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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jan Mader Tango and Tilly....my stolen book.....

I sometimes use weekends just to chat with you. Today is no exception, except today I need to share a personal story and ask for some honest feedback.

I'm going to take a deep breath first. This is difficult.

Over six years ago, I sold a children's story called Tango and Tilly to a publisher in Canada. I was contracted for this manuscript and six more in the series.

This book was my heart because it was based on my own horse Tango (who I adore)...and me.

I used Tango's antics as my inspiration. I used my imagination and joy to write the stories.

I won't go into great detail (partially for legal reasons), but through no fault of my own, two years into the process, my rights were returned to me. I've been sitting on the story since 2006.

Last weekend, out of the blue, someone said to me, "I bought your book for my granddaughter, and she loves it!"

I asked which book and she said, Tango and Tilly.

I was flabbergasted. Long story short. Somehow, some way, my book is being sold (or shown as available) illegally through many sources. It would cost me tens of thousands of dollars to pursue this legally. I don't have that kind of money.

Here is my question to you: If I had the book re-illustrated and then self-published Tango and Tilly, do you think I could generate enough interest to sell it through this blog? If it is successful, I could sell subsequent stories to a publisher here in the states.

That's it. Please spill your guts. Be honest with me. I believe in honesty.
The original publisher has nothing to do with this horrible situation.

41 comments:

Latte Lady said...

Wow, Jan. What a shame... Shame on them! Since I am new to the site, I won't try to answer your questions but I do hope that it works out for you. I would definately pray about that one!

Thanks for the tips by the way!

ScreenplayJ said...

You should try and get a deal for it. If they are selling i there ilegally, you should sell it legally, either getting a deal or sell it your selfeither by this blog site or even trying to self publish it.
It is a shame though. Sorry to hear that, but good luck!!
www.sceenwritersplace.com

Suzanne said...

Hi Jan

You already know how outraged I am that this has happened. I just wanted to add another quick note of support and say that I really hope this works out for you.
Am sending cyber hugs. (())

Tatersmama said...

I'm just flabbergasted that this is being done!
I know that you don't have the kind of money that it would take to pursue it, but couldn't you ask for them ( the bad guys) to pay your fees and court costs? I admit I don't understand the whole logistics part of it, so maybe that wouldn't work...

But yes, I think you could generate enough interest and potential customers through blogging, to make it a viable option!

Alya said...

I have a great friend who is a publisher

Joan said...

I'm so sorry that this happened to you! If you decide to self-publish,I certainly think you could generate potential customers through this blog.

Tony Yuse said...

Jan,

I cant believe it either.I am very sorry that this is happening to you. Unreal!

Rabin Nickens, M.S. Ed. said...

Hi Jan,

I am so upset for you. This is every writer's worst fear when sharing their work. But at least you were able to find out about it. Many authors have their work marketed and sold and never find out.

As for self-publishing, I have pursued that route and think, given that you already have a following, you'd find success (hey, I would buy the book! I've never owned a horse but came to admire stallions while studying abroad in West Africa years ago).

As for the legal end, try Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and see what they say. Here's the link:

http://www.vlany.org/aboutus/whoweserve.php

At the very least, they might be able to give you some more options. I'd just hate for these folk to get away with this.

Best of luck.

- Rabin

Tatersmama said...

I just made a post, so fingers crossed that we can generate some interest!

Tammy Corbin said...

I think you should pursue litigation through the link shared by another friend (posted above), and also that you should self-publish this book through the Amazon self-publishing site you told me about. They will market the book for you (although they also take a cut of profits). You can also purchase as many books as you'd like on your own and sell them however you'd like and keep the profits from those sales. That's what I'm hoping to do. Let's get together when you can! I'm sure it's not a coincidence that you found out, and God will turn this into a blessing in disguise.

The Wife said...

I came over from Tatersmama's site. I think you should whatever action you can. I would bet that you have enough bloggie friends that would pull together and generate sales. Good Luck!

My Big Fat Super Super Obese Blog said...

I can't believe that someone would do that, I do think that you should try to fight it if possible. People shouldn't be allowed to get away with that. I definitely think you could drum up enough interest. The blogging community is amazing.

Eric said...

Your work possesses Copy Rights by the fact that it exists; all created works do, regardless of whether or not they are filed with the Copyright Office. [For more info on this Google "Copyright".] If no contract exists to hand rights over to someone else, the reproduction of it without your consent is not merely shameful, it is criminal. Contacting a lawyer is about your only option, I think. I would definitely look into the legal option previously suggested.

Robynn's Ravings said...

I would not roll over on this and just try to publish and sell through this site. I like the Amazon idea because I think you'll get more traffic. But I definitely think you have every right to a "cease and desist." You may even win their inventory of your work in a suit and gain the profits from the sales thereof.

As one of your other commenters said, you HAVE the copyrights any time you publish merely by the date and time of publishing. This is yours. FIGHT! On whatever front you can. Definitely utillize the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. What a wonderful suggestion and link.

ScreenplayJ said...

Yes, use Amazon, otherwise, it can be stolen again.
This advice is great and should get forwarded to other writers for future reference.

Jan Mader said...

I'm going to post this here, because I'm getting so many responses and I want to respond to everyone thus far.

I AM going to contact Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts...thank you so much for that link. I didn't know it existed.

Beyond that, I'm going to keep reading all your great ideas and I'll let you know what happens.

Keep reading all the comments as they come in, maybe we'll all learn something new.

Thank you again....Jan

Kathy said...

Great advice so far. I came thru Tatersmama also and I think this is a total rip-off and a criminal act. There should be some recourse for you beyond spending a small fortune trying to get your story back. Good luck to you.

Anita said...

I have no idea what you should do dear but I do wish you all the best.I hope the ones that stole your book pays and pays dearly.Best of luck.

Neas Nuttiness said...

I hope that through Alya and the Voluteer Lawyers for the Arts, that this is taken care of immediately. I'll keep you in my prayers tonight.

BTW - Tatersmama sent me!

Andrea said...

Came over from Tatersmama...so sorry to hear that this happened to you! Lots of good advice has been given in the comments....I wish you the best of luck!

Sandy said...

Great post and wonderful ideas. Go for it.

Sandy

Marilyn's Money said...

Jan, such a shame. To be honest publishing and selling books is very difficult. I have looked into it myself. However, that being said go ahead and try you have nothing to lose.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I dropped by because of Tatersmama mentioning what had happened. This is unbelievable, and I really hope that it does get resolved in your favor.

Jen

Pam said...

I would fight it. Definitely.

Treehouse Chef said...

I would try to estimate what the cost would be if your book was successful and see if it would be worth it to take legal action. Also, would there be any revenue from additional publishings and so forth. If not, I think I would let it go and work on other projects. What is the cost to your bank account, peace of mind, time and family. That is the question.

Red said...

I would call the place that holds the copyright (copyright authority) and check with them. They do pursue( it is their job) things like this and it might not cost you very much at all.

Good luck and yes, I say fight it. Good luck.

SassyDog said...

You seem to be getting lots of good advice from what I can tell. Go for it! Tatersmama sent me your way. Good Luck!!

angie said...

Hello, Jan!
So sorry to hear that happened to you but like the others, I think you should fight!

Also--my little poetry group from livejournal (your_spirals)--just self-published a community book through lulu.com and we are so pleased with the results that we are beginning work on our second issue. I would highly recommend their service for self-publishing! ;)

rubiesrnotpurple said...

This is shameful. I'm with the others. Get professional advice. I'm also coming via Tatersmama.

Jeevan said...

I have seen some blogger do sell there books through blog in help of online shopping sites. Why can’t u move through the law in seek of compensation, those sold your book illegally?

Glue Girl said...

Jan, I agree with the general concensus: That is your property and you should pursue the punishement of WHOever did the publishing and distribution. What they did was unlawful AND unethical. Also like the dea that you may be able to take over any inventory they may have. What I would do with that, however, is burn it so that no more of the illeagal copies were able to be sold! Then, I would retitle the book. Why? Because that would help me (just my thinking about me here) regain my ownership of the book. Best of luck ,my dear. Oh, and no babies yet!!!!!

Glue Girl said...

P.S. My spelling stinks today! Tee-Hee!

Sandy said...

This is a site I thought you might want to see.
http://www.brainpopjr.com/reading/

I got it from your cool adsense ad

Must be a way to publish without going broke?

Sandy

Gramma 2 Many said...

Get Legal HELP!!! Whomever published knew they were stealing and breaking the law. You can get all of the info from the book your friend has. Do not roll over and play dead. Get it published, then offer it to us on your site also.
Came over by Tatersmom.

mleigh906 said...

Hey Jan! I had no idea this had happened to you and it is heartbreaking...I do know how this book series was truly your baby. I know in my heart that if you self-published it would be an overwhelming success, however I also think that the bad guys in this situation need to be prosecuted if at all feasible. Whatever I can do to help, count me in!
Marissa

The Blonde Duck said...

I've been selling books through my blog. I think with the way the publishing biz is, it's the only way to go. Plus, you were really wronged. Is there no way to get a pro bono lawyer to take you on?

The Dotterel said...

Yes, yes, and yes. Go for it!

Wild Boomba said...

Hi! I found your site thanks to Tatersmama. I am so sorry that happened to you. It doesn't seem like that should ever be able to happen.

I would fight it if you can find someone who can help you and I would consider self-publishing. My friend has a self-publishing site. Go to www.shared-self-publishing.com and see if you can find some help there. You can also contact my friend Steve,who runs the site, and see if he has any insights for you.

GOOD LUCK!
Leslie

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Jan, I am so sorry, this is the pits. I hope you find some legal help. Pro bono or someone that will take part of the proceeds from a civil settlement. It is just not right, certainly there is some group out there someplace that will help you to take the thieves on. I came over via Muddy Boots/Tatersmom I hope you find some way to resolve the probem, and still keep your sanity:)

Kelly & Mary Beth said...

Jan,

We are so sorry this happened. We have 5 nieces and nephews who are 8 or under and we would definately buy a copy for them if you decided to self-publish. If you need to drown your sorrows, come over for a glass of wine (or two). Wish there was more we could do.

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

Hi Jan
I just finished reading this horrible happening.
Shame on that person or person who stole from you! Oh I would be mad as a wet hornet if that happened to me! And especuially this story is about family- your family- your Tango- your baby.
Those people need to be put in jail after you get the book back and get repaid.
I would love to find that person and scare the you know what out of them, beleive me. I can scare! And then I would squirt some nasty stuff on them- (not sure if you know what I mean)
This is just awful. Wish I could track em down and make them suffer. This is not right!
Go Jan Go!
love
tweedles

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