The other day I was accused of theft and was attacked by a person I have never met.
What happened was this, I purchased a book cover for all the Necromancer’s Song books from cover designers recommended to be by other writers* I trusted. The recommended cover creator who made the cover for The Serpent and the Six used images she told me were stock images that were similar to the amazing D&D images I loved. She edited them, created a beautiful cover. I paid her and I received the cover with a contract releasing the copyright to me.
Another person, we will call her Ms Rude blasted me on social media. She called me a thief. She said I stole the picture. She then proceeded to attack the content of the book. A book that has not been published yet. As far as I can tell she never read any of my books. I attempted to explain that I did not steal the cover. I paid for it and the rights of use. It was custom made for me. She refused to consider there was any other explanation. She then decided that her friends needed to slander me as well. None of whom know me, nor have read my work. The attack was just mean and unjustified.
I simmered on the attack. The more I simmered the more angry I got, not at the Ms Rude, ok maybe a little bit at her. I know she was just bully. Ms. Rude accused me of theft when in fact I had legally purchased the cover. She then proceeded to berate my writing that she had never read. Then she got her friends to do it too. Classic bully behavior, from an adult. I was mad at the situation. I in good faith purchased a product. I defended the cover as I thought it was original. I was made a fool. Copyright theft is not acceptable for any reason. It is something I am very passionate about and I was forced to deal with it at no fault of my own.
What did I do? I did what I normally do when I get mad, I took action.
First I did my best librarian research and found who the original artist was of the picture that was similar to my cover and contacted him. He was very open to what I had to say. I told him someone stole the likeness of his artwork and sold it to me as a book cover. He said, “I appreciate you being forthright about the situation. You’re acting in good faith, and that goes a long way in my eyes.” He no longer holds the rights to the picture. He said If he did he would let me use it.
I removed the cover from all my social media. I will have a new cover made. Why? Not that I did anything wrong. I did the right thing by contacting the artist. The copyright owner of the image has also been notified.
Getting a new cover made is the right thing to do. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.
So, for now there is no cover image for the next two Necromancer’s Song books and I am ok with that.
I am not ok with a grown adult bully or an art thief. That’s just mean.
Thank you for your time.
P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.
*Pretty picture of flowers for no reason, photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash
*Writers: send me a message if you want details about the cover designer so you do not make the same mistake I did.
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