Welcome back to Behind Closed Doors. I’ve been away for awhile sorting through the projects on my desk and getting ready for my new releases scheduled over the next two months. It’s been a whirlwind of activity with a few set backs with the move, new jobs and my monitor dying on me last night. LOL! Thanks to the Navy Exchange, I have the new one up and running and I’m catching up on everything I wasn’t able to tackle with the Netbook.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the new wave of pirate sites and illegal file sharing groups. It’s disheartening to get Google alerts with my books listed on more sites daily. I took a long hard look at where these places got the files to begin with and my heart broke further. Most of them came from copies I had given out in exchange for reviews and for prizes during blog hops. The other source turns out to be from purchases right from Amazon.
Yes you read that correctly. Amazon’s policy to allow returns of ebooks has enabled these book hoarders to continue to steal from their “favorite” authors. One person purchases the book and copies it to their computer before returning it to Amazon for a refund. Then they take this file and convert it to any other format needed for their share groups before uploading it to those sites. It’s a game to these people. They love the attention they get when people ask them to find a book for them. All the while they make it more and more difficult for the authors of these books to continue with their craft. I mean, who wants to pour your heart and soul into a story only to have it stolen from you over and over again?
Speaking of stealing…
It’s not only the pirates we have to watch out for but the snakes in our own community. That’s right. What’s the old saying? Keep your friends close but your enemies closer? What do you do when the people you thought were your friends and colleagues are the very people stealing from you?
Creating stories similar to each other is bound to happen. We are a close knit group. There are fewer and fewer truly original ideas out there. I’m not talking about that but blatant, full on plagiarism. Oh wait, it’s not really that now but “mixing.” That’s what some snot-nosed 17 year old writer, and I use the term loosely, calls her theft of another author’s published work. What’s even worse is she is getting REWARDED for this horrible behavior instead of tossed out on her ass.
But wait! There’s more.
I posted a question on my Facebook page not too long ago. I asked what was worse: an author who steals from a fellow author or an publisher who steals from one of it’s own authors and then publishes the story under their own pen name. The overwhelming response was while both were heinous, the theft by the publisher made everyone want to vomit.
I agree. It’s the worst kind of betrayal but add in there snakes who disguise themselves as beta readers or critique partners, or those valued members of your street teams. Who the hell is left out there to trust? My original question on Facebook wasn’t a hypothetical. It actually happened. Not to me but to someone in my inner circle. Those of you who know me, know I don’t sit back and take that sort of thing lightly. I may appear all nicey nice on the outside, but if you cross me, my family or my friends then I unleash the Wicked Vixen…and “it ain’t purdy.”
This whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth and a knot in my stomach. Why should I keep writing and putting myself out there if someone will end up stealing it away from me or my friends? We’re supposed to help and encourage each other in our journeys, not sabotage them before we leave the nest.
So what do we do? We keep going. We continue to write and put our best stuff out there. The more we do, the more people/readers will know we are the real deal. We’re not going anywhere and we will take back what was stolen from us…in spades.
For those of you out there who think you’re getting away with stealing…we’re watching you and we’re not the only ones. Karma never forgets and neither do I.
See you around…