Kindle Unlimited OR Kindle Piracy

Authors Under Attack & Kindle Piracy Policy

Where is an author’s place in an Amazon world?

Piracy. The word has run the gamut of affiliated issues in different markets over the years. It’s been linked with issues with music and downloading songs without payment to the artist. Remember the days of Napster? Piracy has also been linked to theft for authors. Websites are springing up where full manuscripts are available for public download. This is problematic enough, but Amazon’s new stringent policy against kindle piracy creates even further punishment for authors!

Kindle Unlimited has always been controversial for authors. There has always been that double edged sword of affiliating yourself with Amazon to be paid for page reads along with their marketing, but you have to pledge exclusivity. This has always been a difficult decision. 

Many authors swear by it and build their entire platform around having their books in the Kindle Unlimited library. Others start off that way to get their book out there and then pull to go wide (aka list it in other vendor marketplaces) after they’ve got a solid base of reviews. This is what I did. 

I felt, as do many authors, that it was unfair that to be listed in Kindle Unlimited I was restricted from even selling my own ebooks directly on my own website! It felt like it goes against the grain of why many of us went into self-publishing in the first place. To have autonomy over marketing decisions. But still, I did understand why some authors chose to stay. The Kindle Unlimited page read payouts are alluring. 

Author Kindle Piracy Problems

However, Amazon recently opened a whole new can of worms against authors. Amazon added kindle piracy to its exclusivity violations. So now in addition to an author already feeling frustrated when their work is stolen and posted on a random site for download, they’re also getting shut out of their Amazon accounts. 

That’s right, Amazon is not even serving them a warning or advice on how to fight the kindle piracy, they are just shutting authors out of their accounts and sole sources of income overnight and citing breach of their exclusivity contracts.

The worst part is authors don’t even know how to go about fighting it. Some authors are trying to organize a solidarity Kindle Unlimited strike- however understandably many claim they can’t afford to pull their sole income source right now.

There is also a petition being shared as well as one acknowledging that Amazon is one of the primary sources for this kindle piracy in the first place! Many automated systems use Amazon as the source for them to copy the e-files they share on their free sites. 

It’s a vicious cycle. An author needs a source for selling/publishing their product, they turn to Amazon and commit to their exclusivity clause, their work gets stolen from Amazon, then Amazon boots them out of the program without support. 

This cycle needs to be broken! 

Perhaps by at least spreading awareness of this issue, whether that be by sharing this article, the circulating petitions, or just by talking about it– change can occur. Amazon needs to be held accountable and they need to support the authors they are making money from.

As stated in an article from ‘’ posted on Dec 7th, 2021;

“Per the AAP, tracked ebook sales REVENUE from January through October 2021 amounted to $892.5 million.”

Do better Amazon. Authors make you money. Protect them.

Do you have a Kindle Unlimited Account as either a reader or author? What are your feelings about Kindle Unlimited?

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GIVEAWAY: Help Grow a Library!

Spring has arrived! While I may not have the gift of growing plants, I would LOVE to be part of growing your local library’s book selection. Want to enter? All you have to do is fill out a request at your favorite library for them to carry my book. Once submitted, send me a screenshot of your request and you will be entered to win a book from your wishlist and a specialty bookmark!

Looking for information about my other books? Check out my Book Page here!

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SCBWI Meet the Author

Exciting SCBWI News: Their Team is Growing!

I am ecstatic to join the SCBWI team!

You may recall I recently discussed what SCBWI is and the many benefits of joining. (You can find that post here). The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is a global community of writers, illustrators, and many other industry professionals working to establish a more imaginative and inclusive world through the power of children’s literature. At last, I am thrilled to share I have been selected as the new Mid-Atlantic region Indie and Self-Published Coordinator. Obviously, I am hugely honored to be part of such an important mission! SCBWI is dedicated to supporting the creation of an abundance of quality children’s books. A mission that strives to ensure young people everywhere have the books they need and deserve. 

Meet a Writer featuring Joyana Peters

I had a wonderful opportunity to dive into my self-publishing journey and share a few things you might not know about the road that led me from teaching college-level English to the release of The Girl in the Triangle and beyond. I enjoyed having the opportunity to share a glimpse into how I got to where we are today. If you haven’t yet read this edition of Highlighter SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Journal, you can find it here.

SCBWI Meet an Author Quote

Looking for information about my other books? Check out my Book Page here!

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Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Why do we still need to discuss the importance of workplace safety? Let’s examine how it’s still an issue today!

the importance of workplace safety

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Another March 25h is here and I’m still remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Every year I reflect on this day and think of the brave women, men and children who were not only victims on that fateful day, but were also there to lead the charge on the picket line to demand reform in the Garment Worker’s Uprising of 1909. But have we yet learned our lesson? Is this really no longer an issue? Let’s examine where we are in society today and why we still need to discuss the importance of workplace safety.

Current workplace safety statistics

I’d love to say that US workplaces are safer today than they were the time of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, there are more safety protocols and inspections, but workplace safety is still a very valid concern.

The current death toll due to fires and explosions in the workplace is an average of 200 deaths per year. And that is not necessarily in professions expected to be working with those elements. In addition to fatalities, more than 5,000 workers are injured in fires or explosions each year. These statistics come largely from incidents on construction sites, transportation workers, factories etc.

In general, U.S. fatal workplace injuries are steadily increasing and are at their highest in years. In 2021, there were 5,190 fatal work injuries recorded, an 8.9% increase from 4,764 reported in 2020. This equates to a 3.6% fatal occupational injury rate- the highest rate since 2016!

To illustrate- that is an average of 14 workers dying per day and the equivalent of one worker dying every 101 minutes!

Child labor violations are also on the rise!

In 2015- the lowest point in data, the Wage and Hour Division found 1,012 minors employed in violation of child labor laws in the U.S.In 2022, that number more than tripled to 3,876! In addition to the numbers, the concern is investigators are finding a rising number of children working in dangerous jobs like meatpacking plants, loading docks and metal shops.

What should we do with this information?

We start by identifying and talking about it. One of the biggest issues is a lack of knowledge. We think it’s 2023, that can’t possibly still be happening. And yet, it most definitely is.

We then must examine solutions. Labor Unions were steadily declining in past decades, but since Covid that’s been changing.They are now at an all-time high in favorability ratings. “Half the workforce said they would join a union today if given the opportunity because they know that without the power of a union, workers are helpless.” Richard Trumka- President of American Federation of Labor.

With Covid, questions of who is “essential”, what safeties are protected and more have all been brought to the forefront of conversation. We need to continue having those discussions.And we need to accept that, “Support for unions is not just about wages and benefits. It’s respect, it’s dignity and it’s health and safety,” (Trumka).

We need to prioritize the importance of workplace safety.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic and return to the workplace and discuss the future, these issues of worker’s rights and safety need to come to the forefront. We need to educate others about these safety concerns and we need to channel those brave garment workers to stand up for change today!

Continue to learn about history and other issues in society today by reading other articles on my blog here! Want to make sure you never miss an article? Subscribe to my blog below!

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Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Independent Contractors vs Employees

Are independent contractors getting abused?

Do you understand the difference between an independent contractor vs employee and why the distinction matters? Read to find out!

Are independent contractors getting abused? Independent contractors vs employees

Are Independent Contractors Getting Abused?

It’s all over the news right now. The Biden administration recently released a proposal that could lead to millions of workers being classified as employees rather than independent contractors. This has been met with debate from both sides on what this could mean for workers in the future. For starters, are independent contractors getting abused? Well, that depends who you ask. Some of us might not even know which is part of the problem. So, how do we define the difference between an independent contractor vs employee? And why is that distinction so important?

This is an issue I have extremely strong opinions about for a few reasons. 1) I’ve studied the history going all the way back to the abuse of “independent contractors” working in the Triangle factory. 2) I have firsthand experience of being misclassified as an independent contractor for years at my last job. And 3) I now legitimately am working as an independent contractor and can also see the concerns related to implementation of CA’s AB 5 law and why that could cause people to fear something similar on the federal level.

What is the difference between an independent contractor vs employee?

Here are my thoughts. The term independent contractor has been ambiguously defined for years. While some self-employed freelancers are truly deserving of the title, the ambiguous definition has left room for employers to take advantage and workers to have little recourse. For instance, many workers in the Triangle were considered independent contractors, responsible for providing their own thread and paid for pieces completed rather than an hourly wage. They were exempt from worker’s compensation if they were injured on the job because they were not actual employees.

In more recent years this practice and abuse continues. My last job classified me as an independent contractor. However, I had no independent business or other clients, only them. They dictated my hours and pay. I was required to attend staff meetings, complete employee training and I was also required to work weekends and after hours for the “good of the company”. They also withheld nothing towards my taxes or Social Security. In addition to that, I got no maternity leave and was only able to take six weeks unpaid time off after the birth of my youngest, two of which she spent in the NICU.

During Covid budget cut time when the rest of the staff was required to take their PTO, I was also required to take an unpaid week off from work. To say, I grew frustrated by all this was an understatement.

The final icing on the cake came when I finally decided to leave. I wrote a goodbye email and provided my personal contact info to clients to remain in touch. The company came after me with a cease and desist order for supposed solicitation. I have to admit, as my anger faded, I actually laughed at this, because I think they had even forgotten at this point that I wasn’t considered one of their employees with a non-compete clause!

I could have probably retaliated and fought against them for misclassification etc, but I didn’t have the time, money or energy. And that is the problem. I was a little person at the behest of a Goliath.

As the reporting about the Biden proposal comes out it’s mostly focused on the gig economy, but what many Americans fail to realize is just how prevalent this problem is. There are MANY workers misclassified as independent contractors and in all different sectors of work.

As I work as a true freelance independent contractor now, I do understand the fears people have of having their freedom clipped. How too much legislation could make a potential client hesitate from legitimately hiring a freelancer for work if they might have to put them on their books.

But, I also think it’s time for the abuses with this label to end. We need clearly laid definitive questions that distinguish the difference between a freelancer with their own business working with other clients and an employee who just isn’t being put on the books. We need enforcement so companies cannot get away with misusing their power. And workers need protections, recourse and freedoms to choose HOW they want to work in today’s economy.

Yes, it is an amazing opportunity to truly be a self-employed individual who can set their own hours and work flexibly with clients they choose. But that needs to be the actual choice a worker is making. Not a classification without the freedoms and benefits to accompany. Employers can’t have it both ways and classify a worker as a freelancer, but not allow them to actually freelance or dictate the terms of their hours or pay.

For more information on this topic- check out some articles here!

For more articles on News and Society- check out the rest of Joyana’s Blog Page

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2022 Book Excellence Award Winner

2022 Book Excellence Award Winner

The Girl in the Triangle was named the 2022 Book Excellence Award Winner for Best Multicultural Fiction!

2022 Book Excellence Award Winner

The Book Excellence Awards is an international book awards competition.Chosen from thousands of applicants, The Girl in the Triangle was awarded the 2022 Book Excellence Award Winner for the Best in Multicultural Fiction category.

I’m honored to represent this category.