Subscribe BLOG

When Fishing, Sometimes You Hook a Boot

I think it was a tip from Dan Poynter's Global eBook Award site, but wherever it came from, it was a good one. Dan, or his minions, or someone else entirely, recommends that authors set up Google alerts to troll the internet for anything and everything regarding their title, name, genre or other key words or phrases pertinent to their work.

So this I did. A couple of days ago, I get a hit from someone giving The Bow of Heaven a great review. I tracked down the author to thank him and found that his kind words were posted on a site called, where members can download ebooks … for free. I noticed the site first popped up with ".be" for Belgium, then quickly switched to ".es" for Spain. Sneaky.

I joined the site and wrote the administrator that while my book was cheap, it was 299 pennies more expensive than free and parenthetically, the book was under copyright. To their credit, they did the right thing and pulled the book from their offerings.

Next, I created an alert for "free ebooks" AND "the bow of heaven" OR "levkoff." We're not going to stop our blood, sweat and tear-soaked worked from being hijacked, but here at least was one instance where vigilance was rewarded. Here's another tip: if you have the time, go to a site that is a clearinghouse for free ebooks, like
this one, and search for your name and/or title.

I was hoping to get the young man who wrote the review to post it on Amazon, but I haven't heard back from him. How do I know the reviewer is a young man? If I told you his screen name, you'd probably agree. Since it's unlikely to appear anywhere else, here is what he said:

Alexander is a Greek philosophy student who becomes caught up in the war between Rome and Athens. Captured, he is given as a gift to Crassus, for his role in the conquest. Alexander first fights against the indignities of being a slave. But his sharp mind and caring nature win out and he eventually comes to love his master and the others in his household. I was glad that Crassus was portrayed as a many-layered individual and not the cliched slave-owner. I found myself easily caught up with these characters.

I was intrigued by Alexander's point of view. Seeing the Roman republic through a Greek's perspective is a unique way to shine light on both its strengths and weaknesses. Levkoff does a great job of including bits of Roman life like bathing or dining practices in an easy way that adds texture without feeling pedantic.

I wish the gentleman would write me back. I'd still like to thank him. If you're out there, no hard feelings. Honest.