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:
\ 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.
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”.
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 NEW. THAT 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…
Yeeesh I wonder if she paid her ghostwriter $1000 each. Anyway, buy some books. Looks like N Alleman & J Chase purchased a few. See how they changed the character names & book summary. That’s important. pic.twitter.com/bM9fMcHrRu
— Nikki (@ease_dropper) October 12, 2018
Are basically doing the same as when I do this…
They are saying that publishers who take older stories and package together into an anthology, then NAME that anthology like this…
is the same as an author who does this…
Several author names are in the emails. Others are Evelyn Glass, Kathryn Thomas, Ellen Harper, Nina Park, Heather West, etc. They recycle their books (purchased from ghost writers) through different pen names in order to always have “new” releases. pic.twitter.com/YYjFMkGxI5
— Nikki (@ease_dropper) February 24, 2019
let’s look at my experiment!!!
And a google search showed…
This isn’t repackaging backlist books or rebranding under another pen name. THAT looks like this.
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.
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…
Then you can’t really claim a 2019 copyright by Paula Cox in 2019.
And there’s no sign the ‘author’ bought/reissued the book or that the book was previously published.
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.