It’s no longer let the buyer beware. Nowadays it’s important for sellers, especially content creators, to be on guard.
I often read through my Amazon recommendations in my email–not because I’m shopping, but I like to see how well their algorithms work inn pinpointing suggestions for books I might be into. They’re usually pretty spot on, so kudos there. (This is partly what makes them great–they make me want to buy stuff even when I’m not shopping.) I had to read this email because my short-story/ebook was the top recommendation and I thought that was ironic. I scrolled down and a few books below it and found a book called Superhero X.
Maybe I should be flattered, I thought. This guy stole a book cover that I designed and made in photoshop–although his/her rebranding was poorly done. I clicked the ad and read the info/blurb… this was MY book. I wrote this cover text for a version of this book at a different, popular website! I opened the “Look Inside” feature. It was a copy and pasted, blatantly thevious steal. Whoever this Alexandr Shishkov is, they didn’t even bother fixing the margins that they’d messed up with a poor format job. He/she also sold it for triple the price and enrolled it in Kindle Unlimited (which means they were making 70% off each sale, or $2.10 whereas I was selling it for .99 and making about thirty cents per sale.)
I wouldn’t really mind if my books were stolen and shared on Pirate Bay or the like… as long as it was my name on the title! I bled for this thing; don’t go watering it down with your crappy apathetic formatting. After opening the Look Inside feature I just about lost it when someone else claimed they held the copyright… the first line says “Thank you for downloading this ebook. Thank you for your support.” If this guy was here I don’t think I could remain civil (it’s not that he stole from me–it’s that he claimed the work was his. That’s a slight against my honor and that would demand fisticuffs.)
Thank you Alexandr Shishkov for teaching me how to fill out copyright violation paperwork. And now I now. I’ve heard about things like this happening before… I guess that I always thought someone stealing my blood, sweat, and tears would try to be a little more coy about.
Sellers beware. There’s always a new scam right around the corner–and some of those thieves likely think that this is a victim-less crime (similar to the KU scam I wrote about a few weeks ago). I Never really thought something like this would happen to me… at least not until I had gotten a bigger following.
If you want to check out MY story, visit https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Superhero-Christopher-D-Schmitz-ebook/dp/B01ELXRAFE