Authors: Monitor Books With Google Alerts

If you don't have a Google Alert set up with the title of your books, you really need to do that.

One of my friends received a Google Alert for a Tweet mentioning her pre-release book as free. The link in the Tweet directed people to a pirate site where her book was indeed offered for free.

She was racking her brain trying to find out who might have had access to her book file and uploaded it.

The outcome was that her book file probably was not on that file share server.

More than likely if someone  clicked the download link, the or she would get some insidious malware, worms, and viruses—which would serve them right for trying to get an author's hard work for free!

My goodness, most ebooks cost less than a Starbucks Venti Latte! No wonder it gets harder every day for an author to make a living!

My friend told everyone in our group about this situation, so several of us went to Twitter and marked the tweets as "suspicious, probably malicious spam" or words to that effect.

I'll post on a different day how to report Tweets like that.
Stealing an author's book content is a CRIME!

While we were reporting this user and blocking her, my friend received another Google Alert about another user account with the same Tweets.

So each of us reported that too and blocked the user.

These Twitter accounts usually have no followers, and they're not following anyone either plus the user name is a woman's first name followed by some numbers.

Be alert for this kind of thing. Better yet, set up Google Alerts to protect your name and your book titles.

Google Alerts? Easy to set up!
How to Set up Google Alerts

It’s simple to use. Just enter a word or phrase, like your name or title of your book,and you’ll be alerted by email whenever Google finds new mentions on the web. Set up one alert for your name and other alerts for each title of your books.

1. Go to Google Alerts.

2. Enter a search term to track. Make the alert specific by enclosing the search term in quotation marks, i.e., "Joan Reeves" or "Liam's Wild Irish Rose." Google Alerts will display a results preview as you type.

3. Select “Show options” (below the search box) and choose how often you want to receive alerts: once a day; as it happens; once a week.

4. Choose a source for your alerts: web; blogs; news; etc. If you’re unsure, leave the default setting  automatic.

5. Choose a language and region.

6. Choose how many results you want to see: “all results,” or “only the best results.”
Writers need all the TOOLS they can get.

7. Choose a delivery email address (this is where Google will send your alerts).

8. Select Create alert.

Takeaway Truth

Google has many free tools that authors can use so take advantage of them.


  1. Thank you for this, Joan. One more thing on the 'to do' list.

  2. Somehow, I'd forgotten to update my alerts. It's been far too long...thanks for this timely reminder!