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Google Alert Your Brand! (a rant) | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Google Alert Your Brand! (a rant)

If you don’t already do so, set up an alert to monitor your brand. There are paid options companies can use. If you like, begin with a free Google alert. Watch your name.

I have a new example to explain why. 

Yesterday, my Google alert for my name alerted me that a publisher I formerly wrote for is selling downloads of columns I wrote several years ago. I’m looking for my copy of the contract, signed in 2004, to see which rights I sold. Frankly, I don’t even remember what I wrote or if I agree with myself.

It was jarring to see columns I wrote 6 years ago, for publication in a magazine, being sold for download without my knowledge or any share in profits. I wish I had been given the courtesy of notice that they were going to do it.

I’m angry. That is an understatement.

Lessons this taught me:

  1. Watch future contracts more carefully. Consider which rights to sell.
  2. Do a better job of keeping contract copies.
  3. Be vigilant at checking my Google alerts.
  4. The wild world web means it’s easy to catch things like this when they do happen. 

Warning to those who might try in the future to publish my writing without our permission:

We’re watching and will defend the rights to our creative work.

Don’t poke Mama Bear (or in this case, Papa and Mama Biever) without expecting a response.

It may be winter, but Mama Biever’s out of hibernation and fired up. If someone thinks my writing is good enough to sell for a download, then it’s high time I write that book.

For the past 7 years, I’ve saved my writing in a document called the Mustard Seed Manuscript – which is now over 700 pages long, single spaced. I may have sold those 8 columns, but I have 589 others I didn’t.

If you see smoky clouds over Evansville, Indiana, don’t worry. It means a Scot-Irish mama, currently royally ticked at a former publisher, is burning up a keyboard to write my book.

Or it could mean my stubborn German husband is digging through our files, determined to find that contract and call our attorney.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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