As The Scheme Turns

I’ve just finished reading Nora Robert’s blog post Whisky Tango Foxtrot.

I’ve learned a few things over the past few days. Things that make me shake my head. Things that make me want to throw things and scream. It’s enough to make a grown woman want to drink.

Yesterday morning someone brought to my attention another ‘scheme’ the scammers are pulling. And they’ve been pulling it for quite some time. For years in fact. Here is how it works:

Author A has had a ghostwriter write Book A. Author A has published it, made a few bucks off of it, but now the book isn’t making him any money. So he then offers that book for sale within a private group of fellow scammers. For anywhere from $50 to $1,000. Sometimes they auction these previously published works off to the highest bidder.

Author B buys the book, changes the title, the cover, and the pronouns. She might take this book that was originally, let’s say a Navy Seal book, and turns it into a MM romance. Then Author B publishes it into the KU program.

Real writers don’t do this.

Author B didn’t write on word of this ‘new’ book. Not one word. All she did was change the title, the pronouns, and the cover. And chances are, she had her ghostwriter or a VA do those changes for her.

And what do her friends in this secret group do? They send out newsletters to all the readers on their newsletter subscriber list. “My friend, author B, has just released a new book! Go download your copy today!” Or her friends will write some pretty awesome, “OMG! I loved this book!” reviews.

This is a scam. These are people (I cannot and will never call them authors) who are nothing more than scam publishers. They hire ghostwriters for next to nothing, slap the book into KU, and using either click farms or unsuspecting readers, they game the system. They’ve taught their readers to flip to the end of the book so they can be sure to get paid. They publish anywhere from 2 to 10 books a month under one pen name.

I will NEVER call these people authors.

For the scammers, it in not, nor has it ever been, about the writing. It’s all about the money. It is ONLY about the money.

This scheme of buying another publisher’s (still can’t call them authors) work, repackaging them and selling them is beyond deplorable. What is worse is the fact that these people don’t see the harm in it.

This is from Nora’s blog:

In reply to Nora Roberts.
The link you posted above is suggesting that authors cannot sell their intellectual property (their books) to other authors and publishers. It’s literally calling someone a “scammer” for selling the rights to some books they wrote.
How on Earth is that a scam?
By that measure, every single traditional publisher that has ever bought rights to a book (and subsequently published that title with their own cover and marketing spin) would be a “scammer”.
That’s silly.
Do you genuinely think it’s a scam for someone to sell the publishing rights/copyright for their original work to another person? If that person then packages and sells that book to the masses, is that a scam?
I’m genuinely open to talk if you want to have a quick dialogue about this stuff. That link you posted is just an honest author trying to sell the books THEY wrote, and some random silliness besides.

From Nora Roberts Blog

I would sincerely love to talk to this person about this very topic. Your argument is ridiculous. You’re trying to equate traditional publishing with the bullshit you’re pulling. You’re NOT publishing original works. You’re selling ghostwritten work. You’re selling previously published works. Works written by a ghostwriter. Works you are ‘repackaging.’

Traditional publishers don’t do this.

Real writers don’t do this.

If these were stories YOU had written but had never published, then I’d probably not have a problem with it. However, that is NOT what is happening here. Yes, I genuinely think this is a scam. You are a scammer. You are a liar and a cheat. I have no problem with calling you that. And if you would ‘genuinely’ like to talk about it, please, feel free to reach out to me. You know where to find me. I don’t hide under an avatar or pen name.

I’m Suzan Tisdale. I write every word of every sentence of every paragraph of every chapter of every one of my books. I don’t hire ghostwriters to ‘clean it up’. I will gladly put any of my books up against one of your books any day of the week.

We know who you are.