Piracy – Every Author’s Nightmare

SGA CoverEvery author’s nightmare (one of the nightmares anyway) is to discover that his/her book has been pirated. This is far more common than people realize. And it’s not just authors who feel the pain – publishers also share in the “victimhood” of piracy.

Some countries are quite blatant about the theft of someone’s work – and I think we all have a good idea who these countries are (think India for one). And increasingly it seems that pirated books are appearing on Amazon.

When it comes to a foreign country doing the thievery, there’s really not much anyone can do about it. And when it comes to piracy on Amazon, one often feels like one is dealing with a foreign country, and not just because most of people on the other end of the line sound very “Indian”. Maybe Amazon doesn’t care because they’re too big to have to care. I doubt it’s because the company is inept – but perhaps it’s grown so unwieldy that there’s no accountability.

Case in point – many months ago J.R. Sanders, author of the outstanding Some Gave All, Forgotten Old West Lawmen Who Died With Their Boots On,  contacted me about his book being sold by an Amazon seller who marketed the book as a Mass Market paperback. This book was never issued as a Mass Market paperback – it was only issued as a Trade Paperback. I ought to know – my company (Moonlight Mesa Associates) published it.

The seller (Bless R) also failed to include the book’s REGISTERED ISBN number when they advertised it on Amazon. Instead, Amazon issued the company its own ASIN number for the book. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. Every book that is published and wants to be sold commercially receives its very own ISBN that identifies only that book. The publisher pays for the ISBNs. An ASIN number is Amazon’s identification number. Put it this way, an ISBN allows the book to be sold in any bookstore throughout the world. An ASIN is good only for Amazon sales.

So the seller, this Bless R, failed to post the book’s registered ISBN number. They posted the book’s cover that the author designed, advertised it incorrectly as a mass market publication, and jacked the price to $26.95 instead of the printed price of $19.95. They also listed the “paperback” as $26.95. This inability to know the difference between a trade paperback and a mass market paperback highly suggests piracy by a sham company.

Did the smarty-smurfs at Amazon notice this? Hmm? Not at all. And now that it’s been called to their attention TWICE, they said they will “look into it.”

Statistically only 35% of the population in this country reads books. Since self-publishing raised its head, there are likely millions, if not billions, of books on the market. Traditionally published authors are suffering enough already from the plethora of tripe being sold. To have their hard-earned work pirated is too much. Publishers lose money – and authors lose any royalties they might otherwise have earned from the “legitimate” sale of their work.

This is thievery, and it’s no different than any other kind of theft – stealing people’s writings, songs, artwork, photos, and ideas is as painful as having your house broken into and everything you treasure stolen. What good is it to be gifted with talent and creativity if your work is misrepresented and even ripped-off?

Beware.

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Early Book Release Due to High Demand

3167e-SOOpc2B2BjpegDue to a growing waiting list of people wanting a copy of Saving Our Oceans, we officially released the book May 3, instead of May 15. Buyers want to call in orders…no one seems to trust email for personal information anymore. Calling is just fine – when someone’s here to take the order.

Releasing Saving Our Oceans early is not a problem. In fact, we’re very happy to do so. We were mainly holding back because we’ve been waiting on two people to finish their reviews before we turned the book loose.

Saving Our Oceans should be available on Amazon very shortly. A signed copy can also be ordered from us directly now as we finally received several  boxes of books. And we’re offering Free Shipping to continental U.S. addresses on these early orders.

MORE NEWS: WHO GETS THE MONEY

We have officially selected two of the three 501c3 recipients for the profits earned by Saving Our Oceans.

Our first recipient is the  Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, a group working to save wild salmon runs for the sake of the salmon, but also for the sake of the Southern Resident Pod of orcas who dine on Chinook salmon almost exclusively. Many orcas in the pod are starving to death due to lack of salmon (chinook). Because of the efforts and hard work of this group, headed by Joseph Bogaard, talks and studies are now underway to explore the possibility of breaching the four Lower Snake River Dams which would allow salmon to reach their spawning grounds…and for the smolt to return to sea without being churned up in turbines. Dam removal would also help lower river water temperature. In addition, for the first time, Washington State and British Columbia will curtail commercial and sport salmon fishing in August. Maybe July too. (Gotta check that out.)

Our second recipient is the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington. The museum is visited by literally thousands of people a year. We feel very strongly that the museum’s work toward educating people about the Southern Resident Pod and whales in general is of the utmost importance. Because of the organization’s outstanding display of all things “whale” and their excellent educational programs, the museum was chosen to also be a recipient of the net proceeds from Saving Our Oceans.

We have three contenders for third recipient – extremely tough decision! There are many excellent organizations working for cleaner oceans and to save the ocean’s inhabitants. It’s difficult to single out so few when so many are worthy.

Coffield_9However, back to the real world…we do have extensive costs in getting Saving Our Oceans into print. These costs will have to be covered by the sale of books I personally have written since the proceeds from Saving Our Oceans are dedicated. My titles are Life Was a Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, a Boat, and a Big-a** Ocean (sailing memoir); The Old Folks in the Boat (rowing); and the Ben Thomas TrilogyNorthern Escape (award-winning suspense); Northern Conspiracy (Mystery);  and Death in the Desert (International Thriller).

MORE NEWS! Jere D. James, our western author,  volunteered to forfeit royalties until the cost of Saving Our Oceans is covered! Jere is the author of the popular 7-book, Jake Silver Adventures series. Jere’s books are locked and loaded with bloody mayhem and serious adventure. So, how about that for some engaging reading this summer?

Grouping Westerns, Whales and Oceans Together is not Weird!

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Release date: May 2019

We are fervently hoping that Saving Our Oceans is close to the final editing stages. Due to our involvement with the annual mule ride we sponsor, we’re grossly behind schedule, but we  plan to pull some long days…and nights…very soon.

There are those who say that our new direction (grouping westerns, whales and oceans together)  isn’t going to work. That’s it’s weird. Makes no sense. I’m too busy to argue with them and will let time be the determiner of that. I admit that the new website (westernswhalesandoceans.com) isn’t yet exactly brimming with visitors and that we closed down our new blog temporarily due to lack of visitors, but our sales have picked up and are ahead of sales a year ago – thank goodness.

This decision to add “whales and oceans” to our “western culture” is not a business decision. It’s a moral decision. We are now part of the Ocean Foundation and have been formally accepted to the Plastic Pollution Coalition. We strongly support the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and the Orca Conservancy. We also love westerns, but westerns are mostly a greatly romanticized history of the past. Whales and oceans are a predictor of the future, which looks pretty grim right now.

I won’t get on my soapbox about the immorality of mercilessly harpooning intelligent, social mammals at this time because I’ve been on that soapbox most of the winter.

As for our western situation…an amazing number of people have been asking if our popular, reclusive author Jere D. James is ever going to write another western. We didn’t hold out much hope for quite a spell, but it looks very promising that Jere will be making a return. Whew. We need that since we’ve decided to keep our main operations in Arizona. Despite our intense interest in orcas and oceans, westerns still rate pretty high with us and most of our readers.

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Dwight Beard – A Western Icon