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Another “For Dummies” author was kind enough to reply to my email about the lawsuit over their book.  Sue Jenkins, author of  Dreamweaver CS5 All-In-One for Dummies, while not exactly hopping on the pirate ship was at least as cordial in her response:

Hi Aelius,

Thanks for writing. Yes, I’m aware that all seven of my books are being pirated. The legal department for each publisher generally takes care of lawsuits, since they’re the owners of the works. I wish I could earn some money from all the pirated books out there, but unfortunately the author is often the last person to make a dime in the book publishing game.


Sue Jenkins

 And I responded thusly…

I understand that the “owner” of many books–particularly in series like “For Dummies”is not the author themselves. This is too bad! It’s funny how we are always told that copyright protects authors and artists…
As an author I’m sure you are aware of the 2009 study by O’Reilly media that found a lift in sales for books that were pirated, as well as all the individual stories of authors experiencing increased sales only after their books were shared.
Is there no chance that an author can have any input when a publisher goes to court over their book?

cheapass-in-residence at

Heard this in response.

Hi Aelius,

Copyright protects the business or person who submits the copyright paperwork to the US Government. In the case of most big books like mine, that is done by the publisher. In essence, the author is simply writing as “work for hire” with the option for earning commissions after a specified number of books have sold. Earning commissions rarely happens with most instructional books.

Honestly, I haven’t heard anywhere that pirated books help sell more books. Now, if the people who pirated books would write favorable reviews on book websites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, that might help increase sales. Perhaps there is some validity to the idea that someone would get a free copy before they purchased a legit copy, but I doubt it. Thanks for the link to the article; I hadn’t read that.

And to answer your question about authors having input about when to go to court: No, the author signs away all rights to a big publisher.

Best of luck to you with your writing!

Sue Jenkins

Will update with more as things develop (hopefully…)

6 Responses to “Writing to Authors for Dummies: Dreamweaver CS5 All-In-One”

  1. live60

    Aelius, if pirating helped with sales, there are millions of authors who would pay you to go for it. But they’re not. So, why is that? I do like your reasoning for touting it as fact though, because someone said so. And then you got all fired up and the rest is history. The truth is, writing success and profits in sales, are a big secret. That’s why so few have achieved success and money through writing. And the reality is, the big secret is the keys to the kingdom. I’m sure it makes you feel better to get a response from a writer, but they’re being kind in blowing you off.


  2. aeliusblythe

    “…because someone said so.”

    I wonder how someone with such a low reading ability can write? Because someone said so… Again–LOL. LOLLOLOLOLLLL! Actually, it’s kind of sad. I understand now that you don’t actually read any of my posts. You just come around here to–what? I haven’t figured that out yet. But not to read.

    If you think that the only reason I hold the position I do is because “someone said so,” then there is no point in me continuing to argue further since I have SEVERAL times explained otherwise.


    That’s it. No more feeding the trolls.
    If I wanted to be a troll-keeper, I’d have gone to troll-keeping school.
    Get your own food.
    I’ll be too busy writing.

  3. live60

    No, I’m not a troll, Aelius. But, the logic of my words finally pissed you off when I noted you could name your price with writers if pirating would boost their sales. I do a lot of reading, but not always the kind of reading some writers do. I might read a newbie like you, quantum theories to compare to mine, time continuum theory, ancient Egypt, engineering manuals, and other untold bits of brain bubble gum. But, I don’t base my life on “someone said so” kinds of fantasy role playing in an attempt to add romance to my life. No, I have real romance in my life. Sorry, there is no troll here, just someone who long ago put away the rose colored glasses. Yes, other writers said bug off, pirating doesn’t help a writer’s career and you call me a troll for stating the obvious truth.


  4. live60

    So, ten insane people say the same thing, it still doesn’t mean it’s a fact. If piracy boosted sales, you would have a line of writers as far as the eye can see wanting to pay you to pirate their books, Travis. And, that’s not happening. So, claims of piracy boosting sales don’t add up in the real world, and I don’t believe there’s a monster living under my bed either.




  1.  Writing to Authors for Dummies « Cheap Ass Fiction

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