editing time!

I was so ambitious when I planned for the third Wolf Point prequel to be released May 1.  Quite honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking, because I had planned to write the rough draft during April’s Camp Nanowrimo.  Like when I wrote The Madman, the rough draft was not in fact completed by the end of camp.  With a new deadline of June 1st, I raced to try to finish the rough draft.

Did I mention that the June 1 deadline was my publication date?

Obviously, I missed that deadline as well.  Just last night, I managed to finish the first draft.  Editing is an easier process than writing, so hopefully I can make my new deadline of July 1.  (I will most definitely be pushing back my deadline for the fourth and final Wolf Point novel, Warriors – as of right now it’s August 1, but yeah, I’m planning to write the rough draft during July’s Camp, so August 1 is NOT HAPPENING).

What took so long for this draft?

Unlike the other two prequels, I didn’t have as much freedom in the timeline.

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I had both a historical timeline, and I was working through the years of recent history to where the Wolf Point books begin.  This covers approximately 100 years.  I had to account for all those years somehow, as well as deal with what might have been going on politically and socially in that time.  I knew I wanted to include the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888 (not to be confused with the 1888 Blizzard that hit the East Coast), and I also had to research what was going on with several of the Native American tribes in that region during those years, which was… a lot.  Famine, being forced onto reservations, etc.  It’s amazing how much research I have to do for what amounts to a paragraph.  Or I try to write something simple, like someone cooking over a fire, only to discover after doing research that the particular tribe I am writing about cooked over hot stones, not fires.

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And then there were the family trees.  I have pretty much determined that it’s impossible to make a cohesive family tree for the Five Families.  The characters kept having babies and I kept forgetting to write them down.  I found myself with two characters named Charles, three named Sarah, and one whose name was both Ainsley and Kieran.

But the good news is that the end is in sight!  My goal is to have The Seer published before summer reading madness hits at my library, and get busy with writing Warriors (so far there’s just a rather vague outline and some scenes written when I had planned the series to be 6 books and the 4th book was from Misty’s POV and titled Fighters).

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i’ve hit the Big Time.

That’s right, folks.  I’m Big Enough (or little enough?) to get plagiarized.

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Poor, plagiarized Madman…

Someone, and I won’t name names at this moment (because I have already lodged a copyright infringement complaint with Amazon and I’m hoping this plagiarized book will be taken down soon), has taken the entire text of The Madman and thrown it up on Amazon with a new title and cover.  Selling it for exactly the same amount as I am.

Several questions arise.

First, why choose a book five deep into a series?  Or, if you consider the Wolf Point prequels as a separate series, it’s still the second book.  Like, did they even read the work they were plagiarizing?  They haven’t plagiarized any other books in the series, and didn’t bother to even change the characters’ names.  The Madman doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  There are references to the characters in almost every other book in the series.  Never mind that the first chapter is an alternate-viewpoint retelling of the last chapter of The Beast.

Second, did they really expect to make money off of this?  The book is actually free on Smashwords, and by extension sites like Barnes & Noble, and I’ve had 60 downloads in the 3 weeks it’s been available.  Zero actual sales over at Amazon.  I’m honestly not understanding what the thought process is here.  Maybe try ripping off a bestseller?  But yeah, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the plagiarized book was published on the day The Madman was made available on Smashwords (a day later than it was available on Amazon).

I’m confident that I will be able to prove my case should it come to that.  I’m just more annoyed that it even happened.  Apparently, according to this article, Amazon doesn’t have screening software that is anywhere close to other self-publishing distributors like Smashwords or Scribd. And this article talks about how profitable it is for people to plagiarize works on Kindle.  Even if Amazon eventually takes them down, the “authors” can make thousands of dollars before that, and the original author won’t see any of that money unless they pursue a lawsuit.  The examples here aren’t even as blatant as the plagiarism of my book (and the author did the same word-for-word plagiarism of almost all the other novels listed on her Amazon author page).  The article indicates that because Amazon takes 30% of the profit from Kindle book sales, they get more profit from leaving up these plagiarized works (this other article says the same thing).

This whole thing seems ludicrous to me.  I want to laugh at the title and new cover – literally, there’s a werewolf standing atop a bloody stagecoach (which never happens in the book).  The author has about six books, all from different genres.  But the more I looked into it, the more this plagiarism thing is a huge scam that is actually paying off for people.  It’s bad enough that someone would take a self-published work, which isn’t making any money to begin with.  But a lot of plagiarists seem to take from fanfiction and other freely posted writing (for example, from Litrotica), and these works aren’t as safe in their copyrights as even a self-published book would be.

All I want is for people to read what I’m writing – which is why most of my ebooks are freely available and I run a lot of promos.  I’d rather have people reading my work than making a profit.  I have work posted on fanfiction.net, Archive of Our Own, figment.com, and Wattpad.  All of which could be plagiarized at any time.  Like it isn’t hard to enough to be a writer.

P.S. I first heard about the plagiarism last night, and filed a complaint almost immediately.  As I was writing this post I went to check and thankfully, the book has been removed!  I hope the other books under this author’s name (Elsa N. Neuman) are also removed.  In case anyone has found their own work plagiarized, Amazon has a form for that.  You just need the ASIN for the offending work.  I also included the ASIN for my own work.

P.P.S. And 45 minutes after posting this, all of Elsa N. Neuman’s works have been removed from Amazon.  Victory!

 

Read a ebook week: March 5-11

In honor of “Read an eBook Week,” Smashwords is having a huge site-wide sale, which means all the Wolf Point series books will be free!

So, you can get Wolf Point books 1-3:

Hitchhikers ebook cover 4

dreamwalkers ebook cover

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And you can also get both of the prequel novellas (that’s right, The Madman is now available!):

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Smashwords is great because you can download any format you need.  There’s ePub (for most ereaders), .mobi (for Kindle – use the Send to Kindle app to get on your device), and PDF (if you prefer that for ereader or to read on your computer).  You can also read online at the site.  And getting an account on Smashwords is free!

Presidents’ Day Sale

This week all my books shall be free!!  February 20-24!  EVERY.  SINGLE.  ONE.

Over on Amazon, you’ll find Bethany Caleb, The Art Kids, and Hitchhikers all free for Kindle!

If you visit Smashwords, you can find Dreamwalkers & Scavengers (Wolf Point #2 & #3) for free with the coupon codes.  Hitchhikers and The Beast (Wolf Point prequel) are always free on Smashwords, and you can download the mobi (Kindle) editions here as well.

Happy reading!

 

P.S.  I just finished the first final draft of the second Wolf Point prequel, The Madman, and hopefully I’ll have it available by the end of this week!

new year, new look

One of my goals this year is to get back on track with writing my original fiction.  First up was a new cover for The Art Kids:

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Old Cover
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New Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it pretty??  Of course this is for the Kindle edition only, because creating a cover for the paperback is a lot more involved, but I’m going to get to that this year.  The new Kindle edition is available on Amazon for $2.99 right now (although there might be a sale coming up *wink*wink*).

I created my new cover on Canva, which is so easy to use.  Another new cover I’ve been working on is for The Thing About the Truth / The Thing About Zombies / My Zombie Girlfriend.  (As you can see, I’ve been having some trouble with the title as well.)  This novel was a Nanowrimo challenge and I had it posted over on figment.com for years.  Recently I decided to give a try over on Wattpad, since it seems like Wattpad is more heavily used and people are actually getting their work published there.  Anyway, I’ve been struggling to determine the audience for this book, and you can see the progression through the cover and title changes:

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The original cover & title: The Nanowrimo challenge was based off the cover of Lauren Barnholdt’s “The Thing About the Truth” so I used that as the base but “zombified” it

Second cover & title: Trying to keep the spirit of the original title, but making a simple bold statement with the cover art.  I had also categorized this story as horror, which despite the zombies, it isn’t…

Current cover & title: Since this story is more of a horror comedy, I felt this title was a better fit.  I also returned to an image similar to the original cover.  I’d love to introduce the cracked surface of cover 2, but Canva has its limits…

So, two new covers!  Up next: redesigns for the Wolf Point series covers, and a cover for the second Wolf Point prequel novella, The Madman, which is nearly completion!  I’m looking at a release date for the end of this month, so stay tuned!

11th consecutive nanowrimo win!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerI achieved the coveted 50K word count on Monday night, with only 48 words to spare… yikes.  My novel is not complete but I feel like it needs quite a bit more editing to get it to a coherent enough place to figure out an ending, therefore The Mist that Falls at Night is now a page under the Works in Progress tab.

While I would like to finish this still having some idea of what’s going on, I think I am going to sit on it a bit before trying to do some editing.  But that’s okay, because I have a lot of other things I want to work on, including a new edition of The Art Kids, an omnibus edition of the first three Wolf Point books, and finishing the second Wolf Point prequel novella.  I have a feeling I’ll be needing to make some New Year’s resolutions in order to get all this done!

Scavengers is out! And Camp Nanowrimo win!

scavengers ebook cover 6 copy

Finally, it’s done!

I managed to publish the Kindle edition on the actual date I had planned for the release (April 30), and it should be available over at Smashwords (and then at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, etc.) shortly!

If anyone is interested in a free digital copy of Scavengers to review, please contact me via email (spoffk(at)hotmail.com) or send me a message on Goodreads.

Here are a few fun things I found while editing:

  • Originally I had named the character Will as “Lucas.”
  • I had forgotten that Zeke killed his father, not Ben (aka the black wolf).
  • Geo’s eyes are coal black (something I’ll need to deal with when I revise The Madman, currently it’s a major plot point that Geo has blue eyes with a bit of orange in them)
  • Originally Zeke called his father “Pa” throughout the entire book… then I re-read Hitchhikers and discovered that Zeke calls his father “Dad.”

Also, this:

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Yeah!  I made it to my goal of 20K!  I’m very close to finishing The Madman.  I’m hoping to get that out before the next round of camp in July.