How I became an Amazon ebook author without knowing it

I googled myself. Inspired by boredom and narcissism I not only googled my current self, but I googled my former self. I googled my maiden name. I didn't expect to see anything I didn't already know about: old theatre reviews, my master's thesis, my sole IMDB credit. Instead, I was shocked to find that I am an Amazon ebook author.

Actually, my first surprise was that I no longer dominate the "Kim Zelonis" search results. There is apparently another Kim Zelonis. She tweets things like this:

That's a sentiment that I could easily share, although I'd spell everything properly.

When I saw an Amazon link in the first page of search results I might have thought it was the other Kim Zelonis except that the title "The Wrong Mistake" is the title of one of my plays. It's a ten-minute play that has, apparently, been available on Amazon since August 16, 2012 even though I only discovered it now, almost two years later.

How did this happen?

eTens LogoIn 2006 I submitted my play "The Wrong Mistake" to www.originalworksonline.com. At the time they had a program called "Email a Ten-Minute." It was an online catalog of ten-minute plays that people could purchase and have sent to them as a PDF. The playwright gets no money from the sale of the script, but if the person decides to produce the play (and is honest) they contact the playwright through the website in order to establish a contract for royalties.

If that sounds like a bad deal for the playwright, it really is, but I was only a couple of years into my playwriting. I was desperate for attention and productions like so many emerging playwrights. We too often offer up our work for free just for the thrill of having our plays produced. We aren't the smartest bunch when it comes to our financial interests, and theatres often exploit that.

Playwrights who like to make money tend to become screenwriters.

My play was available on that website for years, and I never heard anything about it. I never thought anything about it. The play got subsequent productions because I had submitted it the old fashioned way.

Then, unbeknownst to me, the Original Works Online ten-minute play program moved to Amazon and is now called eTens, which means for nearly two years people have been able to buy my play on Amazon without my knowledge.

Has anyone bought my play off Amazon? I have no idea. Probably not. If it sells I don't make any money anyway unless someone plans to produce it (and is honest enough to contact the publisher about royalties). I did contact the Original Works Online to update my contact information, just in case.

I retained the rights to do my own publishing of the play or to sell it to another publisher, but right now I'm just amused that I've been an Amazon ebook author for two years and didn't even know it.

Actually, there is a way I can make money off this. I am an Amazon affiliate, which means if someone buys "The Wrong Mistake" by Kim Zelonis from one of my links I do get a cut. It's only $1.99. Knock yourself out. Let me know what you think. This is one of my favorite of my plays. And it's short.

Feel free to buy it from here. You can read it on your Kindle or Kindle reader app.

Or, just contact me, and I'll email you a copy.

That version would have the right name on it.

UPDATE: The Amazon version now has the correct name on it. I still don't make any money from it.

RELATED POSTS:

 

Get notified of new posts by email. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

You can also find Kim Z. Dale on Twitter and Google+ and like Listing Beyond Forty on Facebook.

Filed under: Book reviews

Tags: Theatre, Writing

Leave a comment