Warning: two of my books have been stolen. I will keep you updated as I get more information. I plan to keep checking on Amazon and other sites to see if there are more violations to my copyright. I also cross-posted this from Self-Published Author’s Lounge (hence the tone that is geared more toward other writers. I didn’t have the energy to rewrite the whole tale.)
Last night while I was checking the prices of my books on Amazon, I noticed Falling In Love With Her Husband was already priced at $2.99. I thought that was weird since the other books I put to $2.99 were still showing at $0.99. I checked the sales rank and saw it was 51,000 and thought, “Seriously? I just priced it at $2.99 and it’s already that bad?” But then I noticed the cover was blurry. Then I scrolled down and noticed it was published on June 6, 2011. Now, I knew this wasn’t my doing.
Here’s the link to the stolen book: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Love-Her-Husband-ebook/dp/B0054QQQJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308534574&sr=8-1.
It looks just like mine. The person stole my cover, my name, the description, and now Amazon has linked that book up to my Amazon Central Page where I have changed the description to state that it’s a stolen book and in addition to seeking legal advice, I have notified Amazon of the copyright infringement.
That won’t go up for a couple of days and that person can easily change it once it does, so I also left a 1-star review saying, “The version published on June 6, 2011 with the ASIN B0054QQQJ4 (which is found in the product details) is a stolen book! I have contacted Amazon about this to let them know my copyright has been tampered with. I am also seeking legal advice. This person who published my book and used my name has stolen from me. Please do not buy the book with the ASIN B0054QQQJ4. The legitimate
version was published on April 23, 2009 and has the ASIN B0027FG2OO. I tried
linking to it, but I couldn’t.”
I specified the ASIN because that is something the thief can’t change, no matter how hard he/she tries.
Now, I also discovered another book that’s been stolen. This one is A Chance In Time, and this time the thief (aka scumbag) changed the title and cover. Here’s the other stolen book: http://www.amazon.com/Best-time-ebook/dp/B0055PERYK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1308534924&sr=1-1
I wrote “I am the real Ruth Ann Nordin, and this is a stolen copy of A Chance In Time
that I wrote and published. I have contacted Amazon to report copyright
infringement and am waiting for their response. I am also seeking legal advice
on this issue. You can get the legitimate version of this book for FREE right
here on Amazon.” Then I linked to the correct book.
I have contacted Amazon. I contacted them about Falling In Love With Her Husband late last night when I discovered it, and I contacted them about ‘Best time’ this morning when a friend found it.
I have notified my readers via my website and will on my blog in a moment. I have asked a couple of people to leave 1-star reviews on those books warning potential readers that the books they are looking at are stolen.
So do a search on Amazon for your name and go a few pages in to see if this is happening to you. That’s how a friend and I came across the two we did, and we are now monitoring my books over there. I haven’t seen this on any other bookstores where my books are sold, but next on my list is to contact Smashwords to let Mark Coker know what is happening, and then Barnes & Noble, just in case.
I contacted the FBI in my area and they recommended a lawyer, so tomorrow, I’ll be contacting a lawyer about what to do.
I’ve heard some shady things about Amazon’s willingness to stand up on indie authors’ behalf. I made a post about this on the Meet Our Authors forum and over on Kindleboards. Yes, I copyrighted my work. I took screen shots, kept emails I sent out, will keep any replies I get (esp. from Amazon), and will do whatever I can to make a good case should I need it. All I’ve learned from my years on this planet is that you have to be careful and save everything when it comes to legal issues.
I’ll keep everyone posted on how things go. What would be really nice is if a legal group came together to support indie authors from this type of situation. I’ve been hearing that Amazon doesn’t care when this happens, and some indie authors contact them in vain. As long as Amazon gets their money, they don’t care who the author is. As indies, we don’t have a publisher holding Amazon’s feet to the fire. Too bad I don’t have a legal background because I’d love to start up something to protect indie’s rights in a situation like this.
Homeschools have Homeschool Legal Defense League to represent a homeschooling parent if the state tries to come in and tell them they can’t homeschool their kid. Well, it would be nice if we could pay a fee into an Indie Author Defense League so if Amazon or other booksellers decide to turn their noses up on indie authors, we’d have a professional and legal organization that would hold them accountable for checking their books more thoroughly when it’s time to publish them.
I remember agreeing to only publish my own works when I published on Kindle. Each time I change anything to my Kindle book, price, or description, I have to claim ownership of that book. I wonder if all that agreeing is stuff they put up because they have to. I got some discouraging testimonies tonight, so I’m thinking legal action is my best recourse. But man, an organization set to protect the indie authors… *sigh* I guess we can all dream, and maybe one day that dream will be a reality.
Here’s an article a friend sent me via Facebook where I posted about this issue: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/amazon-kindle-spam-direct-publishing-ebooks_n_878946.html