The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#121

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the April posting of the IWSG are: Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise – Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

Don’t forget to visit them and thank them for co-hosting!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
Remember, the question is optional!

April 06th Question: Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?
I’m not at this stage of the journey but I’ll definitely be hopping around to read what other writers have to offer on this topic.

I’m really pleased to have placed second in the February WEP challenge. It’s such a great platform to continue working on my flash fiction pieces which are in varying stages of production. 

In mid-February I took a bit of a break. It’s been toooo hot this end of the globe. I’ve never experienced this strange kind of heat and crazy levels of humidity, which have left me listless and unable to be truly productive.
I’m thinking of extending the break until the weather cools down more.  


Have you heard about the debacle involving TikTok?

There has been a Tiktok trend suggesting people buy books, read them in full and then return them for a refund on Amazon. Specially ebooks.

Some authors have tried to educate readers on TikTok and were called entitled because of that.

I’m not sure of the details, but the person responsible for this trend says that entitled, privileged authors must and here’s a quote: ‘shut up it’s not illegal to return books they’ve read. Remember Amazon has a return policy that says they can. Their argument is that readers are poor and can’t afford to buy every book and there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing’.
What a nightmare…

Happy IWSG Day! 


  1. CD Gallant-King on April 6, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    It always throws me off when I remember that on the other side of the planet, the seasons are reverse of what I’m used to…

    Unfortunately, big corporations like Amazon (and Wal-Mart) make buying, selling and returning things so faceless that people easily forget that there are people involved. I myself will admit that I have returned things to Wal-Mart that I bought at other stores, because I didn’t have a receipt and they wouldn’t take it back. No one gives a shit about Amazon, so what if you rip them off? The people doing it don’t stop to think about how that actually hurts the person writing the books, who’s only making a few bucks of their writing to begin with.

    Or maybe Social Media just makes people selfish. Either or.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:44 am

      Perhaps a combination of different factors mentioned?
      What really got to me was the fact that those involved in wrongdoing are not prepared to listen – in their minds, they are right, and stuff anybody else!

  2. Yvonne V on April 6, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Congrats on WEP! We have rainy April here.

    • Natalie Aguirre on April 6, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      Congrats on WEP in February. I hadn’t heard anything about this controversy. What a hurtful idea.

      • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 7:01 am

        Thank you, Natalie!
        It’s a sad state of affairs. Hopefully things will change at some point.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:44 am

      Thanks, Yvonne!

  3. joylene on April 6, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    It’s been cool here in Mexico, but I suspect that’s about to change. I haven’t used my wool blanket this week. Congratulations on WEP, Michelle. That is awesome.

  4. Jemi Fraser on April 6, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    Yeesh! You don’t get $ back after watching a movie so you shouldn’t get it back after reading a book. If they can’t afford the book, borrow it from the library!! *sigh*

    Congrats on your WEP piece – loved it!!

  5. Meka James on April 6, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Congrats on your WEP win.

    UGH yes, I’ve seen the debate and it’s frustrating. Amazon’s return on digital products is too lax and it’s frustrating. And the irony of thieves calling people entitled is something. They are admitting to basically stealing something and authors aren’t supposed to complain. It ticks me off so much.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:47 am

      …and they’re adamant about it… won’t listen to anybody. Talk about entitled behaviour… !
      Thank you, Meka!

  6. Toi Thomas on April 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Happy IWSG Day! Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Congratulations on your WEP award.
    It never ceases to amaze me how people justify devaluing writers with the whole “readers are poor” plea. No one is downloading an entire musical album, listening to it once, and then returning it. At the end of the day, people do exactly what they want to do and while they may be poor, they are also keeping writers poor, but who cares about writers. Right?

  7. Patricia Josephine on April 6, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Congrats on second place!

  8. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 6, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    Congratulations on placing second!
    That’s crappy about returning books. That’s called stealing.

  9. Loni Townsend on April 6, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Woot! Grats on placing! That’s awesome.

    That TikTok trend leaves me baffled. I’ve told my daughter we weren’t doing TikTok because of all the toxic trends that permeate the platform. It’s disappointing they’re calling authors entitled while acting like their entitled to get their money back for something they consumed.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:50 am

      Argh! They’re getting away with murder. It’s disappointing and so unfair.
      Hopefully the Zon will introduce some policy changes…

  10. H. R. Sinclair on April 6, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    Congrats on WEP!

    I hadn’t heard about the TikTok deal. That is so sad.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:51 am

      It’s not nice. Really upsetting. Hopefully something will change.

  11. L. Diane Wolfe on April 6, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    I’d heard the Tik Tok story – that is just criminal.

    Congrats on second place.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:52 am

      Let’s hope that the Zon introduces some policy changes.

  12. Anna on April 6, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Congrats on second place. That’s excellent work. And I vote for you to take care of yourself first. Write second.

    See you next month.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  13. Olga Godim on April 6, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Your piece for the WEP February challenge was wonderful, so your recognition is well deserved.
    It’s so sad when people return their ebooks for a refund and forget that they don’t really hurt Amazon. They hurt the authors.

  14. Nick Wilford on April 6, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Here’s a news flash – writers are poor too, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask to let them have a few pennies for their years of hard work. The practice you describe sounds not too different to piracy, for me.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:56 am

      Exactly! Those who are guilty probably have no idea about the years of hard work that it takes to produce a book.

  15. Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy on April 7, 2022 at 12:53 am

    Congrats on WEP!!!
    And urgh on the Tik Tok thing and people returning books after they’ve read them in full. It hurts us authors the most. Hurts us BAD. And makes me sad. Hopefully they at least leave reviews 😉

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:57 am

      Not fair. Yes, the least they can do is leave reviews.

  16. Lori L. MacLaughlin on April 7, 2022 at 1:21 am

    Congratulations on the WEP award! I haven’t gone near TikTok so I hadn’t heard about the controversy. That is just so wrong — it’s outright theft. I’m sure they would think differently if positions were reversed and they were the ones having their e-books returned. People have no respect for anything or anyone anymore.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 6:58 am

      I agree that lack of respect is a major problem.
      People hide behind the anonymity of the online world.

  17. Jennifer Lane on April 7, 2022 at 2:31 am

    The idea that writers make a lot of bank is hilarious. I read that something like 3% of authors can make a living from writing. How sad that these readers won’t challenge their misunderstanding.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 7, 2022 at 7:00 am

      There are many readers who do not want to change their perception. They are stuck in a certain mindset and refuse to budge.

  18. M.J. Fifield on April 7, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    I’ve been seeing a lot of talk about returning read books, but I had no idea from where it originated. I probably should have guessed TikTok.

    Congrats on the WEP award!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2022 at 7:18 am

      It will be interesting to see what comes out of this hot mess.
      Thanks, MJ!

  19. C. Lee McKenzie on April 7, 2022 at 2:45 pm

    It was great to see that you took a second in the last WEP! Huge congrats to you on that Michelle!

  20. Mary Aalgaard on April 7, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    Congrats on your WEP and all your writing success. It’s cold here in Minnesota! Waiting impatiently for springtime weather.

    People are selfish. Always looking for a way to be cheap, not thinking of who they might be hurting in the meantime.

    Take care, and happy writing!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2022 at 7:20 am

      Human greed and selfishness are on the rise. Really sad.
      Happy Writing, Mary!

  21. Denise Covey on April 7, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I hear you, Michelle. Australia’s heatwaves are getting longer each year. I can’t stop writing because of the heat or I’d rarely write, LOL. Air con is the answer. Your February entry for WEP was a unanimous choice for us. I hope we see more of you at WEP. It certainly is a way to write in short bursts at least!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2022 at 7:21 am

      Air con is the answer!
      You’re right – WEP is a great way to write in short bursts. That suits me perfectly.
      Thanks, Denise.

  22. Louise (Fundy Blue) on April 7, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    Yikes! I did not know about the TikTok controversy, Michelle. That’s awful! Congratulations on your WEP win. Way to go! Your comment about the heat and humidity really hit me, because I just finished reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel “Ministry for the Future.” It’s a stunning book, and it certainly puts the climate crisis in perspective. Fortunately, the book doesn’t leave the reader feeling hopeless. I highly recommend it. Here’s hoping that the weather improves for you. Cold always makes me feel alive and vigorous. Happy creating in April!

  23. Gwen Gardner on April 7, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Congrats at coming in second at WEP! That is so awesome.

    I’ve heard about the TikTok thing. Do people really think they don’t need to pay for books? Hopefully Amazon reverses that particular rule!

  24. Michelle Wallace on April 8, 2022 at 7:24 am

    Who knows what Amazon will do?
    It will be really interesting to see what comes out of this.

  25. Carol Kilgore on April 9, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    Congrats on your February WEP! Tiktok makes me crazy. Every week it seems there’s something new and dangerous and/or fraudulent going on. A couple of my ebooks hae been returned, and in my town, teens are going around with paintball guns and shooting the paint at little kids on the playground. The world has gone crazy.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 11, 2022 at 8:53 am

      There’s an upswing in danger/fraud etc. and the publishing world is also caught up in it.
      I’m not on TikTok (but this news has been all over the net. The world has definitely gone crazy!

  26. Shannon Lawrence on April 11, 2022 at 4:28 am

    I’d heard of this, but hadn’t seen that the creator had responded to those against it. Seems to me that person is the entitled one. Feeling she’s entitled to people’s hard work for free. It’s all very upsetting.

  27. Annalisa Crawford on April 18, 2022 at 1:57 pm

    How on earth is it entitled to expect to be paid for your work? I wonder if that TikToker would mind working for free? I imagine, like YouTubers, there’s a monetary value to their content. Feels like a slight hypocrisy.

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