Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG Discussion: The Ugly Side of the Publishing Industry

It's the first Wednesday of the month so it must be time for a post from all the folks in the Insecure Writers Support Group. What is IWSG?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

After visiting here, please take time to hop over to other blogs and hear their voices. You can find a list at Alex's IWSG page 

Alex suggests you may want to check out a cool contest with some awesome prizes announced at the IWSG Website on Wednesday, so don’t miss it!  

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The Ugly Side of the Publishing Industry by J.Q. Rose
When you were a kid, did you ever have someone steal or copy your homework and claim it as his own? Grrrrrrrrrr....That's what happened to my e-books. Websites took the files for my e-books and placed them for sale on their sites. With that sale, neither my publisher or I get a cut out of the proceeds. That is known as a pirate website. Believe me I would like to tie that pirate to the mainsail and  lash him a few hundred times for stealing my work. 

Not only am I angry about the thievery, but I am also frustrated. My only recourse is to threaten the culprits with a letter to cease and desist, remove the file from the site, or I will take legal action. Oh, right, I doubt I could find the pirate to send him any court summons, let alone afford to pay a lawyer to take the case. The website will probably be gone soon enough. Unfortunately these sites can be set up to only take customer's credit card info and never even deliver the e-book! 

When I was a blogging newbie, I was thrilled to have guests post about their books on my site. I happily agreed to host a woman with a new book release. Little did I know, she had plagiarized the entire book only changing the names of the characters. Did I ever feel like an idiot when the first person left a comment to let me know the woman had stolen one of her author friend's books. My jaw dropped. People actually do that? I couldn't believe the wickedness had intruded into my little corner of the blogosphere. I had so many views on that post before I finally concluded, after much research, that I had been played for a fool. You can bet I deleted that post and slunk off to sulk for several days. Needless to say, the writer never answered any emails I sent her. 

I don't understand what makes people take the low road. And both of these instances are pretty low. What satisfaction can they possibly garner by taking advantage of unsuspecting folks whether writers or readers? I cannot imagine the amount of money that can be made is worth the effort. However, there is a low risk the pirates will ever be caught.

The upside of being in this industry far outweighs the downside listed here. New friends from all over the world, the support from fellow authors, the chance to tell my stories and read others are just a few of the perks. But I am not such a Pollyanna any longer. And I hate losing that side of me.

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Thank you for stopping by today. Have you had pirates take your treasure too? How did you resolve the problem or did you? 






16 comments:

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, J.Q,
I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you. I'm not sure it's not happening to me, but I sure hope not.

It does make you feel soul-sick when you think about how dishonest we can be.

Kim Van Sickler said...

You poor thing! You've had two terrible experiences. And it's too bad that the trusting portion of you had to readjust itself. As a former prosecutor, I haven't been too trusting in awhile. I'm a skeptic by nature trying to look for the best in people. It's definitely there, but I don't automatically assume the best; I wait and see.

Which isn't to say I won't be taken advantage of by someone who tries hard enough. Par for the course I guess. All we can do is learn from it and move on. I do hope you catch the miscreants profiting from your work. And I agree with you, anyone who can look themselves in the mirror after claiming someone else's work is their own has no soul. (I worded it stronger than you!)
--December IWSG co-host

Patricia Lynne said...

I've found my book on a pirated site every now and then. It's a hazard of the business, but you're right, the positives outweigh it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Wow, the woman actually went on a blog tour with the stolen book? People stun me sometimes.
Sorry sites have stolen your work. I'm sure my books have been lifted as well. Sometimes a threatening email works though. I had one of my photos stolen and when I sent an email, they stopped selling it immediately.

J Q Rose said...

Joy-thank you. Soul-sick is the perfect way to express my feelings when discovering this side of the business.

J Q Rose said...

Kim--a prosecutor must see the bad side of folks and figure out how to nail them. Winning justice for the victim must be very satisfying. I have definitely become more of a skeptic. Thanks for stopping in.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Pat, Glad to know you are taking the bright side of this amazing industry.

J Q Rose said...

Diane, Good to know the take-down letter worked for your photo. Actually selling it on their site as their own? There are desperate people in this world. My publisher has sent a letter to the website. Now she believes it is a phishing scam and no actual files are being uploaded. That's pretty ugly too.
Thanks for stopping by.

Leona~Author said...

Wow! That was eye-opening that a person could stoop so low and get by with it. My book has only been out since Oct. 25 and hopefully the pirates will ignore it.

I guess we bloggers take people at face value and most merit our trust. The good definitely outweighs the bad.

Thanks for sharing this, JQ.

Charity Bradford said...

It's scary what people do. Like you said, they can't make much money off of it, so why? Is it just meanness for the sake of it? If my book is ever pirated, I almost hope I never find out. Almost.

J Q Rose said...

Leona, I hope I never lose my trust of others, but I am learning to become wary before trusting anyone nowadays.

J Q Rose said...

Charity, no news is good news. The other way to look at it is at least the pirates think the book is "worthy" of making sales.!!! Thanks for stopping.

Suzanne Sapsed said...

I must admit I had never thought about book piracy! Didn't even entertain the idea that that was something happen. As a tutor though,plagiarism is nothing new - although sounds like that woman took it to a whole new level!
Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
x

J Q Rose said...

Hi Suzanne, Glad I could make folks aware of these creeps, pirates. Plagiarism is at a new high I think what with the internet and kids buying term papers, etc. I understand there are websites that can catch copied passages though. And I'm sure sharp tutors and teachers can easily tell if the writing is not exactly something their student would turn out. LOL.Thanks.

Michelle Wallace said...

That is frightening! And sooo unfair!
Gosh, it makes you wonder how many victims are out there, who are totally unaware of this happening? Scary.

J Q Rose said...

Hi Michelle, And it's frustrating! Thanks for stopping by.