I’m afraid I’m writing this blog post from a rather uncomfortable position. I feel such a fool and I owe you an apology.
At the start of the year I outsourced the creation of a new eBook about using the public domain to create information products, I had received lots of emails from buyers of my eBook Prints Make Profits about the use of public domain material and I felt that there was a good synergy between the two.
Whilst waiting for the eBook to be written I bought a domain name, set up hosting and began writing some sales copy.
I received the completed eBook a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to pay the writers fee as it appeared to be a very professional piece of work.
I decided to make the eBook available to you for free prior to placing it on the ClickBank marketplace so I uploaded the PDF to my web space and sent a broadcast email.
I was very pleased with the response, lots of you took the time to pass on your thanks and feedback by email.
I was horrified, however, when I received an email yesterday pointing out that my ‘new’ eBook was identical (right down to the images used) to Tony Laidig’s eBook ‘The public Domain advantage’.
You can imagine how I felt; I was mortified to think that I had broken the law by distributing copyright protected material. I felt embarrassed that I had misled you, and I was angry that I had been duped into paying hundreds of dollars for ‘exclusive rights to a unique eBook’ that didn’t exist.
I immediately disabled the link to the PDF, I have sent a message explaining the situation to Tony Laidig and I have expressed my feelings to the person who sold the ebook to me.
I decided to write this post because I value honesty above all else and I felt that I would be doing you a disservice if I was not completely open and honest with you.
I have learned an important and expensive lesson;
It is an unfortunate fact of life that not everybody we choose to do business with is as honest and trustworthy as ourselves. This fact is true in the offline world and it is even more pertinent in the online world where the lack of face to face contact does give the unscrupulous operator a distinct advantage.
Remember the old adage – BUYER BEWARE……it is up to us to satisfy ourselves that our seller is genuine and the various pieces of information provided are true and accurate BEFORE we enter into any transaction.
I sincerely hope that we can all benefit from my experience by being that little bit more cautious and wary in our business dealings and if that is the case then I will have received full value for my money after all.
I would appreciate your comments and thoughts.
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Barry Newton says
Your only mistake if you can call it that, was to trust someone, and I'm sure we all would have done exactly the same. It's important that we, as honest Internet Marketers stick together and we will greatly outnumber the rip off merchants.
Keep up the good work,
How refreshing to see someone actually publically come out an admit to a mistake. I’m sure many people out there would have just brushed it under the carpet. Im sure your honesty and integrity will only enhance your reputation further.
Love the layout of your blog by the way, very proffesional.
I am in the masterclass programmee with John Thornhill and I am hoping it will provide me with the tools to succeed as you have obviously done.
Keep up the good work!
Alan Petersen says
That's too bad that you were scammed. But don't worry, you have built a great reputation and this post proves it.
Dave Robus says
I can only sympathise with you as a fellow JT Programme student. I know you are among the most honest and helpful new marketer's about.
Afraid it is a sign of the times. Just pick up the pieces now and write your own again. At least everyone now knows you did nothing wrong on purpose.
All the best,
You are not I am sure the first one to be duped by this low life, nor unfortunately probably the last. I assume you found him or her on one of the well known freelance sites where they no doubt lurk waiting for their next victim. The only way to eliminate these people is by letting these sites know what they are doing and hopefully they will see it to be in their interests to remove them from posting by blocking their membership, if these people have no outlet to attract unsuspecting victims, then in time fewer and fewer people will fall foul of them.
Jenny Tucker says
I downloaded your ebook and realised I had seen it before. I am interested in the potential of Public Domain material and have a few of Tony Laidig’s ebooks, although I thought it odd I assumed you must have got PLR or MRR on the copy. Well done for owning up to being duped and taking the action you have done – I also agree with naming and shaming.
One thing that occurs to me is that it would be very useful to have a similar book of UK Public Domain sources, surely these exist?
Best wishes, Jenny
Harvey Berlock says
I can only agree with what others have said namely that whatever we do in life there is always someone ready to take advantage of us.
You have indeed done the right thing by publicly admitting that you have been taken for a ride, but it is a lesson you will no doubt profit by.
I must agree with Beth (above) that it sounds just right for your next project.
Beth - AuctionWoman. says
Stuart….I've been a fan of yours since Prints Make Profits first came out. You are a stand-up guy, it's unfortunate that the person you paid to write the ebook is not.
Your blatant honesty is appreciated and not always easily found in the sea of internet marketers on the web.
Your expreience with this plagarized ebook will definitely help a lot of people avoid the same fate…….hey……there's an idea for a new book/report……."Top 7 mistakes to avoid when having an ebook written for you" or "how to find honest ebook writers". I'm sure someone could come up with a more catchy title 🙂
Best of luck to you…..I'll keep an eye out for more updates from you in my inbox.
Jayne McWatt says
You have my sympathies Stuart. The Internet is full of such people unfortunately, those who only dip their toe in it manage to remain unscathed, but for those of us who are trying to make a living on line, it is only a matter of time I guess before someone takes advantage. I agree with the previous post, name and shame and make sure nobody else gets taken advantage of. And good for you for holding your hand up.
I also had my first outright fraud from someone who took my money for a subscription site (complete with so say free books). Still waiting for the person to even appear to exist never mind give me anything! Fortunately there is a credit card processor involved, so might at least get my money back. http://www.freecraftybooks.com for those who wish to avoid it!
Hi Stuart, you were really unlucky, would you consider naming and shaming to prevent the same happening to someone else?
Dave Stewart says
I am sorry this happened to you. I do not believe you are to be blamed for being taken advantage of; in this environment we often have to take things at face value and hope others are acting in a forth right way. These situations make it all the more important to live up to our promises as marketers.
Karen Davis says
Appreciate your honesty, Stuart. Your experince is certainly a lesson. I am not sure how it could have been avoided. My only thought is that the actual writing or creation of an ebook is probably not something that I would outsource. But then again, I am not making any money online so what do I know?!