I Don’t Want This to Happen to Anybody Else

 

If any of my blog readers also follow me on Facebook, you have probably heard the story. If not, here is what I posted on Facebook:

Last Sunday I said I had to unpublish my book for a bit. I didn’t explain why at the time, but I will now. 
First, the book will be available for purchase again in the next couple of days. Whenever Amazon finishes their process.
Let me preface this by saying that I purchased my book cover from a guy on fiverr. I didn’t have anything in mind when he asked. I told him what the book was about and he sent me an image and asked if I liked it. It was a great image and felt it represented my book fairly well. I told him I like it and he finished out the rest of the book cover.
Maybe I was too trusting to pick somebody on fiverr and not go through a company that only does book covers, or go through an individual that I could research, what have you. I’m sure there are some people out there that would say what happened was all my fault and I shouldn’t have gone the cost-efficient route. I did what I could afford, and the cover cost me $22. I’m sure there are lots of other people out there that have used fiverr for book covers, or who have thought about it. People shouldn’t have to worry about this kind of thing. People that sell things on fiverr should be honest people.
Anyway, fast forward two months. A woman contacts me and tells me that I have to unpublish my book that the cover image is stolen. I even got an email with a cease and desist letter. It scared the crap out of me. I immediately contacted the fiverr guy that made the image. He claimed it was a free image, but he couldn’t provide me with a source image. I wasn’t taking any chances. I would never want to make money off of somebody else’s work, so I unpublished my book, temporarily took down my website and everything until I could go through and get rid of all the uses of the image. The fiverr guy even offered to make me another cover for free. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t trust him not to do the same thing again. Everything was taken care of last Sunday and nothing more has been said. I even got my money back from fiverr.
While this is embarrassing for me, I wanted to spread the word to let people know so that maybe it won’t happen to them.
Stealing somebody else’s work isn’t cool. As lame as that sentence may be, it’s true. Now, I don’t know if the fiverr guy knew the image was stolen or if somebody else had shared it somewhere and he assumed it was free to use, I don’t know. What I do know is he used the same image twice, so…
I just want everybody to be safe. I don’t want this sort of thing to happen to somebody else.
Like I told the original creator of the cover, I would never knowingly use somebody else’s copyrighted images for personal gain. I hate that I unknowingly used the image for two months to promote my book, and if I could take it back I would.
But, what’s done is done.
I’ve got a new image that I know I can legally use, and I will share it with you later.
Thanks for listening.

This isn’t something that is easy to admit. You never know how somebody will respond. I’m putting this out there willing to face criticism by some in the hopes that other people don’t find themselves in a situation like this.

I had written a blog post bragging about fiverr, but I have since taken that down. That’s not to say I won’t purchase things from them again. I’ll still probably use them for beta readers and things that can’t end up being stolen. I know there are a lot of people on there that are just trying to make a living doing things they love and sharing it with others, but once bitten twice shy.

The whole thing was embarrassing and nervewracking, and I am still trying to fix everything. I’m lucky that the owner came to me first to resolve it instead of going straight to lawyers. All I had to do was unpublish my book until I got a new cover, and get rid of the use of the old cover. Even still, I didn’t like the experience and I hope I never go through something like that again.

By sharing this, I hope I can prevent this from happening to anybody else. If you pay somebody else to make your book cover for your, or anything that uses images, make sure you get proof of the copyright information for the image.

On a positive note, my book is for sale again. While Amazon’s system hasn’t updated everything completely, the paperback and Kindle editions have new covers.

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. I will be making Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles available for free on Kindle in the coming weeks, so make sure you keep an eye out so that you don’t miss your chance.

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