Has anyone heard of www.apheleia.eu?

The website lists free downloads of three books that recently went live on Lulu. I'm trying to figure out if is a genuine content harvesting site or a scam site. They "claim" to respond to DCMA take-down notices if copyright owners find their content listed (as I have). But I'm reluctant to send them my email address by way of a take-down request, and the download button goes off to helam.net who claim to be a registration site for downloads blah blah blah. I'm reluctant to go down that rabbit hole too, for obvious reasons.

Thoughts, anyone? Has anybody else found this? I just did a Bing search on my book title and this mob were on the first page.

Technical question for Lulu tech people - is there any way another site can access pdf content for books being distributed through Lulu, without legitimately buying a copy?

I'm inclined to ignore it as some form of harvesting, but thought it worth running by folk here - if nothing else, for awareness.

Thanks, A.A

Best Answers

  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
    Accepted Answer
    I've heard back from Lulu tech with some assurances.

    I'm not going to worry about these sites and certainly won't be sending them any emails. I'll treat them as free promotion. If they've trawled my Author's Page they've just increased the link and page counts and thus a search ranking is now a tiny bit higher; and if they've also trawled the preview pages, they might be able to download some but not all of my book content. If someone is been silly enough to register and likes the bit they read, they might actually come looking for a legit complete copy.

    An interesting little encounter, but nothing to be worried about.
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
    Accepted Answer
    I'm treating them as junk. They're obviously trawling for people to "sign up and register" (and you'd be a fool to do so), and I suspect their "download" will just be the preview content from Lulu (if there's a download at all), so only part of a book.

Answers

  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
    These joker sites are multiplying!  My books are now "offered"on these sites for free downloads...

    http://newbooksinpolitics.com
    http://www.ebooksdownloads.xyz

     Who knows what all these sites are!
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    I found seven of my books on ebooksdownloads.xyz, six of which were published by one of the larges YA publishers in the country. Since the DMCA link the site provides doesn't work, I have sicced the publisher onto them.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Ron MillerRon Miller Professor
    The publisher I mentioned is going after this site.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
    I'm treating them as junk sites - they're semi-literate at best in their "corporate pages" and their small print acknowledges they might not actually have the content on their servers.

    Goodness knows what would happen if you clicked on their "Register Here" page - I suspect you'd end up the neighbour of Doctor Mawumba whose cousin just died and he needs help to get $20 million out of the country. Yeah, right :).
  • I've found a lot of sites offering free downloads of my books. A few I could tell didn't have them but some did. I filed a complaint with the sites and the listings were taken down. I found one on a torrent site and which I got taken down using the same method. On Youtube.com I found two videos offering free downloads of my book. I got one taken down and left the other since I found out they didn't actually have the book. A lot of these sites are getting your info getting you to sign up or worse placing a virus on your pc.
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
     A lot of these sites are getting your info getting you to sign up or worse placing a virus on your pc.
    Yes, I'm not going to click on anything, that's for sure!

    Interesting though, a few days later, only apheleia.eu pops up in a Bing search, so maybe the little harvester bots are trying to get trawl copies but failing.
  • Try using Google instead and use your ISBN without the dashes instead of the title.

  • KeevesKeeves Author
    On a related matter, I am quite amused by how my book shows up on Amazon. My paperback sells on Amazon for $12.95 with free shipping, but that's if one buys directly from Amazon. Amazon also shows ten other stores where it can be purchased for prices between two and eleven dollars more than Amazon charges. And the delivery times were far longer than Amazon's. In addition, two stores offered it "Used - like new" for prices at the high end of that range! I have to believe that none of these guys actually have my book in stock, but they are hoping that someone will fail to notice the Amazon price, and then they'll simply get it from Amazon (or Lulu) themselves, and have it shipped to their customer.

    Here's why I'm bringing this topic up, and why I'm doing it in this thread:

    Am I mistaken? Perhaps these guys are evil like apheleia? Maybe they are selling counterfeits? I would cite examples, but it seems to be extremely common. I've encountered it for years, when I've shopped on Amazon for all sorts of stuff, but I always assumed that it was a case of competitors all getting similar stuff from similar manufacturers. This is a unique situation, where I am myself the sole manufacturer (sort of) of this particular item. Any comments?
  • Hi Keeves,

    I can speak a bit on what you are experiencing. A lot of retailers will "scrape" ISBN information from legitimate listings. They will then "offer" the book for sale (usually at a high cost) but they don't actually have the book.

    If they received an order, they would have to order through Amazon, Ingram, Barnes and Noble, or Lulu. You would then receive revenue for that sale.

    It is an unfortunate practice but quite common.
  • A_A_CainA_A_Cain Oz Author
    Keeves said:
    Am I mistaken? Perhaps these guys are evil like apheleia? Maybe they are selling counterfeits? I would cite examples, but it seems to be extremely common. I've encountered it for years, when I've shopped on Amazon for all sorts of stuff, but I always assumed that it was a case of competitors all getting similar stuff from similar manufacturers. This is a unique situation, where I am myself the sole manufacturer (sort of) of this particular item. Any comments?
    I spotted that, too, with the Amazon listed sellers - it happens all the time with music and books. They're legit sellers in that they will honour the sale, and they do provide various shipping and delivery options (which for me is important, living in Oz).

    The "second-hand" thing is a marketing ploy (ie: it's rubbish), as there's no way any of my books can be second-hand already. They're too new, and besides, I'm the only person so far who has ordered print copies (to actually see the different sizes and layouts). Those sellers, though, will need to order from one of the authorised print shops - and rip the guts out of the margin. The exposure goes wider, but the author margin outside Lulu is much smaller.
  • KeevesKeeves Author
    Thank you, Taylor and Cain, for confirming my suspicions so well.
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