Monday, February 27, 2017

Interesting (kind of scary week)

How was everyone's past week? I hope it was kind to you. I had a rather interesting week. It was mostly scary to me. But, you can be the judge of that.




So, every few months I google myself (my pen name Murees Dupé), just to see what pops up and to make sure there's no strange sites popping up. Last year I found a site posting my blog posts on their site without my permission. Luckily they took it all down, after I contacted them.

Anyway, moving on. I also check that all my links and listings on the various publishing platforms, (that my book is listed on) is working and that the info is accurate. When I got to Amazon however, I noticed another listing for my book. It used my old cover, the green one, and the name of the person listing new and used books had a variation of my pen name. Also, their publication date was 1659, or something similar like that. Strange right?  Of course I jumped to the worst case scenario. I panicked and my mind went racing. I wanted to know why this was happening to me. My book wasn't popular. It wasn't selling. So why me and my book?



Luckily for me, I had just read a post on The Creative Penn about How to Protect your Creative Work with Kathryn Goldman. I highly advise anyone posting their content online to read it. It is brilliant. So, I contacted Amazon about the strange listing. I first wanted to make sure what was going on, and whether the person was allowed to do that. 

It was kind of a pain to find the proper people to contact. It took me a while to get to the right department, but the representative was very nice and explained that anyone is entitled to sell anything on Amazon. But what happened in my case is that the person in question, was reselling (New) paperback copies of my book on Amazon for a lot more than it is listed for on Amazon. They couldn't do much aside for merge that listing with mine, so if anyone was looking for my book, that they would only see my listing. I was a little upset about that.




But, I immediately filed my copyright with the U.S Copyright Office, even though I'm South African. Thanks to the Berne Convention, if your book is available in the U.S. you can file there. And you're covered in any country that signed the Berne Convention. You pay a once off fee (in my case $ 55) and you're covered. No renewing or any of that. I provided them with a digital copy of my book. I didn't want to take any chances, especially in the future. You get a certificate stating that you're the copyright owner (it takes a few long months though), so if you ever get in some kind of legal dispute (heaven forbid), you have a foot to stand on.

I wouldn't have known any of this if I wasn't following stalking The Creative Penn Blog. These days whenever there's a post available I'm there. If I hadn't read the above mentioned post I would have freaked out and gone crazy. But having read it, it made me take a step back and think of how I can approach this madness logically.

I was never the kind of person who thought I should bother with the registration of my copyright, but these days I think about it differently. Especially since I'm popular with finding myself and my book in the strangest situations, and a favorite target of online predators.

So, has anything like this happened to any of you? Do you have a scary story to tell?

32 comments :

  1. Hi Murees - I've read of a few other bloggers who've had hassles ... but thank you for adding your story and how you got it sorted out ... it's good to know - and I'll take note for future reference should that be the case ...

    Good luck going forward ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hilary. I'm glad my story could be of some use.

      Delete
  2. At this point, I'd feel flattered if anyone highjacked me. *wink*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard someone else say the same thing. I don't feel flattered at all. Mostly just anger and a little insanity 😡 😡

      Delete
  3. i'm so glad that you got this taken care of. I love the way the internet brings people
    together but there are some dishonest people that the world could do without. It's a
    pity you had to go through this hassle. I have run into psychopaths online who are
    trolling to scam older women, like me. It's very scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry, Belva. That is not a nice thing to experience. Luckily most people I've met online are wonderful, like yourself. Just a tiny few are really scary.

      Delete
  4. I've had sites claim to be giving away my eBooks for free (they weren't - they were fishing for credit cards) but no one has jacked my whole book on Amazon yet. Glad you caught it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alex. I'v had a few of those sites too. But as you suggested last time, I don't pay attention to them. I guess this is just part of the online life and publishing.

      Delete
  5. What a hassle. I'll have to pay better attention to the Creative Penn posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Elizabeth. Usually I didn't pay attention to all the Creative Penn posts either. Luckily I've been paying more attention this year �😉�

      Delete
  6. Glad you were able to protect yourself. It's crazy what some people will do. The Creative Penn sounds like a source of good information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is. She covers a lot of things.

      Delete
  7. Yup. I filed copyright for the short story I self-published because you never know what'll happen.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yikes - I better look into this. Thanks for sharing but so sorry this happened to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Karen. I'm okay now;)

      Delete
  9. I used to receive repeated emails from a company I did not hire that said a certain person was viewing my private information. It was the same name every time. I've never been able to find out what was going on, but I think the company would get the names of some people in one's life and send the emails to try to get new customers.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How awful. I hate stuff like that. Loose end definitely irritate me. Sorry this happened to you, Janie. Some people can be very scary.

      Delete
  10. This is valuable information. I'm going to follow up on it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm sorry you had this scare, but thanks so much for sharing your experience. Like LD, I'm going to follow up on this info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Julie. I really hope it helps. I share my experiences so that it may be of use to someone else:)

      Delete
  12. There's always pirating, but I've never seen a duplicate seller on Amazon. Other places sure, not there. How frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learn something new everyday, Crystal:) I guess stuff like this is just part of the self-publishing/ indie author journey.

      Delete
  13. Hello Murees,
    Thank you so much for sharing this because it is information that I need to know. Now I will go to the Creative Penn Blog and subscribe to it.
    I am so happy that you were able to get everything settle. It is amazing that the reseller is selling your book at at a much higher price.
    Wishing you all the best.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome, Pat. I wanted to share it just in case it helps someone else. Thank you for you kind words. Wishing you the best as well.

      Delete
  14. Murees,
    I just bought your book on Amazon Germany. I look forward to reading it. I am finishing up my manuscript right now, so I'm reading books in between breaks, but I will get to it and do a review on Amazon Germany. (In English, of course, because we have lots of English natives here in Germany looking for good books.)
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you so much, Pat. I am very grateful. I really hope you enjoy it. I didn't know you live in Germany. That is very exciting.

      Delete
  15. It's so hard to keep up with all the various scams etc that are out there. Glad you caught this and were able to do something about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Annalisa. It feel like an ongoing battle, I won't lie:)

      Delete
  16. That is scary! So glad you have everything straight now. Hope the rest of the year is trouble free :)

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment. I love comments.