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?

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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Is Joining a Authors Guild Worth It?

Do I Need an Authors Guild?

Am I wasting my money on an Authors Guild?

I’ve been a part of a number of author guilds/writer’s organizations at this point. I’ve tried IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association), and long ago the IWWG (International Women Writers Guild) and the Historical Novel Society. My experiences with each of these organizations and the benefits they offer members has varied dramatically. So overall, is joining an authors guild worth it?

My answer is- it depends. 1. I think it depends on what your goals are in doing so. Where are you in your author journey? What support are you looking to get? And 2. Have you done your homework? I can attest to the fact that there are an overwhelming number of guilds and support organizations out there. Some of them are more reputable than others. Others might be reputable, but just have more to offer than others. So, how do you choose?

Identify Your Needs

Different guilds have different focuses. Are you looking to improve your craft? Some organizations focus on retreats and learning sessions on craft based elements. Are you further along in the process and looking for more help with publication and marketing? There are organizations specializing in those elements as well. It’s also important to discern how you plan to publish. Are you aiming for traditional publishing or do you plan to publish independently? The answers to these questions will help you sift through the offerings to find the guild or support organization that might best serve your individual needs.

Peruse Authors Guilds based off YOUR needs

Who are you hoping to meet? You’ve hopefully determined your individual writing goals at this point. Now, it’s important to build your support network. Are you looking to meet other writers in your particular genre? If so, finding a guild that focuses on a particular niche genre could be helpful. For example, this was my reasoning when I joined the Historical Novel Society and SCBWI.

If you’ve determined a particular path to publishing that interests you, that could also impact your search. I knew I wanted to self-publish, so I wanted a guild that would help me with that. I joined IBPA to offer me benefits and discounts with the process and also advice through their podcasts and blog posts.

Give their offerings a cash value objectively

Here is where I made some mistakes and what I hope to pass on to you, my dear readers. Look for the return on your investment from the guild. What are you getting by joining? Is it worth the bang for your buck? 

Selecting the right Authors Guild

Some of these guilds offer minimal return for the annual investment. Instead they offer a conference or gathering for members where you have to pay an additional fee with the membership just offering a discount. That could be potentially worth it to you if you feel the conference is enough- just make sure the annual fee is not substantial. 

I, personally, have found the most value in the organizations that offer free webinars and content as part of their membership. I love the idea of conferences, but they’re expensive to attend and honestly, they get repetitive. But, content I can peruse at my leisure at home, or webinars I can attend in my pajamas fit my lifestyle. I also appreciate when these are included in my membership dues and there are no extra fees.

In addition to education, I have also found the most value in the organizations that offer partnerships and discounts with publishing and marketing providers. As a self-published author, this is invaluable because those expenses add up fast. So discounts and vetted sources and ideas for marketing are appreciated.

I hope this gives you ideas to consider when researching author guilds and organizations. If you have further questions on this topic, feel free to reach out in either the comments below or by email at

Author Guilds/ Support Organizations I recommend:

SCBWI for children’s book and YA creators

IBPA for self-published authors

ALLi for self-published authors- although this is less necessary if you’re a SCBWI member because they’ve teamed up and offered partnership incentives

Are you a member of a writer’s guild? Which ones have you found most beneficial?

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

Want to make sure you’re the first to hear when I release a new book or novella? Subscribe to my blog below to never miss an update!

What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

You may have heard of it, but what does the acronym stand for? What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

What is SCBWI?

You’ve probably heard me refer to SCBWI at different times here on my website or in passing. But I’ve realized that to many of you, it’s probably just some acronym. So I wanted to take time today to actually answer this question. What is SCBWI?

SCBWI is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It’s an international professional organization for children’s and young adult authors and illustrators. In other words, it’s a writing guild.

What is the SCBWI Mission?

Although the organization technically caters to the creators, their mission and outreach do so much more. They joke that their belief is there can never be too many good children’s books, and they stand by that. They do whatever they can to both support creators in creating their books and also in supporting the channels and networks to get the books into reader’s hands.

Is it worth joining SCBWI?

I’ve been asked by writers before- is it worth joining a guild like this? Do I actually get my money’s worth? My answer to you would be, it depends. In the second article in this series, I will get into answering this question in more detail. What I will say here is that SCBWI has been worth my time and money.

I’ve been a member of SCBWI for over ten years now. Although my personal journey has not always aligned with the more traditional offerings of the organization, I’ve always found some value in the organization. And now, SCBWI has even opened up a number of benefits for non-traditional authors like me as well!

For instance, as a member of SCBWI, you get a TON of learning and networking opportunities. They have regular webinars, socials, conferences and more. And this is in both your regional/local chapter and on the national/international level. One of my favorite benefits has been the ability to find and match with critique group members. This was how I found my own critique group many, many years ago! 

They also offer business resources and benefits. For instance, they’ve established an organizational relationship with the Alliance of Independent Authors so all SCBWI members have access to many of their independent publishing resources and directories. SCBWI also offers numerous ways to promote yourself and your work! They have speaker listings, book listings, grants, awards and tons, tons, more.

How does SCBWI benefit the community?

I’ve mentioned all the creator benefits, but I think it’s also important to mention the community benefits. As I stated earlier, part of SCBWI’s mission is also supporting the channels for getting books in the reader’s hands. This involves partnering and supporting teachers, librarians and booksellers as well. SCBWI offers a number of ways to support classrooms and libraries. These range from the speaker directory to help aid in finding guest authors for visits, recorded author readings and book talks, themed reading lists broken down by reading level and more!

I hope this helps explain that SCBWI is so much more than just an acronym. And if you are a reader with children in your life, I hope you take some time to peruse the website and share the many offerings with others as well.

Joyana has recently accepted a volunteer position with SCBWI as their new Mid-Atlantic Independent and Self-Published Coordinator. She will be coordinating networking and programming opportunities for other Indie authors like herself. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions about this at

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you subscribe to Joyana’s blog to be the first to see her new article postings!

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Have you read Joyana’s free short story yet?

Sign up for Joyana’s newsletter list today and get her free short story about the day of the Triangle fire!

Nanowrimo 2022

Nanowrimo- Is it Worth It?

Each year millions of writers sign up, but only 10-15% finish. So, why all the hype?

Nanowrimo 2022
Why all the hype about Nanowrimo?
Nanowrimo- Is it Worth It?

Nanowrimo 2022

November is here and with that brings Nanowrimo 2022. In case you don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The time of year when SO many writers decide to take advantage of built in accountability, self-esteem boosts and commit themselves to writing a novel in a month. Are we masochists? Gluttons for punishment? There has to be a reason this is so popular, right? Or maybe it’s not really that hard to get 50,000 words on a page in a month.


Well, out of the 450 million of participants that sign up each year, only 10-15% of them actually finish. And since 1999 when the program began, only 250 manuscripts were ever picked up and actually published by traditional publishers. So why is there the continued hype?

Why with these crazy odds stacked against them, do writers continue to set up their profiles and get their butts in the chair each November 1st?

Why all the hype about Nanowrimo?

I think it comes down to a few reasons. The main one- Hope. Just like how the new year has become the perfect opportunity for a clean slate and goal setting time, Nanowrimo offers the possibility of getting ahead. Even if completion doesn’t occur, you’ve still got more words on the page than when you started. And isn’t that fulfilling in itself?

The second reason is– Permission. In a world where one of the hardest things about being a writer is finding time to write, a built-in excuse to prioritize writing for a few weeks is pretty darn tempting. Think of the psychology on this one. You’ve publicly committed to this goal to produce a particular word count. So, for that to happen– you have permission to let dishes and house cleaning pile up and fall back on pizza for dinner multiple nights in a row. You can even potentially take a few personal days and call in favors for extra childcare.

The third reason is– It’s temporary. Whenever there is a set timeframe and deadline, it is easier to justify making sacrifices that are harder to maintain long term. Yes, you can skip plans with friends for a few Friday nights or toss every birthday party invite in the trash during November. But keeping that up indefinitely? Much harder to maintain.

So, maybe that’s the allure of Nanowrimo. Maybe the majority of us even go in knowing it isn’t really about the completion of the novel. But having one month where we can tell our jobs, families, and just life in general, writing is prioritized. And if a few of your new habits fall over into the rest of the year? Even better.

For all of you participating in Nanowrimo– Good luck! I hope you find whatever fulfillment you seek out of the process!

Looking for other Writing Related articles? Check out Joyana’s Blog here!

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Bookstores for Self Published Authors

What Do We Need to Know About Bookstores for Self-Published Authors?

Bookstores. We love to browse them. We love the services they provide. But do they serve the needs of a Self-Published Author?

Are bookstores worth it for self-published authors?

Are Bookstores Worth It for Self-Published Authors?

I love Indie Bookstores, I do! I’m a Shop Small Girl, I promise! I buy books from bookstores ALL THE TIME! I wanted to say that first and foremost because today’s article might otherwise be viewed as controversial.

I’ve seen a number of articles and even a campaign sponsored by Bookshop (the leading online ordering service for Indie Bookstores) out this week encouraging readers to NOT shop Amazon for Prime Day and instead get your books from your local bookstore. In theory, I support and understand this. We NEED indie bookstores to survive and have been fighting this fight for them for years. Remember the Meg Ryan/ Tom Hanks movie- You’ve Got Mail?

BUT, as a Self-Published Author, there’s a reason I prioritize Amazon for my own books. Unfortunately, I’ve found there are things we need to know about bookstores for self-published authors.

When The Girl in the Triangle launched last year, I was all about getting it into bookstores. One, there was the romantic idea of seeing it on shelves. And two, I thought it would really be to my benefit. Exposure, free marketing right? Most of you even know I’ve done plenty of bookstore signings. However, although I met some awesome bookstore owners and people, the shine quickly wore off.

The unfortunate reality is bookstores DO NOT benefit the Self-Published Author. Some will not even consider self-published books, others make you pay to rent your shelf space and then there’s the royalty/return issue.

I did an event a few months ago and was excited they got a bunch of my books in for it. Well, in the few hours I was there- I made less than I would in one hour at a festival. (35% per sale vs 100% – printing cost per sale).

Then I learned the hard way what happens when the bookstore decides they’re not going to move the stock. They gave my books less than eight weeks before returning. Although they bought them at a 55% discount from my supplier- I had to eat the entire full price cost of the return! And I didn’t even get the books back- they were destroyed at the warehouse!

I honestly can’t even blame the bookstore for this. I get it. They are a small space and need to stock what moves the fastest. But when traditional publishers can pay for highlighted tables and window space- my book on a back shelf didn’t stand a chance.

In contrast, the Amazon beast is set up for self-publishing success. I get a 70% royalty off a sale there. The item is only printed when ordered- so no worries about unmoved stock. And Amazon eats the cost of any returns.

The world of publishing is changing. I honestly don’t know what it will look like in the future. I already know I need to prioritize getting my books into audio book form for the upcoming year. And even on Amazon the bulk of my sales comes from e-books.

Will I find in the future that paperback format isn’t worth carrying at all? I hope not! I’d hate to never again hold a book in my hands and have that magic of turning a page. For now, I’ll stick to Print on Demand.And hopefully, one day, there will be a better system for partnering with the bookstores I love.

In the meantime, I’ll say- you can still support both me AND your favorite bookstore by ordering my books off their websites and getting them sent to your house! You just won’t see me pushing for them to stock my books in store again. 🙁

Read More of Joyana’s Posts About the World of Publishing and Books Here!