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Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I'm an Unwilling "Cover Model" thanks to a Creepy Author

So, this is my picture on Wikipedia:
However, some creepy-creepster decided he could use my image for commercial gain by selling his own book (which is possibly plagiarized - see my review posted below) with my face on it as the book cover. I am upset about this. I feel violated.

EDITED TO ADD: This is NOT MY BOOK. I have nothing to do with this and have no control over it.

Click to enlarge

Fortunately, a woman who was on Amazon looking for a book to buy ran across it, and recognized me (which is amazing in and of itself, since they didn't credit my name anywhere, not that doing so would make it anymore legal or morally right). She contacted me and told me what was going on (thank you!).

I reported it to Amazon KDP. Since the author is in Kindle Unlimited, that means he's in KDP Select, which means he's exclusive to Amazon, which means I don't have to go chasing this cover down all over the place, thank goodness. I just need Amazon to take it down...in all their countries.

UPDATE 9/2/15: SUCCESS! Amazon agreed to take it down from all countries within 2-3 days!
click to enlarge
Update 9/3/15: WHEEE! It's gone! :D
The book was up for 4 days total before takedown.
This is the 1 star review I posted on the book's product page, to warn other readers (as of this writing, my review is not yet showing up on Amazon):

That is my picture on the cover, but I am not a cover model. I am a NYT and USA Today bestselling romance author, and I've worked really hard to get there. I did NOT give this "author" Ricky Andrew permission to use a picture of me as his book cover. That photograph is copyrighted by the photographer, and I *never gave* Ricky Andrew a model release or the license to use my pic for his commercial gain. He has no right to use me, a woman who has worked her ass off writing romance novels since 2010, as an unwilling "cover model" to sell his book. If it even IS his book.

Why do I think he might be plagiarizing as well as stealing another author's likeness? If you Google "Ricky Andrew Author," all you find is other links on Amazon to his other books...no author website, no Facebook, no Twitter, no way to contact him (I tried) -- and most of those links lead to books which have already been taken down. Books only get taken down on Amazon if they are violating copyright. Even out-of-print books have pages that stay up on Amazon forever. So something is fishy here, beyond him using my picture against my will to sell his books.

Since he is claiming to be a romance author, then I have a feeling he knows exactly whose photo he was using, which is really icky and makes me feel targeted. And now this book is actually selling. Please, readers, do not think I have anything to do with this atrocity. I am an unwilling participant. I have already notified Amazon KDP.

If you bought this book, whether through KU or not, please ask Amazon to refund your money so that these guys can't gain from violating me. Readers, thank you for your support, I appreciate it.
Sincerely,
Shoshanna Evers

UPDATE: Amazon WON'T post my review! I got an email saying:
Your review could not be posted.
Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines.


UPDATE 2: Amazon won't post my amended review, either!
click to enlarge
Since there is no "look inside" feature for this book, I wasn't able to put any of the content through a plagiarism detector. If anyone has the book already (please don't buy it) perhaps you can find out for the romance community which other author "Ricky Andrew" may have ripped off.

UPDATE 3: Another author read the sample pages and said it might not be plagiarized, it looks like a poor translation from another language (although that could possibly be from another author's book, then translated to English using an online translation tool.)

Click to enlarge to read a sample

How you can help: On the bottom of the book's page on Amazon is this:
Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? Click here

Update 9/2/15: (as above) Thank you for your help! Amazon is now removing the book! I imagine I won't get any of the money they earned while it's up, but I don't even care about that at this point. They'd had it up for $2.99 and then made it free. *smh*

(Don't bother clicking to report a copyright violation, because only the copyright holder can do so unfortunately). But I hope if enough people complain about the book they will take it down. 

Sample wording: The "cover model" on Perfect Billionaire Baby is a real author who did not give her permission to be used on a book cover. Ricky Andrew is using her for commercial gain, and not only is that illegal, he is violating her and it is morally wrong. Please pull down this book and don't support Ricky Andrew's scam to bait readers into thinking she is affiliated with the book when she is not.

Also, thank you for warning other readers away from that book, since many of you were able to post reviews where I wasn't allowed to.
click to enlarge - I'm taking screenshots bc Amazon will be removing the book!
Thank you!

UPDATE 4: That scumbag is on the YA Contemporary Romance Free Bestseller List on Amazon. There are legitimate great books that should be in that spot. It makes me so angry.
Click to enlarge if you want to get angry too

Oh hey - if you click through to the Wikipedia page about me, you'll notice it's a bit out of date. If you do Wikipedia updates and feel like updating it with my other other books that hit NYT and USAT lists since it was originally posted, and current books, email me for info or for help with anything else you need! :) Thanks!


17 comments:

  1. Why don't you simply remove this book from your Amazon account? The scummy scammy person can't do anything about that!

    His alleged co-author, James Andrew, shows quite a few books. If you look at his book covers closely — it seems like someone adding their name to the covers.

    You can get another cover made and re-upload your real book and real book description.

    Just my 2¢.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not her book...he is using her photo as the cover for 'his' book.

      Delete
    2. I have no control over this book, it's not mine. A random guy stole my photo and used it for *his* book.

      Delete
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  2. I have reported the book using the poor quality and also using the inappropriate content headings.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a "look inside" option there now. And, OMFG, can we say online translator program?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am FINALLY understanding that it's NOT your book! :-) It's your COVER image they have pirated and added their name to. That's really pathetic. Even I, as a beginner, know that's sooo uncool. Amazon should really penalize them. And yes — PG Forte — it makes you wonder or laugh or both! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. File DCMA takedown notice (theft of your data) plus email safehorbor@amazon.com for a violation of using your personal data without permission. If no result, threaten to risk Amazon's Safe Harbor status by also filing a Safe Harbor complaint of misuse of personal data directly with BBB and FTC. If still no result, file complaint. Copyright, privacy and data theft crap -- if not handled by sites hosting -- unfortunately can come down to lawsuits so if likely long and costly lawsuits aren't what you want then don't let up on sites showing that book cover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the advice! This info may come in handy for other authors who are victimized like this. Fortunately, today Amazon said they are taking down the book within 2-3 days :)

      Delete
    2. Yay! Always best if just asking a site about it works before taking other actions (and no doubt less likely to piss them off than pursuing other means).

      Delete
  6. Contact Amazon's legal department in cases like these. Amazon profits from cases like this too, and the threat of a lawsuit over unauthorized use of an image might get them off their asses a bit quicker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm nervous to push my weight around too much, because Amazon is a big source of income for me. I don't want to piss them off :/

      Delete
  7. Wonderfully resolved Shoshanna! I simply abhor any negative drama around me. But sometimes we're required to sock 'em in the eye!

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