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.

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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.

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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.

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ADD, Addictions, Dyslexia, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, inspirational, Publishing joys, SUCCESS

Oh-so-human People Hood

Launched by our day of birth, we are delivered into the human race, each of us having joined the people hood association.  We live akin having basic nutritional needs for health, growth and survival.  Yet, unequal “nutrient” measures are required for our individual learning stimulus and potential mind development.  Particular learning styles can be as distinct as our bodies, personalities, preferences and capabilities.  

We are all equipped to learn as we grow, but sometimes we cannot advance as per certain teaching methods.  Everyone possesses adequacies—like definitive fingerprints—those distinguished abilities must be fostered.  Since our human bodies are not resembled exactly alike, not even identical twins, it makes sense that our human minds are assembled differently as well.  Consider various character traits and personal likes and dislikes people have for foods, hobbies, clothes, music, literature….  Perceptions of our environment differ, it’s obvious, our homes reflect our individualism as well as the artistic creations we savour.  

Although inter mutual similarities form assemblages, those groups consist of personal contributions.  Creative-minded artists orchestrate the vast entertainment industry with unique styles; actors, comedians, musicians….  Interior decorators have diverse flair; writers, their own voice…while other faculties include a range of technicians, lawyers, scientists; foods industry….  All an asset to their field.  Point made, I’m sure, saying that people hood is balanced out by a plethora of talents and specific contributions which make up divergent categories in societal links.  Speculate, though.  Does everybody learn in the same manner to find their niche?  

If absolutely everyone could learn the way they think, if you will, imagine the productivity and confidence within each person.  There were/are individuals so unique in their thinking that, “Eureka!”, mind-blowing concepts continue to be developed; lifesaving medication and technology, communications devices, travel modes just to mention a few.  Diverse-thinking historical figures pushed against the grain to be taken seriously, and prevailed.  They are gone, yet their outstanding contributions, not forgotten.

 The five senses contribute significantly to our learning, and more fundamentally, our individual impressions of what we’re sensing react to convey information about our environment and produce thoughts constantly.  Perhaps we take our sight, hearing, tactile sensitivities, olfactory glands and taste buds for granted, but still, without the five sensations, touch being the most important, human contact would be deficient in gratifying communication encounters.  People who are lacking one or more of the five senses have heightened awareness of their existing senses and learn to utilize their abilities.  When an individual has one or more learning differences or disabilities, their ability in another area or areas is accentuated and those proficiencies should be encouraged and promoted.  But for several reasons, this does not usually happen.  

 Numerous students are stressed in a world of do-it-or-fail.  But, if students’ learning styles, talents and strengths were recognized and given precedence over whole curriculum styles and students’ particular weaknesses, perhaps everyone would love school.  Not to say that one’s weak areas should be ignored, particularly reading, but forced techniques for the sake of the whole-system curriculum—are not learned—they’re resented.  Frustrated students can attest to the width of curriculum cracks they’re slipping through.   

Nonetheless, in comparison to “old school,” the educational methods are improving, slow but sure.  Now, even though the system is still designed for masses of students as a whole and integration still applies, LDs are finally being recognized as an alternative learning style and our western culture is beginning to realize an ancient truth: people have individual, unique minds.  LD strengths are noticed and commended more than before.  Children and adults alike now have the opportunity for equal rights in their education.  

Adults, listen, be encouraged if you learn differently than others, whether you’re young or matured.  It’s special to be in the minority because LD persons, past and present, have contributed greatly to society.  Google famous LD people and see for yourself.  Our passionate interests are most usually indicative of our natural gifts and talents.  Explore yourself.   Your success will still require time, effort and practice, as with anyone else, regardless of learning style, so pursue what you feel you are good at.

Myself, I think and do differently, and it’s not always easy to find passage in the sea with my learning-style compass.  It takes patient navigating, but with a ship constructed of diligence, I have sailed into a “The world!—she’s’ a-round!” discovery of reachable, fulfilling accomplishments.  My diagnoses of ADD, dyslexia and NVD opened my world up, and I wrote a novel. My editor waded through the errors, bless him for bringing it up to standards.

If I can do sail the LD sea, trust me, you can too.  I actually obtained a Children’s Writing diploma (just needed extra time); I have taught my curriculum development,  at my local Fanshawe college as an evening interest course. I have had several articles published in this newsletter and I’m constructing a poetry chapbook.  Receiving an educational awards spurred me on.    

Embark upon your journey.  Pack unlimited positive attitude supplies and claim your discovery.  A precious diamond is first hidden in a lump of hard, black coal, then uncovered, it’s worth something.  Remember that.

I wrote They All Wore Black, a meaningful story. Because I could. There are just days to my publishing goal. Find more about it here:
https//www.facebook.com/PennersPen88/

 

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, information, Mistakes, Traditional publishing

What’s to Say Writing’s Glamorous?

In a few short minutes a contract was cancelled.

I was lucky to get out of a contract. My publisher, who was editing my novel MS felt too ill to concentrate and diligently work on it. The warning signs were there, but I was excited to be accepted by a traditional publisher after just turning down my first traditional contract. I wanted to be in that less-than-two percent. And I am, but with a price.

No matter how excited you are to get published by a traditional house, make sure you vet them the way they vet us. Actually, do this for self-publishing also.

Check their Web site for the year they started and how many books they have. This is more important than I initially thought. If they have few books compared to the length of time they’ve been publishing, they may be short staffed. Worse than that, you don’t know if anyone is being payed or if it’s a group of friends helping one another get the company going. Books, books and how many tell a story of their own. If no one is collecting a paycheque, the incentive likely isn’t the same. Who works hard and invests themselves for free? Even with the frail promise of a booming future business, most people are not driven if they have a job, and volunteer on the side.

If there are major delays in sending out a contract, keep looking for a publisher. Be aware, fully aware there may be delays in editing, too. There were delays with my MS, and it was frustrating to sit here in my writing lair hour after hour for weeks, then wait for months for a return.

Talking yourself into believing it’ll be okay, is not the way to start a contract or a publishing journey. Once you have a contract, in most cases you’re bound and there is nothing to be done but be at the mercy of your publisher.

I’m grateful my publisher is a fair person, and she wanted me to be happy when I was not. I lost eleven months, but I am on my way with a publisher who needs to be paid, but I get all the support of a traditional house. He was able to help me leave the contract, simply because he knows the publisher I was with. Moreover, he has paid staff.

Be vigilant with edits. Keep a copy of previous edits you’ve worked on. My publisher edited dramatically. Half pages at a time were deleted and her writing replaced mine. Her voice, her style, and ideas. My characters were doing things I never had them do, and they said what I didn’t have them say. She was showing me what I could do in trouble areas, but her text should have been alongside mine if it were to change so much. Had I not retained a copy, I would never have never been able to restore my work and edit in my own voice. I’m sure I would have had a nervous breakdown. I’m serious.

This is so recent, the knot in my neck is still pulling all the way to my shoulder blade.

My intention with traditional was to be accepted as it was important to me. I needed the risk-taking approval of a publisher. I’ve been accepted twice now with a query. I practised my query for a long time, then started getting action. If you are seeking traditional, ask questions. Ask how many are active on staff. Do they have volunteers? Ask how long edit rounds usually take. Ask what your gut prompts you to ask. It is your manuscript. It’s your slow return on book sales.

I have found since being accepted by a reputable publisher, one I will pay, that once the dust settles a bit and I can purchase books to sell, what I pay in is an investment with return as long as I don’t slack off in selling.

If your first book will be self-published, there’re contracts, so be vigilant. Take the time to study, what’s good and what’s not. Google will get you there, just type in bad authors’ contracts. The good authors’ contracts. Take the time to study, and hope you get a good publisher.

I studied hard. My downfall was trusting because this publisher I met in a writers’ group. I liked her. I still do. Keep personal feelings separate from business sense.

Good luck.

Thanks for reading

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encouragement, Human Behaviour, information, Traditional publishing

Is it a Traditional Disappointment?

It can take years to write then publish a book or novel: practicing query letters, and years of learning about market needs, and looking for a traditional publisher. Conversely, one can write a book, choose to get professional editing and professional advice, then go ahead with a cover and choose a printer, then viola— a book on Amazon—in much less time.

It’s up to the author to agree or disagree if “good things take time.”

Notice traditional Web sites. How long have they been operating, and how many books do they have? Is the web site up to date? How do the reviews look? Do the reviews add up to how many books they have published? Any complaints? At times, complaints can come in the form of a review which isn’t detailed with accolades.

A traditional publisher should apply for the copyright. About fifteen percent goes to the author, which is fair considering copyright cost, printing, cover, editing, and typesetting costs, so make sure the contract doesn’t ask you to buy an amount of books as a requirement. It could be an option, but never a requirement. If it is an option, you shouldn’t have to pay full price for books, and be sure you’re not paying for these books to be printed. You should be paying for completed books. At cost would be ideal, but don’t expect it as these sales profits go to the publisher. If you’re selling the books you buy, expecting to receive royalties on these books is lofty. You get whatever profit you can gain. Look for these issues in the contract, and study as much as you can before signing one. Take it to a lawyer, be sure if you are not.

An author, it they’ve invested in their writing with schooling, workshop classes, and courses, works hard on a manuscript. Work just as hard on finding a way to publish, because that’s the end goal.

I don’t have a lot to say for self-publishing as I went he traditional route. But I will say this: with self-publishing you have more control over edits, since you are paying; however, with traditional publishing, you’re still paying as you are only gaining a minimal percentage of sales. Remember that and don’t be shy about keeping your “baby” in the clothes you sent it out in, with the same baby powder scent. Don’t be convinced your characters’ dialogue is all wrong, and have your say about retaining your voice, your influence, your expression, and your experience.

I’m in the middle of my edits now. My editor is not a bully, but has gotten carried away with inserting her voice in an attempt to show me what works well. I am not obligated to take this advice; however, extended deletions and additions in my work have been disruptive to me as well as time consuming to restore my work. Never delete your original manuscript! You’ll want it side by side with your edits. You’ll see good changes and unwelcome changes. We have to let go of an amount of our precious words, but you’ll know what shouldn’t be changed according to the rest of your story. Make sure consistencies, if you editor has not read your story first, are not going to be disrupted.

Edits are necessary. Grammar, punctuation, some copy editing for awkward sentences, but remember this, no matter who you agree to for publishing your manuscript with, it is still your manuscript. It takes courage to send out query letters and manuscripts, so retain that courage when you’re in the middle of edits.

They All Wore Black is my novel manuscript. I don’t have a release date as of yet:

A traumatized, hushed-up family is struggling to learn it’s okay to cry out.

Brad Fadden trudges with his head down and his guard up. His deviant father died, but Brad aches with raw secrets. Haunting memories. His haggard mother is reticent about it. His protective sister fled eight years before because of it.
       It’s 1988. Ganja, cocaine, pills—easy scores. Even so, fifteen-year-old Brad cannot subdue his crippling emotions. He’s off to harass his dead father’s socially inept boozing pal who guards the pivotal truth. The fearful sot may be the only one who knows it
     A peculiar old man intermittently appears to caution Brad about addictions and prying. He’s left to think he’s hallucinating, but he won’t stop getting high and prying. They say, The truth will set you free. They’re wrong.

(Names of characters of fictional, and it is a pure coincidence if they resemble real people.)

 https://www.facebook.com/PennersPen88/

Thanks for reading.

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Humour, Traditional publishing

Glorified Forced Rest

IT MAKES ME PACE

I have a lack of understanding for ‘just wait a while longer.’ It’s glorified forced rest, that’s all. It’s the rest that comes before the task so large, you kinda wish you never stopped waiting. So, yeah, I must chill while I wait for a yes or no. I think I know what makes my cats feel anxious when I’ve got their food bag in one hand the phone in the other. As soon as I hang up from Madame Garrulous, they’ll get fed. And they wait….

But I’m waaaiting to hear back from a publisher. I don’t want to be an Indie author, I want the challenge of the process of traditional publishing. See, where I went wrong in the first place was to ask God for more patience. Well it turns out He doesn’t just hand it over. He sends trials to build the skill. So anyway, I was under the influence of God when I decided to send out a realistic drama-type novel. It isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s hardboiled, and so is mental illness. It’s also dark, and funny, and meaningful.  Coach House Books, a small press in Toronto, did send a note to say it’s in their reading queue, and it was going to be about six months. We’re just a tad past that, and I believe they’re good for their word. I have a 100-word synopsis handy, I’ll drop it in here and if you want, you can help me wait for that cat kibble to drop in the dish, so to speak.  Would you mind? Waiting. It makes me pace.

Thank God for this rest, I suppose. People I hardly know think it’s going to make its way, so I’ll be complaining about the task soon enough maybe. Here’s the synopsis:

THEY ALL WORE BLACK
Lynn P. Penner

Fifteen-year-old Brad Fadden trudges with his head down and his guard up. His unassertive mother didn’t stop it, and she’s fearfully reticent about it. His protective sister fled at the age of sixteen because of it, and the family’s raw scars spread far beyond what their clothes cover. It’s 1988; ganja, cocaine—whatever—easy snag for minors. Even so, Brad’s illusion of escape does not squelch resentments and suspicions which compel him to harass his freshly dead, psychopathic father’s socially inept boozing pal to exhume the guarded, pivotal truth. The truth will set you free, they say. They’re wrong.

Careful what you ask God for. 😉 Thanks for reading~

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