Sometimes I happen upon things in the writing and book community that thoroughly depress me and stay with me long after I bypass the post. Sometimes I know those involved, sometimes I don’t and yet it never fails to leave an impression. I don’t always blog about these things as sometimes it’s not worth the energy to become involved.
Today I saw a post that correlated to ones I had seen previously and although I had read about the situation before , this time there were accompanying screen shots and proof and it really did rile my blood. To have it all made simple and clear with just images.
As someone who thrived and lived in the creative community before becoming a full time author I think it just cut a little close to the bone and gave me a foul taste in my mouth that only goes away when I vent in some little way – IE my blog.
See, I am also a designer and artist and although those are now hobbies, not career paths, I have felt the sting of a situation similar to what I witnessed today and I happen to know this sort of thing happens all too often. Been there, done that. Carry the bitterness to those who dwell on my blocked list.
In this case we have two authors – one who also designs cover art for books at very reasonable prices.
Now I won’t go into major details, i know some will say there are always two sides to a story but I will link the post I saw today in case anyone wants to go read for themselves. So click here to go find out the facts for yourself . I am sure Mary will happily stand by her images.
I have permission from the author of the post to talk about this and having gained a little background into the situation in private I am utterly appalled.
To summarise –
Author one commissions (buys) covers from author two.
Author one pays a handsome amount of $700 or thereabouts.
Through the process everything seems fine, author one likes the work being produced and a friendship develops. That is – Until author one hears about a cover artist she is a huge fan of getting a space opening in her diary and wants to use her. That’s where things turn for the worse.
So instead of sticking with the commissioned designer she begins to make excuses to cancel the order. Using the designers pregnancy and living situation as reason. Author two cannot afford to just throw away the order and has already supplied files.
Now I am only going by the screenshots and messages and story I have had relayed to me, so I can only report upon that, but the proof I have seen seems pretty solid. You can go find the lady (linked above) and see for yourself.
Long story short -author one doesn’t want all the covers anymore despite them being a paid package and even upon getting them all, praising the work too, she decides to open a paypal dispute and get refunded for the entire lot. After she has everything.
Now I understand this happens and sometimes work is not what you paid for, that’s entirely valid, but here’s the bummer. She got her refund AND continued to use the files on her own books despite being told by the designer she no longer has the rights to use them. You can see them all on her amazon books.
Why would you do that if they were sub par, not what you wanted and you had been refunded?
The designer is left in debt, struggling to pay bills because she clealry did not budget her wages to a refund of this magnitude. That money is her income and what she pays bills with. And the author is using the covers she no longer has rights too.
Anyone else confused with how this makes the designer the bad guy?? Yeah me too, but the nasty posts and smear campaign calling the designer a scammer are a plenty.
Take from that what you will but I want to highlight something that happens a lot in this community – The sheer scamming nature of people who want something and will go to fraudulent means to get it for free and then scream victim from the roof tops. Not caring about the damage inflicted. I have witnessed it and I have felt it’s cold nasty breath when I worked in creating things for people.
Now this has turned obviously sour and we have an author trying to destroy the reputation of a designer who is severely out of pocket for the hours she spent making those covers and now having to fight to have them removed from said books. We have the other author trying to defend herself and it becomes a game of tit for tat with the truth lost along the way. people taking sides and things getting ugly. This is not an isolated thing and I have seen this happen to designers, artists, creatives, so many times, it’s not even funny at all.
The smear campaigns that follow as one clearly smug person tries to justify their actions by blaming the person they ripped off, for all wrong doing.
Paypal sides with customers most of the time, so no, a Paypal decision does not always point out an innocent party. All too many times Paypal have left people like this designer, myself and others, struggling to make a living by siding with a cocky scam artist.
Do I think that’s what this is? It does seem that way from the things I have seen.
I hate that this is something that leached from the art world I left behind and happens here under our noses to our own beloved authors and designers. It hurts the trust within our community, with our designers and pushes them to take over cautious measures to not get burned again. It makes them hike prices to recover from loss and pushes them to sometimes quit all together.
We should be embracing our artists and supporting them. It’s a skill we benefit from and we need to really appreciate the work and time they put into it. Appreciate that it’s their livelihood as is ours writing books. That cover artists can make our books sell. That they often support us long after the cover is done and they help promote our books.
We are supposed to be a supportive community. Why do we feel we can just use one another and then turn nasty and try to destroy reputations?
This is my grumble for today, I hope you all go and give her a kind word and maybe have a look at her covers for sale. Lighten her load with some positive reinforcement
Peace out , Lovelies xxx