Why You Need a Google Alert

Do you have a Google Alert set up to scan the wilds of the Internet for your work?  If not, you should.

I use this basic Google function to search for my name.  Because I sign blog posts as SueBE and use Sue Bradford Edwards as my byline on print and non-blog electronic materials, I search for both.  Each day that Google finds something new, an alert pops into my inbox.

My most recent findings were great news. Google found that the Yankton Community Library just added Women in History and Women in Science to their collection. You can see the actual post here.

I’m especially jazzed about this announcement because these books are about 7 years old. It’s good to see that they are still fresh enough to interest librarians who are expanding their collections.

Google alerts aren’t always good news. I’ve also found various pirated copies of my books. Ebooks may have been incredibly beneficial to young readers, especially during the pandemic, but they make pirating a book especially easy.

So what do you do if you do find someone has pirated your work?  One writer I know sends a cease and desist letter and a bill.  It works every time.

I’m not saying that she gets a nice fat check, but they do remove her work from their site.  They know she means business which isn’t to say that they are always polite.  But, like my friend, I can handle rude as long as they quit stealing from me.

When I find a pirated copy of one of my work-for-hire books, I notify Red Line. Because it is work-for-hire, I send the completed manuscript to them and they send it on the publisher. Once I get paid, that’s that. The publisher owns the copy right and is the one suffering financial losses. Once I notify Red Line, they notify the appropriate publisher.

If you don’t have an alert set up, I’d suggest that you click on the link above (in the second paragraph).  You can have Google search for your name, the title of your book or simply a subject. You may discover your work has been pirated. You may find that a journal has printed your work but forgot to pay you. Or you may simply get to see the cover of your brand new book. So glad I have set these alerts.


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