24 June 2013

{My Indie Monday}

By: Me My Shelf And I | 24 June 2013 at 12:01 AM | | | | |

This post doesn't look much like a My Indie Monday, does it? I am sorry for that, but I can tell you there's a really good reason that the post that featured Jessica Beckwith and her book is missing. Today (7/25/13) I learned Jessica Beckwith had done something very stupid and very wrong, she plagiarized. Not from one or two authors but from some 13 of them according to sources.

You're shocked right? Well you're going to be even more shocked in a second.

It seems that my having posted this My Indie Monday about Jessica on 6/24/13 makes me basically her accomplice. (I have left all comments so you might see what I mean, the first several should help you get the gist) To no fewer than 5 writers over on FictionPress.com, it was fishy to them I had it up all and even more so that I didn't remove it in a timely manner. There time frame listed a thread on their forum was "an hour". In this hours time I was supposed to look at 13 authors books, and Jessica's, compare them and see for myself. Of course, there was always the option of, just taking their word for it - but I had been threatened by them, shouted at, accused of supporting plagiarism and committing fraud by them...so yea...that wasn't going to happen. Somehow no one on that site seemed to understand why I might want to see things for myself. (save for one, who was very sweet and nice about things and actually helped - know I do not mean her when I am referencing my disappointment in FictionPress) 
On top of all this, I had plans today and an hour and half after I was up I had to get two kids ready for a full days outing and be in the car - all while dealing with all this. I think they thought I was supposed to just sit around all day fixing and investigating things because I'm a blogger right - I don't really have a life?

Now, you all know me - most of you have been here before at least once. I'm not new to blogging and I have spoken out about plagiarism in the past, most recently about the Jamie McGuire/Tammara Webber plagiarism scandal.  So I am utterly and totally baffled how I can be considered a supporter of this simply for having this post up. Especially since it went up a month ago and according to their forum, where I went today to ask them to back off and was only pelted with more accusations of fishiness and such, they only found out about this YESTERDAY! (the most recenet comment to the thread was made yesterday, the actual date on when the topic was started is not listed.)

 I must have missed the line at BEA this year that was handing out Time Turners, because having one is the only way I could have know a month ago, that this book was plagiarized. 

So what's the deal with this post - is it about this Jessica chick, who I don't even know and never so much as exchanged an e-mail with in my life? Or is this post about the bullying and mistreatment of your fellow man?
 Info Break: Jessica Beckwith was presented to me as an option for My Indie Monday through an online promotions company that will remain nameless to save them the hassle of the girls at FictionPress descending and shouting and screaming at them. A company I have worked with and trusted for over 6 months and who supplies me most my recent My Indie Mondays authors. They are currently in the process removing her from their site for violating their terms of service, though I am sure no matter how fast or slow that company moves - it will not be fast enough for the ladies over on Fiction Press. Which brings me to this - why are they not all up in Amazons face? Are they not STILL selling this book and other books they think she ripped off?

I digress, This post if both of those things about Jessica and about how horrible people can be to others. Should Jessica have plagiarized. Hell no! Write your own book or don't write! It has been proven time and time again that you can not get away with it. Writers, Authors, Bloggers are a viscous bunch that will band together and fight against this shit. 

Well, we almost always band together - this is what brings me to themistreatement of bloggers and people in general - instead of ONE of these FictionPress writers e-mailing me a heads up about this being on my blog (which I would have taken seriously, and worked with them to find out what was going on..) - I got threats and demands in my comments. Pub-lic-ly. When I asked for proof, I got links to books and people shouting MINE! And then I got told off for not moving fast enough - so in this case..I was mistreated as a blogger and as a person. I did nothing wrong, the promotions company did nothing wrong, none of the other handful of promotions web sites Jessica Beckwith is signed up with did nothing wrong -
 the only person at fault here is Jessica Beckwith. 


*All info in this post, refers to and only to the book I had here for Jessica Beckwith. While she may still be under investigation for and have previously stolen works other than the book I shared - I only speak about the one I shared on My Indie Monday which has been removed from the web entirely as far as I know.


  1. This "author" doesn't own any of what she has put up as "HERS" She has stolen them off of fictionpress.com You need to take this down as she has a HUGE issue going on right now. Check her out for yourself.

  2. Oh the irony...Stolen? Yes, like the book itself. This woman is NOT the true author of this book, and it's unfortunate that your website has been tied to a fraud.

    1. I'm very confused. And Am looking into this - with out any actual information (which you didn't give me any,. by the way) I do not appreciate threats, especially since clearly my blog has been nothing but honest and straight forward for almost 3 years - the duration of it's life. I clearly didn't know what was going on. And I still don't because you are making judgments about me, instead of giving me facts and things to look into.

      This author did not contact me. I was contacted by a company she worked with to promote her - as most my My Indie Monday's are. I have worked with this company for a long time and they have are as shocked as you are since they can not reach her at all and haven't been for some time.

      You need to learn to handle situations better. An e-mail or note telling me to look into this because of potential plagiarism would have been much better than telling me my blog is now associated with fraud.

  3. To preserve the integrity of your blog, I suggest you take this down. 'Jessica' has been trying to publish and sell stolen material from fictionpress, and will be investigated shortly by amazon for copyright infringement.

    1. I do appreciate the concern, and will look into this right now. Should I find the same truths you are telling me, I will do just that. I thank you for letting me know with out threats or rudeness.

  4. Jessica, I'll let you know now how the artist world works: we are almost like a cult (almost). Mess with one of us and you mess with all of us. You, my unfortunate girl, have messed with about eleven authors.
    Most of these titles can be found on FictionPress where they were originally posted, let me leave links, and we'll be watching closely with the legal action which will most likely be taken against you for theft.

    http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3023891/1/The-Art-of-Screwing-Up-The-Tale-of-a-Faux-Lesbian By Bethany Hatheway

    Oops, huh?

    1. Sapsmostar - like the person above, I believe there is a much better way to have done this.
      First, Jessica didn't contact me to put this post up - nor has she even seen it I doubt - if she did it would have been the day it went live which you can see clearly was several weeks back. A company she worked with for promotions contacted me, it's the same place most my My Indie Monday's come from. They are just as shocked as I am and looking into things - but they don't have people freaking out and being rude on their blog, so I suppose I'm the lucky one yea? Please calm down. Jessica will never see this so threatening her here isn't going to do you any good.

      Also if the threats continue THIS GOES FOR ANYONE POSTING, I will simply contact the police - she may have committed fraud, but I take threats serious after everything that happened to bloggers being targeted and stalked in person for bad reviews, and I want my blog to have NOTHING to do with this. Take it to your lawyer and have her fraud handled the right way. Not callingher out on a random blog....

    2. Hi. I am really sorry for the way I have worded this, my intention (a long with others), was to point out the theft, and when I posted this in the heat of the moment, I probably didn't think clearly. Even though I wasn't one of the authors who had anything stolen, I probably took this too much to heart, because it angered me that anyone would steal.
      Looking at it now, I do see your point about this looking like a threat, and I will definitely take this as a lesson to calm down before blindly posting something in the heat of the moment.
      Again: I am truly sorry for my behaviour.

    3. Also: this truly wasn't meant as an attack on you, just me being an idiot in the heat of the moment.
      Again: I am truly sorry, and will take a personal lesson from this about calming down in a situations like this.

  5. Hopefully you'll remove this blog about her and spread the word of her thievery

    1. When I know the truth, I will do this. Since NO ONE has done anything but threaten her or me - it's going to take me some time to locate actual information.....Thank you for your concern and kindness in your comment, I appreciate not being shouted at as I am an innocent bystander here in this.


    1. This post will not come down until someone can tell me what's actually going on. I will not take the screaming masses asking for a head on a stick for truth - so if you want it down, some info is going to be needed.

    2. The next person to threaten me, or Jessica (who I don't know and have never spoken to even in e-mail) will get their name dropped at my local Police Department. I take that stuff SERIOUSLY.

    3. Jessica did not contact me for this post, a company she was published through and does promotions did. I have never spoken to Jessica, I do not know her, and I doubt she has ever seen this post more than once. SO Save your screaming for something she can see and stop stomping on me because I'm just as innocent as you are.

  7. Wow. Just wow. I can't believe this blogger is being ATTACKED for this post because unbeknownst to her, the 'author' in question plagiarized other authors' works.

    First of all, this isn't the place to voice your concerns. Someone plagiarized and yes, it's completely and utterly wrong. I get that. But to attack and threaten the blogger? And to do so on her blog, instead of privately contacting her? Shame on you. Just as spasmostar said "Mess with one of us and you mess with all of us"; we book bloggers look out for each other too.

    The blogger is asking for evidence yet no one who has 'voiced' their concern over the matter has provided any. She already said that she would take down this post, should she be provided evidence of the plagiarism. What is she suppose to do with a bunch of links to the books written by their actual authors?

    And to spasmostar - I had to read your comment 3 times before I realized that you were addressing the 'author' in question rather than the blogger. Why would you address the 'author' in question here?

    1. I am terribly sorry, and I have also apologized to the blogger.
      To be honest I am not entirely sure what came over me, I guess I just took things too much to heart and became and idiot about how I worded myself --an in the-heat-of-the moment thing.
      As I said to the blogger: I'll take a lesson from this about calming down and wording myself better if I ever come over an issue like this again (or just keeping quiet all together), because I really wasn't trying to threaten anyone, or to target the blogger.

      I didn't realize it sounded like I was both threatening AND targeting the blogger, so I am truly sorry.
      I became too involved despite not having anything stolen, and worded myself poorly, thereby making an idiot of myself.

      The fault is all on me, and I will not deny that, because looking at it now in a new light, I can definitely see the point in it looking threatening, but it truly was not my intention. But I can see now how completely idiotic and out of line I seemed.

      As to why I addressed the book's "author": I have no idea. I was being dumb and over the top.

  8. The author of this blog has not plagiarized. She has posted a review of a book. If that book was plagiarized, legal action can be taken against the person who claims to be the author of the book. Legally, until proven otherwise, the author is the person whose name is on the cover of the book. As someone who has experience with this, here is what needs to happen. The true author needs to file a copyright infringement and intellectual property theft lawsuit in their local court. Evidence, such as the posts to the internet, will be presented and a judge will determine if the law has been broken. If the judge says yes, the true author can file suit against the publishing company for copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. No action at all can be taken against the writer of this blog because no law has been broken.

    1. Thank you! This was super helpful and I hope people read it!!!

  9. This is really tragic. Kudos Amber for standing your ground. The fact that these authors are acting this way is just ridiculous. All of this should have been handled through email, this was just a shock and awe attack, meant to scare you into removing the post.

    1. Thanks hun!!! I really appreciate you stopping in!!

  10. The way you were informed about these allegations was definitely unwarranted. I am so glad you decided not to remove the post until you can verify the accusations and that you spoke to the publisher. Common sense should tell someone that you would not knowingly promote something that has been plagiarized so contacting you privately would be the best option.

  11. I've read the comments above about the author having plagiarized this book and I find it appalling that these people are threatening you over this! I'm terribly sorry for these uncalled-for attacks and I think it's great that you're standing your ground over this. What the author has/hasn't plagiarized has nothing to do with you and shouldn't be taken out on you. Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed this but I've clicked the Amazon, Kobo and iTunes links and none of them are working. I thought you would be interested in knowing.

  12. I don't condone any of the comments that the people made, but they are true. I'm also one of the people who's story got stolen. I know that my word alone isn't good enough (although you would think 3-4 separate people claiming this happened is a red flag), here's my evidence:

    The story she stole from me posted on Amazon.
    Notice it was posted June of 2013.

    Here's my story I posted for free on Fictionpress

    You can read the preview on amazon and other than changing the characters it's a direct copy. Notice that I completed this story 5-09-12. Over a year before Jessica posted hers. How is it possible that anything else could've happened? How could I have gotten a copy (an exact copy) of someone's story a year in advance before they posted it to the public? Ok, maybe I stole her manuscript a year ago and posted it (and she didn't change anything but the names of the characters over that year). But then when you look at her amazon profile and you see 12+ other stories and it's the exact same thing... you have to admit something is fishy.

    And again, I don't condone anything rude that was said about your blog, but you have to get in front of this issue before it bites you in the behind. This isn't about me or anyone else that was plagiarized (we can take care of ourselves, I've already sent a letter to Amazon). This is about you and protecting yourself from being associated with fraud.

    This looks like a professional blog, and you seem like the type of person that knows how this works. If someone that reads your blog featuring her and buys one of her stories, and then later they find out it was stolen, it comes back to you and looks really bad. I think I've given you enough evidence to make you question if she is legit at the very least. You should take the post down as a precaution and try to get Jessica's side of the story (if you can find her).

    1. She's not associated with fraud at all. She reviewed a book as requested. This is absurd. I don't know if you read KB Boards, but last month, bloggers were attacked FOR REMOVING stolen book reviews.

      Nothing is going to please 'everyone' in this situation. Ever hear of EMAIL?

  13. Amber, remain strong and vigilant. Truth will win out over everything.
    If Jessica stole, she's going to be found out--and will be shunned; but if she didn't, then all this bravado will be for nothing.

    Jessica, I'm assuming you'll read this sometime...you have some 'splanin' to do...

  14. Wow. I'm blown away by the conduct here. Only one person was able to speak appropriately and at that, she is incorrect about "this being a flag". There are too many cases of bashing. And that's what lead me to this post, although I'm a faithful follower of Amber's, yeah I miss a post here and there. Sue me. Another well known and respected blogger wrote a post about author bashing. In the comments was a link to this conversation. What has taken place here is clearly harassment. It is up to Amber to do as SHE feels fit. And she'll do the right thing once she has all the facts. Now, why don't I agree with the "flag" comment? Because as of right now, I know an instance (which the author is desperately trying to deal with quietly), where someone's friends is purposely going and giving lower ratings and giving inaccurate and dishonest reviews because of a fallout. Extremely unprofessional- not to mention unethical. My hope is the instigator will expose herself and leave the rest of us and the author to move on without legal action and unnecessary drama. It's sickening that any of this takes place, but I will stand behind those I believe in- like Amber, and will do my part as needed. Stay strong, Amber. YOU'VE done nothing wrong.

  15. I think a reasonable person would read through this and see that Amber isn't guilty of anything. This is probably a fine blog. Ironically I might end up checking it out every now and then because it seems very professionally done and talks about the writing scene.

    It's unfair to harass her for her part in this mess. But I think it's fair to accuse a guest interviewed on this blog for being a fake ASSUMING we have evidence to suggest she is (which I posted earlier).

    Bella: First of all, before there is any more confusion, I'm a 'he' not a 'she'. Honest mistake, I take no offense by it. Second of all, how can you not look at the evidence (I can only speak specifically to my case because that is the only one I'm intimately familiar with the details). The stories are the same with the character names being the only difference. Same title, same description. The one on fictionpress was published a year before the one on Amazon. The only way that is possible is if I stole it a year ago from her and posted it, and she waited a year to post it on Amazon and made no changes to the story beyond character names. This is obviously a ridiculous hypothetical. Not to mention, 4-5 other different authors are making similar complaints, the evidence there is similar to my situation. Which is more likely? That 4-5 different people decided to set up this long con where they steal a bunch of her works in advance and post them for free and then wait till she posts them (a year later for some reason) so that they can bash her in the comments... or that she was the one that stole them from us?

    It's not conclusive proof, but at the very least you have to think that something is odd here. I don't like that this circumstance has been looked over and some people are determining that this is just a case of author bashing. It doesn't make any sense.

    1. Thank you. You have proven to be helpful - not just here but else where. And I'm sorry I refereed to you as a her in the post...*mybad* you're the one I reference above as being helpful... I do hope you stop in again. I support indies - every Monday and any other day. Not many blogs do that. I've been at this along time. I have a lot of published friends and friends in publishing, this isn't a hobby, it's part of my life. I too am a writer with aspirations to publish, nothing about this world is unprofessional to me. It's why this hurts so much and is so frustrating.

  16. wow ..Hugs and I think that's uncalled for you to be treated this way. I totally get that you are asking for proof. wow ...jaw is dropped in this bad behavior. Stand your ground , and yes Bloggers have a life :)

  17. I'm glad you got everything worked out but what a terrible experience to endure. I am sorry you had to go through this.

    Plagiarism is a horrible thing and I'm totally against it but threatening a book blogger because of a promo post and making demands for removal without providing concrete evidence is ridiculous. And as you mentioned, it's not like we're sitting at home all day long on the computer. We have lives. Some of us have little humans to tend to. So for someone to expect you to research the claims and remove the post within AN HOUR is ludicrous.

    Kudos to you for not succumbing to the demands without evidence.

  18. Bravo to you, Amber for handling this in such a respectful and mature manner after being threatened and treated so rudely. I find it amazing that somebody would expect you to just take their word for it - especially with such a serious charge such as plagerism. You handled this magnificently!

    Right on, chica!

  19. Wow, Amber, this is a mess isn't it. It makes perfect sense that you'd request proof before removing a post. What happened is terrible and disgusting. I'm a writer and a book blogger and I really feel for your situation - it's a rock and a hard place. I can understand how angry and frustrated the writers are. Having your hard work stolen would be the height of insult, injury, & just utter hell. But this isn't your fault. You've handled this situation professionally and with aplomb I'm not sure I possess. Keep your chin up.
    New follower :)

  20. Amber:

    I almost never comment, but had to come out of lurking to say this: I'm really sorry you have to deal with all of this. I applaud you for keeping cool, and *BIG BIG HUGS*

    1. Thank you hun! I appreciate you coming gout to say something - it means the world!

  21. This really sucks. I don't see what is wrong with waiting to find out yourself if the author plagiarized. Just because you have the fancy FictionPress title attached to your biography, it does not mean your word can be taken. Jessica plagiarized. This is very wrong. However, I am glad you found out for yourself, Amber. I am sorry to hear you are receiving threats because of this. I would never think someone's blog is attached to a fraud scandal because they unknowingly promoted a dirty author. The funniest thing is that there are not a lot Indie features on blog with such a reach as yours. I hope this does not deter you from having your Indie Mondays.

    A book blogger,
    Christine :)

  22. Wow, this is all just a bucket of what? But Amber, I salute you for how you stood your ground and how u handled the sitch. Now I'm actually scared because before (back when my blog wasstill new), I had a similar meme featuring indie books and i rarely go out and beyond investigating more about the book and the author because i was so trustful like that. But i guess we can all learn from this situation. It saddens me that things like this happen, we as bloggers want to help promote indie books but I never thought we could be tricked to. I totally understand where u r coming from. I actually agreed to help promote a book last month then before I could schedule it I learned that the author was a fraud. Sigh. I'm also sad how you were treated but this post proves that you are one tough woman! Kudos!

    1. Jenna, we are not at fault for what any author does. We can not run every book we are offered past every single written word in the world - it would be impossible. That's what makes this situation so crazy. For me to be blamed for something someone I didn't know did - seriously? Why not blame me for Hoffa missing and the Holocaust! I'm just as guilty of those things as I am of supporting plagiarism.

      Don't stress - you are not going to get in trouble for ever posting something that later is to be found it is plagiarized.It's not your fault, you remove it and you move on. It happens. It will never stop and we just have to learn how to handle it with grace and a smile so that the people like the girls from Fiction Press who found it necessary to attack and threaten, don't win.

  23. While I agree that none of the aforementioned comments were nice or fair, I don't think it's right to staple that judgement on FictionPress authors in general - there are thousands of authors on that site (myself included. Hi there [I really like your blog]). That being said, on behalf of our community, I'm sorry for the way this situation was handled.

    I think (and I'm not saying that their actions are excusable) that the reason their comments were so harsh was because 1. they're close to one of the plagiarized authors and 2. there's been an awful plagiarism epidemic on FictionPress recently and the admins refuse to lock copy/paste, causing most of the popular authors to remove their works from the internet. It's a touchy subject for some.

    I'm part of a fiction reviewing site too, so I understand the pressure you must be under. I honestly really appreciate the work you do and I hope that you got an apology.

    xoxo M

    1. Hi and thank you for stopping in! I'm glad you like the blog, and I hope you will be back. I also really thank you for your comments on how hard I work, it is really nice to know that people understand this isn't an easy "job".

      I work really hard for Indies, not many bloggers do. I'm really disappointed that I was thrown under the bus for something an author I don't know did.

      While I understand that they were close to the authors who were effected/suffered this before, but it in no way condones what they did. It seems every time someone says "I'm sorry they did that..." it's quickly followed by a "but" and then a list of acceptable reasons for them to have done what they did. I realize this wasn't your intention with what you wrote, but to use it as an example - maybe you can see how over a whole day of this I might be a bit irritated still. Half apologies. Partial understanding. I have dozens of them.

      On a side note - My perception of places like FictioPress may be wrong and maybe you can help me....As a writer myself, I will never understand why people use sites like Fiction Press. Putting my hard work and babies up on a site for free, open to the hands of anyone who wants to steal the idea or worse, like what has been happening, whole books....I know the friendship and beta's and help writing is great - but you can have all that privately too. The majority of people who go to Fiction Press and sites like it are other writers, not readers looking for novels. It stands to reason plagiarism is going to be like wild fire.

      This is not a cut on you, and I'm not saying if you use these places you deserve to get plagiarized - not at all. I just don't see the draw to a place like this, to taking the chance with my gretest dream. Maybe you can tell me about it so that I can make a better judgement that the one I just explained.

      :) Best - Amber

    2. Hey, Amber!

      I don't know the people who threatened you in any way, and I don't want it to seem like I was making excuses for them :( I hope you got an apology. I really really do appreciate what you're doing here. You're not getting paid and you give up some of your free time to do this - more free time than I think people realize. Like I said, I'm part of a site that kinda sorta does the same thing, so I get you :D

      Most of the authors on Fictionpress are teenagers - teenagers who don't know where to start or if they're even good enough for publishing. I'd say that 80% of those writers are "in the closet" so to speak. So, from their POV, they have no one else to share with, no where else to go. Fictionpress serves as a way for young authors to find ways to improve their writing - no one signs up and thinks "I think I'll get plagiarized today." I know that when I started off on FP, I had no idea that plagiarism was even a thing. I mean, these are people like me, right? People who enjoy reading and writing - people who appreciate other's hard work. How could they do that? It still makes no sense to me.

      FP is different from, say, Amazon or Smashwords because people aren't posting their stories in full, it's one chapter at a time. I don't think people publish their prized works on FictionPress. It's all kind of post as you go and it's more for fun than it is for anything else. I mean, like I said, these are teenagers. Some of them are 13 or 14 years old. I'm not sure that they even know what copyright is. So I think that from your perspective, as an adult, it's easy for you to see the dangers of a site such as FP, but to the people who've already been sucked in, they think it's great.

      Plagiarism on FP is kind of like one of those tragedies that you think will never happen to you until it does. I'm not looking to get published or to have billions of reviews on my stories. Writing is a hobby of mine, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that I'm not protective of my work. I only post short stories and I'm not what you would call a popular writer, but in the year I've had my work up, I've been plagiarized 5 times and you know what? It blows. But there's no where else for me to go with my writing. So until then... I'm forced to stick with a site that's single handedly driven off all its star writers.

      Other people have realized the gravity of the situation and have made their own locked communities where the readers fill out an application before they can get in (Plagiarism Haven and The Write Away for example), but for most of us, this is our only option.

      I hope that made sense? I'm not all that great at explaining things, and I'm sorry if this is kinda all over the place, but FP really was a great place to be. Unfortunately, it's sort of dying off now. But I hope I gave you a little insight at least.

      xoxo M

    3. I almost forgot! Reading this might help.


      This is kind of a FictionPress fairytale story in some ways :)

    4. No - sadly I haven't gotten an apology. In fact as best as I can tell none of the people who started all this can came at me full force in the comments above have not been back since that day. I know for sure that at least the ring leader isn't a teen - she's (he's?) a moderator with fiction press, and I do intend to contact the site and the people who actually run it to make sure they know what they people are doing.

      Teenagers or not, I still can't condone that kind of behavior. This goes back to my complaint that while everyone feels badly for what happened - each of those "I'm sorry's" has a big ol' 'but' after it. I really don't care how old they are. Age doesn't mean that they should be allowed to get away with being jerks (among other words). They want to be writers? They will never get published or be taken seriously if they throw a monster sized hissy fit each time something goes left instead of right.

      Thanks for the link - I will read that in just a bit - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to this post! And just so you know, I'm not angry or anything at your response - I just keep being given reasons why "it's ok these people acted like this" and I think each time we give any excuse to bad behavior, this world goes down the crapper just a little faster. No one needs to own up any more. You know?

  24. I'm not sure what to say to this other than way to remain respectful and firm Amber! I saw the link for it over on The Book Vixen, and I cringed at the thought of one, authors again bullying bloggers and two, that it dwelt with plagiarism.

    I agree with what ParaJunkee said and many of the others.

    Amber I'm sorry you had to deal with this. It's completely shocking that anyone would attack you for posting something you had no idea was plagiarized. The fact you left this up until you knew for certain it was is commendable. I do see why authors were upset, but their anger should have been toward the person who stole their work, and not at you. The way they should have handled this situation was to email you privately so that you could have handled it that way. Now sadly it also looks bad on them for the way they handled this. I'm sorry their work was stolen. I'm not an author, but as a blogger I've had my reviewers stolen numerous times, and I know what it feels like. As a blogger, I know it must have been hard staying respectful on here. You're amazing! Well done Amber! Keep on blogging :)

    1. Dear lord your reviews! How did you find out? Suddenly I want to know where to look to see if mine were taken...haha!

      Thanks Katie! I really appreciate your words! *hearthands*

  25. Everyone is so quick to pull the trigger these days. A promo post goes up, well that blogger MUST be involved in the "bad." This whole community has gotten to the point where they shoot first and ask questions later. Everyone is on the offensive. And it's so sad.

    I get that the authors were wronged. I'd be so freaking mad. My blood boils just thinking about what happened to them by this thief. And I get that their friends and colleagues want to lash out on their behalf and right the wrongs that were done.

    But to attack an innocent party, without first determining whether they were in fact guilty before they got on the offensive and launched an attack is unfair. If they spent even five seconds on your site they could see that you run things professionally and that you should be treated as such. You didn't just slap up this blog to promo the author. You've been blogging for years, making a name for yourself in this community.

    If they took half a second before throwing out accusations they could have realized that approaching you in a calm and professional manner would have been more successful. Instead of all this drama that resulted which makes them look bad.

    It's always so tough when everything is riding on emotions. But to attack first isn't the solution. And the fact that you wanted to take a moment, gather the facts for yourself, take some more time to sift through everything to form your own opinion should have signaled to them that you are a professional. And if the situation happened where someone accused them, you wouldn't rush to judgment and damn them without something more.

    So sorry all this happened to you. So sorry for the authors who had their work stolen. YOU were taken advantage of and harmed by this thief, too. I just hope it doesn't taint your Indie Mondays or make you concerned about promoting Indie Authors going forward. Broken trust isn't easily repairable.

    Hope this has all settled and you have an awesome weekend!

    1. In their forum it was stated that this situation was not "Innocent until proven guilty" - yes, seriously. *shakeshead*

      Thanks for stopping in R - it means a lot!

  26. Holy crap! Sorry that you got caught up in this mess, Amber.

    I can understand the frustration of the authors, but this should have been handled privately. Bombarding her post with accusations puts her on the defensive and won't make her want to cooperate.

    The person that should be targeted is the person who committed the actual offense -- Jessica Beckwith. I hope that this situation is resolved promptly for all the authors involved, but please leave Amber out of it.

  27. I admire you for keeping calm, standing your ground and following through on your word (about taking it down once you had proof).

  28. I'm one of the authors and I'm sorry you were harassed. As for having contacted Amazon, I called and have yet to hear back from them. I am contacting a lawyer friend since they're not going to do shit about it (Google already told me it isn't their problem that it's up on Google books). Don't blame the people at Fictionpress, some of the people were probably from a Facebook group in which I made a post saying that Jessica Beckwith was a plagiarist. Some of them got a little overzealous and even found her Facebook account (and there are a lot of Jessica Beckwiths out there).

    Just realize that there is no way that those people could've originally known that you didn't pick this person or know her. They weren't followers of your blog, they just found you through Google. Unless you deleted the threatening posts, the only one that was "threatening" was the one who thought you were Jessica and threatened to take legal action. Everyone wasn't as calm as they could be, but you overreacted. You can't say they threatened the integrity of your blog. You *did* have an author who hadn't actually written anything as a featured author. I just think that as a person who runs a book blog you should've taken the plagiarism thing more seriously; a bunch of people calling someone out should've been a red flag, you shouldn't have just said that you won't listen to the "screaming masses."

    1. A: She wasn't "featured" she was one post in many that day.

      B: Even if I had reached out to her for the post, I would still have had no way of knowing she had plagiarized. I'm not a psychic. You're still trying to make what she did wrong, my fault - and it's not. You just can't get to her so you're taking it out on me.

      C. You clearly didn't read the entire post, or your questions about why it wasn't down fast enough might have been answered. And if the reason I couldn't wasn't good enough for you, you clearly have no heart.

      D. I have to leave for my Dads birthday party in 2 hours and before than I have to frost a cake, shower, make brownies and get my kids ready to go....... SO just in case you or one of your friends comments back and I don't respond fast enough - HERE'S YOUR HEADS UP. Not that you care, being away from the computer isn't ever a good enough reason for anything - is it?

    2. Did you really just come here and tell Amber that SHE overreacted? That she didn't take the situation seriously? You come here to apologize then place blame on Amber? Did I get that right?

      First of all, everyone who came over here and commented in the first place was unprofessional. Instead of bombarding the comments with threats and attacks (and yes, there are threats and attacks in this comment thread, they're still there), there should have been an email written to Amber explaining the situation and PROVIDING evidence to back the claim. You cannot expect a blogger to delete a post based on claims without backing up those claims. And second, for most of us book bloggers this is a hobby, not a job. Which means we have a life outside of our blog. You can't expect a blogger to drop everything they're doing to research plagiarism claims. And to expect her to do so within "an hour" is ridiculous.

      I'm sorry this happened to you, that your work was plagiarized, but this situation should have been brought to Amber's attention in a more professional manner and without placing blame on Amber.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Amber discontinues this 'My Indie Monday' feature, which would be a shame for Indie authors. But I wouldn't blame Amber for doing so. Not after what transpired here.

      To Amber: You did nothing wrong. You waited for concrete evidence before removing the post, which was the right thing to do. You handled this situation better than I could have. So kudos to you.

    3. Bethany,

      I would like you to consider the following situation.
      Amber here is one of the few blogs I know that support indie authors. She gets YOUR book trough her well trusted channels and decides to write her My Indie Monday post on your book. You have not had contact with her because the in between company arranged it all.

      A month later some unknown author to Amber finds out your texts look the same and tells his friends about this. All riled up and angry they Google every single person that ever posted about you and go to their website. This is how they arrive here and tell Amber the book you have written is plagiarized but do not give any proof until 20 minutes later they link up Amber with 7 stories (of various length) and wish her good luck with looking for the plagiarized parts there.

      Now according to you, Amber should put a label on your head immediately telling you are suspected of plagiarism, leave that up for everybody to see because she has her life to attend too for several hours, before she takes time to really investigate. Only to find out you DID NOT do anything wrong. In the meantime the stamp on your head has gone trough Twitterworld an all the social media and you will come here and tell Amber she has done you wrong because she did not take the proper time to investigate the whole story.

      I understand your frustration and I am sorry you have become a victim of this. I also get that if you finally find out this happened to you, you want all of "that stuff by Jessica Beckwith" taken down because it is yours and as fast as possible. But Amber did nothing wrong here but taking the time to find out if it was all legit after she did get the message that there was something going on. If the first person posting here would have provided Amber with a link to all the information gathered together (screen prints and stuff) it could have been way quicker but instead they decided to just yell and scream instead of providing prove. You would not want to be falsely accused either now or?

    4. With all due respect Bethany, have you been around the blogging scene long? Or I don't know....the internet? Witch hunts are not uncommon, and believe it or not, they're not always warranted. While maybe it isn't the case, some of these commentors' accounts lead nowhere--particularly yours, which has no links or any clues as to who you are, and was created this month--thus looking like sock-puppet accounts. Which is probably why a blogger would react sensibly and want to see some evidence before she believed a handful of comments by people who didn't actually reveal their identities. If I were in Amber's shoes, I certainly wouldn't have been compelled to jump just because they said so. Investigate, eventually, sure. Delete something from MY blog? No.

      Plagiarism is a serious matter. It's unfortunate that you were apparently the victim of that, but as has been stated numerous times, Amber isn't the guilty party here. To assume that she didn't take it seriously because she wanted to make sure it was actually true is insulting to bloggers and authors alike.

    5. This whole thing could've ended days ago. If you were so offended, you could've been the bigger person and deleted the comments, locked the blog post, asked to continue any conversation in emails, etc. but instead you took it upon yourself to make the problem bigger than it already was.

      I don't appreciate your comments on Twitter about these "wannabe writers" and I don't appreciate how poorly YOU have handled the situation. What gives you the right to judge whether people are legit writers or not? It's spiraled out of control and instead of letting it go, you just keep egging everyone on.

      Just leave it be, move on, and continue any rude conversations in private and NOT on social networks. You've not been very professional and for an adult, you should know better.

    6. It's funny how suddenly MelissaAnne122, how you have the same stance on this topic as I did a few days ago. See, that was my whole point back then. You all should have e-mailed me, not threatened me, shouted at me and treated me like I was the one who ripped the books off. Now that I have talked on a public forum about how fed up I am - NOW you spout the same thing I did - DO THINGS PRIVATELY.

      Funny. But at least now I think my point has been made.

    7. A. That is irrelevant. They found it on Google, they found only this post, not any others you posted that day.

      B. You're missing the point. They thought that you personally knew Jessica and were either dumb enough to think she had actually written a bunch of books with completely different writing styles and genres and you applauded her for that or that you knew her, knew the stories were stolen, and were behind her for this.

      C & D: I didn't mean you should've looked at it in an hour. I have no idea how long it took you t actually take the post down, but it was presumably after you started yelling at people on FictionPress.

      If I was a blogger bombarded with comments about a person who was a plagiarist how hard would it have been to remove the post real quick and be like "Hey, I'm investigating a possible case of plagiarism regarding this author. If it's true, I'll have more information. If it turns out to be false, the post will go back up."

      As for Ciska: If a bunch of people were accusing me of plagiarism and had books of the same title and everything I wouldn't mind people hounding me even if I was innocent because something super fishy would be going on.

      As for the comment about wannabe writers: Who's the one that had novels stolen from them? They were worth something to someone. You were unbelievably immature about this whole thing. You are an adult, a lot of the people who had work stolen were teenagers, so you start making fun of them? How many novels had you written before becoming an adult? I can't believe that people are actually taking your side on this after you acted like a diva. Police action will be taken for any more "threats"? Really?

      As for your "point" to Melissa, I contacted Amazon and NOTHING has been done about my book. I gave them two links to locations where the story was already posted and said that there was UNDENIABLE PROOF on createspace if they would contact me or the website. They have so far ignored me, so why would anyone expect more from a blogger? By posting comments at least the matter is made known and can't be ignored (my novel on amazon currently has 22 one-star reviews mentioning plagiarism- I don't think anyone will be buying it anytime soon). Also, I can't even find your email, unless it's somewhere in the blog's things and can be sent by a post similar to a comment, so it was easier to post comments here. Just like it was easier to yell at the people at FictionPress rather than deal with the problem.

    8. If I was a blogger bombarded with comments about a person who was a plagiarist how hard would it have been to remove the post real quick and be like "Hey, I'm investigating a possible case of plagiarism regarding this author. If it's true, I'll have more information. If it turns out to be false, the post will go back up."

      Not everyone goes by the 'guilty until proven innocent' mantra.

      They have so far ignored me, so why would anyone expect more from a blogger?

      Now you're grouping bloggers and Amazon together in the same boat because a blogger wanted evidence to support the allegation you made and Amazon is ignoring you?

      Also, I can't even find your email, unless it's somewhere in the blog's things...

      I found her email address in TWO SECONDS. It's under About > Contact. Not hard to find at all.

      Bethany, you're in attack mode again, blaming it all on Amber. I get that you're upset about being ignored by Amazon but it seems like you're taking it out on Amber.

    9. Bethany,

      I'm curious - do you all think that every blogger who has a book review or author info on their blog, knows them personally? That's got to be the silliest thing in the world that they concluded I knew her because she was on my blog...? One click on the photo would have taken them to dozens of other authors days. A hover over the navigation bar would have shown them it's something we do often enough it has it's own section under features. And reading the statement in the beginning of it would have even explained it. I don't mean to be rude, but it couldn't have been easier to sort out if a puppet show was explaining it.

      Also, you couldn't find my e-mail? It being there under ABOUT, right there in the navigation bar is a really hard place to find it I suppose. It's not like that's the logical place for it it be. Choosing the "easy" way to do something is always a decent reason over choosing what is "right".

      And yes, for, I'm pretty sure the.....3rd time now - I still will report the any threats to the police. I explained it before but I can see why it wouldn't matter to you. A mom with kids home was getting death threats to her home...hand delivered to her mail box. Another had tires slashed, dozens were effected by a big goodreads thing last year - so I don't mess around, I don't find it funny and before you spout off about how I'm a bad example for the teens on your blog - look at what you KEEP IGNORING, because I'm mentioned this prior. If you want to test it out, go for it.

      So look do me a favor...please just stop this? I mean I really appreciate the 5 thousand page hits this post has gotten, so thank you to you and your friends, but really - we get it - you're pissed you got ripped off and we are all actually sympathetic to that (though I bet this will be the first thing you attack on your response, because you won't go away...). But you keep coming back here to find something new to yell about...the phrasing in a comment, stalking my twitter to find a new thing to yell about so you can make me look like the bad guy.

      After all this can you not understand why maybe I don't like any of you? Why my friends don't? Why I might be a bit mouthy? Your forums don't have great things to say about me either, but I'm not in there any more, am I? I haven't gone back even though people have responded. It's yours, this is mine - I am walking away. I'm not figting with you over something like this anymore.


      Thank you for the page views, and all the new twitter followers.

    10. And and to answer your question as I hit send too fast and didn't get this in - if I deleted the post I would have lost the link. If I lost the link I couldn't have put a post in it's place so that if Jessica ever came back she would see that we found out about her. Maybe it's not a lot, but it's what I could do to help her see that she can't screw around with people.

      It benefited you people too - but you have to questions and complain about everything. You have issues with this blog - simple answer - go away.

    11. Just want to point out to Bethany, in response to her A.item...

      Of course they wouldn't find the other posts Amber posted that day. They probably used Jessica's name and the book as search keywords. Google, Yahoo or any other search engine will not generate page results not related to that query. That's how search engines work. :)

  29. Wow. I'm reading this comment thread with my mouth hanging open. Amber, you handled all this with class and good judgment and an admirable amount of patience.

    Plagiarism is wrong, period. But if writers were plagiarized, they need to direct their anger and accusations and legal threats at the person responsible for the theft of their material, not at Amber, who has actually gone out of her way to promote indie authors.

    As reviewers, we have to take it on good faith that the books we receive for review are original material. Suggesting that this blog is "tied to a fraud" is insulting and irresponsible.

  30. I am so sorry that you had to deal with all this!! You handled the entire situation so professionally and it is terrible to see all the nasty things people were saying! You did a great job clearing things up and I hope that you stop getting harassed over this. Thanks for remaining so precessional and on top of things.

  31. Bethany, you have got to be kidding us. Bloggers do not vet books. We take the assumption that you all are honest creatures that do not steal the words of another. If we had to spend time vetting your books, we wouldn't have time to read or blog about them. It's only mere coincidence that we ever even find plagiarists. We don't go on hunts for them.

    You said:
    "If I was a blogger bombarded with comments about a person who was a plagiarist how hard would it have been to remove the post real quick and be like "Hey, I'm investigating a possible case of plagiarism regarding this author. If it's true, I'll have more information. If it turns out to be false, the post will go back up."
    Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I have an actual 9-to-5. So if someone came to me at 8am and said, "Plagiarism on your blog, you need to investigate, that post would have to wait until about 6pm that night. Maybe even later if I decided to go to the gym after work. We have outside lives, ya know.
    Amber has kids. Her job is 24/7.

    You also said:
    "so why would anyone expect more from a blogger?"

    Thanks for the goddamn vote of confidence. Please do not ever sign up for the weekly indie feature on my blog.

  32. Amber, what do you mean you have a life? What? I thought you picked over every single publishing site for "red flags" and read every single writers' book for "commonalities" - and then , ONLY THEN, could you make a PERSONAL post. Kudos to you because you have much more restraint than I would have had ;-)

    1. LOL - I can't imagine if we had to do all that. My head spins thinking about it.

  33. Wow! So much drama over a book review. It's a good thing you didn't kill someone, Amber. I hope this has died down and more people have apologized (though I doubt it) than the couple shown above. Two good things came from this, at least, you received a ton of support from other bloggers and readers, and I discovered your blog! : )

    Best wishes to you! I hope you don't let this incident keep you from doing what you're doing.

  34. This is a no-win situation for the bloggers. When the OTHER book issue happened, the bloggers were attacked for REMOVING their reviews...now, this blogger is being attacked for LEAVING the reviews while she attempted to verify the facts.

    It is NOT a reviewers job to look through THOUSANDS of sites to see if a book is the author's own work. It is not the job of a reviewer to have to check fan-fiction sites for similar stories.

    It is NOT FAIR to the author to expect them to remove posts--or do more than EDIT and add at the end that the title is 'stolen work' if it's been proven.

    I can't believe anyone--authors or reviewers or readers--would attack a blogger for doing what they are asked to do.

    It's not just indie authors that have been plagiarized in the not-so-distant past. Nora Roberts was plagiarized--and the 'author' sold her work to ANOTHER NY Publisher that actually went on to produce the book--it HAPPENS.

    The only person to blame in any instance of stolen work is the person who did the stealing. Period. Review sites all have email addresses, for heavens sakes. Contact them when you know something is stolen if you feel they don't know.

    What I've read here is just absurd. This reviewer was in a no-win situation. Keep it up and there will be no reviewers willing to look at ANY indie author.

    To be blunt: GROW THE HELL UP!

    1. Just a note, but I don't think it actually matters:) This was a review, My Indie Monday is a meme we do here that spotlights a specific indie author each week. So what I had up was: book cover, synopsis, author info and a Tens List. No Review...just the same stuff you can find on their author page on goodreads really...

      Because she was sent to me by a reputable company I work with that helps indies market their books - so I had never heard of her before the e-mail arrived with her e-mail in it.

      I could have understood all this a tiny bit if it had been a review that gushed over the book, and that I shared all over the internet - but I don't think I even tweeted about this post. The original post had maybe 3-4 page hits before all this. No one ever saw it, it's not a popular meme, but that's why I do it. To make the Indie Authors Popular. What I'm doing may not be much, but it has helped several. It's hit or miss.

      They have all stopped their outrage, thankfully. So I think it's all finally over with now. :)


Me, My Shelf and I is an Award Free Blog. Your continued support is all the award we need! Thank you so much!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...