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.



20 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicki says:

    It truly is disgusting how people are ripped off nowadays. When I first began, my story was pirated and when I demanded a takedown, the site’s fans attacked me and said horrible things. It was terribly scary. I’m in the same boat. I love pushing myself creatively, but am not happy about how horrible it can be.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hey, Kathryn. Well, I’m shocked. Not so much at the plagiarism and thieves. Unfortunately, these folks are in all areas of life. Folks who want to get something for nothing. What I’m really shocked at is you not making tons of money from your completely wonderful books. I’m not either, but I write a kind of niche book with my older characters and families. It’s not women’s fiction, but not slam bang romantic suspense,either, but that’s okay.Like you, I wonder if it’s worth it. I love telling my stories, but there are other things I can do. I’m hoping that with the fourth in the series out in late March or April that will be a kick start. I can’t imagine a publishing house not jumping at you and your books, but whichever way you go, I hope it means more books from one of my favorite authors. 🙂 I’ve shared.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pat Amsden says:

    I really hope whatever you do works out for you but you’re a kickass writer and I hope somehow that you’re writing continues.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      Thanks, Pat! Not to worry, the writing will definitely continue, but it’s been my sole focus for the last seven years, and it is time for a change 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hang in there Kathryn! This time of year can be depressing, especially when winter decides to linger and linger…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      Thanks 🙂 … yes winter can be depressing but I’m actually feeling pretty good about making a change in my career.


  5. Reblogged this on Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author and commented:

    Kathryn Jane shares an important post on the hopeless feeling we all face when it comes to scammers on the Sisterhood of Suspense #blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I wish you the best in whichever direction you decide to take, my friend, but I’m curious as to why you feel the traditional path will make a difference? Scammers attack traditional authors as much,or more than they do self-pubbed.
    This is where I feel being part of a strong organization, such as RWA (Romance Writers of America) can truly make a difference. They have resources we could never hope to acquire.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      Thanks, Jacquie.
      The reason I’m willing to try trad publishing is because I can’t afford to keep putting out the dollars. It costs me about $2000 in cold hard cash to get a book ready to publish, and the return is not getting better.

      Besides that, trying to keep a steady flow of books going out there takes so much writing and set-up time that it takes away from the rest of my life. I feel I could comfortably put out 3 books a year and keep up with marketing if I didn’t have all the other stuff to do. Doing it all is becoming overwhelming.

      I could quit and just write for myself, but I want to share my stories, so I’m willing to experiment. And it truly is an experiment. I will continue publishing my CATS books which make far more money because they sell for a much higher price than my romance novels. This is partly because there is such a glut of product in the romance genre and readers have been taught that books should be priced at less than a cup of coffee. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get that and you make a good point. Romance books ARE underpriced. It’s beginning to change, but we have a long way to go.
        I know you’ll be a success whatever you do, just go with your heart ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jodie Esch says:

    This latest news is certainly unsettling for sure. And the vast majority of writers don’t have the time or money to combat these issues. And from what I understand, even if a site is taken down, another one pops up to replace it immediately. Discouraging for sure.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      And now, according to one of the sites I follow, many people issuing takedown notices are on the receiving end of some kind of nastiness because their IP address is provided with the takedown notice 😦


  8. One plus on the side of traditional publishing–I too assume they would protect their books more than we Indies can. Good point. Just bought your special, Kathryn.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. jenanita01 says:

    The world is becoming a very sad place..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kathryn Jane says:

      I don’t think so 🙂
      I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, and that’s why I’m making a change. It is good to feel a measure of control, and to smile at the changes while marching on 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jenanita01 says:

        We need more people like you, especially in government…

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I’d love the opportunity to get picked up and go traditional. Hopefully, by the time that happens I’ll have enough followers to be interested in buying something of mine, after years of freebies.


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