Monday, April 15, 2013

One Step Too Far?

As some people reading my blog may know, I have self-published some short stories on Smashwords. I've collected these into a single volume so I will have something to sell June 15 at the Chelmsford Library, where I will speak about my novel.

I also have published Kindle versions on Amazon because I am told I needed to be in the Amazon store if I hope to sell anything. I recently updated a few stories there. Generally speaking the updates go through without a hitch. But this last time, one story got stuck. After a few days I wrote to Amazon asking to unstuck it.

They responded that the copyright of the story was in question. I was amazed that they would question it but they had no idea of the stories history. So I told them that I held all rights to the story, that the story was published in Smashwords and Amazon for distribution purposes only.

That was enough to satisfy them but I have to wonder, did they go too far? Who else are they questioning about the copyright of their work? If they had not been satisfied, the story would have been dropped from the Kindle story, forcing me to sell from my web site exclusively. That would have been life far more complicated, because I would have to start taking payments on the site. Currently I sent visitors to other sites that sell my work.

I toyed with the idea of changing the title and resubmitting it but never went down that path as there was no need. I'm not sure if that would've worked. It might have especially if I revised the first several pages. Of course that's a lot of work when I've done nothing wrong, which is why I only toyed with the idea.

The moral here is trend softly and know where your work is published. Amazon may come knocking on your door when you least expect it.

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