They can't steal it if you give it away

This is a post about pirates. No, not pirates of the “arr matey” and “shiver me timbers” and walking the plank variety. These are the digital kind. I’ll explain.

It probably seems pretty egocentric of me to have a Google alert set up for my name, right? Not so fast, though. First of all, I don’t think Google’s algorithms for this tool are very good; most of the time, they don’t even pick up the posts on my website. But anyway, the real reason I have it set up is for things like this:


This is a link to a site online where you can download a story of mine for free. This story was for sale through Untreed Reads for a number of years, and this past year we quietly took it down along with two other stories. It’s been years since they were first published, and the market for one-off short stories is giving way to one-off novellas or long-form essays (Kindle Singles are an example), and I figured, well, I’ve made my money off those, maybe I’ll do something with them later.

And then I got that notice.

Now, usually, if it’s one of my novels that pops up, I send a takedown notice (which sounds like a wrestling move, right?) in line with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, owner of the copyright, good-faith belief my rights are being infringed, yada yada. Usually it works, and sometimes I get back a mealymouthed “well that’s not actually on our servers so we can’t do anything about it” yeah kiss my grits. But in this case, for this short story, you know what? Here.

I’ve been meaning to start learning how to format stories and books for epub format, and this was as good an excuse as any. (By the way, I figured it out from this post by Jane Friedman, in case you’re interested. I was using Calibre before, but the Sigil user interface is much friendlier and requires less time in code view.) Here it is in PDF, if that’s more your speed. Of course, I haven’t had time to think about creating cover art for it, so all you get is the story, but maybe later I’ll see what I can do. Also worth bearing in mind is that I wrote this in 2012. I think my writing has changed a little since then, but I still think it’s a fun story. It’s somewhat Christmas related, so if you want to be truly seasonal, save it until December.

Suck it, pirates.