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Authors Supporting Our Troops

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Imagine you’re a soldier stationed overseas. Far away from home and family, your mind drifts to places that are cold, lonely. Depending on the assignment, our troops often go days, weeks, with no access to televisions, radios, or cell phones. Now, I’m not familiar with the military budget, but I’m fairly sure none of the money goes to reading material.

And that is where author Armand Rosamilia comes in.

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Author Armand Rosamilia standing among boxes of books he’s packed to ship to military units stationed overseas.

Armand is the exceptional leader of Authors Supporting Our Troops (#ASOT2015). Like a literary Santa Claus, he sends boxes of books all over the world to U.S. troops. How? Well, let me explain.

Armand got the idea for #ASOT2015 from author Joe McKinney, who collected books for a soldier friend he had overseas. After creating a Facebook group and an event page, Armand asked for assistance. His hope was to get new, signed books written by #Indie authors to as many units stationed outside the country as possible.

And the public answered his call.

In 2014, Armand shipped over 3000 books. In the first month of the 2015 event, there were 947 books donated, and he knows without a doubt that he’ll beat last year’s total.

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Happy soldiers inspecting new books sent to their unit.

But it isn’t just author donations that make this possible. #ASOT2015 would be a pipe dream without monetary donations and T-shirt sales (more info on that in a bit) from people like YOU. It would be time-consuming and a hassle without Suzanne Stewart and Craig Harris, who own Change Jar Books in Jacksonville, FL. Craig also works for the USPS. He and Suzanne take care of the shipping, saving Armand from long lines at the post office.

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Craig Harris poses with a shipment of books from #ASOT2015 before taking them to the post office.

It costs $25+ to ship one box of books overseas. In 2014, shipping costs alone were $1500. This does not include the price of boxes, packing material, tape, etc. Thankfully, Armand doesn’t have to shoulder this by himself. He set up an account with Tee Spring and sells T-shirts to help offset the high price of helping our troops. They come in a variety of colors and designs which are changed throughout the event season.

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Alfred H. Smith, who owns an entertainment company in Dallas, TX representing actors, artists, and musicians, wears his #ASOT2015 shirt with pride!

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Take a look at these smiling faces. With your support, we can create more smiles for our soldiers.

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Here’s how you can help!

1. Buy a T-shirt. I have three myself and more on the way. Tee Spring sends quality shirts you’ll love to wear and new colors and designs are added all the time. Click here!

2. Donate some books. If you’re an Indie author, we encourage you to ship some signed books to Armand to be packed up for our troops to enjoy. You can reach Armand at the links below for more information. :)

3. Make a monetary donation. If you’d like to help with shipping but aren’t into T-shirts, Armand appreciates Paypal donations.

4. Provide the name and address of a soldier stationed overseas! #ASOT2015 needs more units to ship books to. If you know a soldier stationed overseas whose unit would love some new reading material, send Armand a message at one of the links below.

5. Set up a fundraiser at your business, organization, or school. It can be as simple as a change jar set out for donations – every penny helps. The more money we raise for shipping, the more books we get into the hands of our soldiers.

Want more information? Please visit the Authors Supporting Our Troops group page, event page, or contact author Armand Rosamilia on his Facebook page.

Feel free to share this blog post and spread the world about #ASOT2015. The event runs from January-May each year, but books and donations are accepted anytime. Help us show appreciation for the sacrifices our soldiers make by sending them new books to enjoy. Thank you!

And the Winner is…

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Many thanks to all who entered and/or shared my giveaway. I wish I could give everyone who helped a prize for being such wonderful supporters of my work.

Unfortunately, there can only be one winner.

Please join me in congratulating Seanna Yeager, winner of the Grimsley Hollow Ultimate Prize Giveaway! Seanna will receive a coffee mug, bookmark, key chain, signed copies of all three Grimsley Hollow books and a signed copy of each book to follow in the series.

As you know, I have #contests and #giveaways all the time. I’ve sent more #FreeBooks through the mail than purchased ones. LOL!
Please subscribe to this blog so you never miss a chance to win. :) Thank you again.

Love and Light,
Nicole <3

It’s Still Stealing

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“Reborn”

Designed by Silviya Yordanova of Dark Imaginarium Art and Design

 

This past week on #Facebook, I witnessed two pictures designed by my cover artist that were scrubbed of her trademark, manipulated to add text, and then posted on pages. I saw them when they were shared by a fellow author on her page. When I mentioned that the photos were designed by my cover artist and NOT by https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sassy-Witchs-Cauldron/883453605003956 or https://www.facebook.com/pages/No-kidding-A-Witch-you-say/503502883115232, her reply was that they probably got them off another site. It doesn’t matter. You can use the excuse that you didn’t know who the artist was or that you found the picture on another site.

It’s still stealing.

 

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“Awaiting the Night”

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This is the original photo created by my cover artist. It is listed on her Deviant Art page.

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THIS is what the person who owns The Sassy Witch’s Cauldron on Facebook posted on her page. Notice that she not only removed my cover artist’s trademark, she also altered the photo to add text, including her Facebook page title. This insinuates that she created and owns the photo.

 

The fact that an author could so easily dismiss the fact that pages she follows on Facebook are manipulating pictures they didn’t design and claiming them as their own floored me. Writers, and artists in general, are in a constant state of high alert. Our work is stolen all the time. I wonder if she would have been so flippant if it had been her work that was claimed by someone else?

The bottom line is if a person didn’t create it, design it, or write it, they have no right to use someone else’s work without the artist’s permission. At the very least, they should always try to give credit on their website or page if they use a photo, excerpt from a book, etc. There are many #free photo sites to get pictures from, and authors are easy to contact if you want to use a quote or excerpt from their books. In other words, there is no excuse.

Don’t steal other people’s work.

*Update*
This is the conversation I had with the owner who posted the photo at the top of the blog post. When she posted it on her page, the trademark had been removed. I am sharing this conversation because I think it shows how little respect some people have for other people’s work. I am also posting comments under some of her replies to make a few points or to clarify.

Nickie Storey-Bailey I’m sure my book cover designer, Silviya Yordanova, loves that you stole her art work, manipulated it, and took her copyright trademark off. Can you conjure a spell to prevent being sued?

No kidding. A Witch you say? Any photo that is on here have never been manipulated, nor changed in any form by me. The photos that I post have been taken from Pintrest or from facebook themselves. I do not remove copyrights from photos, nor do I have anything to hide. My page name is nowhere on this photo, and neither is any other person or page name. But thank you for your comment.

Nickie Storey-Bailey So in other words, you saw a picture you liked and decided to post it without worrying about who the artist was or even trying to find them to get permission. That’s just as bad.

No kidding. A Witch you say? If you have the artist contact me, show me that it is copyrighted to her, I would be more than happy to give her the credit that she so richly deserves. Otherwise, I advise you to look at many other “pages”, and request they remove the same photo.

No kidding. A Witch you say? I have looked at Silviya’s page here on facebook, as you placed her name here to verify, and nowhere in her photos does this picture appear. If you are sure that the photo is her’s legally, then please, by all means, have her contact me immediately.

*This was the second time she asked me to have my cover artist contact HER. If someone told me that I posted a photo that belonged to someone they knew, I would remove it immediately and apologize to the artist.

Nickie Storey-Bailey Some people have professional websites. Silviya Yordanova has hers posted on her Facebook page. It is www.darkimaginarium.com The original picture is posted there AND on her professional Facebook page, not on her personal page.
Regardless, I have informed you who the rightful owner of the photo is and you still refuse to remove it. Unbelievable.

No kidding. A Witch you say? once contacted by Ms. Silviya, I will do what is proper. Again, thank you

Nickie Storey-Bailey What is “proper” is to get permission before posting work you didn’t create.

No kidding. A Witch you say? I have posted an update, and with no disrespect towards you, there are simpler ways of getting your “message” out there. I did not manipulate this photo, and take offense at you suggesting that I did. There are many photos floating out here in cyber land……I have rectified the issue, as well as have sent a private message to the creator. Again, thank you

Nickie Storey-Bailey I’m sorry you think it was unfair to call you out on this but, as an author, I get tired of seeing artists’ work stolen and people think it’s no big deal. It is a huge deal to those of us who work so hard to create it.

No kidding. A Witch you say? I understand your point, and I respect that. But you unfairly called me a thief, as well as insinuating that I defaced the picture by removing a copyright that was not there, not only here on my page, but on another page as well.

**She is referring to the photo manipulation I shared above from The Sassy Witch’s Cauldron. I commented on that page and informed the owner that the photo belonged to my cover artist. I never received a reply and the photo is STILL posted on that page.
If No Kidding knew I’d commented on another page about someone using my cover artist’s photo without permission, then surely she knew what she was doing was WRONG. Yet she played stupid, pretended she didn’t, and posted the photo anyway. That action proves she doesn’t care about the artist.

Nickie Storey-Bailey No, I didn’t unfairly call you a thief. If you KNOWINGLY use a photo that you did not create and you don’t get the artist’s permission, then YOU are at fault. Period.

No kidding. A Witch you say? from what I understand of you, it would be the pot calling the kettle black…..yet, I personally don’t know you, and won’t judge you on what I was told…..unlike you.

**She claimed someone who knew me told her I stole other artists’ work. Anyone who really KNOWS me knows I’m an advocate for authors’ and artists’ rights and would never do that.

Nickie Storey-Bailey I’ve never stolen ANYONE’s work.

No kidding. A Witch you say? Nickie Storey-Bailey, I am politely requesting that you stop with your nonsense.

Nickie Storey-Bailey Fine, and I am politely requesting that you don’t throw accusations about me around and then flippantly withhold the name of the “person” you heard such lies from.

No kidding. A Witch you say? You are a very unhappy person Nickie. I honestly don’t understand why you insist on arguing about this. Had her name been on the photo when I found it, it would still be there. Can you not read her own words? I acknowledged her as soon as I had proof that it was in fact hers. You need to seek some help dear….because you are very childish.

Nickie Storey-Bailey OMG. You are going to keep playing stupid on this, aren’t you? Can you REALLY be so shallow that you can’t understand WHY this is a big deal? Can you honestly not understand how an artist feels after spending so much time and expending energy to create something only to have people like YOU use it to boost likes on your page with no regard for them? YOU are selfish and YOU need help. You say, “I acknowledged it as soon as I had proof it was hers.” You should have searched for the artist before you even posted the picture!!! You call me childish but you are the one who acts like a two-year-old who has NO clue, nor do you give a care for anyone else. You’ve made that clear with your own words and evasion.

You get the gist. I blocked her page because I have no tolerance for people who are manipulative and feign ignorance when they know they’re in the wrong. Plus, she is bashing me right and left. Draw your own conclusions. As for me, I will always stand up for artists’ and authors’ rights.