.