Help! Stop the Pirates!

UPDATE: Social media indeed works. The person responsible came forward when they found this post. They have paid for the books, and apologized for their oversight. I don’t wish to mention their name or mar their reputation. I thank everyone who helped get this message out. You guys are terrific!

Hey Guys,

I need your help.

Most of you know about my book – The Zen of Social Media Marketing. Currently available at in eBook form. Many of you also know that I confirmed a deal with a traditional publisher for a print book (probably due out next Spring). I will be pulling the eBook shortly.

I recently found out that my eBook was given away at a workshop without my permission. This is the email I got from a participant (name withheld)-

Hi Shama-

Someone gave me a copy of Zen of Social Media. I’m assuming she had permission because it was included in a package of information at a workshop. Can I send the file to someone else? I know someone who would like to read it.


This person did not feel comfortable sharing which workshop this happened at. However, I think that using the power of social media – we certainly can.

Some of you may wonder – why should this irk me? Or, even venture to say – well, this is expected when dealing with e-products. But, there are 3 reasons I feel so strongly about this

1) I put a lot of value into the book, as do most authors I imagine. I don’t like the idea of someone “stealing” when so much value is readily available for just 27 bucks…AND

2) Because I have already made it free for non-profits and given away many copies to people who have emailed me with reasons they needed a copy – but couldn’t afford it. Yes, I get that times are hard. I am happy to give back in any way I can.

3) This was done at a workshop. I think organizers of workshops should have a high level of integrity. If this was a random case of a book being forwarded – I could overlook it.
But, in this instance, someone deliberately gave away copies to the audience. I expect integrity from people interacting with groups of people.

What happens now?

Well, if you know anything about this, please contact me. I am not looking to berate the person who did this. I am looking to handle this in a legal and amicable manner. And – make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I also think this would be a great case study in how social media can effectively stop (or hinder) piracy efforts.

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  • Authentic Change Coach

    Shama, this makes me upset. I know you to be a first class person that pours her heart and soul into what she does.

    You are one of the most authentic marketers online that I have met.

    People do not understand the depth of the creative process. When you pour your heart, soul and mind into a book like you did for this one, and someone just hijacks it, that is appalling.

    I do not know anything about it but I am going to keep my ears and eyes open. You should get to the bottom of this.


    Iyabo Asani

  • Merlyn Sanchez

    Shama – I’m so happy that this was resolved! And by sharing this you’ve given us another example of how we can support each other via soial media.

    All the best,