Chandler Bolt is Pirating My Blog Posts

When Chandler Bolt acquired The Book Designer blog in late 2020, there were plenty of reasons to dislike the fellow. He had a reputation in entrepreneur circles as a taker. His Self Publishing School had an alarming number of negative reviews. Oh, and Victoria Strauss thought so poorly of him that she stopped sending authors to The Book Designer.

Lately, however I have found a whole new reason to dislike him.

He is pirating my blog posts.

For a while in 2019 and 2020 I was a regular contributor to The Book Designer. Fourteen or my posts were published there before the blog was sold. Topics ranged from website security to the hacked accounts on Createspace to newsletters. 

I would probably still be contributing posts if Joel hadn’t sold the blog, but now that it belonged to Bolt I decided that I no longer wanted my content associated with his blemished reputation.

And so I asked them to take my posts down. Three times now I have asked, and they are still hosting my blog posts.

I have only received one response so far, and that was an email informing me that they bought the content along with the blog. This simply is not true; while my blog posts were indeed published on TBD, there was no agreement transferring the copyright. There was in fact no formal contract at all; the closest I had to a contract with Joel was an understanding that TBD had an exclusive on the new blog posts. I think that lasted a month, and then I could publish the blog posts elsewhere.

That lack of a formal agreement is actually pretty common, so much so that when NAPCO bought Teleread in 2010, NAPCO sent contracts to all the contributing writers so that it could secure the right to continue to publish the blog posts the writers had previously submitted.

I admit, it was a mistake for me to rely on would be described in legal terms as a gentleman’s agreement, but TBH I had never conceived that someone might refuse to remove my blog posts when I asked. Actually, I never thought I would want to make that request!

This might seem like an oversight but the truth is I am careful about where I send my guest blog posts. I only work with reputable blogs, and it never occurred to me that one of my partners might become unsavory.

I have learned my lesson, though. I will shortly be filing DMCA notices, and in the future I will only send someone a guest blog post after they have agreed that I retain the copyright.

Update: About two days after I published this, my posts were finally removed.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mike Canw18 April, 2021

    Look at the shit I got in the Comments here for slapping a Copyright notice on my contributions to this bog:

    That was back in 2002. Only now in 2016 are *you* learning why. Blog gets sold, I withdraw my shit — because it’s MINE, not the blog’s.

    1. tired19 April, 2021

      Why are you still mad at comments made by some anonymous coward 19 years ago? And what does it have to do with this blog? The earliest entry on this site is from 2010.

  2. Jeffrey Johnson20 April, 2021

    I paid $2000 for his worthless course that says allow refund yet when ask for one state they not allow one. Makes him a conman and thief in my book. I only bought it as stated offered refunds.

    1. Jennifer Lancaster26 July, 2021

      I hate hearing that sort of thing. As a creator of a book creation (self publisher) resources course, I’m happy to supply you with a secret code to get true, un-hyped education before spending anymore. (Program value is $179, affordable for most starting out authors). I offer refunds if unappreciative of the content. Just contact me at below email.

  3. Kelsye27 April, 2021

    Hate to say it, but I also had a very negative experience with Bolt and the Self-Publishing School. He was going to partner with my company for a course, canceled, and then STILL continued advertising as though there was no change.

    1. Nate Hoffelder30 April, 2021

      That is the kind of thing I heard about from entrepreneur circles.

  4. Mick Rooney9 May, 2021

    Nate, not sure you are aware. Joel passed away last Friday (May 7th) after a long illness with cancer.

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 May, 2021

      I was not aware.

      Suddenly I understand why he sold the blog.

  5. Michael Gore-Hickman5 November, 2021

    Sounds like you gave your permission to publish your blog on a website (transferring copyright), and then it was sold. You have no leg to stand on. You are spreading slander.

    1. Nate Hoffelder11 November, 2021

      Were you there when we agreed to this? Did you see it with your own eyes?

      LOL, no you didn’t and no you weren’t, so why do you pretend to know anything about this?

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