There’s a reason Tab published all of your books on Createspace and Smashwords using her own account. Because there are no publisher’s accounts. Only indivicual ones. So she slapped your books on Createspace, put your names as the authors, and had all of your pay sent to her personal account.
That’s not publishing, folks. It’s just not. That’s her pirating your work WITH YOUR CONSENT. That’s why, when she prints out ‘sales’ reports, she has to block out other people’s information. And, on face value, that makes sense. One account means that everybody’s names show up on HER account, because that’s how she published.
But, as long as you consent for her to publish your work that way, it’s not illegal. That’s not the dodgy part.
What IS dodgy is that those sales reports aren’t just blocked out. They’re doctored. They’re altered. There’s absolutely no reason for an author to believe that the information is fair and accurate on any level, considering that their publisher is neither.
What’s dodgy is that all of that money goes into her PERSONAL account, not a business account. That should never happen. Not even for a sole proprietor (which she is not, btw. Not as long as she has partners and/or hires employees – both of which she did continuously while she was at least pretending to run a company). Even a sole proprietor has to keep business money separate from personal money. Ne’er the twain should meet. And if your ‘publisher’ is a corporation (fake LLC or otherwise) it’s ILLEGAL to mix business and personal monies.
Personal money and business money should never mix. Just like personal matters and business matters should remain in two different compartments. Authors aren’t buddies, they’re business. If their publisher’s kid needs new shoes, doesn’t have clothes for school, needs a tonsillectomy or (my favorite) won’t have a Christmas because those pesky authors demand to get paid, that’s PERSONAL. The author should never hear about it. The author writes a book. The publisher publishes it. The author gets paid. Period.
How often do you think Stephen King hears about it when somebody at Dell or Bantam’s kid has the sniffles? Right. Zero. Because that’s how PUBLISHING works. Not scams.
But I digress.
The point today is to tell you to ignore my previous post.
That’s right. Don’t go to Createspace and Smashwords and tell them to turn off those distribution channels. Tell them to un-publish your book. Period. I’ve been saying “Yank them” for ages, but that’s a general term. Here, exactly, is how easy it is to un-publish a book, on both Createspace and Smashwords.
Just like with marketing channels at both publishing services, publishing (and un-publishing) a book is a matter of a single click.
Here’s what your book summaries look like on your dashboard at Smashwords:
(except for the arrow. I added that.}
See that arrow? It points to the word UNPUBLISH. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. But I’ll explain it anyway. If I want to unpublish History Fair from Smashwords and ALL of the sales channels through which it’s sold (by Smashwords), all I have to do is click that link. It’s that easy. Doesn’t take a genius.
Createspace takes a couple of steps, but it’s still not rocket science.
Here’s the Createspace dashboard:
Click to go to your distribution channels, and it looks like this:
Each of the blue arrows is a channel through which I’ve elected to distribute History Fair.
Notice that I did NOT select CreateSpace Direct. That’s the channel that allows third parties to sell your books. No thanks.
If you simply click on each blue arrow, it will turn white, like the CreateSpace direct arrow is. When all o the arrows are white, that means that you’ve chosen not to make your book available at all.
When all of the arrows are white, go to the bottom and save.
That’s it. You’re done.
No sales channels means no book. It might still appear on Amazon, but it will be listed as ‘currently unavailable’ for purchase.
And there again, you see how easy it would have been for your former publisher to remove your books from circulation COMPLETELY, as well as disabling those third party sales. Especially since all those options are on the same page.
If her intention was ever to protect your best interests and remove your book from circulation, as she claims, she could have done it at any time, as simply as this.
So, one of two things has been going on. Either she’s keeping your work available on purpose so that she can keep making money off of you, or she’s simply too inept to figure out how to do it. Even though she’s been publishing your books for… how many years now? Either one is possible, but I think you can guess which way I’m leaning.
Take matters into your own hands, folks. Contact both Createspace and Smashwords to make sure that your work isn’t being sold by anybody but you. Give Ingram a call, too, in case she’s decided to scare up the money to buy proper ISBN numbers to scam you there, too. It’s your work, folks. Those are your words, your dreams.
Don’t let her keep stealing them.