My initiation is now complete. I can commiserate with the best of 'em.
And the firsts just kept on coming. I stumbled across my novel on one of those document sharing sites, the ones that seek to 'liberate' and 'democratize' the written word - the written word stolen from someone else, that is. Not only was it sitting there with a whole web page to itself, but it was being sold for $5.99 a pop. Don't know how long it had been gracing the site but it had scored 126 pops when I discovered it. Sweet.
That was bad enough, but it gets worse. On the page there was a comprehensive - and I mean comprehensive - 'preview' of the book. I scrolled down the pages in horror - down, down, down... and I abruptly left the site. I couldn't deal with it.
If you haven't seen your story, your words, the result of years of work just sitting there on the web being sold or shared illegally, you can't imagine how wrenching this discovery can be. I knew the day would come. I didn't know it would feel like that.
I wrote my very first DMCA takedown letter. My agent's legal department also sent one. The web page was removed the very next day.
Just like I knew it was only a matter of time before some 'reviewer' trashed the novel, I know it won't be long before I discover other sites where people are stealing my work in the full public glare of the Internet. That DMCA letter was the first of many in the cards for me. Not only do authors in the brave new digital world have to write, promote and everything else, we also have to hunt pirates and chop off their heads only to have them, Hydra-style, grow ten more for each one we take down.
So - have you scored any firsts lately?