My recent concerns about protecting my books against assorted forms of piracy are increasing at more news of electronic innovations. First there were Google Books, somewhat restricted by publishers fighting to protect copyrights, then there was an outfit that libraries subscribe to for downloads of novels, next Kindle 2 added audio capacity (thereby cancelling an author's option to sell audio rights), and today I came across SCRIB'D, which appears to be a member web site where people can upload and download novels and other books for free.
Does anyone know anything about this and how it works?

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Here's a review from PC Magazine that explains it pretty well:,2817,2286976,00.asp.

I don't think you need to worry about it, though. For someone to put your novel up on there they would have to have an electronic version of it. A Kindle version wouldn't work because it's a proprietary file format, so the only way to get it would be to take a physical book and scan it and post the pictures or type it out in a word processor. The point is, you can only upload document files, such as .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .doc, etc. You can't upload images (such as a scan of your page) unless it is part of a document (such as a PDF file.). So it would take a lot of work to pirate your books that way, and if that was going to happen it would have already.

Also, I think you're overreacting about Kindle 2's speech to text function. I don't think it will replace audiobooks. I mean, who really wants to listen to an electronic voice read a whole book to them? It would be like every book being read by Stephen Hawking. I think the feature is good for those who are blind, but I don't see why anyone else would even care about it.
I haven't looked at a recent version of the Kindle Kontract, but about six months ago it did claim a host of electronic rights for Kindle in perpetuity, all for one low-low price. I've asked my agent to look into it for my first book, but I'm very, very skeptical.
My electronic rights are with my publisher, so I have nothing to say about it. Recent contracts, I believe, all have publishers demand them.
I have a story up on Amazon Shorts and was very hesitant to sign because of the appearance of perpetuity (I think years after they've sold the last copy they may let them revert), but I eventually resigned myself to the loss for the sake of publicity. (The royalties are amusing, though my agent may not find them so, given the paperwork involved).
Thanks, John D., for the link. That looks somewhat reassuring, if only because it seems to be mostly academic (not what Galley Cat implied). But it appears to me that such a site can become a fiction-sharing place very easily. Two of my novels are already available in e-format, and the rest will be because of Kindle. In other words, they'll be up-loadable, I assume. I have no idea if there are built-in safe-guards against sharing -- or if the library downloads have them.

As for the Kindle audio-versions: yes, no doubt they're mechanical, but audio books are very expensive, and that may make Kindle competition. Much depends on what audio publishers like Random House will think of this.
The music industry has managed to protect itself against free downloads.
How so?
They forced free download sites to shut down. Hasn't that been all over the news last year?
Maybe a couple of sites have shut down, but I'll tell you, you can find whatever music you want on the internet in less than five minutes. Nothing has changed; there's plenty of sites left.
Apparently Random House doesn't have much of a problem with Scribd:

They've even integrated Scribd into their website:

I've never read any of Tess Gerritsen's books. But now I can go on Scribd, read THE SURGEON, and if I like it, I can buy it and some of her other books as well. Wait a minute, that's exactly what I've heard people say in defense of libraries. Lots of people discover authors through libraries and then buy those authors' books. Hmm, same thing.
Scrib'd deals with printed text. I wonder if Random House and Bantam Dell have ways of curtailing an offering after a certain time. A number of authors have made their books available for free on their own web sites for a period of time. That can be controlled and is a good way to let readers find out about an author. I occasionally run a short story on my web site, and will probably do so again this summer just before the release of the next novel. I believe Tess Gerritsen is an M.D. She seems to be doing quite well.
The issue of infringement has been bouncing around for some time. There is a growing opinion, as an operator of bookstores I tend to agree, allowing one or two of your books to be read free on the internet increases your overall sales, especially back issues. It tends to increase the readership. I know my customers, once they read one book by an author they like, the deman for all the others is huge.

And the Kindle 2 is horrid at inflection. So much of the story is lost by the electronic voice.
:) Thanks, Bob. That's a relief. I have no problem with getting books to blind people, but would like the audio books to remain viable.

And the comment of customers demanding books from authors they like is also encouraging, though I think that works much better in an independent store where the staff knows their customers.


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