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?

8 thoughts on “My Book Was Plagiarized

  1. Money would be my guess, the root of all evils after all. I can understand the feeling of violation. Any book is personal but especially your type of book. Good that Amazon responded so quickly and positively for you at least.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hmmm. I’m sure there is quite the industry in copying popular ‘categories’ of work. If it’s only on Kindle, it would be easy to copy/paste a book. If they get caught? They probably have 1,000 more titles copied from other unsuspecting authors. It’s a shame, but it shows what amazing readers you have!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My book, Chasing Zorba, was also pirated, Reggie. Like you I was able to get Amazon to remove the pirated version but it also showed up on the Walmart site and an e-commerce site in South Africa: It was like whack-a-mole trying to get rid of it. Still struggling to get it off the Walmart site. Their response has been terrible. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow – what an awful thing to happen.
    Someone plagiarised my author profile! I found a book on my author page that had nothing to do with me, but claimed my author profile. Thankfully, Amazon removed it.
    I have found Amazon to be very unresponsive with removing unfair reviews, but it’s encouraging to know they are on the button with plagiarism.


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