So, as an author, I periodically run a search of my name to make sure my books and stories are not being sold illegally and the images of me are all flattering..(haha)
I hadn’t done one for a while, so I thought today would be good, as it’s the start of a brand new year. I’m glad I checked because I discovered something peculiar. A site in another country ( I am in the US) decided to take one of my blog stories, edit and publish it on their own site in August. The site looks like it has a lot of traffic and good content so at first, I was flattered. It was not a story I was planning on marketing and frankly, I was surprised it even got noticed. It was written in fun for my Facebook and blog.
I looked my story over and discovered that the site had made quite a few changes to it. They did give me credit and included all of my contact information (some of it was inaccurate, however and misspelled), but the edits performed were not anything I would have agreed to. Some of the edits even changed the meaning of my story in some places. It is not something I would want a major magazine to judge me by. I did not agree to the edits or the publication, but now it appears as though I gave them my stamp of approval. I’m embarrassed that it was up so long without my notice. That is not the quality of work I like to put out there.
After the day thinking it over, I also came up with a few more problems that could arise from someone taking work without permission. Occasionally I like to seek out magazines that do reprints. Some do accept them, but most request that the story you are submitting is pulled down from all internet sites. If I had wanted to try and reprint this story with a respectable magazine, I might have found myself in trouble, as I did not know until today that it was published somewhere else.
I have written them an email. Let this be a warning to us all to check our online presence. I still believe in publishing stories on social media to garner interest, but just be mindful that this can happen.
I have added to my “about” section that this is prohibited in the future. I hope it helps to prevent this in the future.
Now for the happy news! My story, “The Forest Fire,” was just published in the “New Beginnings” issue of Edify Fiction. (this WAS authorized! haha) I would love it if you would take a look and share your comments! The link is here: