It was an evening like any other… poking around on Amazon. But tonight was different. There, before me, in all its glory, was my new e-book with someone else’s name on it!
Thus began an emotional roller coaster of confusion, shock and anger. “Ojuola Infotech” had come to my website, downloaded my newly finished e-book, and put his name on Pricing Basics for Copywriters & Consultants: Meet Your Income Goals — Guaranteed!
Worse yet, it wasn’t just that my e-book was stolen. He stole my brand as well. CHRIS NOTES was now OJUOLA NOTES.
Did I see red? You know it. And it cost me emotional turmoil, enormous amounts of time, and lost income to do what I did next.
Namely… I went after him. But not before I got my e-book back… and my authorship.
I’ve been dealing with this professional tragedy for nearly five months, and I’m still not finished.
Because I don’t want you to suffer an experience like this, I’m going to give you my top five newly learned tips for protecting your work, so the Ojuolas of the world can’t hurt you.
Tip #1. Get your work copyrighted.
In the U.S. it’s commonly believed that simply putting a copyright notice on your work is sufficient. But as I discovered… it’s not! The only reason I got my e-book back was I because could prove legal copyright to the booksellers I contacted. Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, or if you’re in another country, the governing body in your country that handles intellectual property protection.
Tip #2. Start with Amazon.
When I proved to Amazon that I was the rightful owner of my stolen e-book, the fraudulent version of my e-book quickly disappeared from the catalogs of many smaller booksellers, too. Going to Amazon first saved me lots of extra work in booksellers I didn’t have to contact.
Tip #3. Avoid Web page downloads.
DO NOT put your intellectual property on a Web page for download — either for free or for purchase. This is how my Nigerian thief, Ojuola Infotech, got my e-book. He uses keywords to find the kind of book he wants to steal. Then, he uses advanced knowledge of how websites work to find the digital file.
Tip #4. Choose other delivery methods.
Rather than have your work on a downloads page, email the file to your subscriber or purchaser. I use e-Junkie and AWeber, but there are other service providers who can deliver your file securely, either via email or by placing your file behind a firewall.
Tip #5. Call on your relationships.
There is astounding power in community. I’ve been fighting this beast on my own, but now that I’ve regained my property, my writer friends are getting the word out on this predator. There is social sharing, commenting, blog posts, and copywriters are even creating video sales letters exposing Ojuola Infotech.
Have you had your writing ripped off online? Leave a comment and tell us what you did.
Chris Marlow is a writer entrepreneur who shows other writer-entrepreneurs how to use their writing skills to make money in copywriting, information publishing, and ebook sales. Learn more at chrismarlow.com.