I’m not your cop

Okay, folks. I thought long and hard about talking about this and I decided I needed to. Don’t take this wrong. But I’m not your cop. Over the past couple of months since I started talking about the scammer shit at Amazon, I’ve gotten a lot of comments, questions and emails about similar practices.

Somebody on a writer loop asked me when I was going to start going after the scammers plaguing the historical romance genre, people pulling the same scamming shit that I’ve been talking about in the MC/Bad Boy romance sub-genres.

Guys, I lost upwards of a month’s worth of work doing this–paid work. And contrary to what some people think, I’m not rolling in the dough. I’m far from it. I’m struggling. If it wasn’t for my freelance work, I wouldn’t be making it.

I started digging into the scamazon shit that I saw on Twitter because readers uncovered it, because it was so blatant, because readers were ignored and because Amazon didn’t seem to be doing shit. But I’ve also outlined clearly how to figure this stuff out. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but if there’s a problem out there that’s concerning some people…well, I can’t be everybody’s advocate. I’ve got my own career to consider, too.

I do know there’s a problem with historicals being hit, and I believe several authors and readers have been looking at the issue, but people who have concerns about it, like those who’ve asked me when I’m going to start looking at it, frex…well, if you’re concerned, do something.

The good news is that I think Amazon is paying attention now, so if you have somebody you suspect of scamming, start doing the work. Look into it–if it’s a regurgitated book, find the original source. Look at my Hot Takes category, starting with this post, and report them. Tell others so they can report them. Amazon doesn’t remove books without investigating the matter and if the book is regurgitated, then the person having the book removed is just reaping his just rewards.

Aside from the requests about checking this subgenre, or that, I’m also getting emails about other stuff, and…again, guys. I’m not your cop.

I’ve tried handling things just one by one as they come up, but they are coming up a lot anymore.

People have to learn how to advocate for themselves. Which brings me to the main reason behind this post.

I’ve gotten a few emails similar to this, although not about this particular person. I’m blacking out the name, because the way this reads, it comes across like somebody wants me to take this battle on. And…I can’t be the one to do that.

Screenshot of letter about suspected plagiarism, text is below the image

The picture is small, screenshotted from my email.

The text, with names redacted,

Comment: There is another “copypastecris” plagiarism scandal you might want to know about.

FYI: Copy and Paste REDACTED. He’s trying to become another Cristiane Serruya.

REDACTED is another author engaging in plagiarism. Take a look at his books, plots, covers, blurbs, advertisements, etc.

The premise and plot for his latest book titled REDACTED is summed up as REDACTED.

This was copied from REDACTED book titled REDACTED. His premise/plot: REDACTED.

REDACTED also copies book covers.

Look at the cover for “ REDACTED” by REDACTED. ASIN: REDACTED

Now look at REDACTED copycat cover for “ REDACTED” ASIN: REDACTED

REDACTED copies, premises, plots, ideas, events, characters, details, etc. from other books.

REDACTED copies dialogue from other books, word for word, and only changes the name of the person who said it.

REDACTED copies wording and ideas from author emails.

REDACTED copies wording from AMS Amazon advertisements.

REDACTED is one of the highest earning “authors” on Amazon, according to the author earnings report that named names and was quickly removed from the internet.

Crime pays, for “Cut and Paste REDACTED.”

email received via website, 5/9/2019

I tried emailing the sender and email bounced back.

But that’s not the only reason I’m addressing this on the blog.

Yes, it sounds like REDACTED is doing all sorts of wrong. But you know who’d be a better person to take him on? The authors he’s plagiarizing.

And if he’s actually plagiarizing content, that can be reported to Amazon. Go to the book’s page (kindle version). Scroll down until you see the box for reporting. Click on reporting poor quality/formatting. I’d say copying somebody else’s work is poor quality. Paste the copied text from his book, then get the original source’s text, the author’s name, the book’s title. Send it.

If the authors aren’t aware, they need to be made aware, because if he’s plagiarizing them, they can get his work removed. All they have to do is show the plagiarized text to Amazon and file a DMCA. If they’re on social media, they can raise hell about it and get people behind them to help raise awareness.

But I’m not the go-to for this. I wasn’t even involved in uncovering Serruya’s plagiarism.

While in theory, it’s great that people think I can help fix a lot of this crap going on, in reality, it’s not possible to tackle all of this.

Before I even wade in, I have to research all of it, because if I get it wrong? Who is to say I won’t be held liable?

And I don’t always have that time. I have to write because I’ve got a career and my family to think of. I’m happy to signal boost things and when it’s a widespread issue like the scamazon stuff I decided to take on when it was being ignored, then that’s time I’m choosing to sacrifice. But I can’t take on everything that gets sent my way and when it’s specific to authors being plagiarized?

Those authors need to take the bull by the horns.