Uncategorized

Rejection is Only Powerful if You Believe It

We all have a destiny. Instinctively we want to fulfill it. We have God given gifts in the area we’re meant to go towards.

When you begin a destiny journey, there will always be opposition, and with opposition comes rejection. Your ideas are rejected, your work is rejected, your time set aside  for it is interrupted. Loved ones don’t believe you can do it, and they make sure you hear them say so, because they’re trying to save you from failure.

Rejection and interruptions cause dread, and dread is a form of fear. If you begin to fear you are unable to accomplish your goal, there’s a chance you will fulfill your own thoughts and others’ words. It’s scary to go it alone. No bolstering save for God’s encouragement in various forms—hearing of others overcoming, reading key encouragements, maybe dreams, etcetera. Still afraid, though, aren’t we?

Do it afraid then. This counters dread, it lessens fear. Actions always speak louder than fears—so I say again, do it afraid. What is the worse case scenario if you do it afraid?  Think about  what could happen if you disbelieve the rejection, put your head down and plow through it.

I have a fear of heights. As a kid, I enjoyed a public pool with my friends who were not afraid of heights. Off they’d go to the deep end, climb the many steps to the top and free fall into the water, diving off the high board.

I envied them and thought they were crazy at the same time. They encouraged me to try, and time after time I felt too afraid. I’d start to climb, then, “No, no, no, no!” And I’d desend, heart pounding. When a friend teased me for my “silly” fear saying I could never do it because fear ruled me,  I climbed white knuckled on weak legs and felt the sky push on my head, felt dizzy, hesitated, whimpered, and pushed off with my toes. I horror-movie-screamed all the way down,  and sunk into the water like a torpedo, feet first. I hated the height I had to do it from, however, I loved the sensation of speeding through water with my body, the refreshing cool on my skin, the sense of freedom and accomplishment. I’m still afraid of heights, but the dread doesn’t compare to the dive. The fear doesn’t compare to the performance.

I often use this memory to reject rejection. Rejection comes in many forms. My ability to dive despite my fear had to go through the challenge. So I encourage anyone to allow the challenge of dread, fear, and rejection in order to reject it and climb up to your destiny. You know what you want deep in your heart. Fear is but a shadow of rejection in some form. The light of courage slays it.

I feel the biggest challenge I have faced and pushed forward despite dread, fear, and rejection ended up in my adulthood while I sought a publisher for my novel, They All Wore Black. The more I faced rejection, the more I dreaded it, but I climbed up, felt the sky push on my head and dove again and again into the world of rejection until I held my meaningful novel in my hands. I’m not the type to be told ‘no’ and accept it.

Despite the trouble the publisher caused me, I continue to reject the dread. My novel is doing well, but the moment I let trying circumstances bleed dread on me, my legs become weak the way they did on my first high diving board venture. I’m swimming, not drowning, with a life jacket made of rejecting rejection.

Thanks for reading.

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Head’s Up for Dishonest Publishers

Keep your emotions under control. Be careful not to be in a rush to have your first novel or book published. Before you sign, choose carefully. Look for these head’s up traits, and listen to your gut not your emotions:

  • Long friendly chats may groom you to like/trust the publisher, appeal to your emotions
  • In initial conversation, publisher repeatedly says he/she doesn’t skim off authors
  • First contract seems straight forward and fair, too good to be true
  • Everything sounds perfect in chats, even the royalties— “Just send in MS upon agreeing.”
  • A second unexpected contract from same publisher negatively affects royalties
  • Publisher says they’re like traditional, yet you pay all book production, printing, delivery
  • You notice inconsistencies from one communication to another
  • Your questions are evaded

Watch for these signs of trouble:

  • Doesn’t tell you Amazon and IngramSpark accounts, though the author pays to open, will be locked up tight under that publisher’s name
  • Encourages you to buy print books for private sales; takes 100% of Amazon royalties book for book as a result—and you have no idea what your sales are on Amazon
  • Insists he/she needs authors to help pay into advertising to build his/her company
  • You notice inconsistencies from one communicate to another
  • Publisher doesn’t ask for signed contract, just send in MS as signature
  • Insults your writing, discourages you rather than encouraging and building confidence in your project
  • Has a manipulative personality in the way of becoming angry if you disagree with him/her
  • Used only Facebook to communicate and send edits, never uses e-mail
  • Gives no invoices or receipts, operates from PayPal
  • Announces online he is unable to pay his bills; accepts pooled funds money from authors

Check with Writer Beware, Independent Author’s Association, Better Business Bureau, and other writer’s associations before making a final decision on having your MS published. The wrong publisher is about as nasty as divorce, choose carefully.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Editor marriages, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, information, Publishing Warnings, Self-publishing Scams, SUCCESS

Copyright Infringement Under our Noses

It happens daily—right under our noses. It’s on social media, it’s on Amazon, and unless they’re told about it, IngramSpark prints for scamming publishers.

I’ve worked hard to stop my former publisher from collecting 100% of my Amazon royalties. In a contract I didn’t receive until I my novel hit the Amazon shelf, it stated if I buy books from IngramSpark, the publisher keeps 100 per cent of Amazon. I had a contract, read it, found it to be sound, and sent in my manuscript. Knew nothing of a second contract.

This is an independent publisher who is actually a self publishing venue in the way the authors pay every dime toward publishing. When I asked about my royalties, it took two times asking before I received a spreadsheet with two sales. Hey, this doesn’t line up, I  have screenshots from at least nine buyers! This s when I hit the Amazon venue in November of 2018.

The contract also stated an author could pull out of the company, so I did and I began my fight to get my novel back under my control. The copyright was put under his company name, so I had a hell of a fight with Amazon to prove my novel was mine, my work, my efforts. And I’ll likely never see any of those royalties. I wrote Amazon nearly every day, fighting for my rights. They got frustrated with me and took down the Kindle, considered the case closed, but my print copy still excited, giving this publisher more royalties. I eventually succeeded in getting it off .com while .ca continued to sell it. This has gone on since the middle of April. In the meantime, I received many emails from third party sellers who were horrified they’d sold my novel under copyright infringement. Amazon warned them, but continued to sell themselves. Calling them on that seemed to be what moved things. But not enough. They kept sending different forms for me to fill out, basically taking back to the first of the forms they directed me to fill out. Circles, circles.

Something inside me said to tell IngramSpark. One e-mail and they understood the seriousness of my quest and they cancelled the ISBN. There are two copies available, and once they’re sold, that’s it. No more of that ISBN can be printed and sold.

If I had done nothing, my work would appear as copyright owned by the publisher.  It’s a rare incident for a publisher to put the copyright symbol under their company rather than the author’s name. That leads to nothing good for the author.

Make sure before seeking a publisher you investigate their books, their reviews, their websites, and their track record on Writer Beware and Independent Author’s Association.  Those two at least. Check the technical page to see who copyrights are listed under.

I actually had two traditions publishers accept me. The fist contract and editing were unacceptable, so no signature. The next offered a negotiable contract, and when we  finished, the contract was excellent; however, my publisher worked on edits, but she felt too ill to keep up  and continue. The publisher who did me wrong actually knew this publisher and ‘did me a favour’ by cancelling the contract by giving her an author and taking me. This shocked me, yet there I sat in edits with no publisher. Against my gut, I accepted anyway—because the contract I had been given looks fair, it felt good. Too good perhaps….

I will survive. I’m selling copies I purchased before I left, and when the they are gone, I have a new ISBN and will have the novel reprinted with a new technical page, copyright under my own company name. My novel is getting a buzz now, I look forward to enjoying the rest of this journey. Will I get rich and famous? Not expected, but my reviews are outstanding, and I have it in a unique store; 916 Galleria Artisans & Crafters in St. Thomas, Ontario. It’s selling—and it’s me getting the royalties so I can recover from publishing costs.

Best to you and your publishing journey. Stick up for yourself. Don’t buckle under a narcissist.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Amazon in Charge, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Mistakes, Publishing Warnings, Scams, self publishing woes

Amazon Meets Scammed Author Halfway

In preceding posts the subject of Amazon and scamming publishers has relevance for many authors, especially new ones.

My long fight has not been resolved to my satisfaction, but Amazon finally met me halfway and took down the Kindle version of my novel.

The issue? Due to a late contract and the initial lies coming to the surface, I backed out of a contract as it stated an author could leave the publishing company at anytime. See, the publisher encouraged me to buy books so I could sell for 100% profit. This profit of course translates into recovering costs for the novel’s production with a self publishing service. I launched my novel and I continue to sell, but I have a ways to go to recover costs—all of it—ISBN numbers, Cover art, editing, fees to put up on Amazon, fees to open an account with Ingram, the printer, printing, delivery—all of it.

Meanwhile, I knew I had sales in Amazon as people sent me their screenshots. I checked my e-mail regularly for PayPal notifications to no avail. I contacted the publisher who evaded my questions and left some messages unanswered. The contract I had received stated he takes fifty percent of Amazon sales.

After pushing the issue, he told me to read my contract about my Amazon sales. I had an editing contract with no information about this. He said he sent it, but I did not receive it. Another author showed her publishing contract to me. After viewing it I became very assertive with the publisher who is also the editor. The scam: If I buy books, he keeps one hundred percent of my Amazon sales—book for book I bought—to recover his losses. His loses? Please, correct me if I am wrong to feel I have been scammed.

When I left, he said he is changing the contract and going for half of book sales. He said he would call it the “Lynn Clause” because I left him without profit. Again, what? Authors pay for every spec of production plus the cost to print and deliver books—and he feels entitled to half? I shake my head.

I have nearly an inch of printouts concerning my correspondence with Amazon. I fought daily as selling my work without my permission is copyright infringement. The Kindle came down, but the print version remains as physical copies are considered to be his to do what he pleases… because I gave him permission to publish.  At this point, Amazon closed my case. I must contact them until they answer. I would like to know how many copies are at this scammer’s disposal.

I am waiting to hear from Ingram regarding my request to transfer the account into my name. The publisher may refuse. At that time, I may open my own account; however, he has the print-ready files and could produce my book and sell it. That would be copyright infringement. I hope he isn’t so greedy he would do this, because I’m not afraid of confrontation. He’ll wish he never sweet-talked me into coming on board with him by cancelling my contract with the publisher I had decided to work things out with. He had me where he wanted me. Edits and begun and there I sat with no publisher. He was able to do this as the traditional publisher knew him well. I contacted her and felt so confused, and believed he lies so much, I let the contract go. They sent me a proper notification of cancellation.

In my world if a contract has no physical or at least an electric signature, it is not valid. I signed nothing with this self publisher, but because I gave him money, Amazon says that’s good enough. And also be aware of this when you are dealing with self publishing and paying: I received no invoices and no receipts. That can actually work in my favour if I pursue this case, but it will go above Amazon if I do.

Do your homework like I did, except don’t let that research crash when you’re being sweet-talked into jumping aboard with a publisher of any kind.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Editor marriages, Human Behaviour, information, Mistakes, Scams, self publishing woes

Author Fights to Prove Infringement

Amazon is a big deal, we all know it. There are numerous on-line book outlets attached to them, which is good for book sales—until an author has to fight to prove copyright infringement.

One leaves a publisher they had paid to produce and post the book, and unnamed  publisher keeps the book posted on Amazon “to recover losses.” But losses for what? Author pays everything from editing to book cover to ISBN numbers to print and delivery—and whatever happens in between—all expenses, so we must consider this to be self publishing.

If you are embarking on a self publishing journey, do not let a publisher of that nature tell you they are better than self publishing. They “publish for you.” All it means is they are going to have more control over your book than you expect. Like when you pay for ISBN numbers and the publisher puts them in their name, with the Ingram account and Amazon account. Make sure you get a publishing contract to view before getting too excited about getting your first book into the world. It’s worth the money to have it looked at by an intellectual property lawyer. I didn’t, because I thought what I received was the contract. It was simple and straight forward, but it only covered editing. I was not told when encouraged to buy books “for 100% profit” that because I bought books, the publisher would take 100% of my Amazon royalties, book for book. What do you think about that? Is it fair? Is it just me? Me who paid for everything?

When I finally viewed my contract, I was appalled at this. But the contract also stated an author could respectful leave the publisher—so I did. But I went through some uncomfortable and long messages from an extremely angry publisher. Which did not surprise me much as the editing process felt heavy. I endured insults to my writing in edits. Belittling a writer is not simply, “I call ’em as I see ’em.” Is it that difficult for some people to be diplomatic?

After I left, I was accused of not paying for my cover, meaning I couldn’t use it after leaving, and I wouldn’t let this slide. I traced it in my PayPal account. Disappointing for the publisher as I was legally free to use my cover I paid for. I was accused of lying when I said I did not receive a publishing contract. I received an editing contract. Nothing about this process was what it should have been. Stress crowned the days, the weeks, the months.

This keeping my book on Amazon is a form of copyright infringement as the publisher has been asked by me to take my property down. Another author does her best to help me, and she, too, mentioned to the publisher it needed to come down. He lied saying he took it down and I put it back up. How can I do that when the account is in the publisher’s name? And I couldn’t open a new account and post it as the copyright page (technical page) needs to change and there are numerous typos throughout my novel. That involves Ingram, which I am locked out of as well, plus rewriting the book ready file, and I couldn’t. I asked him to send my property to me, he did, but in PDF so I could not edit. Fortunately my son is an IT guy.

I am in the process of proving to Amazon the work is mine. He even put the © in his company name. And it doesn’t mean much as he must have my permission to have my copyright. My work is automatically copyrighted when I write it and put my name on the work, and I have several drafts to prove it, and e-mails from publishers I shopped my MS around to. Keep your drafts and e-mails, you may someday need them.

But I’m left to wonder how publishers are able to open accounts, lock them in their name, and they don’t have to prove who the MS belongs to, they don’t have to prove they have permission to use it, but I fight for many days now, and we are not finished.  I have made an application to transfer the Ingram account to myself. Publisher may refuse, then I will pay (again) to open my own account. Legal complications are draining. Scammers are everywhere, and the police officer I created an incident with said this person has been at this a long time. He is seasoned enough to stay in the grey area of legalities.

I’ll say this:  when a self publisher or any publisher seems to be too good, they are. Take that seriously, because it is. Literature is a cut throat industry. Wear a collar and ask questions. Don’t ever worry you’re insulting a publisher. If they are honest, they will cheerfully answer questions.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
Scams, Uncategorized

How Authors Detect Scams.

I read countless articles about publishing, both traditional houses and self publishing, and educated myself so I could avoid a nightmare. I hoped.

The first traditional contract asked for money in many areas. I moved on to another traditional house after acceptance. The contract was negotiable, and in the end, it served as the dream contract. My publisher claimed my MS to edit herself, as she related to my story. Unfortunately, she fell ill and couldn’t continue.

Now pay attention. This publisher I speak of, let’s call her Jane, happened to be in a Facebook group for writers, and its numbers were about 5,000. Years back, she took a boot camp course with the group with a self publisher. The owner of the group, the self publisher, knew I signed on with her. He came up in chat asked about a month or so into my contract signing how it went so far. I explained my frustration with the editing hold ups. He asked more questions then disappeared from chat for 10 minutes. When he came back he told me I was free. He cancelled my contract and gave her an author  and took me. I felt stunned, contacted Jane and completed termination as self publisher man told me many not good things about Jane’s editing skills.

Notice he played on my emotions.

That should have been enough for me to run; however, I sat in the middle of edits, now with no publisher. He told me of all the wonderful things he could do to make my MS into a book and put it up on Amazon. No matter how much I had read, my emotions at the time were stronger than my logic, and he, let’s call him Ralph, knew it.

Since, They All Wore Black had all production fees poured into it. I paid for all of it, including the ISBN numbers for e-book and paperback, and he never invoiced me or supplied recipes, not even income tax receipts of any kind. If Revenue Canada approaches me, I will send them Ralph’s way.

During the editing process, he never encouraged, but discouraged. I heard al the looked wrong in my MS, but nothing which could view as right. I took insults and nearly lost my confidence in a mS I work on fro  countless hours. He told me I was a storyteller, and storytellers rarely make good writers. Honestly, this things he said were of no value to serve an author with confidence. I actually shed quiet tears while reading some editing comments, yet in the end, I have numerous excellent reviews.

Nonetheless, before my reviews even came from readers. I knew I had money to make back money. Ralph encouraged me to buy books telling me I’d make my money back pretty quick. And long before the late contract arrived after all publishing finished, Ralph never told me if I buy books, he will take 100% of Amazon sales to recover his costs. His costs? 

Also in the contract it stated an author could take their book from Ralph’s company respectfully. After much preparation, I walked away. I wrote him an email, finally got an answer—he doesn’t answer e-mails. But I got a scathing Facebook message about leaving.  When he saw it wouldn’t stop me from succeeding, he sent a message telling me I had to get a new book cover, saying he paid for my cover and it was his property. He forbid me from using it, even went to my author’s page, where I never saw him, to tell me again. I found the proof in PayPal and presented. Another message came to say, “Fine! Keep everything you’ve got and I REALLY, REALLY hope you succeed!” Sarcasm one-O-one as he has been told to take my work down from Amazon, and he has not.

Pay attention: Ralph put the Amazon account and ISBN numbers in his company name. Now not that is matters as the work is mine with my name attached to it, but he also put the © in his company name. The copyright is all I have true ownership of, despite it being on the technical page. Then the  printer, Ingram, same thing, an account in his name. He locked it all up. I paid the start-up fees for Ingram and Amazon, and I bought those ISBN numbers. As a result, I cannot get help from Amazon easily to have my work removed from his name. We have been communications to try and come up with a solution.

The bottom line here is, no matter how educated you are about intellectual property, a scammer who has much experience can do this to you too. Be careful in writers’ groups. Beware of anything sounding too good. Beware of publishers who steps on other publisher’s toes.

You’re welcome to message me.

Thanks for reading.

Standard
1980s, Addictions, Depression, Domestic violence, Dyslexia, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, Learning disabilities, mental illness, Publishing joys

A Library Refuses to Promote a Novel Launch? Really?

Everyone profits from sales. Church events, yard sales, book sales etcetera.

What exactly is non profit? What is 100 percent profit free? I could sell my books and give all the proceeds from my launch sales to a charity. All of it And that’s just what I would have to do to put up ads for my launch at my local library, despite years of never ending work, education, searches for the right publisher, paying for edits working through daylight and holidays. You write, you know what I’m saying.
Over the phone speaking with someone from the library, I heard this, “I’m sorry, any ad space we have goes to 100% non profit events.”

This reminds me of school when my memories dissect it. Beginning young when I got  a handle on reading and writing while struggling with dyslexia, which had no diagnosis until my adult years, I wrote poetry, the best way I knew how. My soul expressed me. This took the place of math. My entire notebook carried words rather than mathematical equations with worked-out answers. When it came time to hand in the notebook, my parents were called to the office. Long story short, my writing ability was not fostered. No mention of creative writing classes, no mention of a budding talent. Just old-school discipline and I went under the thumb of rules.

So my point is, in my middle age, haunting rules ironically surfaced. A library wouldn’t let me promote my novel. The very place I thought would be the first to help me.

Sometimes a person needs to vent, so I am doing just that. I wrote my novel, They All Wore Black, during a bleak time. It’s loosely based on truth, and the truth involves many people and four relevant-to-today circumstances: addictions, mental illness, domestic violence, and learning disabilities.  The contemporary drama is heart-wrenching, joyful, humoured with dark splashes, and most of all, realism.

“All families come with skeletons in their closet, but not all family skeletons come with a bottle, bruises, busted fingers, fear, hate, broken spirits and shameful secrets. It’s 1988, the Faddens are left to sort out the father’s death. Brad, Kelly and their mom must come to grips with the horrific impact of his deceptive life.”

Print version is available on Amazon, they’ll send when they’re stocked, ebook is available now.  Just punch in the title if you’re interested.

Visit me here: https//www.facebook.com/PennersPen88/


The library can’t share this, but I can, and you may if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Standard