My Book Was Plagiarized

At first, I thought the message was a fake.

A reader of my first book wrote that she had discovered another version of Camino Sunrise: Walking With My Shadows on Amazon.

“I started reading and realized I had already read it…with new and peculiar grammar,” her note said.

I found the book on Amazon, with a new cover, title, and author, but there was no doubt. It was my book, sort of. The book description was mostly the same, with a few awkward revisions that made me wonder about the editor’s language skills.

It got worse. The character names were the same, the chapter organization was identical, and my wife’s artwork was there, in living color. My story was there, but with seemingly random substitutions that made me laugh as I winced painfully.

I felt violated and was mystified. I reported it to Amazon, using a form for infringement complaints. I sent Amazon a record of my copyright and links to my book and the other version. A few exchanges later and Amazon wrote that the offending book would be removed.

I am relieved and grateful to the reader, who, by the way, wrote a review of the copied book to alert prospective readers that it was a fake.

I also appreciate Amazon’s quick response. Amazon was a big help getting my books published, but I am disappointed that the fake book made it through their “filters,” even though it was only offered on Kindle Unlimited.

The offending book is gone, for now. But I wonder: What would motivate someone to do this?

Acadia: A Climb to the Top

On our first nice day in Maine’s Acadia National Park, Sue and I laced up our trail runners and headed up the South Ridge Trail to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the north Atlantic coast.

All Trails rates the climb to 1,527 feet ”hard,” but it was a moderate uphill except for a few challenging rock scrambles. The trail burst out of the forest several times, mostly during the final mile of the way up. The path was root-bound in the forest and included flat-topped logs, sections of mud and puddles from recent rain.

At the top, the view entertained us and hundreds of other visitors during lunchtime. (Most had driven up using the park’s reservation system.) We also opted for a ice creams from the gift shop at the summit. There were even restrooms.

Acadia offers more challenging treks, including a Precipice Loop with ladders and narrow ledges that has been called ”technical.” There is also an alternate Cadillac Mountain trail that travels up a gorge and another that approaches from the north. If one mountain isn’t enough for you, Acadia offers more summit treks. Finally, if you don’t mind crowds, there is a gorgeous coastal walk that you can catch from the Park Loop Road.