Not a Rant, but a promise

The count of my books lifted from is now five. And the count of writers victimized has gone up.

I’m getting one hell of an education on the sick, greedy, opportunistic culture that games Amazon’s absurdly weak system. And everything I learn enrages me.

There are black hat teams, working together, who routinely hire ghosts on the cheap, have them throw books together, push them out–many and fast–to make money, to smother out competition from those self-pubbed writers who do their own work. Those who do their own work can’t possibly keep up with the volume these teams produce by these fraudulent tactics.

They tutor others how to scam the system.

Some of them pull whole books in the public domain, stick a new image and name on. Sometimes Amazon’s algorithm catches it, sometimes it doesn’t.

There are those, like Serruya who simply steal, hire a ghost to put all the bits and pieces, the scenes, the lines together. No doubt in my mind she was tutored on how to do it. There is no doubt in my mind there are many others doing the same thing.

And often, when a writer without real clout calls it out, complains, they bury her with ugly social media raids.

If they’re caught, they simply go under, regroup, come back and do it all again.

Some of these grifters and thieves gather together in closed social media group to brag about how many ghosts they have working, how much money they’re making.

I haven’t learned nearly everything about these tactics, but I’ve learned enough to say this:


You’ve got bills to pay? Guess what, so do the writers you’re helping to ruin.

If you’re a ghostwriter who takes a job, cheaply, to hammer out a book this way, if you take a job from someone who sends you a bunch of lines, scenes, chunks and you work that into a book, you’re complicit. If you didn’t do the very minimum of due diligence, check those chunks, lines, scenes on the many available plagiarism search engines, you’re complicit.

You’ve got bills to pay? Guess what, so do the writers you’re helping to ruin. So do the writers who have to deal with the turmoil of having their work stolen. And you’re dragging legitimate ghost writers and the whole damn profession down with you.

You know who you are.

To those publishing ‘books’ using these tactics, whether it’s hiring ghosts then slapping your name on a book, whether it’s stealing work someone else sweated over, you’re thieves and liars. Every one of you. And none of you will ever be a writer.

You know who you are.

Enjoy it while it lasts, because it’s now my mission to turn over the rocks you hide under, then stomp you deep in the muck you breed in.

To the black hats who exploit, steal, tutor others to do the same, your day of reckoning’s coming.

I swear I’ll do whatever I can, use whatever resources, connections, clout, megaphone I have to out every damn one of you.

I’ll use the same to out every one pretending to be a ghost and exploiting the system. The same to every fake writer gaming the pathetic system to make a quick buck.


Writing, real writing, is work, it takes time and talent and effort.

And to readers, those of you who keep pushing for more and cheaper books, just stop it. Writing, real writing, is work, it takes time and talent and effort. By snapping up a book just because it’s ninety-nine cents on line, you’re encouraging this. The creator and the content they work so hard to produce is devalued.

Pay the artist, for God’s sake, or the artist can’t create. What you end up with is rushed from a desperate writer struggling to keep up to pay the bills. Or mass-produced crap thrown together by scammers.

Years ago during the Dailey nightmare, I had another writer at the RWA conference where it broke come up to me. Smirk. She told me I was over-reacting, it wasn’t a big deal. She said whenever she read a book, she had a notebook by her side. She noted down phrases, lines, bits that she liked. Then when she sat down to write, she wove them in, made their her own.

I looked her in the face, and I told her that made her a thief.

If you sit and read with a notebook, use the work and words an actual writer slaved over, you’re not just a thief. You’re lazy, pathetic, and don’t have a creative bone in your body.

And yeah, you know who you are.

Stand up for your work, those of you who are being knocked around, whose work is stolen. Stand the hell up for yourself. Stand up for the craft, and call these fuckers out.

And the next idiot who accuses me of using ghostwriters, you better be prepared.

One More Thing

These bad actors also hire ‘click farms’, where people using multiple devices click through books on KU, to make more money. And to reach award levels to make the scammers big bonuses.

They’re not writing—they don’t care. They’re not reading—they don’t care. They’re just using angle after cheating angle to rack in the dough.

Nora

330 thoughts on “Not a Rant, but a promise”

  1. I get free books on Amazon and if they’re part of a series, I might buy the rest. Mostly I just buy books from authors I’ve read for years, like you.

      1. Nora, I love your writing. I am so proud of you for standing up to right this grave wrong. I am also worried. Steve Jobs had a vendetta, trying to “get” the people who unfairly copied Apple’s designs; I worry the bitter fight destroyed his health… As you do this important work, please also somehow keep good, positive thoughts and energy flowing through you. I do not want their vicious evil to eat you alive. You are our Nora, our JD Robb, an amazing talent and a fierce, mighty woman of tremendous discipline. Please let us, your fans, know how we can support you so that you’re not taking this all on yourself by yourself. You are doing all the work. I wish I could help you in some way. Praying for your strength and nourishment throughout this righteous battle.🙏🏽 YOU ROCK, NORA!!!😍😎

        1. I agree with you as well. Also, not all new writer’s are scammers. Technology has changed and made on line books easily available. That is hardly the fault of the reader. I have always been and will continue to be a Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb fan. I pre-order all of her books. It never feels good when you are taken advantage of. Take a breath and remember, the only behavior we have control of is our own. And unfortunately, sometimes the legal system doesn’t always work. There are professional scammers out there that have learned to work the system. In one particular situation, after two years of legal torture I had to decide to let God and karma deal with the situation. Not saying you should just walk away, I’m saying for me I finally had to let go for my own sanity. No other author could ever succeed steeling someone else’s work. Another fan that would help in any way needed!

    1. The only time I’ve purchased 99 cent or 1.99 books is when and author I read and have all the books posts about a kindle sale. Then I by a kindle copy of the print book that way when I travel I have books I love available without packing a suitcase full of books. I buy mostly paperback with the exception of Roberts/Robb Gardner and Hooper. Those I buy in hardback and kindle when on sale… or if I can’t wait for the hardcover to arrive. I don’t use kindle unlimited and I won’t. Im greedy I want to permanently own my books.

    2. I don’t buy from Amazon i buy from Turn the page and Nora signs them and turn the page ships them to me from Hagerstown (Maryland)

      1. A particular bravo and thank you! As an independent bookseller with a number of friends who are also specialty booksellers or a specialty press, you can’t imagine how much I appreciate you buying from a store.

        Amazon’s cheaper. Amazon makes it very easy to find books. If it’s a new book Amazon is usually immediate gratification. I’m guilty of often using Amazon for those reasons.

        But I have the advantage of some conventions with indie press and indie booksellers, all genre and all full price. Always, always buy directly from a small press if you can! And if you’re going to be seeing an indie bookseller send them a list and browse in person. That way they’ll be around next time.

    3. I agree, I like the authors that I trust to write
      A good book 📚. Thieft is wrong were it is the
      Written words or an auto. My trusted authors
      Are like good friends. The author shares their
      Gifts with me with each book they write. We the reader are cheated with thief of the written word.

  2. Again, give ‘em hell, Nora!! And while you’re at it, keep up the amazing writing YOU do! Which we know is NOT by someone else or on another’s back, like these cheaters!

    1. Thank you for using your megaphone to call this out. Staring at a blank page and finding a way to fill it with interesting fleshed-out characters with backstories and hopes and dreams, having them face some sort of choices or trauma or hilarious situation is HARD! And I haven’t published a book. I have had fun writing as stress relief, but my livelihood never depended on my skill as a writer.

      You on the other hand are my favorite writer. You give your readers places to explore, escape to or fantasize about. Not only do you have to create the people and places, but you research about a HUGE variety of jobs and situations for your characters to do and live in/with.

      Maybe we never will know what it feels like to pet a cougar or be a deputy sheriff or a jockey or a glass blower, or be married to Roarke but we can live in your books and get lost in them for just a bit.

      Your hard work has helped countless people, including me, through some very tough times.

      So thank you for speaking out for writers who don’t have your megaphone. For writers, like you who work so hard to bring your readers like me so much pleasure in discovering the worlds you create.
      Katie

      1. So well expressed, and couldn’t agree more!! Love Nora’s books. Live in them. Learn from them. They brighten my days.

        THANK YOU, NORA!!!!

      2. 100% agreement on my part. I’ll do what
        I can . Pay the talented writer for the gift I get by reading.

  3. I confess…to being a little bit in love with you. I’m talking to you Nora. And, that really isn’t my thing. But…your backbone, your spirit, your courage, and that inherent fire are just so damn magnetic. I have my popcorn ready. I’m going to sit and watch you steamroller every one of these thought stealing rodents!

    1. Yes!
      Get ‘em Nora! (And the library is the source if you cannot afford to buy a real book, people.) Truth!

      1. Or Friends of the Library book store or book sale. Good books cheap, that earns money from used books to help libraries get more books or supplies.

        1. I don’t understand readers who bitch about the retail pricesses of good books.I budget how much I spend on books every month.

    2. I can’t begin to tell you how angry this makes me! Stealing is stealing no matter how you justify it, sugar coat it or try to ignore it!! I was raised by a police officer who taught me it doesn’t matter what you take, if it isn’t yours it’s stealing. As a longtime fan I am behind you 100%. I also pledge to do everything in MY power to help you with this terrible ordeal. What can we do to help you?? I never use those cheap books. I follow a handful of known and trusted writers. At least I hope so. Please re-release your earlier works and those under JD. Thankfully, I live right next door to the library. Again, what can we as fans do to help??? You know we will.

    3. Aww, I pop the popcorn for all of Nora’s supporters! She is my favorite author. We’ve got your back, Nora!

    4. As a new writer, and life-long reader, this whole situation makes me want to howl. I work hard to put just the right words in just the right combinations. Then to think some jerk would just rip them off… so thanks for standing up to these crud-munching hacks. That said, I do plan to offer a 99-cent e-book, as an introduction, but I wrote every word.

  4. BRAVA!! And I’d like to add, for those readers who are on a real budget, GO TO THE LIBRARY my dears. Perhaps even expand your scope of ‘genres’. I am a Kindle Unlimited user but only because they offer many legitimate books that I can access for free and then return after reading. I fell for a couple of ‘unknown’ authors, didn’t recognize any plagiarism but gad, they were TERRIBLE. There are 100 gazillion books out there I’ll never even get to & I read on average, 2-3 books a week. I’m going to cancel my KU over this. Amazon is not doing enough to stop this BS. Thanks Nora. Luckily for me I have every one of your books in my library. I am NEVER without ANYTHING to read. I’ll re-read your & a host of other favorites and keep going to the library every week.

    1. Love the library. Wish libraries were more accessible where we live. There are tons of smaller rural towns where I live that are easily more than 20 miles from their nearest public library.

      Kindle Unlimited has been a great substitute for those who live in such places and cannot brave the elements/travel much. I’ve found lots of new to me authors through the program.

      Looking forward to the fireworks as Nora and others work to change this. Suspect it’s going to be a long, hard slog though.

      1. Double check with your local library. Many libraries now offer ebook options through their digital collections. Go the library, get a library card, then access ebooks from home or wherever without having to worry about return dates or overdue fines. Yeah, I’m a public librarian who has bought Nora’s books for years for our community–and now in multiple formats.

        1. Oooh, that is awesome for those too distant or shut in to be able to get to the library! I have a problem with libraries only because I hate giving back the books! That part always hurts! My favorite book sale is our Rotary Club book sale. You get out of print books and donate to charity at the same time! And I’m happy to report I don’t have any Daily’s in my collection. I checked! Now don’t ask me how many Nora’s I have. We’ll just say there are book CASES not just book shelves involved.

        2. I don’t know where I was but I missed the Janet Dailey mess! So sorry that happened to you, and am glad you are fighting back against these thieves. I use Hoopla and Overdrive to get books sometimes, looks like I’ll be dropping KU and relying on them more. Love your books!

          1. I didn’t hear abut this either. Would like to hear what it was about?
            I am a voracious reader and can’t afford to buy more books since I have retired. But, I have lots of books that I just moved to our retirement home to read and reread. Some I will pass on they are a once read, but many are favorites I would never let go. I buy sales have embraced ebooks t please my hubby with no new “physical “ books. That being said plagiarism is stealing no way around it.
            Boo for anyone who does that

      2. Steph, Check with the library nearest to you. Many libraries now let you check out books electronically.

      3. I also live in a small rural town and I use Libby to borrow books from the Library. It’s an app for your phone that links to your library card and lets you borrow from a network of libraries- including a lot of books your library may not have. 😊

      4. I live in a small town, too. While do have a library, it doesn’t have near as much as the big city is one I miged away from. Knowing all the little towns library’s don’t have as much they have an online ebook app that pulls together all the ebooks from all the little towns and are available to all in the combined system. So I read EPUB ebooks. For free. Because I read voraciously and I’d be broke if didn’t do it that way. I read them on my phone. No need to spend money on a Kindle, either. It works great. And when you get books from the library, you know you aren’t supporting those Amazon hacks that Nora is talking about. Check into it.

      5. You can use your library card to rent ebooks and audiobooks from apps like Overdrive or Libby. You can read them on your phone, computer, or tablet. Check it out!

    2. Please don’t give up on the unknowns! Even Nora was unknown at one point. I write under a pen name. Three books out. I’m legitimate. I worked hard on those words. I’m pretty unknown, but I have some followers who gave me a chance. My books aren’t in the library because I self publish. I don’t give my books away. I write because I love to write. I idolize people like Nora Roberts, Karen Rose, Lisa Gardner, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Tami Hoag, Kay Hooper, etc. they all started unknown. At one point they were all unknown to me. But they are amazing and I hope I’m a quarter their level of grandeur! It’s hard to get those words down when you have a job other than writing and kiddos. But I try! As for this whole mess, I applaud people like Nora that can speak for the authors who still haven’t been discovered.

      1. Melissa,
        Sounds like we like the same authors. Do you write in the same genre? I’d be interested in reading one if your books.
        Robin

        1. I try to write in the same genre! Lol. Like I said, I can’t hold a candle to them. I write under Melissa Sinclair. My first book is a little dark toward the end.

      2. I’m one of those fledgling self-published authors! It is hard work and it’s hard to let my characters and my stories out into the world. I had no idea this kind of stuff was going on! Stunning! How can I know if I have this kind of crap on my readers?
        I’ve read some terribly written books, then looked up the author and find them to be prolific and highly-rated on Amazon. Is that a clue? But not one book I’ve read ever triggered a memory of another authors work so how do I know?
        Angry! Go get them, Nora!

        1. Melissa Sinclair. My married and maiden names are too hard to remember, pronounce or spell. I aspire to write like these authors, but I have a long way to go!

    3. Most KU authors are not thieves. Many of my friends are self publishers this is their dream too. Please don’t punish them for the awful people.

      1. I agree. I’m not a thief. My indie author friends, and people I read, are not thieves. Of all the authors out there, you will find cheaters. In Hybrid and Trade as well. It’s easier in the Indie world, because someone figured it how to game it. I hate to see people give up KU as well. Many legitimate authors only make money this way. They want to go wide, but see no sales. I chose indie versus trying for trade. Basically, because I thought it was easier then trying to find an agent. Indie work, can be hard, because you do marketing, you aren’t in book stores and you aren’t in libraries. Libraries don’t carry many indies. If any. Unless you are local and ask them to. I applaud Nora for stepping in to give us a voice. If we can get the big guys to do something, maybe we can all have a better chance to stop the click farms and cheaters!

      2. Thanks Rachel. You are correct. Most of us are writers who are honest and spend money to market our own books—legitimately.

  5. KUDOS!!!! I buy books from authors I know and have read for years..don’t do many cheap books……..Keep up the fight!!!

  6. Nora,
    You are one of my most favorite authors! I am so saddened that this has happened to you, and others. You are so strong and standing up for others is fabulous and makes me love you even more. Continue on. You are amazing and I have a great respect for you!

  7. I am very cautious of new authors because of this. It really pisses me off because it screws with legitimate authors who have talent and earn their living this way. I also hate KU.

  8. If plagiarism is condemned in academia, why would anyone think it’s okay in the public sector? I really don’t understand why ANYONE would ever think it’s okay to use someone else’s work. Unfortunately, too many people are learning how to put forth less and less effort and scream for greater compensation.

    1. Or Friends of the Library book store or book sale. Good books cheap, that earns money from used books to help libraries get more books or supplies.

    2. Sorry, if it put in a previous reply and I hit send. I meant to say, remember some of the people plagiarizing books have the same me-me-me attitude and morals as those porch pirates that steal your packages because you are not home.

  9. I’m so proud to be your fan. I have always loved your books, and I’ve never forgotten your description of your day of work. When you said writing is a job and that you write every work day, regardless of how you feel made a huge impact. When I was teaching, I often told my students what you had said, especially when they were complaining about writing a short essay.

  10. Got get’em! I’ve now seen several posts about this and there are authors eternally grateful you are taking a stand. I’m an online blogger and had my content “scraped” by other sites. It sucks to do all the work and have some pick it off for website hits. Then I get to spend a ton of time arguing with Google & the like to get my content taken down while the original idiot walks away. So, as one of the “little guys” THANK YOU

  11. I know the feeling but its not in Books or writing . I do Stained Glass . All of a sudden it appears on Pin It . Some think its Free for the taking . I have stopped posting most of my work . Only the Person that commissioned it sees it . Keep fighting the Good Fight , This is not fair . Love Your Books and wait in anticipation for the next one .

    1. I also live in a small rural town and I use Libby to borrow books from the Library. It’s an app for your phone that links to your library card and lets you borrow from a network of libraries- including a lot of books your library may not have. 😊

  12. You have given me much food for thought about those free and .99 books I have chosen on BoobBub. I have done so knowing that they will not be of the caliber of your books. I will cancel my membership. Thank you.

    1. BookBub isn’t connected to this scandal, but they are used by authors who are, and they need to be made aware of it.
      But a lot of genuine authors and publishers use the service, for instance when I have a new book coming out, my publisher will discount an older book in the same series for a month and advertise it on BookBub.
      It’s fairly straightforward to check these fake authors. If you have any doubts, move on.

    2. BookBud is a legitimate site where authors and publishers advertise their books, for a discount or for free, to get them more visuality. The book has to have a certain amount of reviews on other sites with a certain average rating on it, for the author or publisher to pay for the BookBud promotion. So it’s a safe place to shop for discounted books.

      1. Except it isn’t, because there are review ‘services’ that will guarantee you, for example, 50 5 star reviews for $20. These reviews are obviously generic and it’s highly unlikely the reviewer ever read the book.

        1. Bookbub bothers to check the reviews *and* the samples of the books, though. They do their best to make sure actual authors get promoted. Now, the problem with ghost writers? Some of them are very talented, so they’ll pass the basic quality checks. And BB doesn’t check for plagiarism.

          But, please. As an author who is legitimate and uses bookbub, please, please, please don’t punish everyone for the crimes of the few.

          Bookbub is a major lifeline for authors like me, who use sales as a way to reach new readers.

    1. Solidly 100% behind you! I agree with what everyone has said. I have been a victim of someone stealing the words that I wrote…it cuts like a knife and empowers a deep desire to stop those who steal.

      Thank you for your marvelous work. My late mother, our dog and I would listen to your “In Death” novels via audiobooks or I would buy the large print editions as my mother was losing her sight towards the end.

  13. I am so sorry that this is happening. I can’t stand a thief. I always wanted to write a book BUT I don’t have the talent or ability.That is why I am in awe of you. I read your books and am amazed at how you think and write such awesome books. I read and re-read them over and over. Know that we support you.

  14. Oh my gosh Nora that’s awful. I VB have a rough draft I worked my butt of for over a year back in the early 90’s while pregnant with my youngest son. A lot of my friends said send it in. I never did be because of lack of self esteem on my part and fear of someone accusing me of stealing their work. Now I really wish I had sent it in.
    I will stand by you and all of the real writers that works for a living.
    Listen I don’t know much about this kind of thing but I think if it was me I would be calling for one of the biggest Press conferences in the world. I would also be contacting every news outlet and call out Amazon for their lack of support for the real close writers. Like I said I don’t know much about this kind of thing but something has to be done. This is just my opinion but I think it has some value to it.
    Big Hugs ❤️ Beth

  15. Thank you for promising to use your considerable clout to do battle with what is an abomination of free enterprise. I have admired you for a long time; my admiration just sent up several notches. I would be glad to write a letter, take part in a boycott, or give any other useful asssistance.

  16. You’ve taught me a lot about this…and I support you 100%. Keep your readers up to date. We’re all behind you.

  17. Wow! You go! As a writer working very hard on writing-between my day(night) job, family responsibilities and life-I applaud you. It’s a little disheartening to hear about these unethical “writers” taking advantage and cheating, stealing and lying to make a living.
    Love your work!

  18. I’m a writer. I self-publish, mainly because I haven’t looked at anything else, it suits me as I have a demanding day job and I don’t need anyone but me setting deadlines. I had no idea this was happening – this blatant theft. Who does this and actually thinks it is okay? I write because I have stories inside me that want to get out, because I love words and weaving them together and creating new worlds. I pay for multiple edits. I run a business. I invest money into it and take pride in what I do. Then you hear of something like this and the mind explodes. You have massive clout. You’re Nora Roberts (excuse the fan-girl moment). I remember the story from years back when you had to fight against the theft of your work. And fight you did. Good luck, Nora.

  19. I happened to read one of your books when I was a teenager. It was a silhouette romance book. Published in the early 1980’s. Since then I’ve read everything you’ve written. I also absolutely love the in death series. Keep them coming. Can’t wait for more.

  20. God bless you, Nora! I pray you win each of these fights and manage to make a difference in the system. As a humble author who really needs to pay her bills from her work, I’ve been tempted to quit writing so many times, especially when I see some of those authors bragging they write a book per month, or more.
    But I didn’t give up. You’re one of my idols ever since before I started writing, and now you’re my heroine more than ever. I hope you bring them all down!

  21. I buy the self published works of hard working authors continuing a series after a publisher has decided to not. I pay full price. I want that story and my author needs to live. I will buy it in Kindle format, hardback and or paperback.
    I am so proud of Nora Roberts right now I could just bust. This is why I wait for her to write whatever story she has. This is why I pay $26 for a hardback book or $7.99 for the Kindle version.
    If I want to read a book written just like Nora Roberts/JD Robb would have written…then I read NORA ROBERTS/JD ROBB books. (Talking to you Facebook ads)
    I’m so glad she is leading this fight!

  22. In the most excellent movie, “Tombstone “, the most excellent character Doc Holiday uses the line about a day of reckoning or maybe just a reckoning…either way he’s a BA and pulls no punches. You go girl!
    And to the response about using your public library-YES! It’s an awesome service and so many great books to choose from.

    1. That’s a great line from that movie to apply here. I’d add that yep the Wyatt Earp line at the train station works fabulously as well. “You tell ‘em I’m coming and Hell’s coming with me. You hear? Hell’s coming with me”.
      Give ‘em Hell!p, Nora!

  23. I love your books. I have all your JD Robb books and almost all your Nora Roberts books. Only other author I buy is Janet Evanovich. I read everyday, just started rereading the JD Robb series again. Haven’t found any other authors that I like. Your my all time favorite. So continue what your doing!

  24. I completely agree with you, Nora. Anyone who reuses another author’s lines without that person’s permission is a thief. It is just that plain and simple. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and for speaking out against the people who are doing it. I will no longer purchase those cheap on-line books that are being churned out and will only purchase authentic books from my favorite authors, of which you are one of my favorites.

    1. The only problem with this is how do you know which books are being “churned” out and which are legit books that deserve support? I am friends with several indie authors who write good material that deserves an audience. Most of them are on KU and it’s thru KU that I found them. For me, KU or even 99cent books that are on sale is a way to find a new author. I have a limited income so even say 3 or 4 dollars is a lot on an unknown author. KU lets me try them for “free” Book Bub the same or maybe it’s 99 cents that day. Then I read their other books. With KU I have found new favorite authors and their books go on my “buy” list for when I have a bit of extra money. What I am trying to say is not all cheap books or KU books are bad. Now I don’t generally read in straight MF Romance or even romance in general so maybe that’s why I haven’t found any that seem plagiarized. But I do hate the book stuffers and the fake readers that mess with KU authors and there has to be a way for zon to prevent that if they even cared.

  25. Nora, you go girl! Nothing worse than a thief! I read the written word that I can hold in my hand! My daughter bought me a Kindle, never used it! I want to feel the book, turn the pages, that’s all that satisfies me. Your books are amazing, and I can feel the hard work that goes in to them. Kick some A$$ lady!!
    Sincerely,
    Pamela

  26. I have been a follower since day 1. And like “Won’t” I’m a little bit in love with you too, and I down swing that way! I love your strength of character, your boldness in writing, your love for your family, and your INTEGRITY . Like I stated, I have read all your books and your style in writing is uniquely you. Let us fans and family know if we can help.

  27. I don’t buy on Amazon, I buy from Apple Books. Typically from authors I know or have knowledge of. Do the same issues happen there at the same level. What do we look for?
    Go Nora! We support the authors we read and love.

  28. I’m old enough to remember when the Janet Daley thing happened. I lost all respect for her and she never got another cent from me. Nora, I’ve been a fan of yours for decades now and your fighting the injustice of plagiarism for all authors makes me respect you even more. Can’t wait to see this show up in a JD Robb or Nora Roberts novel.

  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We need someone like you in this fight. I know several people who have risked their careers to try to shine light on all of this but they are brushed aside, or worse, attacked both personally and professionally for their efforts. Reams of evidence regarding these shenanigans have been sent to Amazon and nearly all of it has been ignored. Perhaps now they might begin to listen.

    Whatever happens, thank you for taking up the cause!

  30. How the hell can people do this? I can’t understand putting your name on something you steal. Keep giving them hell Nora and hopefully it will stop. I know you put a lot of work and thought in your books. I love each and every book you have written and I can always wait for a new one because I know a lot of time and thought goes into every one if them. So keep on giving them hell and post the names.

  31. Can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am that you, and the other authors stolen from, have had to deal with this. And after reading your promise, I couldn’t be more proud to be your fan. As Eve would say, kick ’em where they need it!

  32. I only read books from a handful of authors, and you are top of the list. Your creativity and talent is something I’m in awe of. I don’t buy books that have been written by a team of writers, that’s not talent. That’s a team doing a job. I use to collect in paper books but now have all of them in e-books. Like the fact that if I get hung up somewhere, I can pull up your book and read to pass the wait time. Love JD Robb books! Also love when you do series! Always worth the wait! So in end. Thank you, for keeping me entertained! I’ve learned to slow down how fast I read your books so as not to miss or understand something and to make them last a little longer! I’ve also read all of you books at least twice, some many more! Thank you!

  33. Thank you for standing up and advocating for yourself and fellow authors! Facebook is complicit in this problem. Almost every other ad is for a KindleUnlimited “Free” book. I’ve reported them and blocked them from my feed. My daughter is an aspiring author. I’m always worried that someone will steal her work. She devotes many hours a day to her craft and I hate to hear how easy it is for nefarious people to steal and not suffer any consequences. Good luck in your mission Nora. I wish for you steadfastness and the ability to take mental breaks when needed.

  34. You get accustomed to the voice of a writer. Their rhythms and cadence become very personal. I caught a change once when I was doing some typing for an individual. Just didn’t sound like past work. At all. I Googled a phrase and it took me to the actual book from which the phrase had been lifted.
    It is sad to think that publishers/editors may have to adopt something like a search and scan program to reveal this type of thing before print happens.
    But the Amazon thing? The black hat groups? Liars are gonna lie. Thieves are gonna steal. I pray you have the stamina and will to continue fighting. It just needs to stop. Period.

  35. Thank God somebody with actual clout has taken notice!
    This has been going on since Amazon started KU, but they don’t care as long as they’re making a profit. That’s what you get when you destroy bookstores and let the equivalent of an online supermarket become the major outlet for books.
    As far back as 2012 I was yelling, “Amazon aren’t doing this so you can publish your precious novels. They don’t care about you, you have to care about yourself.”
    I think there are people, black hats, groups, whatever, who take best-selling books and slice them up, juggle them and put them back together. Then they sell those bits, and it’s up to the buyer to get a ghostwriter to put them together into something coherent, or do it themselves.
    Then the buyer, the “author” does the neccessary and puts them on Amazon at 99 cents. They must be getting advice on pseudonyms, covers and so on because you can pick a lot of them out from that alone. So let’s say there is another group, another tier that helps disguise the first group.
    Other groups sell reviews.
    The author of the article that’s popped up on Medium ran the reviews for copypastecris’s book and Courtney Milan’s book on Fakespot, which helps to spot fake reviews. Courtney got an A for genuine reviews. Copypastecris got F.
    Then there are the click farms, a disgraceful practice that Amazon has only made half-hearted attempts to stop.
    While Amazon is making money, they don’t give a rats’ ass what goes on.

  36. Nora Roberts/J. D. Robb is one of the best authors I know. I got reading all the sets of Trilogies by Nora on a recommendation from a friend and I fell in love; then came J.D. Robb, in Death Series and it was hook, line and sinker. So much thought, knowledge and searching goes into each and every book. They keep the person reading enthralled until the very end and you can’t wait for the next one. When an author takes all this time to put out a story line that keeps you wanting more; anyone who (I use the word dirty enough to steal from her work) they should be sued and if possible banned from putting stories into reputable publishers. Keep up the Great Work Nora and I hope you sue those responsible so they will think before they do it again.

  37. Again, Ms Roberts, you are an artist with integrity! Stealing is stealing…justifying thievery is equal to the act.

    Writing is creative artistry and needs to be respected and honored…praise as well as monetarily appreciated.

    I would appreciate a site where these thieves would be identified…labeled…branded so to speak!

    Please know, without a doubt…you are supported!!
    As readers…we need to help you in any way…will certainly follow the comments for more insight to help you and all legitimate authors in being victimized !

    Janice

  38. All I listen to are the In Death series by JD Robb. I’ve tried to look into other books but Eve and the gang are like my people. I sooo wish the In Death series could become a tv series but that would add a lot off work to JD, wouldn’t want anyone else writing the scripts. I’ve mentally complained abut how much an audiobook costs but Nora is right, her work is worth it. I don’t know what hers or any other writer’s process is but it’s talent and work so i won’t be thinking about the price anymore. And good for you for standing up to these crooks (I feel like Eve would be leading this crusade with you to right the injustice). Keeping you and other legitimate writers in my thoughts. Thanks for the In Death series. Because when i said it’s all I listen to I meant it. I am on my 4th time time listening to the series. I listen instead of music. In the car, at work, when I’m relaxing. So thanks so much.

  39. I am so sorry that this happens. What is wrong with people? I started reading your books in high school and you have been my favorite author ever since. I first read you as Nora Roberts but I absolutely love your JD Robb books – they are the only books I buy in hardcover and then sell at 1/2 price books and buy when they come out in paperback. I have them all. I sometimes have to replace the paperback from rereading it. I hope I never read a stolen knock off book that stole from you. Keep writing.

  40. Nora Roberts is just Fab!!!!!

    I agree with everything you have said.

    As readers can I suggest we write to Amazon and ask them what they are going to about this, to make sir even we as readers get real books by real authors and not these frankenbooks.

    I’ve already done so.

  41. You Rock! I am a ardent fan, but I also like to think a discerning reader. At times that means I am in a desert for new books to read, as I am hesitant to try new authors unless they have a “body of work” that I can research. I do buy through Amazon to download to my Kindle app, but I usually only look at books from authors I’ve read from years, or those recommended by sources like the NYT, PBS etc. I so wish I could write, but alas I must have been in the bar on my second martini when the Fates handed out that talent (and most others). I appreciate your talent and dedication Nora…

  42. I would never dream of plagiarizing, so can you put “Stand up for the craft and call these fuckers out” on merch so I can buy it and put it everywhere?

    Thank you for standing up for all of us.

  43. Give em hell, Nora. I have bought ebooks that are .99 or 1.99 of authors I have never heard of because I read a lot and am always looking. I’ve mostly stopped because some are really awful. I mostly now read my favorites or new authors recommended by established authors. I mentioned before that sometimes I think I’ve already read the book because it’s so familiar never realizing it could have been stolen. This just blows my mind.

  44. I’ve read Nora for nearly 20 years. One of the best authors ever! Power to your elbow Nora. There’s nothing worse than standing on the shoulders of giants and stealing their imagination because they don’t have one of their own. Sickening.

  45. Nora, Time for the biggest News Press Conference in the world. All newspapers, news channels and your Megaphone.
    I will help you with calling those thief’s out as well as Amazon for being cold and heartless.
    Beth Reed

  46. Go get them Nora. I have been a fan of yours for years and with the exception of one other well known author, your books are really the only ones I read. I am in awe of your talent, and ask myself every time I finish one of your books whether it be written as Nora Roberts or JD Robb where you come up with the ideas and plots for your books. They are all so unique. That is a rare talent, I know, because I have grown tired of the similar plots and story lines written by the other author I read. So you protect that talent and stand up for it. It’s very sad that you have had to go through this. I hope you continue to fight for what is right, and that you continue to use that wonderful talent of yours to write great books for many years to come. Thank you for that.

  47. Well said. I tend to only read from a favourite list of authors and, when trying a new author, I look to see if they have published other books before I buy anything from them. I also borrow e-books from the library. Bookbub is good for discounted books by authors I love, but I rarely buy a book from them if I haven’t heard of the author anymore as I find that too often there’s a reason the book is so cheap. The exception being one of your books, of course, which has lead to me purchasing more of your books if they are part of a series. Over the summer I purchased the entire e-book series by J.D. so that I could reread them again and again when I’m without a new book to read.

  48. You go girl!!!! I am going through my kindle checking to see if any of the thieves were downloaded/ bought and getting rid of them. I have never heard of this problem and am glad to learn about it.

    J

  49. I read mostly the same authors. This is criminal. I am so sorry someone has found another way to profit from someone else’s hard work.

    Another case for Eve and her team

  50. I freaking love you! Truly! Thank you for always keeping it real and standing up for what is right. You are an incredible person, all around.

  51. I’ve supported new authors who have worked hard at their craft and gone out in person with the copy they printed and sold it themselves. Sometimes you can tell they are new and need to grow. I’m glad for these authors who work hard at what they do. Dh gripes about the money I spend on books. Yes, this is my hobby, and you can gripe all you want. I’m supporting those who work hard at their craft. Yes, there is the library. Never got into the 99 cent books unless it was a known authors backlist at a UBS or Goodwill. I’m so sorry this has happened to legitimate authors. I pray that everyone has learned a valuable lesson here.

  52. >

    Okay, gotta say something here. I’m lucky enough to have been a friend of Nora’s since the mid-80s. I have never known anyone else with her stellar work ethic. Writers work through the good times, the bad times, and even the truly terrible times. I know that because I’ve done it. Nora knows that because she’s done it. Every real writer has done it. They do it for the love of creating, they do it for their readers. And they don’t cheat!

    A mutual friend, Catherine Coulter, once joked that Nora goes in to take a shower and comes out of that shower with another book written. No, but I bet she comes out with another idea! And then she goes to work. The long hours, the take-out pizzas, the days spent in pajamas because the main “hunger” is to finish that story, see how it ends, feel that exhilarating exhaustion of being able to sit back and say, “I did it!”

    Oh, yeah, then after cleaning a closet or two, get to work on the next book.

    I have writer friends who started in the 80s who have written a lot of books. Fifty. One hundred, or more. For myself, I’ve written about 120 since 1980. Yes, that’s a lot of books, over a lot of years. Anyone who says they can plan, research, write, re-write, fine tune a full-length, 60,000-to-80,000-or-more word novel every month, month after month, is…well, you can figure that out yourselves, right?

    I work very hard at my craft…and I’m maybe around 100 books behind Nora, who started at about the same time. A gift such as Nora’s comes along very seldom, but the determination to do her job every day, yes, through those good times and bad, makes her extraordinary.

    And we, as her friends, as fellow writers, as fellow readers, are very blessed to know her.

    So, yes, what Nora said, with one small change:

    And the next idiot who accuses her of using ghostwriters, you better be prepared.

    Kasey Michaels

    1. Also a big fan of yours and Ms. Coulter’s. I seriously believe that the 3 of you (and any other legit authors) should be on 20/20, any of the morning “news” shows, etc. and get this out there. Amazon does not like it when they get bad publicity and you 3 powerhouses would send Mr. Cheatonhiswife Bezos and the stockholders into a tizzy.

    2. You GO Kasey! Love your books.
      Re ghostwriters:
      When you are as determined and passionate and hard-working as Nora, you don’t *need* ghostwriters to be prolific. Because the very thing that drives you ensures that the words come, hard and fast.
      Holy crap, 60,000-80,000 words in a month?
      Doable?
      Yeeesssss…..
      If you put your entire life on hold.
      But I can’t imagine that being sustainable without major burnout.

      Factor in research, rewrites *and* have it professionally edited in that timeframe?

      Fuhgeddaboutit.

  53. You go Nora. Good luck in your quest. I love your books and will gladly pay for them. I only read established writers like you.

  54. To repeat… GO FOR IT, NORA!!! GIVE THEM HELL… and kick ass while doing it. No wonder your heroines are so strong, so passionate, so damned determinded to fight for what’s right… they are a personification of you. Thank you, Nora…!!!💜

    I was in Orlando at RWA in1997. I remember hearing what was going on and as a newbie writer felt horrified by what you were going through. And in true Nora fashion… you were elegantly professional and unwavering in your stance for accountability and honesty in the creative writing field. And again… thank you, Nora…💜

  55. Thank you for your tireless efforts to make things right. It makes sense now that when I get a cheap book, I usually never finish it.

  56. Thank you, Nora, for speaking out. I hope your stance will bring attention to the black hat nonsense going on in our industry and lead to real change.

  57. Artists across the board have been more and more devalued. It seems you have to be dead in some art disciplines for your work to be marketable in a way that really shows the value of it. $44 million for a Matisse? He’s dead! Someone else is making that money! Living artists need living wages. The better or more worked for their skills are, the more they deserve in compensation. Those ghost writers only deserve .99 cents per book, but stealing means they’re stealing all that money. It’s disgusting.

    I have writers who I follow and I buy their new books the day they’re released and I don’t buy any others. Marcia Muller; Sue Grafton; Sara Paretsky; Patricia Cornwell; Laurie R. King; Victoria Laurie ; and my favorite JD Robb. They’re worth the money.

    1. I think it’s two bit Russian mafia. I bet Surreya isn’t even a real person. It’s some group of seedy men with greasy hair and onion drinking cheap vodka copy pasting their favorite excerpts. I never buy KU books and I’m wary of those .99 books. The whole KU program idea is stupid. Even the classic publishing scheme has never made sense for most writers. Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, Nora. God bless.

  58. You are absolutely right. Along with others I hope you are able to turn over the rocks and get rid of the present group of snakes.

  59. I guess I live in a bubble. I had no idea there was a whole industry out there ruining things for the real writers. I’ve learned and, although I’ge Downloaded. Rey few of the KU books, I’ll be much more discerning in the future. My money’s on you, Nora, to take on the whole issue and win. They picked on the wrong person this time. Best of luck, and please keep us posted.

  60. Nora,
    You are my absolute favorite author. I am always looking forward to the next Nora, or J.D., book. You never disappoint. Thank you!

    To those who cheat and steel, your day is coming. The wrath of Nora, and other legitimate authors will rain down.

    Again, thank you for the hours of amazing entertainment, laughter, tears, and and hold on to your hats suspense. You are one amazing woman.

    Blessings,

  61. I have a list of favorite authors. I tend to stick with them and authors they recommend. You introduce me to Maggie Shayne and Christine Feehan (thank you). I used to hit the used book store in town because I could sit down and read the first chapter of a book by an author I didn’t know. I usually only need a few pages to recognize trash and back to the shelves. I’d rather re-read a favored authors work a million times than read something substandard. We all have your back. Would a KU boycott help?

  62. Is there anything we can do to help you? You are as fearless and full of integrity as your main female characters. You ROCK!

  63. So you’re saying that the ghostwriters and editors who worked with Cristiane Serruya to help her polish her books, not realizing that she had plagiarized certain scenes she sent to them to work with, are guilty simply because they didn’t use a plagiarism checker on the stuff that they added to? REALLY? But I guess that’s the kind of world we live in. You have to first assume everyone is a liar and a thief. Sad.

    1. Yes, I am. If they didn’t do the bare minimum when she sent them that mishmash of different voices, different scenes and lines that had no cohesion, why didn’t they?

      I didn’t say they were liars. In fact the three who’ve come forward have been honest about what she sent them, what they did.

      As a ghost writer yourself, I’d think you’d find it appalling that she hired people who knew so little about their own craft, did so little, they help her steal.

      But apparently you don’t. I guess that’s the kind of world we live in when you make excuses for those who made serious mistakes rather than writers those mistakes damaged.

      More, I’m speaking directly to those who work knowingly with the scammers, busily throwing books together to make a few bucks.

    2. She didn’t say guilty, she said complicit. And they are. They didn’t even think to question the frankenbooks.

      Professionals would have.

      That’s the problem with the wealth of freelance sites out there. Anybody can get online to make a fast buck without necessarily having the right skills needed for that particular job.

      A trained editor, a pro ghostwriter likely would have looked at mishmash of writing styles and had questions.

      Some of these CS books even had the same duplicate lines within the same books. Yes, writers have their own unique styles and often phrases they like to use.

      JD Robb’s wild Irish blue eyes and whiskey eyes came to mind, but writing the exact same sentence, the exact same way, with the exact same wording is something that would have made professionally trained editors or GWs question the writing.

      I won’t say CS editors & the writers she hired to ‘fix’ stolen works were guilty of *outright* wrongdoing, because they probably aren’t. They didn’t know. But their inexperience and lack of training compounded a problem that led to thefts from more than two dozen authors.

      Nora did NOT say they were thieves or liars. She used the word *complicit* & that’s defined as:

      “involved with otherns in an illegal activity or wrongdoing.”

      These people are just that. They were given stole works and didn’t make any attempt to make sure the works were original. Pros would have. In the end, people get what they pay for.

      1. Actually I find it insulting that you choose to think I’m not a professional because i didn’t think to use a plagiarism checker before this broke out. Also you can’t make judgments as to whether such things were recognizable in these docs unless you’ve seen the docs yourself. I have edited hundreds of books and written and traditionally published through large publishers 8. I’ve been at this 20 years. Hindsight is 20/20 and I will take precautions from now on. But if you think all pro editors and ghostwriters use plagiarism checkers on their clients, that’s crazy. In fact, I spoke to 15 pros like myself with similar experience and not one of them did. We are all changing our tune on that, now. I don’t think you can make such a general blanket statement about what professionals would do. We all learned a great deal from this situation and I think we’ll be a lot more careful about what we work on in the future.

        1. Here’s what I find insulting, for myself and every other author damaged by this. You’ve come on this blog, where I’ve addressed a number of problems I see that feed into this systemic nightmare.

          But all you can latch onto is don’t blame ghostwriters. (When I specifically didn’t cast blame on the profession in this blog or the previous one.)

          Nothing else appears important enough to you to comment on. Over two dozen writers—so far—were plagiarized. That’s an intimate, wrenching violation that causes deep distress, anger, disruption, and takes time and effort to fight back against. Hours, maybe days and weeks of misery vetting the books, searching out your own words someone else claimed and tried to profit from. Legal fees.

          Scores of honest, laboring self-published authors are being driven down, marginalized, seeing their livelihoods diminished if not destroyed—and the flood of ghosted books are part of why.

          But why worry too much about all that?

          No comments about the ghost writers hired by the scammers to help perpetuate this destruction of careers for some easy money?

          Your vision on this wide, deep problem seems very, very narrow.

  64. This has truly been an education for me. I’m not a big fan of Amazon (don’t like some of their tactics) and not big on e-readers (i’m Old school) so these issues are beneath my radar.
    Yes books have become more expensive, but so has everything else in life. If I don’t have the funds at the moment, it’s off to the library I go. I’ve always liked that place .
    It’s hard for me to connect to new authors, because I like what I like and that generally is it.
    Anyone propping up these thieves and liars is just as bed as they are!

  65. I’m so straight up on board with this.

    I’ve opened up the past week about the fact that I’ve been doing professional ghostwriting for the past few years. After one of my publishers shut down and I had issues selling to traditional publishers due to low sales, I had decisions to make. I already self-published, but no matter what I did there, I couldn’t gain traction to get noticed and pick get the sales I needed, hit that marketing sweet spot, etc.

    Ghostwriting professionally was the answer & has supplemented my income so I can continue to still write my own books…and yeah, the cheap crap some people churn out is devaluing real books more and more all the time.

    I see that in every new book I put out and as income from *my* books continues to drop, I’m forced to GW more and more.

    But I’m not cheap. Good, talented ghosts who produce quality work aren’t and scammers don’t want them — quality takes time and costs money, which defeats a scammer’s purpose.

    I’ve been doing this a while and on my side, I’ve seen plenty of the ‘jobs’ offered, have seen plenty of the ‘jobs’ and have plenty of ‘jobs’ offered. Some jobs pay out what amounts to $6/hr. I wouldn’t touch that hot mess with a golden, ten foot pole and there are those who offer shit jobs even worse than that.

    That’s the crap proliferating much of the Kindle Unlimited top seller lists. I think KU itself can still work for people–not everybody has easy access to libraries or bookstores and KU is a good venue for those with limited access to books.

    But Amazon can do a hell of a lot to stop the bullshit, including taking action against those who try to repackage the same book twenty times over for page views and all the other scam tricks. If the problem isn’t fixed now, who knows how bad it’s going to get.

    1. Thanks, Shiloh. That’s the difference between a professional who values who craft and someone who just wants to make some money.

    2. Absolutely. It’s getting harder out there. What you said, all of it. But I won’t ghost fiction, since I have a couple of active contracts. I will do non-fiction and sort out columns and articles to make them more readable. No essays, though, plagiarism is rampant there.
      Because I’m on a few ghosting lists, I get those emails, too. Despite not doing fiction, this morning I got a request to write a paranormal series. $250 per book. You know what you get for that, don’t you? You’re not getting a decent author. But someone will, and it will end up in the Amazon best selling lists.

    3. Shiloh, the fact that incredibly talented people like you and Shiela Viehl have had to GW because your own books have not gained traction just devastates me. I’ve followed you both for many, many years.

      You’re absolutely right. Amazon needs to step up and fix what’s broken.

      1. Thanks, Lisa! ❤

        Writing/publishing is a hard & weird biz.

        Sometimes, it’s hard to just find that right spot of visibility, etc. I’m blessed to be able to do it at all & my GW is fair, legit work so I don’t brood about it…much. LOL.

    4. Shiloh. I’m so hoping that your indie books take off again soon. I have enjoyed your spicy paranormal a lot over the years!

  66. Thank you for this…I really do hope you’ll help with this fight. I’ve been following this issue for a while. It came to my attention a year and a half ago. In fact, I spoke to Sarah Jeong from The Verge last year (she’s since moved on to report for the NYT). This is the article she wrote: https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/16/17566276/cockygate-amazon-kindle-unlimited-algorithm-self-published-romance-novel-cabal

    I also just recently just wrote a massive Facebook post in regards to the scammers and how they have quite literally changed the world of publishing. If you care to read my thoughts on it, here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=859943337715844&id=100011005563865

  67. Nora, the person you are shines through the people you create and develop in your stories. You have honor, and integrity in your writing and your daily life. Never stop fighting for what’s right!
    I admire who you are even more now!

  68. There is a website called DirtyDiscourse.com that, on the surface is designed for Romance authors to chat in forums. It has a paywall to access the forums, and from there, if you earn the privilege you are invited to the dark forums. In the dark forums, scammers have schemed and thrived since 2015.

    Many readers and authors who have been shouting about Amazon scamming for the past two years- and discovered what is going on with Dirty Discourse have been silenced- accused of trolling,doxxing etc by authors and readers in the romance community who want to keep this bullshit quiet because they are earning lots of money from ghostwritten book sales-or working on the marketing side of publishing for these scammers.

    I have seen screenshot evidence that the dark forums in Dirty Discourse are where ghostwritten content is sold- where ‘authors’ can sell on content that has past it’s usefulness-to be recycled from M/F to M/M or F/F with a pronoun change and a little polishing. Those forums are where reviews are purchased, clickfarm links are shared, scammer cross promotion is organized and groups- like Lovelight Press began their scammy ways. Most of the writers under that imprint do not exist. The imprint is ghostwritten books organized by Amelia Faulkner AKA Scarlet Cox.

    Chance Carter (who famously tried to get readers to review for the chance to win diamonds) and Earl Roy Lewis (Who ran the names Kiera Blakely and Emily Bishop) may have been removed from Amazon because of bookstuffing but they will be back under new names. Amazon makes it too easy for them to start up a new account and begin again.

    Readers who join author FB groups for these quick release ‘authors’ need to know that they are perpetuating the problem. They need to think and stop giving these people their time and money.

    Amazon needs to clean up the Kindle store so that legitimate writers are not smothered under the weekly releases by these scammers.

    Frauds and thieves have been given a free pass for too long and it has to end.

    I hope all of the authors who were plagiarized get the justice they deserve.

    1. This is all so fucked up I don’t even have words. The tentacles used to scam are so many, so carefully calculated—and Amazon isn’t doing what should be basic to stop it.

      1. Amazon has known about these issues for years and has done virtually nothing to stop them. Yet they seem to delight in removing my legitimate reviews and even reclassifying my books as erotica, making them virtually undiscoverable, for no discernable reason. Were it not for the efforts of my publisher (Harlequin, that time) and RWA, they’d probably still be wrongly reclassified.

    2. What a load of garbage. I’ve written books for LoveLight Press, and designed dozens of covers for the small imprint before people like you starting attacking LLP. I can 100% guarantee there are multiple authors behind LoveLight, all writing their own books. I know because I’ve worked with them, formatted books for them, helped set common fonts/styles for all the books, and more. I did it all at a discount because I care about LGBT romance. We started the imprint together, as a huge group of disparate people who frequently disagreed with each other… something we wouldn’t be capable of doing if we were all one person as so many conspiracy theorists claim.

      Nora, please don’t believe everything people tell you. There are a lot of rumors and lies started by people who hate a particular gay romance author who’s done nothing but bring us all together so we could share our knowledge, support each other, and make quality books together.

    3. I must strongly object as I am author who has published many books with LoveLight Press and will do so again later this year.
      I have been member of the Lovelight Press collective (since 2015) and I self-published outside of the group too. Your claims about LLP are without foundation.
      I can assure you that we are real hardworking writers in the group who are passionate about our work.
      I’ve met many of the other authors in person. And many of us have attended various romance conventions over the years.
      It is ridiculous to claim the imprint is ghostwritten books organised by one of our authors.
      Similarly, I’m also a member of Dirty Discourse – a professional author’s forum – where scam techniques are not condoned. There is nowhere on that site that advocates buying reviews or using click farms and nowhere on the site would you find a method to do those things.
      I’d warn readers of your post to not believe everything they read in the comments section on the internet.

    4. Nora –

      I’m sorry you have been pulled into yet another plagiarism scandal. However, I do want to thank you for your response to it. Your blog posts have had me standing and cheering.

      I am, for all intents and purposes, an unknown romance author. All of the garbage over the past year with #cockygate, book stuffing, and now this are so depressing. I have so many stories to tell but some days I’m not sure I have the heart to continue. But, I’m hard-headed enough to not want to let the bastards win. So, if you are willing to have unknown little me in your army when you “salt the freaking earth” my sword and my words are at your disposal.

  69. I echo this fully, except to point out one thing: it’s not just self-pubbed authors being ruined by this business of ghostwriters and click farms to game Amazon algorighms . I’m a traditionally published author (Harlequin and Entangled) struggling to gain a foothold and find readers in an industry increasingly swamped with cheap, fast fiction. Authors – real authors – starting in this industry in the last few years are finding it increasingly difficult to make a living. We’re being snuffed out, figuratively and literally, by people who have no true interest in the quality of what they produce, just the volume and the pot of gold at the end of the Amazon rainbow.

  70. You. Are. AWESOME!! I only read a select few authors and very happy to say you are two of them 🙂 Everything else seems like ground chuck, and I am accustomed to fillet mignon. If there is anything we can do, as readers, please let us know. Thieves and liars are worthless, and should be in an off planet prison… Thank you for ALL you do!!

  71. As long as there is money to be made cheating, they will cheat. There doesn’t seem to be any way to fix that simple fact. In Kindle Unlimited, where Amazon pays writers through a zero sum game, their cheating is 100% directly at the expense of other writers.

    Another damaging aspect of this is when these cheat groups discover a genre on Amazon that hasn’t been weaponized for them yet. They land in it, push the writers who built and maintain that genre down the bestseller lists. In lesbian romance, where I write, writers who routinely opened high on the best seller list found their new releases opening at #50 instead of #3. Even with ads, they couldn’t compete with the page turning farms and review tricksters.

    That’s how you get a story about a married straight couple having a threeway with their nanny at the top of the lesbian romance best seller list.

  72. Theft is theft. Under the law, ignorance is no excuse.
    Nora, it takes someone like you and those like you with courage and conviction to change things for the better.
    To those of you who are poo-pooing this, I assume that the next time someone comes into your home and takes your things that you won’t feel raped and betrayed and that you won’t call the police? After all, it’s no big thing, not your hard work, your creativity being stolen.
    How about a coworker or boss taking credit for your ideas or hard work. No biggie, just your reputation and lighter paycheck.
    Will you compliment your child for copying from someone else’s homework or test? For shoplifting?
    Get real, theft is theft.
    The ghostwriter has a responsibility, it takes little time to do due diligence.

  73. Well said, Ms. Roberts! I applaud and commend you for taking a stand and calling out for people to be accountable for their actions.

  74. Although some people are getting upset because Nora is challenging ghosts, who are given chunks of writing to string together into a book, to review those chunks for Plagiarism. Get over it.

    Plagiarism is such a horrible thing, and it damages so much more than just the plagiarized.

    I often judge contests. Too often I’ve come across a section that sounds too familiar, and I’ve researched the bothersome words. Too many times they have been word for word from earlier works. It’s very disheartening.

    Keep up the fight, Nora.

    PS…I’d love to share your request to readers. Any chance Laura can share that paragraph on social media. There are lots of people who need to read that.

  75. Wow…this is very enlightening. I had no idea this was happening, and I certainly will not knowingly support it! I love your books, Nora, especially the ones that weave magick through them! Thank you for educating us on the scammers and what not to support!

  76. Your posts are really informative so thank you for shining the light on this issue. It is so disheartening that this thievery is so prevalent from book stuffing to piracy and now this rampant plagiarism. What I find truly disgusting is that many of us probably know and interact on social media with these thieves without realizing that they are the ones who are destroying our work and careers.

  77. I love all your books.!!!! I own everyone of them and have some doubles. Lol. I believe you should be paid for the work you do. Nora, you are the best author ever. Thank you for your entertainment.

  78. The wrath of Nora is a fierce and awesome force.

    I recall the current thief du jour told Ms. Milan that she, too is an attorney. If it has not already been done, she should be reported to her Bar of Licensure for this conduct which should lead to disbarment.

  79. How do we help? It’s not right for people who steal to get away with this! I don’t have KU and now never will! No author should have their work violated in this way. 😡

    1. Please don’t make legitimate KU authors suffer by demonizing KU and making it sound like everyone on there is scammy.

      The biggest problem with KU is that Amazon has an All-Star Bonus system that gives UP TO $25,000 PER MONTH as a bonus per genre category. THIS is the carrot on a stick for scammy marketers to infiltrate KU and use click farms to make it appear as if they have the most page reads to get awarded these ridiculous bonuses. If the bonus system was disbanded there would be less of an incentive to scam.

      There are hundreds of thousands of legit authors on KU and a handful of scammers who release every week/month to game the algorithms. Amazon needs to step up and clean out the kindle store. Now Nora is talking about it I hope they will take notice. They haven’t listened to us smaller fish who have been calling for change for years.

      1. There are ways to determine legit authors from the cheats.

        I don’t think anybody, Nora included, wants to burn down the industry, just clean out the cheats.

        I’m doing some research & will probably do another blog post focusing on this stuff. Once you know what you’re looking for, the scammers stick out.

    2. Thanks, Lisa! ❤

      Writing/publishing is a hard & weird biz.

      Sometimes, it’s hard to just find that right spot of visibility, etc. I’m blessed to be able to do it at all & my GW is fair, legit work so I don’t brood about it…much. LOL.

  80. As an indie author, I hope more people with clout will come out and attack the people who do this. Though, admittedly, it’s too late for me. I’ve just published my last book. I can’t compete with the cheats and the non-writers out to make a buck. I can’t compete with people who have no conscience. I hope that you, and others like you who have the money and power to make a difference, do something.

    It’s too late for me. I will write for me, but I will not put my stuff out there to be stolen in one way or another.

    Good luck. I hope you can make a difference.

  81. Thank you Nora for having the integrity and balls to fight this. Thank you for using your resources to fight this. I am sure there are other authors that don’t have the voice and resources you do to fight this scourge. It has made me think about the free books Amazon offers and wonder where they came from. I will more cognicent in the future and look into the authors I am unfamiliar with to make sure they have not participated in this debacle.

  82. As soon as I saw your name on the list, I almost got excited. Horrible as that sounds. Because I knew she was going down and would fully pay for her crimes.

    Thank you for being willing to do this for those of us who can’t afford it.

  83. You know what really caps off the whole thing? Nora writes for hours every day just like someone else goes to an office or out on service calls or whatever. That is what brings in her pay. Yes, she can afford to do this, going after these thieves and liars but taking time out to have to do this takes time away from her regular work. So not only is she losing lawyers’ fees and time, she is possibly losing money because she could be creating, instead of chasing down the crooks.

    I would like to know more about the click deal on KU that gets them money. I am on prime and get a free book every month (that’s where a book that hit me as similar to Year One is, for this month). One or two have been pretty good, but some have been not so good, and this explains it. Money for pages clicked. Hmmm.

  84. I was really surprised and down right angry to read “Nora’s rants” as I didn’t realise just how extensive this practice is. I have a friend who is an author so I know how much hard work, and blood sweat and tears go into writing a novel. So, from Australia, you “go get em girl” as your fans and readers are 100% behind you on this!

  85. I used to write product descriptions for websites and then I got an offer to read and edit a book the author was Australian and wanted an American take on it. It was amazing but then the crazy offers started coming to write fake reviews on books and then to write the books themselves and white papers. I left the employment site because of the lack of screening they did for the employment offers. It is amazing what these people do and pay for. They hire anybody who will work cheap and ethics be damned. My mother didn’t raise me to be like that and I could never do that sort of stuff. But it opened my eyes to the corruption involved. I never trust Amazon reviews on anything anymore and I find myself not trusting reviews in general.

  86. I remember buying one of your books approximately 33 years ago. I remember reading about your struggle. It took you a while to find your stride and I’ve stayed with you. While I like some of your books more than others, even in the JD Robb series, you are an amazing writer. I greedily await your new books and watch for the release dates avidly.
    I remember getting duped into buying a book from someone posing as you on Amazon. She added a middle initial to your name. I quickly reported it to Amazon and it was removed.
    After retiring from law enforcement in 2011, I somehow found myself starting a film production company and actually writing scripts. I think it would be easier to remove a lung! Giving birth to a child was easier.
    LOL. Keep on doing what you’re doing.

  87. I am one of those “unknown” authors that so many of these comments are referring to. When a reader says that they will never read anything from an unknown author again and will only read and purchase books by well established authors, part of me wants to just give up.

    It is so unfair to assume that just because I am just starting my career that no one will ever give me a chance?

    And to assume that just because my books may be offered for free or for a discounted price, it automatically means it has no worth or value?

    It is because so many readers are hesitant to spend a measly $2.99 for an ebook that new authors are forced to explore other marketing techniques to attract readers.

    And for those who have suggested using the libraries, I agree wholeheartedly as I am an avid library user myself. And I have discovered many new authors to read through libraries.

    But let me just say, that getting a library to take a chance on a new self published author is extremely difficult. Patrons can request that a library purchase a book or ebook but it is ultimately up to the collections department.

    So where does that leave a new author when readers won’t give us a chance and libraries won’t either?

    When I self published, I didn’t not publish exclusively to Amazon. My books are not part of the kindle unlimited program. So I have to try to make my books discoverable on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Overdrive, etc.

    That’s a lot of marketing while I still work full time as well as try to work on future books.

    I write my own books. I pay for professional editing and book covers. I pay for a website and hosting and email programs and everything else associated with self publishing.

    But I guess none of that matters because I’m not famous.

    1. See, this is what happens when Nora or someone else we like posts and people want to support them. There is often a knee-jerk reaction to sweep to drastic measures. As I mentioned earlier, I have found some good books and good new authors on the free Kindle books each month. And some “oh, dear, no more of these” books. I’m sorry that you feel you are the proverbial baby being thrown out with the bath water. You continue to do what you can to be published. Hang in there.

    2. Those cheating, lying, stealing and scamming are making it hard or damn near impossible for a writer like you. Aim your anger there.

      I hope your hard work is rewarded. It won’t be until the system’s fixed and you have a level field.

      1. Trying not to go all ‘fan girl’ right now…I was a reader LONG before I ever got the courage to write, so it goes without saying that I’ve read MANY of your books. I can only imagine the level of violation you must feel. Our books are our babies. Thank you for leading the fight. Because it’s a fight for all of us.

        1. Marlene, as an ‘aspiring’ myself, I understand how you feel. But I try new authors all the time. Often one of the special priced, or free chapters etc, just to see if it’s a style I like. Then I’m happy to pay authors for their work, because I hope it will be me one day. I’ve discovered so many authors this way, ones that weren’t in my library in Australia. So don’t give up.

          BUT I don’t use Amazon. I use Kobo. I loathe Amazon’s marketing and ecosystem, and I’d rather support a company that doesn’t encourage scammers through deliberate inaction and skeevy policies.

      2. Marlene Riggs, we ALL started where you are. If you want to make a name for yourself you write your stories and find your fans. One at a time. That’s how it’s done. And anyone who is buying books to feed the Amazon machine will never find fans. They might find readers for a little while, but readers aren’t enough. My suggestion to you is to just go find those who support you and your work and bring them into your fold. Cherish them and thank them. Fans who respond to YOUR voice, YOUR stories, YOUR talent – that’s how you break out. That’s how you make writing your career. It’s not an overnight thing. I wrote 19 books before I made the NYT. I have now written over 60. No one gave me this career I went out and built it by finding my fans, playing by the rules, being honest, and not scamming my readers. There is a market for every genre. Every single one. You just need to find the people who want to read what you write. And you do that by “hand-selling” each and every copy until you stand out from the crowd.

    3. Hugs, Marlene. Don’t give up. Readers will find you, one at a time. Word of mouth advertising is the very best. Hook them with your amazing stories, wow them by letting them know that you ‘see’ them—as a person who loves your stories as much as you do. There is a saying that the greatest overnight successes were 10 years or more in the making. Believe in yourself, your stories, and your love and passion will shine through like a beacon to the readers looking for that diamond they knew was there.

    4. Unfortunately the bad players do make it more difficult for the honest self-published authors. I do like to try to find new authors, not just new to me (which I do too), but new new including the self published. I’ve found several authors and with them series who are self-published. I actually just pre-ordered a new book from one of these authors which is being released next month (because from what I understand pre-orders matter). But it’s scary, when you realize stuff like this is going on, to trust and take that chance. Of course I had read Janet Dailey and look what happened there, and she was with a major publishing house so there’s n’o guarantee.

      Anyway I think something like this exposing what his happening and someone like Nora Roberts speaking out and exposing it, hopefully being a force to make a difference will in the end make it better for the legit writers who are self-published.

    5. Please do not give up!

      I am a person who enjoys finding new authors and KU has been one of my favorite ways to do so. My husband is a full-time self-pubbed author, too, and Thankfully many people took a chance on him.

      I agree that there are scammers out there, but you and my husband are real working authors. If a good story is well told, it probably deserves support.

      I just hope that the “all or nothing” attitude expressed with many commenters here will be moderated somewhat over time.

  88. Nora, again thank you for all you are doing that will not only help you, but others who are not financially able to, as you said in your post yesterday. God bless you for all you’re doing. I have followed you since your very early days and you are my go-to author all the time. It’s terrible these illegal acts are going on, and that your attention is being diverted from your work.

  89. Nora, do get in contact with David Gaughran (website is his name) as he has plenty of experience dealing with these kinds of scams and also has contacts inside of Amazon that he can direct you to.

    All the best in fighting against them.

  90. ANY guidelines to help the industry, at this point, would most certainly be welcome…..♡♡♡♡

  91. I’m an avid reader, and an avid quilter. My idea of a perfect afternoon, is an audiobook Leverage in Death, currently, while hand stitching. When I exhibit a quilt, it has the name of the pattern and the designer, noted. When I change up the pattern, which is often, I still give the name of pattern & designer name and note that it is a variation. Changing Bonnie Hunter’s sashing or size of block, does not change the fact that its her design. Theft is theft.

  92. This is why my writing career tanked back in 2015 – the scammers, plagiarists and book stuffers have effectively stolen the market away from real writers.

    I’ve published 30+ works of fiction, every single word written by me. I sweated blood over those books, but do readers care? No. They’d rather read some .99 piece of crap.

    Color me disgusted.

    1. Definitely not true. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but many authors started about the same time and have found success. My husband is one of them. He has published 53 books in this same time period over two genres and written every word. He writes full time, usually six days a week.

      Again, I’m sorry for your experience, but others have had honest success, too.

    2. I am so sad to see that authors I really like(d) got caught up in all this thievery. Shiloh Walker and Cat Grant: I bought every one of your books and would continue to do so.

  93. Nora,
    We have been fighting these scammers for well over a year now. Last year, with the help of what I refer to as ‘legitimate’ authors (those who write their own books), we were able to get Amazon to enforce their rules on ‘book stuffing’. Unfortunately, Amazon only took care of the contemporary romance stuffers. Historical romance is still RIFE with these cheaters.

    I’ve done some research and can tell you that a good majority of those authors in the top 100 in Historical Romance are not ‘real’ authors. They’re part of two separate publishing houses. One is a couple of Greeks who refer to themselves as the publishing tycoons. The others are out of Taiwan. There is far more to it than just the Greeks and Taiwan Twins.

    The indie publishing industry is rife with scammers and thieves. It boggles my mind when discussing book piracy, that some authors believe “they’re gaining one more reader. If they like the stolen copy, they’ll buy the next one.” What utter, frigging nonsense!

    I cannot agree with you more on everything you’ve brought up. If you need help digging under those rocks, let me know. I have a team of enthusiastic, intelligent people who are willing to help.

    With much admiration,
    Suzan Tisdale

    1. Ditto. It’s pretty much all the top 100 in every category. Most of my books are military romance and it is rot with scammers. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve just wanted to throw my hands up and quit but I’m too stubborn and bull headed to quit. I’m a fighter and will fight till the bitter end. I have books thru my publisher in KU.

  94. This whole thing is just disgusting. It’s sad that so many small time authors can’t afford to fight for their work. I know thieves are thieves and will always find a way, but I also know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into putting words on a page from the heart.

  95. I used to purchase a lot of books. But I have become very careful of the authors I purchase. Very little from Amazon. Mostly from authors I get newsletters from. Nora is my go-to author.

  96. I used to be open to new writers. After all, there was all that time in between the latest NR, or JDR, or JAK, Brin, or Havill, or Craig Johnson, etc., needing to be filled, right? But I really didn’t find anything to hold me. Every once in a while, I stumble over a “new” discovery, only to find they’ve been writing for years and I just hadn’t read them yet, like Louise Penny, but it was rare. Now I get it, why the quality wasn’t there in the unknown writers. I’m sure there are new writers out there, that are just as filled with the integrity and drive of the old school writers, but it’s hard to find the wheat amongst the chaff. Cheering you on, Nora, and if there’s anything your readers can do in support, let us know.

  97. Nora, do contact David Gaughran of Let’s Get Digital blog. He has facts and figures of these scammers that you will need in your fight. David has been fighting the good fight for years. Amazon doesn’t listen much, no matter what evidence David shows them.

    1. Great minds!

      I was just about to contact Linda with David’s deets. I also want to say to Nora that indies have been fighting a gruelling battle against these scammers for years. Some scammers/bad actors have been taken down, but only after Amazon were publicly named and shamed, and then it’s back to business as usual. I do not place my books in KU for a number of reasons, the main one being I refuse to give Amazon exclusivity over my work and refuse to put all my eggs in one basket – business risk 101 right there. Secondly, I live to delight readers everywhere on the planet, not just on Amazon. This is my own personal opinion and I want to make it crystal clear am not casting shade upon those awesome and legit authors who use Kindle Unlimited or who write for an Amazon imprint, many of whom are my friends. However, something’s gotta give within a system that not only allows people like CopyPasteCris to thrive, but to exist in its eco-system in the first place.

  98. I just want to say thank you. You have responded with such class. Thank you for seeing Indie authors (those of us who do write our own content) as legitimate. By doing so, you’ve bolstered so many.
    I sit here at my desk and I pour out my heart about 60 hours a week, just trying to compete with these mills. I have to be writing a book while editing another so that I can publish as often as I can. My books have inherently gotten shorter so that I can remain on the ever-shifting radar. Thank you for taking your time (which is precious) to keep digging and see what is really going on. So many would’ve just turned it over to a lawyer, flinched, and then tried to separate from it. We stand behind you because you didn’t flinch and turn away. Thank you.

  99. As an author that works her ass off and barely scrapes by at times, I just want to say thank you. You are my hero. And knowing that you are going to fight against this BS that we smaller authors have no real power to battle gives me hope that there may be a better future ahead for real writers who love this industry and the craft.

  100. Nora, keep fighting! The only way to halt this thievery is to make it widely known and make a big stink about it!
    Whether it’s Amazon or some other self-publishing company, they have to be called on the carpet for letting this happen.

    Be aware of the “in Death” books also. Yours are the only if this genre I read, but I’m sure there must be other authors. Make sure they’re not stealing from you!

  101. Sigh. Thank you. That’s all I can think of to say right now. Thank you. I’ve been grinding for years trying to get through the endless noise of the garbage you’ve just described and it’s frustrating, enraging, and discouraging. We all need to stick together in this and exterminate the roaches.

  102. Amazon has improved some, but not nearly enough, to end the scammy practices.
    Last year, while I was actively researching and reporting book-stuffers to Amazon (who didn’t listen, for months), I stumbled upon what I thought was plagiarizing. Further research showed 2 “publishing” companies, with 30 or so “authors” under them, all publishing on Amazon. I found 1 book that was copied 8 times, under the different pen names. Sometimes, there was a name change–the rest was identical.
    Some were taken down, but it took months. I named and shamed, posted on a blog, didn’t matter.
    One pen name remained. I gave up. Checked on it last week–gone! Finally. From hundreds of books, to zero. I was elated.
    Amazon should have caught this scam.

  103. Right on! Just this morning I received a Google alert, telling me about another pirate website that’s selling my books. The name of the website was Flipkart. I immediately sent them a “cease and desist” notification, but I know that’s a waste of time. It’s so disheartening. Thank you for outing this scum.

  104. This lot does not know what is real work. Thanks to our liberal society, hardworking people are being sidelined by these goons.
    I see it every day. It starts at school. Only now it is not called cheating it is called exploring other possibilities with less effort. Why work hard if you can find another way to reach the same result.
    This trend as Nora described is not just in the book writing field.
    Lately, wherever I look I see incompetent people and lack of common sense everywhere. For one reason or other, the society is okay with it. NO consequence, NO punishment.
    Let’s hope the tables will turn.

    1. As a proud left leaning Democrat who writes her own books, I take offense to your use of the phrase “thanks to our liberal society.” This has nothing to do with liberal or conservative. This has to do with people who are creatives vs. people who have no interest in the content, just in dollar signs.

  105. Nora I have 1 thing to say to your articles, well actually 2 things. Number1 go get them and number 2 if it has Nora Roberts or jd robb I will and forever read your books. You do you keep up the great work

  106. Go, Nora! Thank you for your justifiable anger, your intent to get justice both for yourself and for all the other real writers who do the work. And thank you again for the books. The books made of those carefully chosen words, thoughtfully used phrases and finely crafted sentences. Every one of them dreamed and written by you and only you.

  107. You have just said everything I’ve been thinking. I’ve bought some of those books in the past that are scribbled and tossed on Amazon with little regard as to whether they’re their own work or good. They really aren’t good. They also have a pattern to them I’ve noticed. Same sort of stories, different names. Slight variations of the situations, but otherwise, a bunch of generic rubbish offered up and when these dishonest people can hire ghost writing teams and churn out books by the dozen, the average true author can’t compete. The public doesn’t even realize they’re being cheated either because the flood of these sub par books becomes the norm. The genuine, well written books get lost amidst the rubbish. Amazon is definitely a flawed system and although they did catch on to some of the cheats a while ago, I too have heard how these people simply rebirth and rename, and go out and do it all again. These are people on incomes I’ve heard of $10,000 a month to a quarter of a million a month. How can anyone possibly compete with that? These people doing this are laughing all the way to the bank. They will not want to give up that kind of income and will do whatever they have to, to keep making that kind of money I imagine. They probably deem themselves untouchable because they take advantage of Amazon’s flaws over and over again. The problem is, these people are slowly but surely destroying the literary world. It’s becoming all about quantity not quality. I’ve heard of the social media groups that groom others to cheat the system. People who clearly have no morals at all. I don’t know how anyone will ever be able to stop them. They seem to be one step ahead all the time. But then, they have the money and resources to do so I guess. It makes me sad. It makes me angry that this is what it’s become. That this is what some are prepared to do, regardless of who they hurt in the process. All motivated by their insatiable greed.

  108. Readers are not to blame for daring to buy books at 99¢ It’s classist of you to blame people for buying cheap books. I agree they should never harass authors (of which I am one) to hurry up and write more, etc. but not everyone has your fortune, sometimes the 99¢ are all they can afford, and given how many books romance readers especially buy per year, I don’t think it’s appropriate to get mad they enjoy buying a whole bunch of 99¢ reads. Don’t blame readers for being gamed, that’s grade A shitty. They don’t set the prices, they can’t be expected to do a thorough background check of every author they come across. The problem is the scammers for scamming, and Amazon for doing nothing. Not the readers.

    1. My blog,my opinion. I didn’t blame readers, I told them what I felt, and why I felt buyingg books BECAUSE they’re cheap contributes to the problem.

      I never asked a reader to do a background check.

      My fortune, as you put it, has nothing to do with it. And bringing it up only makes you sound petty, particularly since I’m spending considerable time I could be writing my book on this issue, and I’m willing put some of that ‘fortune’ into fighting to fix this clusterfuck for writers who are being marginalized and ripped off.

      Want a free book, want lots of books for little money? Libraries are amazing institutions.

      Yes, the scammers and the system are the problem, but readers who come to expect free and cheap books, who expect writers to pump them out at ridiculous speed help feed the problem.

      I’m constantly hounded by some readers why demanding I make my books cheaper, or asking me—pretty sharply—to post free stories on my website. Because, hey, I don’t need the money, and they read my books so they’re entitled.

      They’re not.

      But I’m entitled to address that.

      1. Let’s add this, Megan, since you chose to go on Twitter and complain about me. I’m not on Twitter, but I hear things. You state that indies have been complaining about these practices for years, but I didn’t choose to get involved until I was personally affected.

        I’m not an indie author. I don’t self-pub. I haven’t been to a conference in several years. I don’t buy books on Amazon as my husband owns a bookstore. I don’t do Twitter, don’t live or work in the world where this was common knowledge. Therefore I knew nothing about any of this until I was personally affected.

        In the past few days I’ve done what I can to educate myself on the serious issues surrounding all of this. I’ve written two blogs, spoken out, made calls. Spent a lot of my time, and have taken a pretty hard and public stand.

        What I could do is simply handle the plagiarism that violated me, and forget the rest. That would be really simple and straight-forward. I’ve chosen to do more, because what I’ve learned outrages me for every indie author who’s struggling through this ridiculous system, who’s dealing with the scammers, who has lost income, and in some cases a career.

        And you choose to take a Twitter swipe at me for doing nothing before when I knew nothing before.

        You really are petty.

        1. Thank you for everything you do. Your books are wonderful, and NO ONE has the right to steal your work, nor the work of any of the other great authors out there. I am a diverse and avid reader for over 60 years. In all that time, I have only come across one book that I was absolutely positive parts of which had been plagiarized from someone else. Unfortunately, I was never able to figure out who the cheated author was. Had I been able to, I would have reported it. Were I a writer, I would feel violated by the theft of my work. My heart goes out to all of you fabulous authors.

      2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you, for saying it like it is, for calling out those who are stealing from others, and for your determination to change things. I’m an indy author with no clout and no resources to make a difference with Amazon or these thieves, but I’ll do everything I can to support any efforts you get rolling! Thank you!!!!

    2. Thank you for this because I was thinking the same thing! I don’t read so much in this genre but I do buy 99 cent books- usually I learn of them from a legit indi-authors page when they put them on sale. I also use KU. If I came across some thing that was plagiarism, I’d report it in a minute. For those that would recommend the library, mine does not carry many of the dark erotic books that I like so it’s not an option for a lot of what I read. I do get many mainstream books from there though.

  109. I’m part of a group of REAL historical romance authors who are, like everyone else, struggling for visibility in this market. We’re currently compiling a list of authors and books we’re pretty sure are gaming the system, using careful checks and systems we’ve devised, and when we’re done, we plan to put all our names to it, send it to RWA, Amazon and other industry bodies.

    If you would be interested in putting your name to this list and/or using your reach to advise readers of the names we gather, I’d appreciate it if you’d allow me to get in touch.

  110. I recently reviewed a book that plagiarized word by word an English language satire book written by a long deceased Indian author. The original work is open access because of their age and the plagiarist only westernized a few names and left the rest untouched. It became obvious to me someting wasn’t adding up. The book sounded like something written by a non natuve English language speaker which didn’t make sense because the author was born and raised in the USA.

    It didn’t take long for someone to copy and paste lines of the book and to write a scathing review on Amazon due to cleverly stealing open domain work. I gave the book 1 star and while Amazon took it offline, my bad review is still on goodreads.

    If you as a reader find something suspicious, say it out loud! It isn’t fair to affected authors and consumers to be paying money for a bad product.

    I would never stoop to those levels and luckily my readers are familiar with my writing voice to know if something sounds off. Cheers and keep fighting.

  111. As an historical romance author I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am that we may have some industry clout behind us going forward. I’ve been reporting book stuffers for years without any success. It’s so time to get rid of the bastards along with pirating pricks who think they can get away with this shit. Thank you!

  112. Thank you for bringing this to our attention – I guess I have had my head in the sand. I love to read your books and will continue to do that.
    I do have to say that I love to get “1st in a series” books that are “advertised” on BookBub and then I buy the rest on Amazon if I like the first one. I want to read new authors and give them a chance. What I would like to know is… where can we find out the names of those that are known to plagiarize? I don’t want to buy books from them but I don’t know who they are.

  113. Sorry I’m confused. If I buy a book from amazon or kindle it can be a plagiarized book? Is it just cheap books or is there a certain way to know it’s a bad book? How do I know if it’s legitimate? How can a big retailer like amazon-kindle be doing this? Is Barnes and Noble bad too?

    1. It’s not just cheap books as plenty of honest self-pubs are forced to sell cheap to have any chance to compete with those who scam and cheat.

      And unfortunately because this culture has caused a lot of readers to expect or demand cheap books. And freebies.

      I can’t tell you how to know a book’s a product of scamming or plagiarizing before you buy it. I wish I could.

      1. Nora, I couldn’t agree more.
        The publishing world has changed so very much in the past decade, and it’s all Amazon’s fault. In some ways, Amazon has been both a godsend and a nightmare.

        You’re absolutely right about the black hats and the click farms. They exist, and they both devalue and put at great risk all of the work that writers like you, and new writers like me, have accomplished.

        Worse, some of these black hats employ tactics that go directly after the ratings and sales of authors like us. They will post one-star, scathing reviews on books written by authors they consider their competition. I’ve heard they even hire click farms to target their competition in the hope that Amazon will find out and block that successful author from Kindle altogether.

        Regarding Kindle….

        Like Gwen and Melissa and Linda, I am an indy author. Unlike them, I was approached by a NYT Bestselling author and asked to write with him.

        I consider myself unaccountably lucky. Instead of being a ghost writer, such as the ones employed by James Patterson, et al, this writer offered me equal billing.

        There was a catch, however.
        The publishing house that produces his books is small, certainly not one of the Agency Five. Therefore, Amazon refuses to extend to it the one-year preorder deal it offers to the large agencies.

        So, in order to build a following, and to maintain the very small foothold he has as a NYT Bestseller — but popular and growing new author — he absolutely must meet Amazon’s brutal 90-day preorder limitation.

        This is beyond ridiculous.
        I know, because I have worked myself ragged for the past year and a half to meet those crazy deadlines, writing thousands of words a day—my own words, no one else’s and most certainly not plagiarized!

        I awaken each morning knowing …*knowing*… that I could do better if Amazon just allowed us a bit more time! But I also know that my very livelihood depends upon not losing those readers at the end of the book who are willing to click that “Buy Now” button at the end of a satisfying read.

        Because my name is not as recognizable as yours, I daren’t risk that reader closing my book…and forgetting my name after a few months.

        My books are in Kindle Unlimited as well, and I cringed when I saw some of your readers vowing to cancel their subscriptions to KU, thinking they were supporting black hats, because I fear that’s a bit misleading.

        KU — Amazon/Kindle in general — is a necessary evil. We are slowly pulling out of KU, not because of black hats, or because there is anything inherently wrong with authors in KU, but because of the incredible power you forfeit to Amazon in so doing.

        They can ban an author at any time and for whatever reason they choose, without disclosing why. This is far too frightening a prospect for someone just starting out and without the protection/clout of a large publishing house behind them. And so, we have an exit plan.

        But I would like for those reading this blog post to know that the authors in KU are not all evil. In fact, one has merely to browse through the KU catalog to find titles written by noteworthy and well-respected authors, represented by mainstream publishers.

        And little guys (well, okay, technically, I’m a gal) like me.

        Keep fighting the good fight – I’m right in there with you! Death to all black hats and click farms!

        Respectfully,
        Lisa Richman, science fiction author

        1. Oh blarg….
          That did NOT come out as I’d intended!

          Please know it wasn’t my intention to disrespect either ghostwriters … or your success.

          The GW I know, such as Shiloh and Sheila, work their asses off. And, although I don’t know you personally, friends of mine who do tell me that you, Nora, do the same.
          Without a doubt, your success was hard-earned and very well deserved.

          Can you imagine the hourly wage the average author makes, if she were to add up the number of hours it took, from concept to completion, per book? *cue shudder*

          The above was just me venting about the 90-day preorder and raising my hand about KU.
          Both are examples of things that are broken that Amazon needs to fix, IMHO.

      2. Maybe I can help a little here about why authors — and I’m only speaking now about longtime authors who have regained control of their often extensive back lists–do ‘forever free’ on a book or two, and 99 cent limited, introductory prices for Bookbub and other ads.

        I wrote (to my mind anyway…) some pretty enjoyable ‘traditional Regencies’ back in the day before anyone thought about turning those ‘little books’ into ‘open the bedroom door’ Regency historicals (I’ve written lots of those, too). I love those “Alphabet Ladies” books, they were my first ‘babies,’ and when I got the rights back, I put them up online with great joy.

        I offer one of them free, and have for years.–and it has taken all those years to garner the over 400 reader reviews; they don’t magically appear overnight a week after the publication date. But the rest of the twelve of them? No, they are not free. If you like the first one, the hope is you’ll want to buy more. So far, that’s turned out pretty well–readers who weren’t born when I wrote those books are now reading those books.

        I’ve done the same thing for one of my ‘got the rights back’ contemporary romances. It’s free, it always will be free…but if you want to read its ‘companion book’ once you’re done, or any of my other reissued contemporaries, yeah, you’re going to pay for them.

        For my comedy/mystery series from a lot of years ago. I offer the first at a low introductory price — but if you like it, want to read more, the other five are definitely priced higher.

        In other words, that free book, or that 99 cent ‘sale’ book is my ‘loss leader,’ the sale item that gets you into the ‘store’ in the hope you’ll like it there and purchase other items . Hey, it works for Wal-Mart…

        In other words, I write for love, yes — but I also like to eat!

        So, no, I wouldn’t stop clicking on ‘free’ books, or ’99 cent books’ seen on Bookbub and other advertising spots.

        What I would do once I’d clicked on the sale page, if I didn’t recognize the author’s name, is check out the author’s website before you buy. See what else he/she has got out there. Read the author’s bio (I know, people fudge those, too, but 99% don’t).

        Click on ‘look inside’ above the cover shot, and read a couple pages–just like we all used to sneakily do in bookstores. That can go a long way in deciding if you want to read the book, even if it’s ‘free for nothing.’ Your reading time is valuable, often only a few hopefully enjoyable minutes carved out of a busy life.

        That info on the sales pages can be a clue. Pub date, how many pages, publisher, etc. If the ‘author’ puts out a 90 page ‘book’ a month, and has for a year? I’d wonder about that.

        There are a lot of books out there, a lot of authors, some whose names you don’t recognize. That doesn’t mean those are bad books or illegitimate authors. It means that being one in maybe ten million calls for some advertising — and I consider those ‘loss leaders’ as my best advertisement: Here’s a sample of my work, hope you like it.

        As I said, there are many authors who have regained control of their rights to books they originally wrote a lot of years ago (one nice thing with historicals–you don’t have to rewrite to put in cell phones and such…).

        Don’t panic. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. But do be an educated consumer.

        Kasey Michaels

    2. Kristina, MANY of the books on Amazon are fine.

      The … *problem children* are ones who release books week after week after week, month after month, endlessly.

      Writers can’t do that, logically. The ‘authors’ behind those books are actually author mills who hire cheap freelancers looking to make $$ & these author mills pay the freelancers what amounts to a couple of hundred or less for a book that will make them thousands upon thousands, then they often RESELL those books to other scammers or just repackage under another name.

      These ‘authors’ have no real internet presence, pop up out of nowhere, etc.

      Downloading the free preview can show poor writing & often crappy formatting…which can be reported.

      I’m probably going to do a post on this mess because I’ve seen all sides and have watched this mess build, even reported scammers to no avail.

  114. As an Indie author with books made practically invisible by these scammers, I regret your being a victim of their greed, and I applaud your outrage and vow to do what you can to level the field for other honest … and genuine … authors. Thank you!

  115. Bravo Nora! Well said. Bless you, for standing up for yourself and fellow authors who might be able to take that stand.

  116. Hi. My name is Gwen Hayes. I’m a hybrid author, have been in and out of KU, and teach romance writing.

    I’m also a huge Nora Roberts Fangirl.
    Like, I made a checklist in my planner for every single book because it’s a thing on my bucket list to read them all. I put a copy of Born In Ice in our emergency earthquake rations box because I know I’ll need a comfort read if we ever need that box.

    I am also a paying member of Dirty Discourse forum and while I have learned a lot there, none of it was how to be a scammer. It’s a legit writing community that I am proud to be a part of. I don’t want a whole community of writers to be lumped in with plagiarizers and click-farms. I think people who know me in this industry are aware that I would not condone that kind of thing or hang out where it is condoned.

    1. I took a quick look at the site and the terms and conditions, and the one thing that gave me pause is their strict rule that you get banned if you report someone’s book. So, if you discover a book is plagairised and you report it, or you report a book for another, totally legitimate reason, you’re banned? Hardly sounds fair, and gives the whole thing a dark cloud over it.

      1. Hi Regina,
        I’m not a mod there or anything, so I don’t want to try to distill the rules, but I feel the spirit of the rule is more about going around and reporting other author’s books for things like miscategorizing etc. (which often is not the author’s fault.) The attitude is to stay in your lane.

        The number one banning offense is plagiarism. If anyone is found to be plagiarizing, they are banned permanently. If I knew someone in the group was a plagiarist, I would contact a moderator for sure.

        It’s not a group for everyone. But it’s not a cabal of scammers, either, I guess is what I am trying to say. I don’t even know if they are open to new members right now.

    2. Not all authors on Dirty Discourse are scammers but there’s no denying scammer culture is condoned there by the owners. The pen names Amazon terminated last summer for fraud were all defended as innocent victims there. This after they were proven KU abusers, clickfarmers and copyright thieves. Many of these “authors” stole images from innocent photographers and let them run as Facebook ads. There was no apology, no fessing up, they blamed an ad manager for it the same way Cris blamed her ghostwriters.

      Many legitimate KU authors have left Dirty Discourse over the past year for censorship. They are silenced, warned and banned from the forum when they try to call out bad behavior in the subtlest ways.

      The owner of Dirty Discourse, Raminar Dixon, profits off the scammers too. He tried selling them mass produced ghostwritten books proofread for typos but it never got off the ground because his future clients were banned just as he was starting up. The scammers were his biggest clients for the promo stack service he advertises on Kboards. The service itself isn’t shady but Raminar made the most money on it with ghostwriting mills from DD booking his service with a new book every two weeks.

      This is why DD is pro-scammer. The owners will bury any criticism of people blatantly breaking KDP rules and then call them victims when Amazon finally acts against them. That’s due to DD ownership being financially compromised.

      The sad part? The scammers Amazon banned are back under new KDP accounts and new names rushing the romance charts. Piles of new low quality books reaching high ranks appear every week in KU, always published by pen names with no social media presence or history before summer 2018. These books are almost all scammer titles. New authors who write their own books are being buried by these people.

      Amazon is already paying several scammers it terminated less than a year ago new KU bonuses. They could easily solve this problem by monitoring new accounts receiving millions of page reads or blocking KU access for brand new KDP accounts. Instead they do nothing. The system is broken.

      1. Ok, so like, #1, I’m not the owner of DD. However, I’m very proudly the co-admin and help moderate the place. I don’t make any money off DD or get paid by or through DD. It’s a volunteer effort — and something I’ve been doing in one way or another to help my fellow authors for the past 8 YEARS. Ask anyone who’s ever actually worked with me or asked me for advice if I’m genuine or not. I guarantee you they will give you a good report.

        Also, none what you said about my promo stacker service is true. At all. I don’t work with “scammers” and I never have. If I thought I had a client who was scamming anyone, I’d drop them as a client. My two biggest clients are a major traditional publisher and a small indie press, both of whom use me as a sort of overflow for their marketing and promotion division. Single clients/authors make up around -maybe- 50% of the orders I receive.

        And yes, I did have an idea for a book packaging type of service, something where customers could make a request for a certain kind of book, and then I’d run point and create the whole thing using some of the best talent around. Nothing about that is scammy or illegal in the slightest. Book packaging services have been around for decades. Many really great books and series have been created by book packagers in the past — like Nancy Drew, Goosebumps, and plenty of others. The service never got off the ground because I didn’t have time to mess with it and it was just an idea. I’m just too darn busy helping legitimate author promote their books! Imagine that!

        Besides, the thread I made was there to judge interest and see if the idea was viable or not. I wasn’t even offering anything. So there’s that.

        Also, I should probably mention that publishing false information about someone which could damage their reputation or business is libel. I suggest you get your facts straight next time before you write about me or my business, which AFAIK you’ve never used. Your dishonesty is not appreciated. In the future, please think about the people you could hurt when you say things that are untrue.

        1. Raminar, there’s a problem with libel once you’re a public figure.

          A lot of that could become problematic …and expensive if one were to try and threaten lawsuits, just FYI.

          First, based on this comment alone and by the fact that you appear to be an author, you’d probably have public figure status.

          Once you hit public figure status, you have to prove outright malice. And that proof of discovery is on you.

          Somebody having mistaken information and the like isn’t malice. It’s ‘mistaken’.

          Second, if you were to try and go to court to claim libel?

          There’s all sorts of things that would come out in discovery.

          If by chance you’re talking about business defamation, that can get even trickier, because certain conditions have to be met.

          1) the business has to prove the statements are absolutely false. If there are screenshots, etc that will be problematic.

          2) it has to be proven there was damage to the business, money loss, etc.

          3) publication of the false statement

          So, are false statements being made? Are people *not* selling manuscripts to be repackaged, etc? Can you prove actual malice? Is everything going on in the private forums of DD 100% legit and no scamming is going on?

          All of that will come out in discovery/trial and anybody who was threatened with a lawsuit would have a lawyer who would push for to uncover all of these things and the burden of proof would rest on those claiming libel, defamation, etc.

          Deleting stuff wouldn’t work, because nothing disappears on the internet.

          https://www.dbllawyers.com/protecting-business-defamation/

          Now, I’m not a lawyer or anything and I’m sure I glossed over a few things and probably missed a few key points and all, but the gist of it should be right. I mean, like a lot of pro authors, I know how to research.

          In other news, it’s going to get really interesting to see how many people wade in, thinking it’s smart to threaten people on a blog belonging to NR.

          1. Yes, what you say is true. Proving libel is no easy task, especially off a single blog response post.

            I’m just saying that nowadays, I see a plenty of authors getting sued by other authors over what I personally believe are sometimes frankly ridiculous or frivolous reasons. #cockygate

            So, it would be wise for a person with either ‘mistaken’ information about another author (or outright malice) to be super duper careful about what they are saying in public. It is really -really- easy to get sued for just about anything, and though I do understand how a libel case would be difficult to try in court, sometimes the whole point of someone suing someone else isn’t to win the case, it’s to inflict as much damage as possible financially & emotionally to the other person.

            And BTW that’s absolutely -not- a threat from me to anyone else, it’s just a plain and simple fact about how things are.

  117. I cancelled my Kindle Unlimited today. I was not aware what I was supporting. Now I do, and I won’t be a part of it. As a mother I can’t teach ethics and morals to my boys and then support a system that encourages plagiarism.
    Ms. Roberts, thank you for shedding light on this. Plagiarism at any level is wrong, doing it for a grade, or for money is cheating and stealing. I won’t support it, or excuse it.

  118. I agree with you regarding pricing and extreme rapid release. Such strategies are not sustainable for the average author and all it does is encourage unscrupulous companies to cheat the system. This approach also gives rise to reader expectation that writing has little value and should therefore be available at very low prices or for free. Amazon does not care – they are making a killing. The people who suffer are the authors and ultimately the readers as the market is saturated with bad books.

    David Gaughran and Suzan Tisdale in the indie space have been fighting this problem – and others – for over a year. It may be worth reaching out to them to see if they can help give you the information you need to fight this.

    Thanks for taking a stand. Little authors like me appreciate it a great deal.

    Best wishes,
    Carolyn Cherry

    1. “…the people who suffer are the authors….not sustainable….”
      Hooo yeah, you aren’t kidding!
      I’m responding to this instead of writing the words I should be writing on book 5 in my series that’s due in 5 weeks because of Amazon’s crazy 90-day preorder limitation for indy authors.
      It’s not sustainable in the long term, and it does devalue the work.
      I hadn’t heard that there were authors fighting this. KUDOS TO THEM!

      Signed,
      Exhausted in the Midwest

  119. Thank you for doing what you can to get this deplorable practice stopped. I will be buying fewer Kindle books and no Amazon hardback or paperback books. I’ll revert back to my favorite Cincinnati bookstore, Joseph Beth, or Turn the Page.

    Don’t get discouraged. This will be an uphill battle but we will do what we can to help. God Bless.

  120. I wish there was another term to use for these folks instead of “ghosts.” Ghostwriting, under contract, as work for hire, is legitimate work. What these people are doing is … not that. If someone wants you to write a book and then gives you that kind of detail, any legitimate ghostwriter should, as you point out, check to make sure it’s not plagiarized. I hate to see respectable working writers smeared by association with these thieves. I keep thinking there has to be another word, but I can’t think at the moment what it is!

  121. Thank you, Nora. I’m an indie author and a long time fan of your wonderful work. It means so much to have someone like you stand up for us. I’m eternally grateful.

  122. Kudos to you for fighting this. I’ve been reading your books Since the beginning. I read Janet Dailey once or twice but found her boring.
    This kind of thing happens everywhere. Quilting pattern designers are having their designs stolen and digitized so some offshore company can sell “blankets” for $49.95 through Facebook. And those companies pirate actual photos of quilts people like me have made from those patterns. Watermarks are removed. Latest scam is selling knock-offs of copyrighted specialty rulers—even using clips from YouTube videos made by stores to help demonstrate how those rulers are used. Then there are the people who think it’s ok to copy a pattern to “share” with someone else. That’s stealing!
    There’s very little accountability anywhere for anything. Keep fighting! We’re all with you on this.

  123. Nora, thank you so much for sharing and caring. This has been an ongoing issue that Amazon is very much aware of. I know I have spoken to their representatives on a number of occasions outlining many of the same points that you made. My writing is the only source of income for me and my family. My stories are a legacy for my children and my grandsons. It is more than about money, it is about making this world a better place one story at a time. I want readers to feel empowered and good when they finish reading one of my stories as do other authors. Those that abuse the system take away from the gift we are trying to give to society. The people—and the companies that are complacent with allowing this to happen—should all be exposed for what they are doing. Some companies have done something about it—but the one who helped create this monster has done nothing to address the issues.

    Piracy is another major issue. Authors and readers need to work together in an effort to stop people from stealing our livelihood. Nora, you may want to know there are 7 pages of your books that are available to read—online—without having to download. They have almost all of mine on there. I’ve been fighting to have them shut down. Thank you again for speaking out and standing up. Cheers

    https://1000vampirenovels.com/search?q=Nora+Roberts

  124. Nora

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping anyway you can. As an hybrid author myself it is tough but I’m a fighter and I don’t write to make money I write for the love of it. I write military romance and the genre like most of the others are riddled with the scammers. But I just wanted to say thank you for everything and I’m sorry. Just know that what you are doing is appreciated and I am honored to be your fellow author. After 23 yrs in the us army I struggled to find my place in the world but when I found the indie community and our fellow romance authors I felt like I finally knew where my home was. So thank you, thank you from my heart and thank you from all. 🙂 .

  125. Thank you.
    As an indie romance author, I feel every bit of this.
    Write faster.
    Produce more.
    Lower my price-points.
    Because to even hope for success, that’s what we are told it takes. We have to either give ourselves away or abandon our values. When I first heard of the concept of using ghosts, I had a hard time wrapping my head around it. I still do. I won’t take someone else’s work and claim it as my own. Even if I bought it and I have permission to do so because that’s a lie I won’t tell. To steal another writer’s words outright is like stealing someone’s soul. If someone did that to me, that’s exactly what it would feel like.
    I’ve been a writer nearly my whole life. I wrote my first book when I was seven. It’s like breathing to me. At times, I sincerely believe that it has kept me alive. Before I landed my first book contract, I never even allowed myself to consider that I could do something I love so much for actual money. As I made the transition from traditionally published author to indie, I knew there would be a difference in how I was looked at. That as an indie, my work might not be seen as valuable as my traditionally published counterparts. When I tell people I’m a traditionally published, award-winning thriller author (I am) people are impressed. When I tell them I write indie romance, I am asked how dirty my books are.
    It’s been a struggle and at times the pressures of this professional writer life have nearly crushed me and while I’ve enjoyed a small measure of success, every bit of it has been hard won and I live in fear that it could be taken away by an arbitrary system that seems to only protect those who know how to game it and have the lack of morals to do so.
    So, thank you, Nora, for standing up – not just for a little fish, but for yourself. Knowing you’re in the fight with us, makes all the difference.

  126. As with a few others I have read regarding wanting to stop publishing/writing, I found myself feeling that same way. I’m far from being recognized but those who do love my work. What I will do is still write and publish but it will be more so for myself and those who follow me. I don’t plan on quitting completely.
    Nora, Thanks for speaking up on this issue and I hope it helps those who have been targeted. As I mentioned, I’m not well-known so my work isn’t getting looked at for being stolen.

  127. Thank you.
    As an indie romance author, I feel every bit of this.
    Write faster.
    Produce more.
    Lower my price-points.
    Because to even hope for success, that’s what we are told it takes. We have to either give ourselves away or abandon our values. When I first heard of the concept of using ghosts, I had a hard time wrapping my head around it. I still do. I won’t take someone else’s work and claim it as my own. Even if I bought it and I have permission to do so because that’s a lie I won’t tell. To steal another writer’s words outright is like stealing someone’s soul. If someone did that to me, that’s exactly what it would feel like.
    I’ve been a writer nearly my whole life. I wrote my first book when I was seven. It’s like breathing to me. At times, I sincerely believe that it has kept me alive. Before I landed my first book contract, I never even allowed myself to consider that I could do something I love so much for actual money. As I made the transition from traditionally published author to indie, I knew there would be a difference in how I was looked at. That as an indie, my work might not be seen as valuable as my traditionally published counterparts. When I tell people I’m a traditionally published, award-winning thriller author (I am) people are impressed. When I tell them I write indie romance, I am asked how dirty my books are. It’s been a struggle and at times the pressures of this professional writer life have nearly crushed me and while I’ve enjoyed a small measure of success, every bit of it has been hard won and I live in fear that it could be taken away by an arbitrary system that seems to only protect those who know how to game it and have the lack of morals to do so.
    So, thank you, Nora, for standing up – not just for a little fish, but for yourself. Knowing you’re in the fight with us, makes all the difference.

  128. I got signed up somehow for Kindle unlimited. I tried a couple of the books but didn’t like them. Then I canceled. I had no idea some of them weren’t legit.

  129. Nora,
    I am one of the writers who slaves over every word, yet is reduced to putting my books on sale for 99 cents in order to get any notice.
    It hurts to virtually give away my blood and sweat, but the system, with all the thieves has made it impossible for someone like me to get even a toe-hold otherwise.
    Yet, every time I think about quitting and just writing for myself I get angry and dig in again.
    Thank you for your backbone, and your determination to help make the writing world a place where real writers get a shot again.
    <3

    1. Nora,
      I’m 100% behind you and all of the real writer’s of all the book I love..
      Thank you for taking into all of your books.
      Nancy

  130. Megan (who says she’s an author) should be thanking you for standing up, not showing her lack of class in her envy of what your hard work has given you and your family. Proud of you, Nora, and proud of the authors also standing with you. Kay Hooper’s posts on Facebook are helping to spread the word.

    1. Megan is the type of person who pushed me away from participating in writer/reader sites. That sort wants to take swipes, and it becomes too annoying and destructive to argue or respond—and on the forums, impossible to avoid.

      Good part for me, more time inside my cave writing.

  131. I am so glad to see you taking this on for all of us who don’t have as big of a platform. I’ve been indie publishing since 2010, and this is the toughest market in nine years because of this mess.

    I have several free books and 99 cent books at the start of my series, because it’s always been the best way to get new readers to try out an author they didn’t recognize. It’s getting harder to get people to even try a free book these days, unless it’s free in KU (which I personally want no part of).

    I think we are all trying to rethink pricing and strategy in light of the way the market is going. I don’t want people to give up on Indies, because there is a lot of talent and many good books we pour our hearts into, but people like Serruya and those teaching courses on how to steal and buy books written by others are hurting all of us.

    I can only hope readers still continue to support the authors they love and look to friends for recommendations. I hope Amazon listens and becomes more responsible on the way they run their store. But either way, I am glad you are bringing this into the light. Many of us have been losing income and suffering in frustration as we watch this happen, and it’s hard to know how to fight back when we are busy fighting to hold onto our careers.

    Thank you for being a voice for all of us.

  132. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you, for saying it like it is, for calling out those who are stealing from others, and for your determination to change things. I’m an indy author with no clout and no resources to make a difference with Amazon or these thieves, but I’ll do everything I can to support any efforts you get rolling! Thank you!!!!

  133. I am a fan since Irish Thoroughbred and am not at all surprised by your outrage and vows of retribution , go get ’em ! I hope Amazon spends a little time and money to fix this while they still have legitimate writers on their lists to sell. I wonder how a boycott would influence the publishing world ?

  134. So my question is how do we know who to stay away from? I don’t know how to know how to know who is
    Doing this. Obviously Janet Dailey but can you share names with us so we know who to stay away from?

  135. I love your books and I have everything that has been published by you in paperback i think (and a few hardbacks that I just could not wait for the paperbacks), I have a very special one that you autographed for me last year at Unbridled Eve. I don’t read books online, I love paper books.. I don’t understand people that cheat and copy. Writing books is an art, which you have.Long may you continue and the people that do this are not authors, they are thieves and need to be stopped. They deserve jail and to have their ill gained profits taken away.

  136. Thank you, Nora, for speaking out.

    The scamming that has become endemic on Amazon/KU and in indie publishing is disgraceful — and harmful to authors trying to make an honest living. It feels so overwhelming and almost impossible to unravel. It’s fucked up beyond anything I would have imagined a decade ago. Thanks, too, for pointing out the role that readers play in this by wanting everything for free. (I have an author friend who calls them “freegans.”)

    I’ve been plagiarized once here in the US. It was spotted by an alert reader. I thought I was going to have a stroke. I was so damned angry. I confronted her myself, and she took the infringing work down.

    I’m currently being plagiarized by some woman in India who takes my I-Team books, changes the names to Indian names and the settings to Indian settings, but uses the rest of the stories almost verbatim while asking for feedback from readers on “her work.” It’s enraging, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to stop her. (I might ask Berkley if they can take her on. Not sure they would care.)

    Meanwhile, there’s still a perception that every published author is a millionaire who doesn’t really need the income. So, by all means, go ahead and download their work from pirate sites.

    We need tougher piracy laws, and Amazon needs to get its shit together and stop enabling thieves and scammers to succeed. Writers talk about the “gold rush” days of indie publishing. Those days came to an end in part because of the parasites that slurp up income they didn’t truly earn.

  137. It may be worse than you think, Nora. E.g. the Amazon algorithms mean authors of a 99c book in the Kindle store can still earn a $13 payout for it if they’ve stuffed it with enough pages and paid for click farms or ‘supporters’ to click through to the end.
    I blogged about this topic in November 2018:
    https://www.atoeintheoceanofbooks.com/2018/11/amazon-is-failing-its-authors-its.html
    Also check out David Gaughran’s great posts on the subject. It’s all rather dire.

  138. Nora,

    When I decide to grow up, I want to be just like you. You are an amazingly talented bad ass!!! Your books are my happy place; what I consider heaven on earth. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve reread many of your books. They are my comfort zone. Boonsboro is a readers Disney World. I have no words to tell you how sorry and pissed off I am on your behalf and the rest of the authors. This situation is completely fucked up. Go after them and kick their asses.

    Thank you for making my world a better place with your written words.

    Amy from Ohio (Joke with the IBB staff)

  139. Ms. Roberts! We share many common readers! I cannot tell you how much it means to “authorpreneurs” like myself to have someone of your stature have pity on this bizarre playing field we find ourselves on. I’m a stay at home mom, and sometimes I get discouraged seeing the top 100 filled with known imposters that have changed their name(s) (or sometimes haven’t) and soldiered on. I think, “who is still buying this stuff? how haven’t they been caught? where did they get this cover done, it’s amazing!” It sucks, but ultimately it causes you to get better and better at catching readers’ attention, and more determined. So in that way, it’s not all bad. Clearly, Amazon is a money-making apparatus, first and foremost, which for all its pitfalls, makes for a meritocracy that traditional publishing cannot currently match IMO. And for me, the ultimate advantage is the freedom it gives you over your own vision and work. I never imagined anyone with any real clout taking any real notice with what’s going on out here, so this blog post is friggin epic!! Just knowing that we’re not, in fact crazy, that this isn’t just the nihilist nature of capitalism but that something alien, perverse and bad is happening to the online community of both books AND reader, is oddly comforting. You are my spirit animal!!

    C.L.

  140. There are plenty of self published authors who work extremely hard to put out good quality books. Don’t discount them. Even well known authors started somewhere! I’m not a fan of cheap books, but sometimes giving a free giveaway for a short of time will get your book into readers hands that have never read you before. I’m not a fan of using ghostwriters, it seems like fraud to me. I know it takes blood, sweat and tears to get words onto the page! Plagarism – I’m at a loss to understand how people can do this! It’s not right and should be stopped. And Amazon needs to do a better job of the finding scammers and liars… I love to write. I lover to read. But no-one deserves to have their work stolen!

  141. I am glad that you and the other authors who have been victimized are fighting back. I do purchase ebooks from Amazon, most from authors I’ve been reading for years. I don’t use KU as I’m buying the books and I live where we have a county wide library system and can “check out” ebooks through them. I also purchase several ebooks from Apple, not as many Nook or Kobo these days. The new-to-me or new authors I read are recommendations from friends and book club. Several of the authors I read who were once with large publishing houses are now self-publishing their books and are available on Kindle, Apple Books, Kobo and Nook. I have downloaded free ebooks that are on both Amazon and Apple and advertised as “First in Series”. I’ve also purchased the .99 or 1.99 ebooks when publishers and/or indie authors put them up for sale for a limited time. This usually occurs when a new book by the author is soon to be released. I notice with Amazon I always get an email from them after I downloaded an ebook wanting me to post a review. I don’t write reviews on Amazon and I take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. I never get this kind of follow up request from Apple after purchasing an ebook from them. I was wondering if the others…Apple, Nook and/or Kobo….have experienced the same ongoing problems with plagiarism as has Amazon?

  142. Well said, Nora.

    You really need to touch base with Suzan Tisdale. Together, the two of you would definitely sort out the shitty fake authors.

    Myself? I write all my own books and it’s bloody hard. So far, I’m very small fry, my books don’t get noticed by scammers, but then, they don’t get noticed by readers either 🙁 I’ve been writing for the best part of thirty years, but only as an actual self-published author since 2013.

    Keep doing what you do, and I will support you all I can.

    Elaine xx

  143. First, I want to commend Ms. Roberts for standing up and speaking out. For many of us, there isn’t any money or clout to get the word out about this sort of thing, which has been going on for years despite our efforts.

    Amazon knows there are bad actors in the publishing business, many of us have been reporting it for years, and to their credit they’ve finally taken some steps to control it, but we need more voices telling them to do better.

    Secondly, I want to point out that not all new authors are cheaters, not all authors in KU are writing bad books or somehow gaming the system. Yes, there are some. There have always been people who will take the “easy” road and do whatever it takes to game whatever system.

    Please give new authors a chance. We won’t rise to Ms Robert’s status without readers who will buy our books (or borrow them in whatever way). Not all of us can afford to do lots of promotions, so we depend on doing sales or free books, or using KU so more people can see our work and hopefully think we have a good enough story to try us out.

  144. David Gaughran is my hero for sticking up for the underdogs in situations like this. He has a whole section on his archives called “Bewares” His article about what happened to me (which very nearly ruined my self-publishing career before it even started) led to a phone call from Bezos office and an apology. And with all that, I still support Amazon’s efforts to crack down on these scammers. FYI here is the article he wrote: https://davidgaughran.com/2018/01/02/new-year-old-problem-innocent-author-rank-stripped-for-third-time/

  145. Nora Roberts, you are my personal hero today. THANK YOU so much for standing up for all of us who write our own books and made our names the honest way. It means more than you will ever know to have you on our side. Also, I’m so, so sorry you’re having to go through this. My work has been stolen as well (different scam but same emotional consequences) and it’s a sick, sick feeling when you get that news.

  146. I have a real problem with an Indie thing you don’t mention – permanently free books faked into the system to get readers into a series. I know any amount of readers who only try new authors if the books are free, and only a tiny percentage go on to buy – why should they? A thousand more free books out there, ALL of them indie and therefore, this is the infuriating part, automatically sub-standard, right?

    A short-term freebie promotion is one thing, faking the rules to get a book set up as free permanently is not imo the slick practice the authors proudly declare it is, instead leads to countless readers who will never pay for a book again.

    And yes I am an avid library user and read many books I wouldn’t buy but the libraries bought the books, the author did get paid, and while we don’t do it only for the money (except for the examples you quote in this eye-opening blog) neither do we do it to be passed over for the giveaway, or to be forced to throw our work out for free to fight for elbow-room in what is all too often a sea of dross.

  147. I am an avid reader and a dedicated Roberts/Robb fan. About 6 years ago my husband gifted me a Kindle, in part because he was dismayed by the volume of books I own and the space they required.

    Since then I have discovered many remarkable authors, most from their free or reduced offerings.

    Unfortunately, in some of these free, reduced, or sample downloads I have often found a sense of deja Vu, from vague to “I know I’ve read this book”. I suspected shenanigans by Amazon or the possibility of a somewhat shady author, but never really considered a crime was being committed.

    As a reader, how can I help? Where would I check to see if the familiar passage is plagerized? If it is, where and how do I report it?

    1. Teresa, I totally hear you on the space requirement for a gazillion books – I use e-books for very much that reason. Thank you for caring enough to ask how you can help. It’s wonderful and uplifting to know our readers have always got our backs. You could try googling passages that sound familiar. Or if you suspect it’s been lifted from a particular author, try doing a search in her books on your Kindle. If you do find something, contact the author you think has been plagiarised directly. Most of us have email addies for our readers, or we’re on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t alert the thief or lay yourself open to cyber bullying and intimidation. This is how Courtney Milan found out about being plagiarised; an alert reader. Thank you again.

  148. Thank you, Nora, for taking this on when I am sure it would be easier to just write.
    These scammers need to be removed from legitimate sales platforms. Unfortunately, Amazon won’t listen to smaller voices in the indie community no matter how smart or fierce they may be. I hope your voice makes a difference and then I hope they put in a system where someone of your stature is no longer needed to create a fair and level playing field. Amazon has done some incredible things. It could fix this broken system if it wanted to. The impetus isn’t there yet. I’m hoping you can help take it there.

    However, I am so sorry you and the other authors involved are going through this. It must rip out pieces of your heart to see your hard work stolen and desecrated.

  149. My son is a college English major. Starting in high school, he had to upload his papers to a website that would check them for plagiarism and then turn them in to his teachers/professors. There is no way that Amazon, with it’s bazillion dollars in profits, couldn’t require the same for self-published authors. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ” Lord Acton in 1887 could have been describing Jeff Bezos in 2019.

    1. Susan, the key phrase in your post is, “Amazon, with it’s bazillion dollars in profits.” Grinding all ebooks through a plagiarism checker, and denying an ASIN to every ebook that fails said plagiarsim check, would dig into those bazillion-dollar profits.

      Many of the hundreds of comments on this blog post are from Amazon users (readers as well as authors) who shake their heads in disbelief that Amazon has done nothing to strengthen its book setup system (BTW, I’ve read articles by authors complaining about plagiarized print books too; it’s just far easier to plagiarize an ebook).

      If a behavior doesn’t make sense, then consider the economic angle. On a 99-cent ebook, the “publisher” (company or author-publisher, legit or otherwise) gets 35 cents. AMAZON GETS THE OTHER 64 CENTS.

      Sorry for “shouting,” but this is why Amazon doesn’t act. It is not in =their= best interests to act, and unless by some miracle their business model changes or they are slapped with a big enough lawsuit, it never will be. We authors can fight and gripe and complain till we’re beyond blue, but until it becomes economically within Amazon’s best interests to correct this situation, they never will.

      This year, I’m celebrating my 20th year as a published novelist. (And, Nora, in case you’re reading all these comments, I still have the enormous get-well card you and a hundred or so other WRW members signed for me in 2003 when I had my near-fatal car accident the weekend before the Retreat that year. 🙂 I count myself blessed — on so many levels — that I may continue to write the stories that are important enough to me to want to share with readers without having to worry about making ends meet. Not every author is so fortunate, but to every one of you I say:

      Never give up. Keep writing what’s in your mind and heart and soul. The thieves and scammers will always be there, but there will only ever be one of YOU, with your unique voice and vision. The literary world will be a smaller place if you allow the thieves and scammers to snuff your will to contribute.

  150. I have been a Nora fan since the first book and have bought every one of the Nora Roberts/JD Robb books. All of your books are very well written and I have enjoyed every one of them. I applaud your fight against plagiarism. In one of your posts above you mentioned getting books from libraries. You may not be aware but more and more libraries are closing due to lack of funding spurred by decreased patronage. I am aware your time is consumed with writing and fighting plagiarism. I ask that you mention the problem of library closings to your friends who might be able to help fight to keep libraries open. Thank you for your fight to preserve good literature!

  151. Hey Nora, you’re calling out people, more importantly I feel like you think all self published are scammers, because they post a free or .99 cent book to bring in a following. How is it without being with an agent or like me, when you don’t believe in charging a ton for books you’ve written if you don’t think they are good enough. To gain a following that want to read your books and to make you smile and start believing in yourself. Not all free or .99 cent books are scams they could just be people starting out and trying to see if they can do it. It’s scary publishing a book when you don’t have a team behind you.

    1. Please cite where I said all self-pubbed are scammers for putting up a free or 99 cent book.

      Please cite where I said ALL free or 99 cent books are scams.

      Yeah, it’s scary writing and selling a book, too, without a team behind you. I started just that way. Pretty much like everyone.

      I had a whole file of rejections slips because publishers didn’t think my work was good enough. I went back into the work, and tried hard to learn and hone my craft.

      Do people like you think I just popped out as a best-selling author? Never struggled, never paid my dues, never shed tears?

  152. I just don’t understand how people think it’s ok to do things like this… thank you for calling all of this out. (But sorry – graphically, this is extremely difficult to read – dark gray text on a dark blue background, going the entire width of the screen makes for reader fatigue very quickly.)

  153. Well, WTF?

    I cannot imagine what it would be like to have someone coats on my talent…but, I can imagine how enraged I would become!

    This just sucks!

  154. WTF? Has the whole world gone insane?

    Cannot imagine how enraging it would be to discover someone is coasting along using my work,my creativity, my imagination!

  155. I really hate coming across a line or scene that I think I have read before in another book. I tend to stick to the same authors, because I feel that I get a quality book, and something very unique. This plagarism business really irritiates me to no end. Years ago I worked for a printer, a very large printer. When I would go to the supermarket I would see women and men standing in line reading some publication or another. This would always get my hackles up, because when they finally got the cashier they put the publication back in the rack. This too, is stealing. If someone has worked hard to put together an article, book, or anything else, no one…. NO ONE has the right to take credit for that work, or steal from that individual. These people need to be punished and punished severely. Enough said… this is a really large issue in my mind.

  156. You magnificent woman, you. Whatever a beautiful rart. I agree wholeheartedly with your point of view. I only buy books for Kindle nowadays, as my book cases are fuld to overflowing. But I mostly buy from authors I know and if I get a book from a new author I tend to readet a bit and judge for myself if it is a real effort or thievery. I adore your books and read all the time.

  157. From and indie who works her ASS off to produce quality content, I thank you. For the first four years, I paid to be an author. I consistently spend money on content editors, copy editors, and thankfully have an aunt who is a professional proofreader. I spend money on covers and have learned how to format so I didn’t have to pay for that too. Let’s not even get into the marketing costs ($, time, massive energy). Only this year am I a tiny bit in the black. And I mean barely a separation of the thumb and index finger. And that is because I began writing romance. To hear you say all this makes my heart happy. Someone with massive pull needed to do it. Thank for you saying it the way you did. You targeted the criminals alone. There are some trad authors who routinely badmouth indies, and those of us who keep our polishing cloths on high alert are looped right in. For an indie to buck Amazon means your account might get pulled. I’ve lost valid reviews over arguing with them. If I could afford it, I would take all my books wide. But I need KU right now. Even though the scammers keep lowering the payout per page read. ~ A long time fan.

  158. No doubt, these plagiarists are a real problem. But it’s also worth considering how these scammers are the logical outgrowth of KU itself, which also deserves the label of scam.

    The long term harm caused by plagiarists pales in comparison to how KU is harming the long term opportunity for all authors, whether they participate in KU or not. KU is designed to strip authors of their distribution, pricing control and earnings power while making the author more dependent upon Amazon. KU devalues books by encouraging readers to read books for free as part of their KU subscription rather than purchasing a single copy. Under KU, the author’s list price is irrelevant to their compensation – Amazon decides what the author should be paid.

    KU artificially elevates the visibility of books that are exclusive to Amazon, and suppresses the visibility of books that are not. In other words, Amazon’s algorithms are tuned to benefit books for reasons that have little to do with book quality, reader experience or sales. It makes a fair and level playing field impossible. Enter the scammers, who at low cost and low risk have learned how to turn Amazon’s gamed algorithms against Amazon, and against their fellow authors.

    It’s no wonder KU attracts and nurtures such a cesspool of scammers and gamers.

  159. For readers wanting to make sure they aren’t aiding scammers: pretty much ALL of the issues are at Amazon. The other ebook retailers (Apple, Google Play, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords) don’t have the same kind of incentives to reward book stuffing, stealing, etc.

    I highly recommend you give one of those retailers a try. Kobo often has wonderful sales on ebooks, as does Apple. Google Play almost always discounts titles, and ebooks on Smashwords can be purchased almost anywhere in the world.

  160. Gosh, this I did not know. I buy non-fiction and have been taken by lazy writers or mash-ups. I did not know that it was an industry with only money making involved. Thanks for the writing.

  161. Thank you so much for speaking out and standing up for the craft. Those of us who struggle every day to produce quality work, at the rate of one book every 6-12 months for the pittance we make in the face of Amazon’s practices thank you.

  162. Did not realise that this was happening so am so grateful you brought it to attention. I buy my Kindle books off Amazon.co.uk and am always willing to pay the full price. After all this book will always be with me. I do not have room for the all the paperbacks otherwise I would buy them.
    We need more protection for the hardworking writers, like you Nora, and I hope that you remember that your fans and supporters are with you 110%

  163. Nora, I love your books and I agree with most of what you say here. But I wish you wouldn’t take your anger and frustration out on the readers. We are the only reason true writers can make a living from their craft and I think we deserve better than to be painted with the brush you used. I don’t know about other readers, but I for one have no way of knowing which 99cent books are from legitimately talented authors and which are these frankenbooks. Most of the 99cent or kindle unlimited books I’ve found ARE junk and it becomes quickly clear they were farmed out frankenbooks. But it’s also how I’ve found talented authors like Elizabeth Hunter and Amy Harmon and Courtney Milan. If I had avoided all 99ce t books and amazon unlimited altogether, I would get to enjoy these authors. I wouldn’t even know they existed. It’s not the readers fault that there are issues with amazons platform. The platform that is being taken advantage of is the same one that is giving talented self published authors a way of being published. If I didn’t give my custom to these authors or if I boycotted anything self published on amazon, how would I have found self published authors that ARE actual talented authors. How are we the readers supposed to know the difference? Are we supposed to miss out on finding amazing authors like Courtney Milan just so we can play it safe to make sure we don’t accidentalky purchase a frankenbook? It’s not fair to blame the readers. The ones at fault here are the thieves, liars, and pretend-authors. For sure amazon needs to change the platform to make it less problematic, but the Blane should fall on those responsible and not on the readers who have no way of knowing, until after purchasing and reading the book, whether it was a frankenbook or an actual labor of love from a talent red self published author. As an acid reader who only reads on my kindle, I can assure you that while I don’t seek out KU or 99 cent books on purpose, nor can I commit to boycotting them. I won’t risk missing stumbling across the next talented legitimate self published author who puts their work on KU.

    1. As Nora said in the next post, she understands readers being hesitant to try a new author at full price — just the way she’s recommended try her books by borrowing from the library or finding at a used bookstore. It’s the reader who ONLY purchases 99 cent books or demands free book she took issue with.

      Laura

    2. Well said. because there are some very talented and upcoming Indie authors who write gem novels that incorporate extremely well researched aspects into their Historical Romance portfolios. I’m an avid reader as well as having had fifty years all told within the publishing industry as author and book reviewer for a Sunday News Rag.

  164. Thank you.

    Thank you for recognizing that many of us who self publish write our own words, pour our blood onto our pages, and have passion and talent and work hard.

    Yet, we are crushed under the weight of the scammers.
    Thank you for reminding people that we are legitimate. Our work is worth paying for. We are authors not scammers.

    Thank you for standing up for us and for all true writers.

  165. As a hybrid author (first self published and now also trad pubbed), I wish to say thank you for wading into this quagmire. I’m so sorry that once again you’re a victim of plagiarism and that other authors have also been victimized by Serruya and other scammers like her.

    Thieves such as these take pride in their dishonesty and consider themselves wolves among sheep, patting themselves on the back each time they can get one over on an author or a reader. With Amazon’s disinterest and poorly structured KU model which penalizes honest authors and rewards dishonest scammers, it just makes it easier for them to continue with a protocol that is both easy and lucrative for them and destructive for everyone else.

    Thank you for taking up the sword to fight the good fight and being a voice of advocacy for those of us whose voices aren’t as powerful. We appreciate your time and your concern.

  166. Thank you for speaking out, Nora. I’ve seen quite a few Indies authors do shady things. It’s sad and disgraceful when other Indie authors see it too and remain silent because they believe that “the Indie world is small that they must support each other”. Yep, two Indie authors actually said that. Anyhow, I just read a book named, The Kiss Thief and it is a straight up copy cat of Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught. No surprise, the “author” is a KU author. In a reading group, other readers have say this “author” other books are copycats of Asian (Taiwanese and Korean) dramas too. Very disappointing, sad and shameful that she has to steal other people work.

    1. Amber,
      I use the free book to see if I like the author’s work . When I do then I purchase the series in its entirety. As I have done wth your series The Queen Alpha Series! Once I know that I love the author’s style of writing, I sign up to be made aware of next title out. So many beginning authors are trying to make a name for themselves by using soft porn as a tool …which I detest and delete as soon as I find that’s what they are about. The sad part is some of them had a plot that could stand on its own.
      My husband hates electronic books. So I purchase his books as
      first hard copies as soon as C.J Box, Joseph Heywood,
      William Kent Krueger come out with a new book…I pay full
      price!!
      I have Always paid full price , as a hard working artistsan I understand the plight of all artist …whether with beads, paint or words!
      I read so fast that we found ourselves having to purchase more bookshelves…this was not a reasonable solution. I gave my books all away, so Marv’s library had room to grow.
      Then my husband bought me a Nook. I thought I died and was in heaven. My books are in the cloud, which I pay monthly to keep my library. Problem Solved. Ebooks I love because I am not
      limited by space. Judy the Hungry Bookworm

  167. Also, I think we’re well beyond the time for readers to call for a boycott of Kindle Unlimited. The only way Amazon is going to change is if they’re hit in their pocketbook. So cancel your Unlimited subscription. Tell Amazon you won’t be a part of their corrupt system.

  168. Does this kind of plagiarism possibly violate some of the EU’s recently enacted privacy laws?—–European regulators are fining giant US tech companies in the billions for violations— that surely gets their attention when it comes to instituting tougher standards.

  169. Thank you. Both for speaking up on this and, more importantly, for taking action on it. I’ve worked for many years to try to see my dreams of having a novel published come true, I know the pain of trying so hard to get the story to come across on the page the way that I see it in my mind. To think that someone might steal that hard work and use it for their own gain is… sickening. I’ll do whatever I am able to to support this fight against plagiarists.

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