I mentioned to a writer the other day how I had discovered my books were being pirated. It was easy because Google told me.
Well, actually, a Google Alert notified me by email. The message contained a link showing my name and book title.
If you're a writer, you need to set up alerts to monitor your name, your book titles, your blog title, and anything else you think someone might mention online.
I try to protect my family's privacy so I have alerts set on their names too. Ah, yes, paranoid is my middle name. However, as a cop told me long ago, sometimes it pays to be paranoid. Forewarned is often forearmed. It's easy.
Click on the above link, and it will take you to a Guide that explains what you need to know about Google Alerts. If you don’t already have a Google account, set one up. Then set up an alert following the directions.
In the alert box, enter your name or the name of your book or whatever you wish to monitor with quote marks before and after the search phrase. That way, you get notified only if that exact wording gets published somewhere online. You’ll receive an email each time it’s mentioned, and you can monitor the alert from your account.
TweetBeep does the same thing except it searches Twitter of couse and sends you an alert when your search string is mentioned.
This site can track Facebook when your name is mentioned.
Be prepared that sometimes you may not like what they’re saying, but it’s all part of the biz--that's the business of growing a thick skin impenetrable by the slings and arrows of bad reviews, naysayers, and other online denizens.