As reported on GalleyCat, best-selling author Tess Gerritsen looked around the web to see how many instances she could find of her books being pirated.
She said she discovered more than 90 files in a variety of languages. On one site the indication was that the books had been downloaded 4000 times, which she equates with 4000 lost sales (which isn’t necessarily so, but she is right to be concerned).Someone with the comments name of dmargulis made this observation:
“Some (most? all?) of the "pirate" sites are nothing of the sort. They are phishing sites, pretending to offer all manner of things for download, including every book in print, that they don't actually have and that they have never furnished to anyone. The goal is to get the site visitor to provide credit card information or other personal data. The problem for the author is that, in avoiding victimization by the phishing scam, you can't verify that any given site in fact provides a pirated copy of anything at all.”
Well, I know from my own experience in trying to track down and stop unauthorized files of my “Your Writing Coach” book that not ALL pirate sites are phishing sites, but this does explain a lot. I did encounter sites that asked you to pay, via credit card, a small registration fee before you were eligible to download anything (naturally I didn’t). I can’t say I have too much sympathy for anybody who is suckered that way in hopes of being able to download pirated files. But it does blur the picture of just how much print piracy is going on.
(It's easy to buy a legal copy of my book, "Your Writing Coach" from Amazon or other online and offline retailers if you want friendly support for writing your own book.)