Have you heard about the latest scandal rocking RomanceLandia? A woman has been caught lifting sentences, paragraphs, pages from multiple (up to 20 and counting) authors and stringing them together into a new book.
Copy. Cut. Paste.
I thought about this while I walked the dogs and see the following spectrum from the benign to the terrible.
The Same, But Different
How many times have we seen that phrase as to what an agent/publisher wants? It’s why tropes are so popular in RomanceLandia: friends to lovers; secret baby. The mystery world has its own familiar plots. The protagonist who races to save the world before the villain takes over/destroys it. The serial killer; can the hero stop him before he kills again? The small-town heroine who a body and must investigate to remove herself from the prime suspect position.
Shoot, I’m part of a Common Elements Project where we’re all given the same five required elements, and then told Go!
What makes all of these “work” is each author will tell the story in a different way, with their unique voice.
So, the same…but different.
This may be every author’s secret fear. Or maybe it’s just mine.
I read. A lot.
There’s always the concern a story’s clever phrase has tucked away in a memory cell and will reappear in a similar fashion on my page. I can’t point to a particular phrase—if I recognized it, I’d change it—but I fear it could happen. I remember reading—somewhere—that this is more common than expected. Or maybe the point of the article was it happens a lot more than we realize.
But, again, I stress it’s inadvertent.
And the Ugly
Plagiarism hurts authors at a deeper level than the whack-a-mole, steal-a-book in a “free” download sites. Those sites and the people who use them are stealing from authors financially.
Plagiarism takes an author’s soul. Words we’ve sweated over, melded into scenes to convey action, character and theme are casually stolen with no thought to the crafting that underlies them.
And worse, it’s done with full knowledge of the theft.
One of the authors impacted by Serruya is a friend—Courtney Milan. She’s written a post about her experience and her reaction. Because the hurt is so personal, I won’t presume to tell you about it. Instead, I urge you to read her words.
Authors – Have you worried about the inadvertent? Found your work ripped off?
Readers – Have you read something you felt was a little too close to something else you’ve read?
On a completely different note, I put DOUBLE DOWN on sale this week because it’s my birthday and I like to share (legally).
DOUBLE DOWN is the second book in the Holly Price series, written because readers wanted to see events from Detective JC Dimitrak’s perspective.Murder isn’t supposed to be in the cards for blackjack dealer Maddie Larsson. Busted takes on a new meaning when her favorite customer, a former Poker World Tour champion, is murdered. His family claims—loudly and often—Maddie is the gold-digging murderer. She better prove she’s on the level before the real killer cashes in her chips.
If the victim’s body had been dumped five hundred yards up the road, Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective JC Dimitrak wouldn’t have been assigned to the Tom Tom Casino murder case. Instead, he’s hunting for suspects and evidence while dealing with a nemesis from the past and trying to preserve his own future. He better play his hand correctly and find the killer before an innocent woman takes the ultimate hit.
Find it here from your favorite store. books2read.com/DoubleDown
And because I forgot to put it on my calendar, HONOR CODE is also on sale this weekend, with a group promo.
In a small southern town where everyone normally knows each other’s business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower, African-American George Beason.
When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more’s at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason’s deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.
HONOR CODE hit #1 in its category at release and the most recent fraud alert says another 5000 people downloaded it off a steal-a-book site this month. You can pick up a copy here or here.