Thieves… plagiarists and scammers

by Kathryn Jane

Yesterday was my day to blog, and I tried, really tried to write about the recent blowup in the writing world. I wrote and deleted two long, wordy attempts to address the horrors of people stealing a writer’s hard work, and how thieves and the dirty underbelly of the writing world affected me personally…then I gave up and put it away for the night.

Here instead, a day late, is the simple version.

Around a week ago, a plagiarist was caught stealing the work of over thirty writers. Bringing this to light also exposed other scammers and thieves preying on readers and writers, and the entire situation was mind-boggling enough… and then I discovered my books being offered for free on a pirate site.

And I started to wonder whether this writing gig was worth what it was costing me–literally, and figuratively.

Is it worth my time to try and compete for readers in a world where scammers hit bestseller lists with fake books? Where book stuffers collect thousands of dollars while real authors barely scrape by? Where readers have been conditioned to search for free or 99 cent books and don’t care if they are stolen?

And what about the dollars? Each book I publish costs me at least $2000 for editing, cover design, and basic marketing. Can I make that money back? Probably. But can I make enough to pay myself for even a small portion of the hundreds of hours I spend writing, revising, formatting, uploading, advertising…

Not when I can’t get my books noticed because the market is flooded with fake books, plagiarized work, and other scams.

So I’m considering other options right now. Considering going traditional. Giving up the creative control I cherish, for a chance at having a big publisher marketing my work.

Why? Because I love writing, I love giving readers an emotional experience, and I don’t want to quit. But seven years into self-publishing I’m still operating at a loss, and it is time for a change.

In the nature of one last ditch effort to get my work out there, I’ve put a six book bundle of books on sale for just 99 cents.  Yep, the first SIX full-length books in my Intrepid Women series, for a grand total of $0.99 … Grab them HERE right now.

If you would like to find out more about the plagiarism and other scams, go to,  Nora Roberts blog, Fall Into The Story.  A kickass woman I have always admired, Nora lays it out beautifully…such a way with words!


Kathryn Jane, novelist, artist, educator.

Want to know what else I’m up to in my life? The books, the painted rocks, the workshops?  Click here to  visit my website.

 

 

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The Scent of Change #Globalwarming #Inspiration @jacqbiggar

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It’s raining!

I don’t know about you, but those of us in the northwestern part of Canada are celebrating. Every year it gets hotter and drier and the earth is aging seemingly before our eyes.

It was always a dream for DH and I to move to Vancouver Island. We came here on our honeymoon and every year after that we could afford the trip. I craved the beautiful cedars, rhododendrons, ivy, and ferns. The lush greenness of the rainforest, the scent of the ocean on the air, the slap of the waves upon the shore… I could go on and on, lol.

Thirty years later we made the move and it was just as amazing as we remembered!

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Photo curtesy of Tofino Photography

I’ve made new friends, explored this magical place I’m blessed to call home, and learned to feel the pulse of the land.

And it worries me.

The birds and wildlife that count on the weather to keep the forest green and the food plentiful, are suffering.

Global warming is not simply a term-it is a view of our future. Unless we do something to change it. Not soon.

Now.

We’ve just come through the worst fire season in our province’s history. I shudder to think how many animals perished along with our forests, crops, homes–lives.

The hurricanes in the southern United States destroyed countless businesses, displaced thousands of people, cost billions of dollars.

And that’s only the tip of a quickly thawing iceberg.

I know this seems all doom and gloom, but it doesn’t have to be. I think we’re being warned, shape up, or face the consequences.

The tide is turning. Many areas now are banning plastic bags, urging economical use of gas and electricity, and promoting more green spaces in cities. This is all good, but we need to do more.

Being part of the baby boomer generation, I think much of the blame lies with us. We grew up in a time of exploration (the first trip to the moon), innovation (personal computers and cell phones), and excess. Lots of excess! Plastic water bottles, disposable baby diapers, takeout foods. You name it, we’ve done it.

I’m amazed by our growth and embarrassed with our neglect.

And I thank God every day that the new generation has learned from our mistakes. My grandson knows all about recycling, composting, energy efficient bulbs, healthy eating, exercise, growing your own sustainable produce.

And he’s ten.

This tells me that we still have a chance.

I’m writing this, drinking herbal tea and listening to the rain as it dances on my roof, and I’m grateful because Mother Nature is forgiving if we just make an effort.

 

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More Than I Wished For by Marian Lanouette

Unexpected Holiday Bonus by Marian Lanouette

Spirits of the Heart by Claire Gem

Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

Second Act by Marsha R. West

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Touch Me by Kathryn Jane

Bug Stuff and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Snowed by Veronica Forand

Hold ‘Em in audiobook format by Jacquie Biggar

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My Fascination with the Devil #amwriting #Suspense #RSsos @jacqbiggar

It’s not what you’re thinking. Okay, maybe it is.

I’ve fallen in love.

He’s Handsome, smart, charming, and oh yeah, he’s the devil.

And I’m not alone.

Thousands tune in every Monday night to watch what is quickly becoming a craze on Twitter and various other social media platforms.

That’s right, it’s Lucifer.

So what is this phenomenon all about?

Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, this series follows Lucifer, the original fallen angel, who has become dissatisfied with his life in hell. After abandoning his throne and retiring to Los Angeles, Lucifer indulges in his favorite things (women, wine and song) — until a murder takes place outside of his upscale nightclub.

For the first time in billions of years, the murder awakens something unfamiliar in Lucifier’s soul that is eerily similar to compassion and sympathy.

Lucifer is faced with another surprise when he meets an intriguing homicide detective named Chloe, who appears to possess an inherent goodness — unlike the worst of humanity, to which he is accustomed. Suddenly, Lucifer starts to wonder if there is hope for his soul.

Like Lucifer-played by the amazing Tom Ellis, I think we all go through phases where we don’t feel good enough (He thinks he was sent to Hell as punishment from Father. His older brother, Amenadiel- played by D.B Woodside, tells him it was actually because He trusted Lucifer to keep the evil ones down there and so protect humanity.)

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Lately, I’ve been struggling with personal self-esteem. That’s the problem with being an introvert, you spend way too much time in your head.

My sales are down. My writing is slo… ow going, each word is like pulling teeth, and my family has been having medical problems.

Hard to stay positive in the face of all that adversity.

But, then hope appears (much like Lucifer’s guiding light, Chloe). A good review here, a kind word there, and the darkness falls away. Maybe I can finish this story. Find new readers. Make my mark in this crazy world of writing.

Maybe.

If you haven’t watched Lucifer yet, you should. It’s surprising what the devil can teach us. 🙂

By the way, I have a new release coming out!

July 1st 2017 is the one hundred fiftieth birthday of Canada’s Confederation and our local writing/critiquing group decided it would be fun to do an anthology to celebrate.

My contribution, My Baby Wrote Me A Letter, stems from a news segment I watched. A woman bought an old desk at a yard sale. After bringing it home she began the process of refinishing the wood and happened to find a letter taped to the back of a drawer.

When she read the message, she realized the note could be important to someone, and with little more than a faded name to go on, began a search for the writer of the mysterious letter.

It was placing a picture on Facebook that led to the son of the man who had written that long ago message to his family. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and feared he would never survive to see his children grow, so he wrote them a letter from the heart.

The news story had a happy ending; the man survived the cancer and lived not only to see his children to adulthood, but several of his grandchildren as well.

His story was an inspiration to me,

Jacquie

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TAX TIME

Yikes! I hate keeping up with my taxes. I don’t mind paying them, but keeping up is just the pits.mc900438743 And makes my heart rate jump all around and my blog pressure rise. Now I’m talking about my sales taxes and not the big income taxes. Those seems to be easier to manage. Strange, I know.

I confess, I don’t make money on my writing. I know lots of you do. I’m happy for you. Do I wish I did? Of course, but I’m lucky I have retirement and a great husband who keeps me in a style to which I’d become accustomed. 🙂 As I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.

Still the great state of Texas collects taxes on the books I sell. These are the print books and the e-books. So I have a Jan. 31 deadline to go online and file. I can figure out the print books. I do have a system for those, but I’m woefully ignorant about the on-line ones.

I’ll get a print out this month of total money I’ve earned from the various places, but that won’t break down to the individual books. (At least I don’t remember that it did last year!)

Anyway, this all started because when I opened my email on Saturday morning, there was the nice little reminder that I needed to go on-line and file.

Ultimately, I’ll get it figured out, but it will take me longer than most people, because it’s numbers. I don’t do numbers well. I write words or speak words well. But not so much with the numbers.

I’ve never served as a treasurer in any organization, and I’ve been in lots of them and been all kinds of officer including president of many. But never treasurer. And I like that just fine!

And besides, I’ve really gotten back into my WIP, Book 3 in the series. The words are just flying off the keys. It’s very satisfying. I sometimes think I may be morphing into something of a pantser, something I highly admire. So I resent this tax business which will cut into my writing.img_4902-1 img_4901 Map is of Dallas where Book 3 of Series takes place.

You may be surprised at this post from me. I can usually find lots of positive stuff to say. I try to be uplifting. We have enough negative in our world already. I’m a good encourager.

Okay, here’s me putting the positive spin on all of this.

I’m very lucky to be able to write.

I’m lucky that people seem to enjoy my books with their older characters and not tons of high powered action, but with a dash of good sex.

I’m lucky my husband has been so supportive, even to the point of lending his good editing eye to my works.

I have a beautiful new area in which to work. img_4822

The view in front of me is superlative—in fact how dare I complain about anything when I’ve got views like this every day! fullsizerender42

Okay, thanks for listening to my rant. I figure things out by writing or speaking things out loud. I can start at one place and by the time I stop, I’ve reached a completely different conclusion. Which is what I’ve done here. (My husband finds this all confusing. Even after all these years, he sometimes forgets to wait to the end before taking an action.)

(On Sunday, I opened an email from Amazon and it had every month for every book! Yea! I’ve almost got it all figured out. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of patience. Not something I’m loaded with.)

So do you have state sales taxes? Are you lucky enough to have someone do your taxes for you? Do you pay your taxes in January or April? Suggestions for how you keep up with this business side of our business? Love to hear from you.

Please contact me at marsha@marsharwest.com , sign up for my newsletter http://eepurl.com/bBcimz , and follow me on any of her social media sites.

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Kindness doesn’t suck

 

I nearly went on a rant the other day, but dialed back, sat back and thought about the message gnawing at me.

It was a good message. But how would it be received if I was ranting? Not well, I’m sure. Or at least not as well as a different approach might. (And seriously? I’m just not a ranter!)

So I thought about it some more, and tried to figure out how to turn a negative into a positive–an exercise I learned a while back, and it’s been making a difference in my life.

Here’s how it works. Identify the negative, LOL, that’s easy because it’s what’s making me mad. I wanted to scream at people on Facebook, “Stop judging other people! Just. Stop. It!!!!!”

Hmmm. I bet that would have stirred up all kinds of action, and probably little of it would have been positive, which would have made me all the more angry, and I HATE being angry. For me, it’s a waste of energy, and nothing good ever comes from it.

First step: I had to figure out what I could do to make the “judging” go away…without focusing on the judging. It didn’t take a whole lot of figuring, but it did feel a bit like a light bulb moment, and when it happened, I even said it out loud. One word. One simple concept. No shouting required.

Kindness.

Yep. That’s it. Plain and simple. Instead of trying to stop the meanness of people judging other people, I could promote kindness.

So here I am. Spreading one simple yet magnificent word as far and wide as I can.

Kindness is cool. Kindness feels good from both the giving and receiving ends. Kindness is free. Kindness can be as little as a smile, or as much as giving someone financial support.

Kindness can be listening to a story you’ve heard a hundred times already, (because the teller doesn’t remember that). Kindness can be tossing a peanut to a squirrel, or keeping your hummingbird feeder full. Kindness can be accepting that not everyone lives the same way or has the same beliefs as I do. Canva - Kindness is like hot coffee and warm mittens on a cold day

Kindness can be turning a blind eye when someone makes a mistake. Kindness can be accepting that maybe the poorly written, self-published book you downloaded was someone’s dream of a lifetime, ultimate accomplishment, proof that they did something special, finished something they believed in. Kindness is not sharing your negative opinions.

Canva - Kindness can be as simple as sharing the last cup of coffee

Kindness is letting other people live the lives THEY own. Kindness is quietly walking away from what you can’t accept. Kindness is knowing you are not responsible for someone else’s hurt, but maybe you can make them feel better.

canva - a single smile can change a life

Kindness is smiling at your fellow man, even if his socks don’t match.

Kindness…doesn’t suck.


What does kindness mean to you?  Please share!


profile beach 1 cropKathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series.

Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

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Kickass women and the men who dare to love them. KathrynJane_DanceWithMe_800px

 

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