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Who would have believed that my short story, The Adventures of Belinda McFate: The Literary World's Weakest Female Character! which is deliberately written tripe would have been stolen and sold overseas?

Here's my chat with Amazon.com to try and get to the bottom of it (slightly edited for clarity):


You are now connected to Rashmi from Amazon.com.

Title:My EBook Is Being Sold Without My Permission By Somebody

Rashmi:Hello, my name is Rashmi. I'll be happy to help you today.

Me:Thank you.

Rashmi:A member of our Kindle team will need to help you with this. One of our Kindle Specialists will assist you shortly. A Customer Service Associate will be with you in a moment.

You are now connected to Fatima from Amazon.com.

Me:Good morning.

Fatima:Hello my name is Fatima. How can I help you?

Me:It appears that an ebook I published through Smashwords.com for free is now being sold through three foreign affiliates of Amazon.com without my knowledge or permission. Smashwords has no relationship with Amazon and therefore I can only reason that somebody has stolen my work and is selling it through these foreign affiliates. However, I hope I may be wrong in my conclusion.

The original work is here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/178667

The affiliate links are here: http://www.amazon.es/The-Adventures-Belinda-McFate-ebook/dp/B008LV2JTK/

Fatima: Wow I am really sorry to hear that Craig. Thank you for the links let me take a look at it.

Craig, a member of your Author Central Department will need to assist you with this. I can submit a form to that department with your issue and they will research the matter for you.

Me:Thank you. What information will you need from me?

Fatima:I need the ASIN/ISBN of the book please.

Me:On Smashwords, the work has no ISBN as I do not put ISBN's or ASIN's on works I release for free. On the Amazon affiliate, the ASIN is B008LV2JTK but I did not assign any number to the original work.

Fatima:Thank you for those details. I am adding it on my side.

Me:If I may add one more comment. Any monies paid to me for any work I release through Smashwords (even though the work in question is free) would be paid to me THROUGH the Smashwords organization. If monies are assigned to go anywhere else it cannot have any affiliation with me.

Just thinking to myself, IF this is a case of theft, the monies for this work would most likely go to a foreign address that would be difficult to trace ownership. My home address where I receive monies for my other works is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the United States.

Fatima:Craig is there any particular message you would like me to add in the form with your details?

Me:No, I believe I have communicated all I wanted to say. I do hope that IF this is a case of theft, the situation is remedied quickly.

Fatima:Okay I will submit the form and send it off I will also send you a confirmation email.

Me:Thank you. I very much appreciate your help.

Fatima:You're welcome, Is there anything else I can help you with?

Me:That is all for today. I look forward to a response from the Author Central Department.

Fatima:You will receive a response via email. Have a good weekend. Thank you for contacting Amazon. We hope to see you soon! Take care!

Me:Good day.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
Jul. 21st, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
I hope it all gets settled to your satisfaction, and soon.
Jul. 22nd, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
Good luck! That's insane. -_-
Jul. 22nd, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)
lol how funny. I did enjoy The Adventures of Belinda McFate, though. :3
Jul. 22nd, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the Internet where innovation mean ripping off other people work.

I often find myself on the opposite end in the SOPA debate ,on the side of property rights.
Jul. 24th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Why should artists, musicians, authors, actors, filmmakers, etc., give up the proceeds to their work JUST BECAUSE we now have a way to enjoy and, sadly, STEAL the work in digital form?

I find it extraordinary that so many people who claim to be "for the people" or "for the little guy" are so abusive of artists, musicians, authors, etc., and take their work without paying for it simply because they can.

I remember a conversation with a young man attending a Christian university who downloaded MP3 files without paying for them and I asked why he thought that stealing was okay. He got very uncomfortable and, as we talked about it, his final defense was, "If I had to pay for the music I want I couldn't afford it all--" !!! SO because he couldn't afford to pay for ALL THE MUSIC HE WANTED TO OWN he wasn't going to pay for any of it?!

As someone who was very poor at his age and could literally afford three albums per year, it was a really shocking revelation of the sense of 'entitlement' which can arise with easy digital access to music, to photos, to films, to TV shows, to books, etc.

Aug. 21st, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Out of desperation to get people interested in reading my story, I think I'll risk it. If someone actually thinks my novel is worth stealing, I think I'll faint in shock. So far a novel about converting space aliens has gotten a lukewarm reception.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )