Hot Takes: Part …Oh, honey…you went and pissed me off.

Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Scam, to deceiveWow. I think I stirred the pot with my scam talk yesterday. Some scammer types aren’t happy. Which, hey, that pleases me, but on the other hand…honey, you pissed me off.

Nora Roberts saw my blog post from yesterday & emailed me about linking it to hers. No, I didn’t fangirl squeal,  Laura. I’m getting better, I swear. BTW, did you know know Nora once complimented me on my necklace? So we’re totally best buds now.

But I’m getting offtrack.

I want to talk scammers, not my BFF relationship with the Queen of Romance.

It’s been an interesting week for me, really. Some pithy emails from various people, most of whom have never met me, being snidely condescending or outright insulting about the topics I’ve been discussing. Most of the emails, I’ve ignored, because frankly, they don’t deserve my attention if that’s going to be their attitude.

I’ve deleted a couple of asshole comments at my blog, because well…I don’t tolerate assholes in my house.  I’ve flat-out called one person out on one post because it was obvious they wanted to derail shit.

Some of the crap has been insulting & disheartening, but I can’t say I’ve really been pissed.

Until today. And the prick didn’t even have the balls to come outright and address his/her comments to me.

I, however, don’t have that problem.

First, before we get started

Let’s touch on the definition of scam, from our friend, Merriam Webster:

scam

noun

\ ˈskam  \

Definition of scam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation

Scammer would be somebody who participated in such. Oh, say, exploitive actions that engaged in dishonest tactics to deceive for financial gain.

 

Meet Frost.

Frost clearly didn’t like my Twitter talk about scammers, especially as it relates to how they engage in the practice of selling manuscripts. See the comment left below on my BFF/Nora’s blog.

In reply to Nora Roberts.
The link you posted above is suggesting that authors cannot sell their intellectual property (their books) to other authors and publishers. It’s literally calling someone a “scammer” for selling the rights to some books they wrote.
How on Earth is that a scam?
By that measure, every single traditional publisher that has ever bought rights to a book (and subsequently published that title with their own cover and marketing spin) would be a “scammer”.
That’s silly.
Do you genuinely think it’s a scam for someone to sell the publishing rights/copyright for their original work to another person? If that person then packages and sells that book to the masses, is that a scam?
I’m genuinely open to talk if you want to have a quick dialogue about this stuff. That link you posted is just an honest author trying to sell the books THEY wrote, and some random silliness besides.

So, Nora linked to a twitter moment I’d done that was connected to my blog post Hot Takes: Part…who knows? So you want to know how to spot the scammers. The post addresses everything in that moment and then some, highlighting how some ‘authors’ buy books from other ‘authors’, repackage them with a new name & cover, without disclosing any of that and sell the books as new.

Sidenote: there’s no ‘authoring’ going on here. Not even in the form of legit ghostwriting. There’s no creativity. There’s no work. They buy a used-up manuscript, dust it off, slap a cover on it, SOMETIMES change names with find/replace, then SELL THE THING AS NEWTHAT IS NOT BEING A WRITER. THAT IS NOT BEING A CREATOR. THAT’S NOT EVEN ACTING AS A FRICKING PUBLISHER. THE WORDS YOU WANT ARE AUTHOR + MILL.

‘Frost’ comes in and tries to make it sound like when a legit author gets their rights back on a backlist title, then reformats, recovers and reissues, it’s the same thing as a scammer buying a manuscript he didn’t write, recovering, repackaging and passing it off as his own.

Let’s look at a couple of things here…

He’s saying people who do this…

Are basically doing the same as when I do this…

screenshot of shiloh's hearts and wishes, with text 'previously published'

They are saying that publishers who take older stories and package together into an anthology, then NAME that anthology like this…

N. Roberts, harlequin anthology, first snow, with two older books, packaged together, with text 'previously published'

is the same as an author who does this…

Or…

let’s look at my experiment!!!

Paula Cox

I had a sample of Paula Cox's work sent to my kindle

Screen shot of text from a Paula Cox book

And a google search showed…

WORD FOR WORD, THE SAME PASSAGE IN A PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED BOOK BY JENNY JAX

This isn’t repackaging backlist books or rebranding under another pen name.  THAT looks like this.

UF romance

Authors rebrand for specific purposes, when moving in another direction, when switching houses, when switching genres.  I rebranded this series, the Grimm series, after I branched out into urban fantasy as J.C. Daniels.  The Grimm were always more UF romance than paranormal so I wanted to attract both my paranormal romance fans and my UF fans.

But there was never any issue with deceiving readers.

Additionally, when authors reissue previously published books, they don’t pass them off as new creations…new covers? Sure. But there’s another indicator.

Copyright page screenshot 2006, Shannon Stacey, Forever Again

The copyright, geniuses. Whether you buy it, sell it, etc–the original copyright year????  If a book was published was in 2016 by  Jenny Jax…

Broken Jenny Jax published 2016

Then you can’t really claim a 2019 copyright by Paula Cox in 2019.

bullshit copyright date on a previously published book That copyright doesn’t magically go out of existence just because she sold it to Paula Cox.

And there’s no sign the ‘author’ bought/reissued the book or that the book was previously published.

cox with copyright date of 2019 on a book that was pubbed in 2016

So…Frost…authors and publishers who repackage books, especially authors who repackage their unavailable backlist books to make them available for readers, are not, nowhere in hell, engaging in anything close to this shitty practice of buying books that were recently selling on Kindle, or other digital platforms, then removed, sold for a profit, repackaged under another, completely unrelated name, recovered, repackaged and sold as a completely new book in an attempt to deceive readers into thinking that very same thing.

Either you folks aren’t very bright or you think readers & authors aren’t.

In either case, please…keep arguing this, because the more you do, the more awareness you’ll bring to what you guys are doing. Because I am not shutting up about it and these posts & tweets are getting ready by a lot of people. I mean, especially since you went and engaged NORA FRICKING ROBERTS in ‘quick dialog’ instead of me.

 

 

14 Replies to “Hot Takes: Part …Oh, honey…you went and pissed me off.”

  1. > Because I am not shutting up about it

    I think you should.. Give up this insane and pointless fight. Move on and write some books. You’ll be happier for it. The dopamine rush for engaging in drama only lasts a little while. But the rush of writing a book to completion and publishing it is the best. Give it a try, honey.

  2. Poor chiquita didn’t bother looking at the backlist of the author she came to tangle with.

    I think you should.. Give up this insane and pointless fight. Move on and write some books. You’ll be happier for it. The dopamine rush for engaging in drama only lasts a little while. But the rush of writing a book to completion and publishing it is the best. Give it a try, honey.

    Complete book list

    Breakdown by series

    My other persona

    Audio

    Okay… I think I proved my point.

  3. Oh, get off it. You’re obviously one of these scammers. I can’t find a real picture of you anywhere, and I googled “shiloh walker” and the only thing that came up was this sketchy website. Oh, and a wiki article mentioning that YOU YOURSELF HAVE MULTIPLE “NAMES.”

    Reported to Amazon, scammer.

  4. I’m not here to tangle with you, honey. I’m taking a break from writing my book to encourage you to write more of yours. You have an extensive backlist, I agree. Even a new release this month. Fantastic! Instead of wasting time and good words on Twitter and these blog posts, maybe put all that effort and dilligence to good use in a new release for March 2019.

    Much love,
    Poor chiquita

  5. Oh, get off it. You’re obviously one of these scammers. I can’t find a real picture of you anywhere, and I googled “shiloh walker” and the only thing that came up was this sketchy website. Oh, and a wiki article mentioning that YOU YOURSELF HAVE MULTIPLE “NAMES.”

    Reported to Amazon, scammer.

    LOL… really?

    You didn’t find twitter?

    You didn’t see me on this database here?

    Or pages of my series on Goodreads, spanning back to 2004?

    Or this database?

    This one?

    Be sure to report my books from Penguin and St. Martins, okay?

  6. OMG these people! I’ve known of you (read several of your books) since I first started researching e publishing in 2006. I know how talented & dedicated you are, as does anyone who has been in this game for longer than 5 mins. Scammers don’t last as long as you have, bc they SCAM & always get found out.

    Keep posting when YOU want, I’m following along with interest.

  7. LOL… they’re just trying to make me stop talking about this. Won’t happen. Which if any of them knew jack about me, they’d know that. But… ah, well.

    And thanks, Sami.

  8. You are right. Snow is a twit and needs to be called out. All the scammers need to be called out, outed and announced so we can know who they are and avoid them. And they don’t paint the rest of us with their cheap, lazy, book mill scamming brushes.

  9. I’m so proud of you and what you are doing I love Nora Roberts books and met her once!! She is not my BFF but she was very kind and sweet and doesn’t deserve what is happening to her!!!

  10. I’m not a lawyer, but…

    It seems to me that slapping a new title and new author name on a previously published book and then advertising it as a new, original work without any disclaimers whatsoever runs afoul of FTC regulations on consumer fraud and deception and also violates truth in advertising laws.

    Might be interesting to take some of the research done on repackaged books, plus any ads or newsletters advertising them as new works, and see what the FTC thinks.

    Anyone have a contact at the FTC?

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