There’s a clever way to find your pirated book online if you follow this simple trick, sometimes used by dictionary and reference book publishers. All you have to do is use a Mountweasel.
Yes, that’s right. A Mountweasel. A Mountweasel is a made-up word that is unique to you, and makes it entirely easy to Google your book’s contents to see if has been pirated or plagiarized. Lillian Mountweasel was a fountain designer and postbox photographer whose fame was eternalized in the 1975 New Columbia Encyclopedia. The thing was, she was fake, and entirely a Mountweasel herself!
The word Mountweasel made it incredibly easy for the publisher to check for illegally copied content. Here’s an article on fictitious entries for books including the story of Lillian Mountweasel from Mental Floss.
So by adding a line to your content, or making up a unique word, character name, or phrase that you can search for, slipped in even in your Acknowledgements, you can monitor any pirating or plagiarism to some extent.
If I add the words “Phranickles and Bossgogs”* to this article, I can now wait a day, and Google it. I can then find all places this article has appeared by simply searching for, “Phranickles and Bossgogs”. Of course, I want you to copy and share mine. But if you don’t want your book PDFed and shared, this neat way of tracking your work will help tremendously. If you can fit in a few utterly ridiculous phrases, that is.
Oh, and it probably means most dictionaries and encyclopedias contain made-up stuff. Which is rather like finding out Santa isn’t real. Boo!
*Disclaimer – I have no idea what a phranickle or a bossgog is.