I thought I'd chat about something a little more serious than my usual randomness. In any industry, plagiarism is a problem. Some people will do whatever they have to to get what they want, even if it means stealing from someone else.
As an indie, it sometimes feel virtually impossible to protect yourself. Anyone can hide what they are online. It's easy to lie and cheat, then disappear. Now, granted, not everyone is like this. And I ADORE the indie community. There is a wealth of support there.
I could delve into so many avenues of plagiarism, but I wanted to speak about covers. Finding a cover artist is difficult. There are SO many amazing artists, but how do you know they're legit?
For me, I go with word of mouth. Many authors are willing to share their experiences with you, but you have to be willing to ask (in a polite manner of course). But again this is no guarantee. I leaned this first hand. I purchased a few covers from a well know artist, one of them being Siren's Lure.
Remember how I said word of mouth wasn't full proof? Well, a year after Siren's Lure released, it was discovered that this artist had been stealing art which breaks my heart. I was not the only author affected. I believe there were over 15 authors who found themselves in my precarious situation.
Stealing is wrong. No ifs, ands, or butts.
I was shocked, but instead of jumping on the witch burning wagon, I did my research, which led me to the real artist. *cue the anger* So here I was with a plagiarized cover that I was responsible for even though I had no knowledge of the crime.
What did I feel? Panic. Anger. Betrayal. Plain ol' upset.
You so do not want to be here.
So how do you avoid what I experienced? Do not be afraid to ask for the purchase links to each element of your cover. As an author, you are responsible for the art gracing your manuscript. You don't want to get sued over something you didn't do. So be thorough. Ask questions. And, again, be polite (vinegar and honey, and all that). A please and thank you go a long way.
What do you do if you find yourself with a plagiarized cover? You aren't the first, and you won't be the last. It's frustrating as all get out, but it will be okay. Most artists are booked out for months, but you'll find the indie community always rally's when someone's been wronged. You'll find a new cover, it will be beautiful, and life will go on<3
So that brings me to my last little bit. Hayjen and Lilja have a new cover! I purchased a gorgeous photo from the fabulous underwater photographer Regina Wamba (you can check out her stuff here) and the lovely designer Amy Queau (you can see her portfolio here).
I hope y'all love you the new cover!