Perhaps I’m jumping the gun here, but it seems that we may have a crime on our hands. [Note: there are only three classes of people allowed to use “we” as the first person singular: royalty, editors, and people with tapeworms. In this case, it’s my publisher and me.] Not just me, but lots of writers, if our suspicions are correct, are in line to get ripped off.
The other day, I made a lot of sales on Amazon India. Someone had bought all my Sherlock Holmes books as Kindle editions. Yes, all 12 titles. And guess what? They all got “returned” the same day.
Now, one title bought by mistake is an accident, but wouldn’t you think that Amazon would take notice of 12 titles being bought and returned in one day? I would have thought so, myself.
Our suspicion is that whoever bought those titles will strip the copy protection (DRM) from them, and then either sell those titles themselves, or pass them on to another site to distribute as pirate copies.
We may be wrong – the thief may simply have copied the files, stripped the DRM and will read them at leisure. Whatever, it’s still theft.
Amazon have been informed, and, as one might expect, it’s Somebody Else’s Problem. Amazon India’s business.
We’ve put out a watch on the Internet for these titles to re-appear somewhere. We will see what happens. But in the meantime, if you have ebooks out there, beware of the “returns policy” that Amazon operates. It’s a standing invitation to get ripped off by these content thieves.