So, what does one do when one finds their stuff showing up on sites that one didn't authorize? Especially when someone else is charging for their material, or using it for click-bait?


My experience with Bookmate. I was approached by a woman who said she works for Bookmate and suggested I place my book onto their site. I looked into the possibility and refused. Some time later I discovered my book on bookmate website. Complaint to that woman and writing to their department that deals with copyright infringements didn't produce any result. The book is still there.

@lenna and they charge people money to read it, and you don't see one, red cent of it.

I have a feeling, Bookmate is one of the prime offenders.

If others have had similar experiences -- subscription services profiting from stolen intellectual property -- it would be great to know about it, and what steps were taken, if any, to deal with the theft.

@meg @lenna

This is the first I've heard about Bookmate (BM), but a quick look at their site tells me this:

1) BM's HQ is in Portland, Or.
2) One has to have an account with BM to use the service.
3) Users must upload book files themselves.
4) Accepted file formats are .fb2 or .epub.
5) They have a clearly stated 'Takedown' notice:, and provided a template letter to use.


@meg @lenna

All this implies:

1) One would typically have a completed book in one of the file formats before it's worthwhile to be on BM.
2) For anyone at BM to upload a book, permission or not, seems contrary to their site info and Legal material.

I would ask you these questions just to understand better: Do you have a completed book in one of those file formats? Do you have an account with BM?

If not, you should easily be able to demand a takedown following their guidelines.

@meg @lenna

If they are not responding to you, it's probably because you are not following their required procedure correctly, which is expected. It's like a company getting job applications that are filled out incorrectly; they just go straight in the trash.

So read the legal material and make sure you respond exactly as they ask you to do.

If you still don't get "immediate" response as they say they give in such situations, then you better find a lawyer, if you still care.

@meg @lenna

I won't keep harping on this issue, but I do want to revisit and reiterate a point...

Your 'story', and you know what mean, is an INCREDIBLE one that would easily be an NYT bestseller in print, making you a ton of money. A book in print is still the gold standard, and most writers can only dream of achieving it. Your story will sell itself easily. Publishers will trip over themselves to sign on it. Thus, I'm not sure why you put so much effort in sharing it all online.


@meg @lenna

Maybe you do have a book deal with a publisher. I don't know. It's hard to tell from your erratic details. I've heard you talk about 'my editor', and that you've been approached about a movie. But, frankly, a book in print is the wisest first step. So let me ask for clarity: Are you working with a publisher? Do you have a developmental editor? Of course you can self-publish, but why struggle with that? And you certainly need a DE regardless to tighten the narrative.

@meg @lenna

Do you have a blog post somewhere that explains what the big picture of your book objectives are? That would be helpful to read, I guess. If not, I'd recommend you write one and share the link. I would love to read it.

And if I could offer two cents of advice:

1) Research publishers with a history of publishing best-selling true life adventures.
2) Write a book proposal to them following their guidelines.
3) Work with a developmental editor.
4) Publish and win!


@wion @lenna Done the whole Writers Digest query, blah blah blah dance. Got nothing but scam agents (and very few of them).

Tons of movie offers, no publishers. Hey, it's an example of a couple saying no to the whole victim, suck up to the overloards, do it the proper way and lose, schtick. It's pretty much an anti-establishment story. Nah, publishers ain't gonna like that!

Also, and this is HUGE, we refuse to wave any flags. We refuse to be marginalized. It's a dangerous example!


Okay. Thanks. I think I remember seeing one of you say 'Thelma and Louise'. Seems that's pretty accurate. Hope it doesn't turn out the same way, or somebody else will write the book instead.

I kind of get your position, kind of. I'm no lover of corporate control either. And I know you've both got complex family history, and Lenna is getting the run-around from Canada, etc. There's anger.

But you guys need money, and a best-seller, written by you, with help of a DE, could help.



I don't know what you mean by 'Writers Digest query', but did you you ever actually submit a book proposal?

I realize that's kind of a moot question now, but I'm rather surprised you wouldn't get publisher interest, which makes me think maybe the communication wasn't handled the right way.

In any case, by choice or necessity, you're on a difficult path. I sincerely wish you good luck, and I admire your principles.


@meg @lenna

Keep asking questions, as needed. People here will help if they can; if they'll step outside of their own worlds long enough.

I may not agree with, or understand, every step you take, but I certainly do not judge. I will give helpful advice if I can, which may not be much.

And I sincerely hope to read your full, revised story some day, however it manifests. I'm just kind of a book person. ;)

@wion what do you mean, "People here... if they'll step outside their own worlds"?

Writer's Digest is just another magazine targeting writers -- kinda get that from name, huh 😏 It tells em how to write and win. Shills must-have products and services to writers, poets, artists, who have to have em to publish and win! Gold rush mentality: the gold isn't in them thar hills, it's in the miners buying gold pans and shovels!


By that I mean some people here don't interact outside of their own writing agendas. Call it marketing if you want. It's expected to a degree, and especially in this field.

Writer's Digest? Okay, well, I know Reader's Digest. lol But, in any case, if some online water cooler for first-time writers is where you hoped to find a publisher, then it's no wonder you didn't find success. It's not *that* easy. You've got the story that will sell, but there is a right and wrong way to do it.


If you even care to entertain the notion at this point, I recommend reading...

And I can find a copy of Peter Rubie's nonfiction book proposal instructions if you want.

Point is, if you wanted to get serious consideration on your story through a traditional publishing process, you have to play the game properly. The first step is writing the proposal. It's more important that writing the book at first. It can even help you structure the entire story better.


If you ever decide to try and do write a proposal for submission to a publisher. I'd be happy to review it once and give you honest feedback. Gratis. And I am an editor, after all. How's that for no bullshit.

I mean, it's the least I can do after hounding you about it. ;)


Oh, and I will happily review it under a written agreement to assuage any concerns about stealing or sharing ideas. That's prudent. I'll even write the agreement, to which you can review and comment on before agreeing to it.

Don't even worry about *which* publisher to approach until you have a draft proposal to work with.

Then you research nonfiction publishers and short-list a few that best fit your kind of story. Could be a big name like Penguin or an independent. There are many.


I've only been talking about traditional publishing, of course. I presume you know all about the very different process of self-publishing already. But just in case, here again is a nice article from the respectable people at NY Book Editors, Self-Publishing for Beginners...


Last comment...

I do not have any affiliation with NY Book Editors. They are playing the game and hustling like anyone else. So if you see them say, 'It’s time to submit your manuscript to us. We’ll take it from there.' Realize that you can find any editor, not just them. In fact I think you have an editor already?

That said, the advice NYBE gives is solid. I've read through a lot of it before and agree pretty much down the line, which is why I share it.

@wion Thanks for all the advice! Whew, that's a lot to take in.

Thanks also for the offer to read a non-fic book proposal! Me? Been there, done that, back in uni (advisor & I worked up a couple texts on neural nets in Java). So I kinda know the publishing game. Personally, there's nothing in it for me.

Maybe others, though. I hope your offer is open to EVERYONE here and that your editing services plug is going out to the entire instance, if not the whole fediverse.

Best of luck with that!


Understood. And best back.

To clarify, it was a one-time review of a proposal, not editing services. You mentioned having an editor. I don't step on toes like that.

And no, I'm not offering free book reviews to EVERYONE in the fediverse. lol Most people here write fiction, that I can tell, which I don't work with. And I don't use this account to promote editing services anyway.

I said it before, you're story is incredible, an important human endeavor. It needs told.

Good luck.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Writing Exchange

Writing Exchange is a small, focused community for poets, bloggers, and every kind of writer. This is a place to share your stories and #smallstories, talk about writing, and get to know other writers here. Learn more about us.