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A writer's nightmare and how I coped

So there I was, just your average getting started fantasy indy author. I published my first book, The Hidden Blade on Amazon and entered it into Kindle Unlimited. That went off without a hitch for the first year.

Then I published my second book, The Ducal Heir. Three months after the go-live date, some scallywag pirated my content. This would not have been a problem, except that under the Amazon Kindle Unlimited agreement, I gave Amazon exclusive distribution rights.

Rights which had been violated by piracy.

They unpublished The Ducal Heir and threatened to close my account. Armed only with google-fu and a vague knowledge of something called a DMCA take-down notice, I leaped into action. After finding a template for a take-down notice and sending this to the pirated site, they let me know they had taken the content down.


Except no. Piracy is a multi-headed beast. For every site I swatted with DMCA, another leaped up. So, I had to withdraw my books from Kindle Unlimited, or risk my author account with Amazon being closed down.

Since I had to remove my books from Kindle Unlimited, I took advantage of the situation and go wide with my publishing, making the books available on google, apple, kobo and all the other digital sites.

But since I had to republish the books anyway, I decided that making some lemonade from the lemons was in order.

After publishing my first book, I started a writing podcast with Maxwell Alexander Drake (Releasing Your Inner Dragon). Over the course of recording a year’s worth of content, I learned so much about the craft of writing that I really felt I should update The Hidden Blade.

TLDR: I have published a second edition of The Hidden Blade. If you bought the e-book, it should automatically update from Amazon. If it doesn’t follow these instructions: How to Update Kindle Books in 2022 (

If you bought the paperback, you are now the proud owner of a First Edition.

If you bought the audio book, send me a screenshot of your audiobook and I’ll send you downloadable audio files for the second edition.

But what did I actually change? Well, let’s talk covers first. I changed the cover of the e-book and added a hardcover book with the updated cover. The paperback is still on the photo realistic cover. The reason for this is to enable people who collect the books to complete their set with a specific cover type. So the third book will have a photo realistic cover and hardback conceptual art cover. I will also bring out a hard back for the second book with a conceptual art cover in the near future.

Okay, okay, but what about the content? Well, this used to be the first paragraph of chapter one:

Louis was packing when the bluron bird found him, bearing its message of death. He had completed his latest mission with his target, the gem merchant, resting at the bottom of Karna Bay. The screech of the bird outside his window surprised him. He opened the shutters cautiously, thinking only to check who was receiving a message by bird. The bluron was perched on his windowsill. Its red eyes glinted dully in the morning light; it was hungry. The black beak gaped open as it scented Louis and it screeched again. It was a magnificent specimen. Its red and blue feathered wings were half extended and were a full arm length across. Its black talons grasped the windowsill with ease, leaving gouges in the wood.

Not horrible, but not great. This is the new chapter one start:

Louis eeled through a knot of shoppers, the spicy scent of fried onions tantalizing his tastebuds. His belly reminded him that it had been a while since breakfast, but he ignored the faint pangs of hunger. He had a job to finish. The incomplete task lingered in his right pocket—a squishy reminder—but it would wait while he browsed the stalls. Before he completed his business in Lumeaux, he wanted to buy a gift for his daughter.

Bright colored cloth awnings shaded the trestle tables of the vendors, their raucous calls and emotional bargaining points raising a clangor louder than a battlefield. The ripe fragrance of too many bodies packed together formed the undertone for every other scent in the square.

I think it is a much better, much more dynamic start that introduces the character in a much stronger setup.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy, check my book page to see where you can buy it!

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