I put The Storyteller on Smashwords and Amazon a few weeks ago. This evening I learned that the whole thing had been lifted and uploaded to Amazon under someone else's account. They took my cover and used one of those online services to paste it onto a "book" image, so if anyone tries to tell me that it was a "glitch" they're up in the night. Selling for 2.99, while I was offering it free.
I feel betrayed. I was so angry that I was shaking. I'm still angry.
This is not giving away a copy. This is outright, blatant plagiarism, trying to sell someone else's work. They didn't even bother to change my name, my cover image or the title of my book.
The thing I hate the most is that they will never never never understand what they've done to me. They wouldn't care if they knew.
How anyone can live like that, I don't know. I know people do, but it's beyond my ability to understand.
And on Monday my next book comes out. The timing of this couldn't have been worse.
I've been dwelling on it. I can't figure out how to get past it, to let it go.
I haven't lost anything tangible. If they got any sales (which is unlikely) hopefully Amazon will be decent enough to make sure I get the money. I was giving away the book for free (which I've changed) and if someone chose to download a copy great.
But I will not tolerate someone else trying to make a profit off my work.
What I have lost? A level of innocence and trust. I'll never get that back.
So lessons learned. I will never offer free downloads. If I want to offer a book free I'll get a coupon or gift code.
I will browse the sites for my work
I will never trust Google alerts
I'll keep the letters I sent to Amazon and Smashwords so I won't need to type the next time.
There WILL be a next time
I WILL NOT LET THEM WIN
Any of my followers want a free copy of The Storyteller? Let me know and I'll either send you a copy or get you a free download.