To Sum Up–Sort Of

There are things I can’t talk about at this point that are going on behind the scenes. Legal stuff is legal stuff.

But there’s a lot of chatter out there about my blogs, my information, my opinions. Those I can talk about.

PLAGIARISM/COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

It’s theft of intellectual property. Full stop. It cannot be excused or justified. Another writer recently (and has done so before) claimed that I dragged Dailey through the muck, that copying happens ALL THE TIME, especially to best-sellers, and most writers affected by it handle it privately and professionally. Mean Girl Nora only went public (despite the fact Daily went public first) to destroy poor Janet.

Bullshit. Every word of that is bullshit. Plus shameful.

I apologize to no one for standing up for my work, or for standing up for any writer whose work is stolen. Any writer who thinks plagiarism is no big deal earns my disgust.

GHOST WRITING

Since this has generated a whole bunch of chatter, let me try to be really clear.

My opinion–which I’m entitled to hold, entitled to state:

The profession of ghostwriting is absolutely legitimate. Talented and professional ghosts are paid good money to write memoirs, auto-bios and so forth. They work with the client, interview the client and others. They put in the time, do the job, and are very often credited.

Other avenues are work-for-hire, where GW assume a single pen name (I use Caroline Keene’s Nancy Drew simply because it’s so well known) to write books in a series.

There are GW who act, basically to my mind, as editors or book doctors, helping smooth out or bring together a book–someone else has written–where the client needs some help. I personally think they should be credited, but that’s up to the client/GW and their particular partnership.

OTOH, there are ghosts–and this appears to be more common in the self-pubbed area, but may, in fact, be more common in traditional pub than I know–who take a fee–often just a couple hundred bucks–to write a book for someone who just wants to put their name on it. The client’s not actually a writer. The client wants to be published, or much worse, just wants to create a business where money is generated.

In far too many cases these clients hire many ghosts cheaply to create a lot of content so they can publish them quickly on-line, generate that income.

I think this is deplorable. So I’m told, but these GW are just trying to make a living. So is pretty much everyone in the world. This practice is a cheat for everyone but the client who punches up his/her numbers and makes a killing.

It’s absolutely true the GW may, in fact, be unaware. My take is if the GW wants to be a professional, do you due diligence.

But what, I hear, about the person who has this great idea, but doesn’t know how to write it and wants to get published? What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong with that? Learning to articulate an idea into a story IS writing. It takes time and effort to learn how, to learn to write well. The name on that book is a lie because the client isn’t a writer, but pretends to be. And this practice dilutes the craft, the art, the science, the WORK of writing a story.

I’m routinely contacted by someone with–they say–a great idea who hopes I’ll write it for them. Many offer to split the bonanza of royalties it’ll earn. I believe the vast majority who ask me this ask with a pure heart because they honestly don’t know how it works.

There are those who want to publish, and fast, so send what they’ve cobbled together to a ghost who in many cases has to rewrite the mess. The person in a hurry here learns nothing by not taking the time, making the effort to hone her craft.

A lot of people seem to think I was birthed a best-seller right out of the writing womb. Contrary to that, I had a drawer full of rejections. I kept at it because I wanted it. I learned, I improved. And when I finally sold, I also had a drawer full (my agent called it my Magic Drawer) of rejected manuscripts I could take out, fix, edit, improve. So I sold a lot of books very quickly in the first couple years.

Someone accused me of having ‘several’ pen names, which they said was the same as all this. No, I write as Roberts, and as Robb for the In Death series. But when I sold Born In Fire (I think) to England for the first time, the publisher insisted my readership would be confused, insisted I take a pen name. I argued, but had no clout. For this single book, in GB, I took the name Sarah Hardesty. And when I was proved right, the Brit publisher killed the pen name, and published all future editions of the book under mine.

In, I think it was, 1981 (maybe ’82) my agent got an offer from a kind of tabloid (in structure, not content) publication for my first (and justifiably unsold ms.). I had a great fondness for that story because it was the first I’d ever written. I took the name Jill March for that sale. Once, then killed.

And in both cases, my name was on the copyright, not the a/k/a.

CHEAP AND FREE

I absolutely understand the idea of using a book, often the first in a series, or as a special, as a loss leader. Something to get exposure, to generate future sales. My publisher routinely puts one of my books on special for a day on-line.

My problems here are with, first, the scammers that buy books or book stuff, or whatever they do to put out a 99 cent book every week, or more under different names. They flood the marketplace so the legitimate indie reader can’t really compete.

I have a problem with the claims by some they they can absolutely write a book a week. Boy, do I call bullshit. First, I’d have to ask for a word count. Back in my Silhouette days when I wrote 55k Romance, I could write them fairly quickly, but a book a week? Nope.

A book a week, week after week? Did you write it, polish it, send it to a professional editor, and is it over 100 pages?

With this proliferation, many indie writers have to devalue their work, work they did take the time to write, polish, have edited to have any chance of visibility.

I object to that, for them, and for the reader.

On the reader–I thought I made it clear, but I’ll try again. Everybody likes a bargain. Everybody should be able to snag a free or cheap book. But. When that’s all you buy, and particularly when you demand it, it’s gets to be a problem. When you contact a writer pushing for more, cheap, cheaper, free. It’s a problem.

I read a comment from one indie writer who said she’d just published her new book, and a reader contacted her–like that day!–wanting to know when she was going to make it free.

This is a problem.

The reader’s on a budget, she’s voracious, this is all she can afford. Not her fault, don’t attack the reader from your big-ass imaginary mansion while you sit on your mountains of money.

Again, one-time single mother of two on a budget here. Voracious reader. And she–and I–say first: Library. I’m a big lover of the library. And I used it a lot back in the day, even though it was a thirty minute drive away. The writer gets paid for the book you check out. Libraries offer all kinds of services, and you can borrow an e-book on line without leaving your home. They have inter-library loans, or will often buy a book (paper or e) you request.

I’d take my boys with me, and all of us would go home with a stack of books.

I did learn that in many other countries, this isn’t nearly as easy. I think that’s a serious shame–I mean it. I don’t know what can be done to fix or improve that. But knowing that now, I hereby remove the reader–anywhere–who has no access to these services from this group.

I have a charitable foundation that supports literacy (and libraries). We might be able to look into it. Access to books, in any form, is a human right. Or damn well should be.

Used book stores, flea markets, yard sales, on-line trading, library sales. I’m sure I’ve left some avenues out. Someone bought this book, at some point, so the writer got paid. I also haunted used book stores back in the day, though yeah, a half hour away. I also before the internet, haunted those used book stores and the library for research books. They were a godsend. (And I always paid the library fine because I always brought them back late.)

I want to stress–again–I’m talking about the reader who demands, feels entitled to free or dirt cheap. Who hounds the writer for his/her wants. I’m not talking about the reader who sees a bargain, likes the cover, the blurb, has read that author before happily, or thinks hey, I’m going to give this new-to-me writer a try, and clicks Buy.

SELLING PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED BOOKS TO A BIDDER,
PUBLISHING UNDER A NEW NAME AS NEW WORK.

This is such a horrendous practice. Closed sites where books that have dried up their income stream sold–sometimes books in bundles, like 5 Historical Romances, 75k words, $1,000. Most usually I’d guess, these books were written by a ghost (who may be totally blameless), generated income through other nefarious practices like clickfarms, then sold to the next person. That person tosses them up, new cover, new name, as new work. It can and is done over and over again.

Since I wrote about that in detail on another blog, I won’t repeat myself. Except to say, it’s in every way wrong. Like plagiarism, I believe there is no excuse, no justification. It cheats everyone.

CLICK FARMS, BOOK STUFFING, BUYING REVIEWS

All of it wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

So is posting a nasty review on a competitor’s site to try to tank their sales. So is treating books like products, which is what the scammers do. It’s just business.

Writing is, most definitely a business–and every writer should treat it professionally. It’s a job–and I’ve treated it like a job throughout my career. The best job in the universe of jobs, imo. But it’s not just a job, just a business.

The practices I’ve come out, strongly against, have no respect for the craft, the art, the creator or the reader. It’s all just a way to make a bunch of money fast.

To any who claim I can’t and don’t understand what the new or newish writer goes through in today’s market? You’re wrong. If I didn’t understand, didn’t care, I wouldn’t take this on.

I can and will, and am, handling the plagiarism that targeted me and some 30 other writers. This is more, and I’m spending this time, making this effort because it matters.

To the absolute jerks who claim if the indie market goes down I’d benefit. Kiss My Ass.

All of the above is my opinion. YMMV. But I’ve a right to hold and speak that opinion.

I value and respect every writer who labors over their stories. I feel for every writer who finds themselves crushed and demoralized by the scams in the marketplace. I value and respect every reader who buys, who borrows, trades, lends books. I am, and always will be, grateful for the work libraries and librarians do, for all of us.

And I hold in contempt those who use and abuse what I value and respect.

I’m Nora Roberts, and I write my own books.

209 thoughts on “To Sum Up–Sort Of”

      1. Nora Roberts you are truly an angel! I share your opinions totally. Please don’t ever change. I have been ready and enjoying all your books for many many years and will continue to do so.You are my Favorite author!

    1. Ms. Robert’s, I totally agree with you, keep up the good fight! I love to read, and I buy books when I can afford them. I dont get why people think an author should give a book for free if they have worked hard and long to write a story!!? I guess it’s that sense of entitlement that people have that they deserve something for nothing? So wrong.

  1. I so agree with you Nora, the work that the writers like you put in to publish is amazing. For theft of this is deplorable and thank you for taking this on. Everyone wants something free. I cannot imagine myself contacting you and wanting the newest J.D. for free!!! On another note I bought my sister the Cousins O’ Dwyer trilogy at Christmas and I have to tell you the books are just beautiful, the pages are kind of ruffled and the cover art work is gorgeous. She is hooked now!!! Thank You

  2. I am a long time reader and fan. I started reading your books in Highschool (I think the Reef was the very first book). I am sorry you are having to deal with all of this mess, but I think it’s great that you are strong enough to take this issue head on. You are a wonderful example of a strong successful woman. Thanks for sharing your stories and your current issues. I hope this all clears up for you soon. Keep your head up Mrs. Roberts.

  3. Nora, thank you for taking your time to educate those of us who read for pleasure! Thank you for taking to task, and hopefully ultimately to court, those who steal another’s intellectual property. The postings from other authors I follow have been clearly appreciative of your efforts. Thank you !

  4. I’m grateful you’re Nora Roberts and you write your own books! I admire the hell out of you for the work you do and how far you’ve come! Thank you for being a voice… for calling out those who scam and cheat the system. Thank you especially for writing what you do and the way you do, books and blog! You absolutely rock!!

  5. Oh Nora, you win again. I feel your outrage, and feel your passion. It’s glorious. I’m a reader of your work and of many others. I treasure these books, not only because of the huge enjoyment they bring, but knowing the heart, the effort put into bringing them to fruition. Yes, the author is earning a living, but, I believe for the really great ones it’s much more. Your spirit shows in your books. It’s why I, and many others, can’t get enough.

    Go You!!!!

  6. Absolutely LOVE this!!! Until all this broke, I was unaware of these practices. You can bet I now check out those new ( to me) authors of cheap or free books being offered!!! Thank you , Nora, for your willingness to expose this dark underbelly, to try to do something about it, and most of all, for your wonderful books!!!

  7. I completely agree with you. I know you work hard to bring your readers the best you can give. I have been reading your work since you were first published and will continue to do so. I had the privilege and pleasure to attend a talk you gave in NJ several years ago and enjoyed it very much. Keep up the great work .
    Sincerely Maggie

  8. I signed up for the free 3 month trial offered by Amazon for Kindle Unlimited. I wanted to give it another chance as I had tried thr service a couple years ago and was disappointed. It has not gotten any better. I cant tell you the number of books that have went partially read. The amount of errors I, who am NOT any type of editor, have found. Errors, that pull you out of the book. Books with great blurbs that just failed miserably. I have to wonder how many rip- offs and mashups I have encountered. I love to read. I am going to take your advice and research the author before I buy or even start a page. Thank you for the awareness you are bringing to this subject. It has sure been an education! I look forward to the next In Death book!

    1. I have found a number of good KU series. But I have also read a few chapters and returned others.
      Some mysteries series I have enjoyed, mainly cozy mysteries set in UK:

      Dianna Xarissa: Aunt Bessie (the best), The Markham Sisters (take off of first). (Her third series Island of Man Ghostly I don’t enjoy as much).

      Daisy Thurbin: (Dr) Samantha Duncan series; Sam is a retired Oxford don who lectures on 19th and 20th century fine jewelry/arts (think Tiffany, Lalique, Russian Imperial Easter Eggs). (Not enamored of her other series Clare Montgomery PI)

      Lee Strauss: Ginger Gold (there’s spinoff I haven’t read yet, but it’s not on KU)

      Frances Evesham: Exham on the Sea

      Margaret Addison: Rose Simpson series

      T E Kinsey: Lady Hardcastle (hilarious)

      Barbara Nickless: Sydney Rose Parnell (amazingly, this is the one of two non-UK setting series I’m mentioning here; and very hard hitting/graphic)

      Diane Greenwood Muir: Bellingwood (Iowa) series — great favorite

      Anne Perry: Charlotte and Thomas Pitt

      Karen Charlton: Detective Lavender

      Other series that are harder (style or for **me** to read through) include Gladys Mitchell’s Mrs Bradley series; Robert Bailey’s McMurtrie and Drake Legal Thrillers; Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct (think 1950s hard-boiled police procedural).

      1. Totally agree with your KU list. I can’t afford to buy all the books I read. Voracious is an understatement. I never knew how people got paid on KU. But all of Nora’s (/JD) go on pre-order and I know what timezone they are published in so I can get them a couple hours early. Then they are read and I have to wait for the next. Luckily I have a horrible memory si I can enjoy re-reading the old ones while waiting for the new.

  9. Ms. Roberts, your writing is something I look forward to everyday. I read voraciously and have most of your older works in print form. The newer ones for my tablet. I will pre-order most everything you write. Keep fighting the good fight and know your fans and readers stand beside, behind and anywhere in line to support you.

  10. Yes! I support you 100%. If it was my work that had been stolen, I’d feel violated. I love what you said about learning to articulate a story being what writers all about. It takes years to hone our craft. We are continuously learning and improving. You don’t become a writer overnight and perhaps this is one of the reasons honest writers are so outraged about the scamming going on.
    Way to go, Nora! 👏

  11. Thank you Nora for your dedication to your craft. And because of your craft I get to go to and enjoy some AMAZING worlds! Thank you for standing up for yourself which in turn means you are standing up for all the REAL WRITERS that are out there! Keep being you!!!!

  12. Hear, hear, Nora! As a lifelong voracious reader I thank and commend you for your uncompromising position on this situation. I too was a single morher who used the library regularly (still do, but not as much since my daughter grew up). I so appreciate your work and the fact that you put the time and effort into crafting the wonderful books you write (in your inaginary mansion) for your readers. Kudos and hugs to you!

  13. Absolutely right. All these practices are wrong, and most are on the edge of illegal or are. I love free books, inexpensive books, and used book stores. But I would never write an author demanding they put their book out free the day of release or any other day, that’s like saying hands up!
    I have been introduced to a number of new authors since joining bookbub, but if I want to read more of them I darn well go to my Kobo and see if they are available and buy them.
    I would like to state that I am not an Amazon fan, one of my fav authors has a series that is only available on Amazon frustrating to me as I have to take my book funds, split it, get an amazon card sold only at one store in town and then read the book on my tablet which weighs twice my ereader does. I went ebooks because of my hands not working well to hold books. It’s a pain, but I do it because she is a good writer.

  14. I am a book snob. I don’t want books that are cheap and poorly written. I don’t want books from an author who insults my intelligence by writing crap. That’s why I read Nora Roberts books! I know that I am getting a quality product and I will gladly pay for quality! I read your books over and over again.

    I would also like to mention that “back in the day” I bought and read Janet Daily’s books. The day I heard that she was plagiarizing you, I quit reading her books.

    Keep fighting the good fight! It is worth the struggle.

  15. Nora, I love your passion and attitude. I do find new authors in discounted books. Then pay full price for the rest of their books. But, good Lord, demanding free books? Really? Ah well. I joined a book club (online) and all they could talk about was all the free books they were getting. I last 11 days. So silly. Reading and enjoying a good book is not about how many you can get free. It’s meeting an old friend, and getting back together many times. How many times have I read “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. I have read it and most of yours hundreds of times. Skip the book count fans, go for quality.

    1. That is so true! All of my books that I keep are dear sweet friends! We are always so happy to see each other!

      And Mrs. Roberts YOU didn’t do anything to Daily but tell the truth! Stealing is stealing! It is wrong!! No matter how you look at it, turn it around and look at it at a different angle, the book is still stolen and she KNEW better!! And not one of those that are trying to get you to drop the matter or give your books for free are bat shit crazy! When you write a book for us, your fans you are giving small pieces of you on each page and chapters. I for one am so grateful that you have a talent and are willing to share it with us. So you keep fighting the fight and keep sharing your books with me and I will keep buying the hardbacks along with the paperback (because I read in the bathtub and some times fall asleep and the paperback are cheaper to replace than the hardback! Lol. I stand on my tip toes waiting for a new book from you soon I read!

  16. Good for you Nora. Yes, you do have the right to your opinion as well as the right to speak your opinion. I learned in High School (way, way back in the 60’s) that plagiarism is not only wrong, but would get me a failing grade. Years later in college I learned that it’s against laws. If Yale, Harvard, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, etc., can expel students for this why would anyone think it’s ok? I own many of your books, including all JD Robb books in hardbound, paperback and/or E-versions. I live on disability and no, don’t have money for hardbound any more, but I pay for each and every copy, including 3 signed editions. When you are a voracious reader, you find the way, without robbing an author.

  17. HOORAH NORA! Thank you from the bottom of this Hybrid Authors ❤️ ♥️♥️♥️ I have always loved you and your writing but I love you even more. I honor and respect you as I have every soldier I stood by for the 23 yes I served in the US Army. Thank you thank you thank you for taking this on Your voice is the voice of all of us.

  18. Thank you. For your writing, for your passion, for standing up to scammers. For using what you have EARNED to benefit other writers and all of us readers.

  19. Well said ! I’m a voracious reader. I buy more books than I should , my TBR list is ridiculous! I do use free book sites and bargain sites when I can, but the library and buy sell trade stores helped when I couldn’t afford to buy! Bravo to you for taking a stand for what is right. I’m more than happy to buy Nora & JD ! Both have given me many hours of pleasure. Thanks!

  20. I think I’d take your very cool house over a mansion every time, and can’t wait to see pictures of your gardens again. Regarding books, do I sometimes cringe when I hit the purchase button when buying multiple books from several of my fav authors? Yes, maybe a little. But I also cringe a bit when I have to go buy clothes or groceries and I splurge a bit. Do I regret it? Not. One. Penny’s. Worth. You all deserve to be paid for your work just like I was paid for mine. I do read more from my library than I used to, especially since I can get books online from them. But some I want to keep to reread and don’t choose to wait in line for. (The wait-list for your new series is in the hundreds!)

    Don’t listen to those who say you are over-reacting. It sounds like righteous anger to me. If those who can don’t stand up for doing the right thing, the wrong will become prevalent. I would be checking carefully the works of any writer who defends the copying.

  21. The work that goes into writing is spot on! My son is right now self publishing his first book. Actually the initial writing was the quickest part! It’s the polishing, editing, editing again and then more polishing :)and more editing.From start to finish the process will have taken 7-8 months. Book release April 6th
    He’s done without a publisher and the actual book copy is still$17.99. Nora is right the moral of the story is writing is hard work and it’s not free!!

  22. Bravo – if you do not stand up for your work, who will? I have read other things and occasionally it would be similar (or word for word) like yours. My thoughts were always the same. “Wow, they took that directly from Nora/J D Robb

    1. I have also seen word for word. Did not contact anyone but if I do again believe me people will know.

      This whole issue totally sucks. Such a big block of Nora’s time taken away from her craft. Not to mention now her money.

      Hopefully people listen and learn that they can’t do this anymore.

  23. I have favorite authors everyone does,you being one that I have read since your harlequin days. I have bought all your books and love them. I am so sorry that authors are being disrespected in this way. I also enjoy reading new authors. I hope the ones I choose are the real deal. Here’s hoping that you bring down the cheaters !!!!

  24. 10 thumbs up. I contacted Amazon , via online chat, cancelled my Kindle Unlimited and insisted that my reasons why be heard. Who knows if they’ll they’ll their supervisors. I can only hope. Thanks for all of your efforts Nora.

  25. Personally, I’d hate to be on the receiving end of any tongue lashing you gave. I’d dissolve into a squalling cowering lump. I love your books and don’t mind paying for them. I used to read Janet Dailey when I was younger but stopped for some reason. Didn’t know about the plagiarism at the time but glad I did now. Hate that you are having to take time away from writing your fabulous books but if anyone can bring this dirty secret into the light and put a big dent in it, it’s you.

  26. Bravo! Well said! Thank you for educating me (many of us) about what is going on in the industry. I spent a couple of years laboring at the art of writing. When it became clear I was never going to give you or Asimov a run for your readers (LOL) I went into real estate. Both industries are happy with that decision. Now I sometimes run into agents and brokers who want a book with their name on it but have no will to write. There are a few ‘companies’ out there that evidentially will create content for you–no matter what your industry is. It dawns on me, this is part of the mess you are talking about. A small bit, but definitely a part of the problem. We are a microwave world–instant everything. I’ll call out anyone I see doing this in my little world. If they do their own writing, I’ll applaud and help them polish it up. Writing is hard work!
    Thank you for standing up and educating. I love reading your work–and I hope all this results in a couple of fabulous new novels. All the best to you and yours!

  27. I recently asked an author I read if she has a ghost writer because it seems impossible for one author to put out 20 books a year alone. She was offended even though I wasn’t accusing her of any wrong doing, and she denied it, and said it was only her work. Is there a way to know for sure?

  28. Nora,
    Thank you for taking this on. I had no idea this was such a widespread problem. They were pretty stupid to target you and your books. As a librarian, I appreciate your kind words. When I hear of people complaining about the cost of books, I always refer them to the library.
    I love your stories, and I think publishing 4-5 books a year is pretty amazing!
    Keep up the good work, and go get ‘em! We are behind you all the way.
    Deborah

    1. Way to go Nora. I have all the In Death books and have bought them from the beginning and continue to preorder the new ones. I reread them at least once a year. Because of them, I have bought several oy your other books. A good author is a good author! I have bought several e books for .99 or 1.99 to try a new author, then gone on to buy the rest of the series at full price. I am very picky about the ones I buy and think the cheap books are a good way to find new authors. I look for ones that have a series. I love reading and finding a series that I like is great and I watch for more books from the author. I can just hope I am not buying these bad books!

  29. Thank you, Nora, for standing up for for your principles. I feel like our society is veering toward a mentality that approves of all manner of things that are plain wrong as long as they make money.

    Profits should never outweigh human decency.

  30. Many writers write using different names. Such as your JD. Books( famous examples…Elizabeth Peters, Barbara , etc.) Almost all in different Genre. In general they are some of my favorite writers. Some take over from a deceased writer, but rarely live up to the quality of the writing. Really good (Great)writers just have that spark that makes you know this is their work!
    You are one of those writers which makes it difficult to plagiarize them, it’s like a signature! But to answer the 1 book a week idea…I’d bet they could….but who wants to read what they write??

    1. I can’t believe that anyone who loves books, that loves curl up on a couch and read for hours, would waste their time to read most of the .99 books from KU. They’re filled with mistakes, and so disjointed it leaves the reader totally unsatisfied. It’s sad that the feelings of entitlement and greed has reached the publishing world.

      1. To break down the .99 pricing on Amazon, specifically in Romance (and hopefully offer some further explanation), this pricing trend occurred about the same time as filling a book with several “bonus” books. The .99 price point was considered a loss leader because the money could be made up in page reads (which is how authors with books borrowed from KU are compensated). If the maximum number of pages able to be read hits the cap, the “author” is paid around $13 for a full read.

        These same authors, who set the trend for .99 beyond just an introductory price for a limited time, artificially increased the cost of running ads to the point where it became impossible to run ads and not be in the red unless you engaged in the same bad acts.

        Romance midlisters, or authors working on getting 5-7 books out a year, couldn’t compete. At least not legitimately. And that’s not even considering brand new authors. The only hope they have is to price at .99 and hope they get some visibility and a little bit of traction.

  31. Thanks for this Nora. I’ve been a big reader my whole life (reading under the covers with a flashlight in grade school)! People should also look at Goodwill and Salvation Army. I used to get books there all the time in the early years when we had little extra money.I have moved a couple of times the last 2 years after not moving for 20 years. I had to donate a lot books – when we downsized from a house to an apartment- and I had a quite a few Hardcover Nora Roberts and JD Robb books plus a lot of paperbacks and other favorites authors I just couldn’t move. I plan to download my favorites to the cloud so I can re- read on my iPad mini and original kindle fire and iPhone.

  32. Nora,

    As a self-proclaimed voracious reader, I applaud & fully support the stand you are taking. I purchase a lot of books on my Kindle and will continue to do so. However, because of you I am carefully looking at each purchase much more closely than before.

    Most people expect to pay more for quality in other areas of their lives, so I don’t know why they don’t apply that to the books they purchase. Anyway, keep fighting the fight, you are doing a great job!

    Jo

    1. To those plagiarists out there perpetuating this fraud, you are liars & thieves! You know who you are so SUCK IT UP & OWN IT👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

      Stop bohooing & complaining about losing out on money you didn’t earn.

  33. As a young single mother myself, I first fell in love with Nora’s books at the public library. Every week I’d make a trip, check out a stack, and devour them. I spent probably a decade reading – and re-reading – those beloved books by my favorite author before my budget allowed me to buy one the day it released. So many wonderful authors found their way into my life the same way. Today my books are a combination of hardcover, paperback, and kindle but I love them all the same. And each of them are priceless. I buy what I can, try to find new authors to enjoy often, and treasure every book. I can’t even imagine arguing the price or worth of the work that went into each story or demanding a faster publication when each book was 100% worth the wait.

  34. Nora, I love you & have unfortunately learmed so much in the past week about the underbelly of the literary world. My entire family reads you uner bot Roberts & Robb. When your books first come out we quickly put a hold of 2 copies from the library, which we like you must pay a fine. 🙄 then we must buy a copy for our own library.
    Someone has to stand up for those who enjoy speak up, I guess it will just have to be you. So keep on keeping on. We are listening.

  35. I stand behind you 100% Nora, you keep writing and I will keep buying. You go get them! You have a great talent and that talent is yours to share with your readers and no one else. Thank you for the endless hours that I have been lost in your books, for the places you have taken me and the adventures I have been on.

  36. you go nora! when I was teaching, I actively (can you say pitbull) pursued students who submitted a paper extensively plagaurized…. the usual tell was sentences crafted better than paragraphs or sentences /paragraphs whose only change was to make it grammatically incorrect. It was dishonest and unfair to students who submitted papers poorly but honestly written. keep up the good work.

  37. As a young, stay at home wife of a career soldier, mother of two sons, and someone who reads anything I can get my hands on, I would love free books! But nothing in life is completely free! I was a frequent visitor to the public libraries we had on the bases we were assigned to over the years. Checking out multiple books each visit! Now as I have aged, I am 75!, I read even more! More free time, you know! I use my Kindle and Kindle Unlimited only because buying the actual hardback books causes storage problems, no more room! I never thought anyone would have the nerve to copy someone like Nora Roberts work!!! She is so well read, hell, you know you gonna get caught!! These books are her babies! Makes me mad just hearing about it. I love reading, always have, always will! Hang in there, all you writers, you are awesome people!! I envy you!!!!

  38. I absolutely love your J.D. Robb books. I came to know them through audio books that I got at my local library. From the first one, I fell in love with the characters. I did not start at the beginning, but after getting a few from the library, I was determined to listen to them in order (as much as I could). I have read a few (mostly the newer books), but most of the old ones have been “read” by listening to Susan Ericksen on the audio books. She is awesome…by the way. Your books have gotten me through some hard times. When there has been too much emotion in the world going on, I have escaped to listening to Eve and Rourke and the wonderful world you created. Thank you soooo much for that. That world has saved my sanity more times than I care to count.

    So, I used to have this image of what Eve’s face looked like. I think it was probably a meld of some kick-butt female movie stars I have seen before. However, after these posts, Eve is going to look a lot like Nora in my head the next time I re-listen to a book (or read a new one). I no longer have to wonder where you draw your inspiration for Eve from. I think I have seen a lot of Eve’s conviction for right and wrong (and trying to help others) in these posts. Those of us who love to read, and understand what a lifesaver books can be, understand your passion here. Keep fighting the fight, Nora (Eve).

  39. Your sign off reminded me of another great movie scene-Michael Douglas in an American President. He gives a speech calling out an opponent and it ends with, “My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the President.” Anyone interested there is a you tube of it. Great movie/great line. I am sorry that you have to keep addressing this issue. Thank you for your continued efforts and hope the sun shines soon, the days warm up and the ground softens for the lovely flowers to be planted. Blessings.

  40. After years of resistance, I finally got my sister to try the first In Death. Up until then she only read work manuals. She showed up two days later and cleared out my stash of books, read the series straight through. Didn’t see her for weeks. Then I gave her the Ardmore trilogy to try out. She was captivated, wanted more. What I’m getting at is that the magic of the stories are a testament to the hard work and genius of the writer. To me, it is pure magic to hold in my hands (or listen to) a well crafted book that drags me into the story. No GW could have consistently produced the quality of your work, they don’t have a reason to care past their paycheck, and I say that even as I fondly remember my Nancy Drews. Thank you for caring about ‘the job’ and giving us your very best. Every single time. Also, as someone who for years barely afforded the bus fare to the library, thank you for giving them a shout out. Even now, when I can afford to buy my favorites, I still borrow dozens of books to fill in the time in between (yours, Krentz, Hooper, etc.) and make sure to thank them, which sadly often surprises the librarian. A friend of mine in Calgary says there is often a six-month – or more – wait for any book she tries to get from the local library. We are so lucky here.

  41. I love your books. All of them series and singles. So sorry to hear about this ongoing problem. I tried to put words on paper ( by myself) and it’s not easy. Was thinking of my life story in romance. No one else has the same story. But I am not good at book writing. You are an amazing author. Thank you.

  42. Thank you Nora for your hard work and growth as an author. I started reading your books when you wrote for Harlequin and Silhouette. I have watched, and read, as you progressed to bigger and more complex story lines. Your yearly hardcovers are hard to wait for, but they are budgeted for every year. As with any author, some stand out more than others. The Witness, The Obsession and Shelter in Place, along with any In Death book are my go to reads when nothing else seems interesting. There seem to be a lot of issues in the publishing world right now. To a large extent I am blaming Amazon because they seem to have started this publishing business of selling for less than it costs to create and this helps create the sense that everything should be cheap, cheaper, free. Hard working authors are entitled to be paid for their work without other stealing it. Now as to something that is totally off the subject, do you know where your travelogue is going to be this year? I love reading of your travels and looking at the photographs.

  43. Thank you Nora! I enjoyed reading your blog. I share your feelings. your faithful reader, Karey

  44. These are the same points I’ve been speaking about for months. I have authors – legitimate authors – who sincerely believe there is nothing wrong with using a GW to help ‘increase the income stream’. To them, it’s just another form of income. They write their own books AND they use GW to write other stories.

    It boggles my mind.

    What they don’t understand is that these ‘publishers’ — won’t call them authors — along with the other scammers are hurting our industry. If it were not for these nefarious individuals we wouldn’t have to play the 99 cent book game. If it weren’t for them, real, legitimate authors wouldn’t even consider using a GW to help ‘increase their revenue stream’.

    What these legitimate authors are doing is validating the scammers and allowing these ‘non- authors’ to set the rules. And the rules always play heavily in the scammer’s favor.

    These scammers are making a lot of people desperate. They are slowly destroying our industry.

    These publishers/scammers/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-them NEVER talk about the craft. They never talk about the story, the character arc, the plotting, the story development, or the writing. But they will be all too happy to show you screenshots of their sales dashboards.

    For these people it is NEVER about the writing. It’s always about the money. Always.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Please let these writers know using a GW could lose them sales in the long run.

      When it comes to Indie writers, if I like the first of their books I read, I will buy a second. If I have enjoyed 3 or more, there is at least a detectable effort to minimize spelling and editing errors, and the plot lines hold my interest, it is likely that author will become an automatic one-click buy, even if the price starts going up.

      However, my loalty is not a given. At one point I noticed an author I had designated to my one-click list suddenly became suspiciously prolific. I thought nothing of it until I started reading her latest offering. If it was her writing, it had to have been a very early effort. I was so turned off by this book I didn’t even get to the half way point. This book is now sitting in my Buyer’s remorse collection and I have not bought another of her books since.

      Let’s face it, there are only so many plot lines for a romance book. It is the writer’s voice and perspective that makes them unique. For repeat business, that voice should have some consistency. I don’t see how that would be possible with a GW.

      But that is just my $3.99.

  45. Appalling that someone thinks plagiarism is ok and a reader would demand a free book the day it’s released. The entitlement attitude is disgusting.

    Thank you Nora and well said. I do pray that this will enlighten readers and they will beware of scams like these in the future.

  46. I just have to say, you go, girl! I’ve always loved to read. I even worked in a public library when I was in high school, a long time ago! I loved it. Access to books, all kinds of books, was just wonderful! Now my iPad has most of them. But I do still get each In Death in hardcover the day it come out! Plagiarism sucks! Even though this looks like this will be a long battle, I’m betting you’ll win!

  47. I love your books! I had many that were lost when our condo burned down. I have purchased most of them again and reread them constantly. I am behind you all the way . Stay strong.

  48. I have been around long enough to know & understand that not much comes for free and if it does there are always some strings attached ! Most of the time not in your favor ! So I good with having to pay, that’s capitalisim. I stand behind you 100% ,go get em! I realize this wasn’t on your plan in life,, but we all know how that goes ! Blessings to you & yours , a long time reader !

  49. Thank you, Nora, for standing up for yourself and for the rest of us honest writers. You’ve been an inspiration to me and one of the reasons I became a writer. I use your books, among others, to study and improve my craft. I know you weren’t born privileged, I know you worked your butt off to get where you are, and I’ve always thought “If she could do it, I can, too!”
    So thank you for being a career model and an awesome, kick-ass chick. I want to be you when I finally grow up!

  50. I wish people could just realize that if this wasn’t such a HUGE deal, then it would be too easy for you to sit back and let lawyers deal with it. On behalf of writers everywhere, aspiring or published, thank you for doing your part to put this mess in the spotlight until it gets cleaned up

  51. Agree with every word. Thank you for taking this on. You earned your career, and anybody who doesn’t know that hasn’t been paying attention. I appreciate you speaking up for everybody who’s trying their best to earn theirs in this marketplace. There can be no more respected voice.

  52. I’ve always wondered where you get the ideas for your novels. I think I already have the answer: Tenacity, perseverance, work, passion. It is not bad combination.

  53. Woo and two hoo’s! As you’ve said yourself in the Chesapeake Bay series! Kick some ass!!! I LOVE your ability to craft and describe people and situations with such detail, that I feel I can see it, that I’m there. That is TALENT and you should be paid for it!
    I don’t think people understand the other side to being a successful writer, either. The publicity and book signing tours for each book. Puhleeze! Well you sit on that fat pile of money (hello, literacy foundation) and enjoy that big ass mansion (lol – does no one read your blog or see the photos???) cuz YOU DESERVE TO!!! But you don’t, so you stomp those plagarizing thieves into the ground and stand up for those who can’t. Eve Dallas would be proud!!! Much love and gratitude!

  54. Excellent summation. Thank you for all you’re doing to stand up for real writers and deserving readers. I truly appreciate your time investment, your anger, and your clout. I’m proud to buy every one of your books, and all my others, through legitimate means! Looking forward to the next.

  55. I’m sorry that you have to take the time to keep addressing this issue because people can be a little dense and don’t get it. It is taking away from your valuable time to write something new and time away from your husband, family and baby time.
    Keep writing what your write and I will keep reading and patiently wait for the next book, any of your books, and getting them from the library. Thank g-d for our library system, the originator of free books.

  56. I wish people would learn the free and cheap means you get exactly what you paid for most of the time. I’m a Kindle Unlimited member and have discovered some great authors through it but there is a lot of trash on it. Having read Nora’s books since her time at Silhouette (Harlequin) I have been spoiled by her fantastic writing. I have finished many books saying that I wished the author put more into the work and had a 1/10th of the work ethic and imagination of Nora. I understand why some author’s put their first book in a series for free or strictly on Kindle Unlimited because I have found many authors I liked through these methods and have then bought all the books in their series and will continue to do so. Author’s who do the hard work and don’t cheat their reader’s deserve all the money they get from reader’s. I couldn’t write a book if someone held a gun to my head because I simply don’t have that gift. The mark of a great writer is that their books are re-read many times. You are great writer Nora – don’t let them get you down.

  57. Thank you, Nora, for all you’re doing for yourself and your fellow legitimate writers. I’m absolutely fascinated by some of what you’ve written as to the dreadful practices. God bless.

  58. Anyone who has ever expressed doubt as to whether you write the In Death books yourself should read this blog. Eve’s stand up morals and dare I say ballsiness clearly come straight from her creator.

    I admire Eve tremendously, and admire you as her creator even more!

    Thank you!

  59. Thank you for taking on the bad guys for all those authors! Nobody messes with you. I’ve read your books for 25 plus years. You are always original in your writing! How dare someone copy your work! Go get them NORA!

  60. Thank you Nora. Spot on.
    Many authors and readers have been speaking out about these issues- and many other insidious scams with audiobooks for many years.
    You are correct that the scammers are now making the rules and the industry has changed to try and cope. Author marketing groups have brainwashed many indie authors into believing that they have to engage in shady practices to earn a living – something they wouldn’t have to do if it wasn’t for the click farms and GW content.

    We have to take the power back. Legitimate authors who, like me, write their own books and slave tirelessly to provide beautiful stories need to make a choice. If authors are looking for longevity and a backlist of well-written stories they are proud of they have to make a stand and be part of the group of authors fighting for change – and not the ones looking to make a quick buck.

    Readers also need to understand that canceling their Kindle Unlimited subscriptions doesn’t help in the slightest. The scammers use click-farms- they have warehouses in the Far East full of second-hand computers and poorly paid people who spend their days flipping pages. Your subscription does not matter to them. But it matters to us legitimate authors who you might have decided to read.

    I have spoken to many legitimate authors who are so demoralized by all of this that they wonder why they bother. They spoke about stopping writing. This makes me so sad.

    I do hope that there is a chance for real change and that readers will eventually grow tired of the cheap-ass 99c and free books and search out quality, well-written content.

    1. Isobel, the problem lies with Amazon’s inability to maintain quality control.

      So while canceling KU might not affect scammers directly, if enough readers do it, & if pressure is put on Amazon in a hard, public manner, Amazon will take notice. There are potential FTC violations & fraudulent copyright issues that Amazon ignores.

      There’s no way to fix this without Amazon getting involved & the way to do that is to make it clear their bottom dollar will be affected.

      I’m NOT unsympathetic about the money issue, although I have few books that are wholly in the Kindle Unlimited program, but I’m looking at the big picture, because we have to. Either we push for Amazon to notice this so we can restore the true value in genre fiction or we don’t…and eventually, there won’t be any perceived value.

  61. You go, Nora!

    I keep the complete In Death series on my tablet so I can read it any time I want. (Thankfully, it has enough memory so there are other titles on there too.)

  62. Nora, as always, you are amazing the way you cut right to the heart of the matter and say what you think. Thank you. I am so sorry this has affected you and so many other authors. But in turn you have educated so many of us about what I never new existed. I will never look at a free or cheap ebook the same again.

  63. Thank you.
    Your support, your efforts, your time… you… are so very much appreciated that the only words I have are wholly inadequate to express just how much.

  64. Thank you Nora for the education about what is happening with this issue, I did not know any of this. I applaud you for educating people about this problem and the strong moral compass you have, another reason I love you! I just finished your newest book Connections in Death and as always I’m so bummed when I’m on the last couple of chapters knowing this story is ending. Your writing has given me such joy and times of total escape into your stories for so long, I wish I was your best friend! You are such a gifted writer and have done so much for so many always. Donna

  65. Not sure if you watch any TV shows but I have frequently felt that script writers have plagiarized from popular novels. This weeks episode of Chicago Med is a blatant example. A son conceived to provide bone marrow, kidney, etc. for his older brother with leukemia. Younger son wants to stop, changes mind and older son decides he is done fighting. Sounds like “My Sister’s Keeper” to me.

  66. Thank you Nora for the education about what is happening with this issue, I did not know any of this. I applaud you for educating people about this problem and the strong moral compass you have, another reason I love you! I just finished your newest book Connections in Death and as always I’m so bummed when I’m on the last couple of chapters knowing this story is ending. Your writing has given me such joy and times of total escape into your stories for so long, I wish I was your best friend! You are such a gifted writer and have done so much for so many always.

  67. Thank you Nora, and I love the books you write. I wish you a speedy resolution on the legal front.

  68. Thank you for your passion on this topic and for the amazing books you write. I own almost all of them and re-read them regularly. It sickens me that others take your words and use them to make money. It angers me that people are angry at you for being upset about it! You have every right to be outraged. I hope you are able to get the justice you seek.

  69. Once again, thank you. I have an enormous amount of respect for you. I love your brilliance, your articulate delivery, and your fiction. And I love the respect you have for those of us working our way up the rungs with you as a bright light encouraging, telling it like it is, and making us laugh too.

  70. Thank you, Nora, for standing up for others.

    Years ago one of my writing mentors talked about signature sentences and used your books as examples. That’s as true today as it was then. Your work is original and an absolute delight.

    As an indie author (and likely in the running for Slowest Writer on the Planet) I’m doing everything I can to expose fake authors while supporting legitimate writers whatever their publishing venue might be. Thank you for allowing me to link to your blog, and know there are many of us standing with you in this fight.

  71. I totally agree with you! Books are a necessity, and while the costs have increased over the years (for the better ones) it’s the price we have to pay for quality, no pun intended.
    When I was working, purchasing your latest novel or In Death book on release day was a given. Now that I am on disability, things are a little different: if my finances permit I can purchase one or two a year, the others are borrowed from my local library as ebooks.

  72. Nora, I love your writing. I have bought your books over the years mostly at bookstores but also at yard sales. I fought against an ereader but received one for Christmas one year. Now I have bought many of your books again for the ereader. Now I have your books with me all the time! I am glad you’re stepping up for the legitimate writers. Keep writing great stories!

  73. As a reader…you are so dead on accurate (of course!) Books are the ultimate escape, excellent teacher, valued friend, and essential to surviving this life! Anyone who thinks it’s ok to steal, should be held accountable! I’m so sorry you and others have to even deal with this, but do appreciate that you are and are also standing up for the newer authors who don’t yet have the cred you do. Keep up the good fight!

  74. I totally agree with every point you made! I’m a voracious reader and can easily read a book in a few days when off work. I long ago decided life was too short to read poorly written books, so I don’t.

    On the other hand, my favorite day is any day a Roberts or Robb book is published! Quality always rises to the top like cream. Author on! ♥️ Another Maryland Girl =^..^=

  75. Thank you for “hanging tough” and for exposing the con artists! As a long time fan of yours and a bookstore owner, I applaud you and your position.

  76. I wonder if even a full page ad in The Wall Street Journal about the facts of published content not being checked for plagiarism would stop Amazon? Kudos to Ms Roberts for writing fantastic books AND keeping up ethical standards.

  77. Thank you. I had no idea any of this was happening, and I appreciate you shining a light on the matter. I know your time is valuable, and you should have the ability to spend it working and not educating/defending. Keep fighting!

  78. I’ve read every blog you posted on this difficult subject and just have to say, Nora, you rock. Thank you.

  79. Thank you Nora for all that you are doing and saying for the legit writers out there. My daughter is one of those. She writes for the love of writing (and is fulfilling both her and grandmothers dream of becoming a writer!). She is just starting out but is loving what she does. I am soooo proud of her for doing this. Love your books (I have both books and audio!) and look forward to continuing reading your stories for many more years.

  80. PREACH! I think it is an absolute shame that you had to publish this particular blog, or spend the last 2 weeks spelling out why plagiarism is wrong, illegal, immoral, outright theft!
    If someone stole your car, coat, shoes, jewelry, items from your home, your dog, the plants in your garden, no one would have a problem with seeing that as theft. Well, stealing your intellectual property is just as bad, if not worse, especially as the person(s) used it to make money for themselves, more than once!
    I am a single mother. Though my daughter is now married and a mother herself, we spent a lot of time in the library. We still do, as we both want my granddaughter to benefit from ALL the things besides books that the library offers (music, videos, movies, classes, lectures, opportunity to volunteer). I even borrowed a very expensive, classic, hard to come by book on South African Sign Language my daughter needed for a play she was interpreting years ago. My library borrowed it from the Galludet University library. My daughter was able to complete her assignment, interpret the play, and those Deaf attendees who were originally from South Africa, were able to enjoy and understand the play, the same as deaf attendees who knew American Sign Language (ASL). I have since been able to purchase books on International Sign Languages through the auspices of my library, at a reduced price. My daughter constantly uses them for research.
    Dolly Parton, has an organization that sends a free book, every month, to any child in the USA who is signed up, from Kindergarten to 5th grade! I contribute to her organization. I contribute to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), which also provides free or nominal cost ($1) to school children in the USA. I spent most of my free time growing up, in the library. Sometimes it was my small school library, mainly one of the NYC Public Libraries. I give to them as well. It’s not thousands each time, as I’m a senior citizen and retired, but it’s on a regular basis and has been going on for years.
    You don’t have to defend yourself to your true fans! We believe in you, we trust you, we know you write your own books! Thank you for speaking up and taking legal actions that writers not in your financial situation cannot afford to pursue. I have no more right to ask you for a free book, than I do for a free night in the Boonsboro Inn, or a pair of your leather boots, or a free trip to the Kentucky Derby!

  81. I’ve read every blog you’ve written on this subject, and I feel like I’ve learned so much, that I should have paid you a tuition fee for the education I’ve gotten. I’m happy to pay for every book of yours that I’ve read, and I thank you for the “free” education. I’ll always be a fan of your books, and I applaud you for standing up for your rights as an author.

  82. Thank you for taking a stand. So often these days it seems our moral compass has been left in a pocket. Bravo for helping all legitimate writers have a voice.

  83. I have been reading your work since your first one came out. I’m a huge fan of your work.
    I’ve always been inspired by you.
    Your work and what you’ve accomplished. People tend to put outstanding people on a pedestal talented people and try to take advantage and steal. Shame on them.
    You’ve got the courts to help and people not falling for thieves…
    But mean, vindictive , people who says BullShit stuff for you standing up can kiss all ur fans ass because we have your back and we support you Nora Roberts.

  84. You are amazing. A strong, fierce woman of conviction like a lot of your heroines. Thank you for voice.

  85. Thank You, Nora for taking more time out of your busy life to inform us as to what is still going on. As I have said before in a post, I have read every book you have published. Please keep standing for the rights of the honest writer. And keep on fighting for the ones who have taken your words as their own.

  86. Thank you, Nora, for your honesty and integrity when it comes to highlighting the thieves of someone else’s imagination. Those that trivialize or marginalize the loathsome practice of stealing any part of someone else art, craft, creativity have little to no morals or ethics. Stealing original words, works in my mind, is stealing a part of that creator’s being or essence. It’s so very WRONG in every sense of the word. No argument or justification can change that.

  87. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿 👩🏻‍💻
    Thank you for all you do. You are my heroine.

  88. These practices are just plain wretched. We can only imagine the pain you feel when someone steals your hard work & efforts.

    A question, please, to you or your many supporters: You’ve encouraged everyone to do their due diligence on new writers who may be trying to gain exposure for legitimate new work/series. I’m more than willing – but how? Where does an older (though pretty computer-savvy 😉 reader look to determine whether I’m buying a legitimate new author, etc; or if she’s a nefarious ne’er-do-well? I don’t want to support the negative behavior!

    In the meantime, you go girl! You’ve progressed a l-o-n-g way since your Sarah and Byron days.

  89. Nora, I thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront. I was not aware that this had happened to you and the other authors, and I’m sorry you all have to deal with this. I will admit I have gotten some free, or low cost e books, but I usually end up buying the rest of the series if I like how the author writes. I am an avid, voracious reader, and the ladies at my local library know me by name! I also buy a lot of books off the shelves at the retail level, and don’t ever see that changing, so I say thank you to all of the great, and hard working authors who give us readers an excellent story, an escape when we are overwhelmed with work, or life. I commend all of you for your hard work, and will continue to support you.

  90. I knew I was a fan of yours for a reason. I’m thrilled you’ve taken on this issue and addressed those who twist your words for selfish means. I also want to thank you for the valuable time you’ve spent researching how these “would be” authors execute their schemes. As an aspiring author who may self-publish one day, I find the information you’ve presented both enlightening and disgusting. The suggestion that someone would steal, copy, or transform someone else’s work is unimaginable—and unacceptable. Yet, it happened and is happening. 
    For the past two years, I’ve worked on a ms (my 2nd-the 1st one’s buried deep underground) while working full-time and raising kids. I’ve rewritten, revised, and reread MY words more times than I care to admit. And on the rare occasion when I write a sentence that makes me go, WOW, I run it through a plagiarism tool to make sure I didn’t subconsciously pluck it from one of my readings. I devour books that teach writing and drink the advice of successful writers. Because I LOVE writing—even if I never make a dime from it. But a dime is the only care of money-hungry wolves who cloak themselves with deceptive covers and stolen passages. And the people who profit from such blatant cons while driving down the sales of deserving Indie authors … well, those are descriptive words better left off paper. 

  91. God Bless! I am so happy someone is finally taking a stand about this. I have nine books out in eight years. I worked HARD for those books, and I am so jaded by people who want my hard earned work for free. Eight years of my life and talents means nothing and it’s demoralizing. If the atmosphere doesn’t change soon, writers won’t survive.

  92. Thank you Nora/JD for highlighting this issue. I don’t understand why people are so angry with you for bringing this problem to light. If they believe that what others are doing is not wrong, shame on them.

  93. Ms Roberts, I’m a long time fan and love to reread many of my favorites. I own all of your In Death series and have an entire bookcase area devoted to your books. Frankly, although I often wish you could write faster (those previews of the next book at the end of the current one are so tantalizing) but given the quality of your work, I’m amazed at the quantity that you do produce. Because I like to read them more than once, I prefer to purchase them although I try to get them on sale or used when I can because I’m on a fixed income now. But they are worth the money and you don’t have a single reason to apologize for making a living on the fruits of your labor. You’ve earned it. Please keep writing and thanks for fighting for the rights of all honest authors. ~ a loyal fan

  94. Sorry this is happening and taking you away from doing what you and your fans love. And glad you are fighting this. Your fans will have your back! Just let us know what you need. Thanks!

  95. Way to go Nora! Thank you for your words and standing up to this ugliness. Keep writing and fighting the good fight.

  96. Thank you so much, Nora! Keep fighting the good fight. This has been a horrible mess for honest writers and for readers who want to read quality books. I have long worried about the impact on the market of free books, especially after one of my relatives told me she only reads free books now, though she can afford to buy them. It broke my heart. Thanks for fighting for other authors who would not be able to afford to take on this scurge on their own. You rock!

  97. I am one of those people who can get sucked into the rabbit hole of clicking on a book and then clicking on a suggested book that others who bought this book bought, etc. It is so easy to pick up a free book, because ‘who cares if it sucks, it’s free’. I never knew all that you’ve expressed in you blog series. I will be much more judicious in my reading selections in the future.

  98. Thank you for bringing this issue to light. While I do use a Kindle for a lot of my reading materials, I have always bought the books outright since I often reread my favorites over and over again. A long time ago when I first got it I bought several 99 cent or free books. I quickly realized they were terrible and have not bought any more. I love to read and have only a small amount of time to do it (high school teacher 😀) so I want to make sure that time is well spent with quality, well crafted books by authors who have honed their craft. So… thank you for putting the time, passion, and effort into stories and characters that I now feel like are family members. I greatly appreciate it.

  99. I am impressed that you know so much about indie publishing. You obviously keep informed. Bravo!

    And I agree with everything you wrote except for one point. Dean Wesley Smith has openly blogged about writing books for traditional publishing where the author on the cover couldn’t meet a deadline. He’s never named which author(s) these were because of NDAs, but ghosting of that sort is not limited to the indie world.

    The rest, re lying to the reader and not wanting to pay money for books? Spot on.

    Thank you for being a strong voice in this disaster.

  100. I am sorry you and others are having your work stolen. It’s disgusting to me but has to be maddeningly for you authors. Please know how much your loyal readers love and respect you!!

  101. As a reader, I love your work, Ms. Roberts. As a writer, thank you for bringing more eyes to these issues. I believe there are many of us grateful for the exposure and attention you’ve brought. A million times, thank you, and I hope your legal battle moves to resolution swiftly.

    …Now, shouldn’t you be writing? 😉

  102. You go Nora. I don’t mind a good bargain or finding a new author if a sale is going on of a previously published book of that author and have haunted many yard sales, flea markets, used book stores and even library book sales to find something new. There are many avenues to find something on a budget and I agree that demanding something new or free from an author on a daily or even weekly basis is ridiculous. Do I wish sometimes that I didn’t have to wait for a book in a series to come out? Yes I do but I also know that there is a process to get that book to market and my wait will be well rewarded with a book that will bring me hours of enjoyment. Thanks for bringing this ugly practice to light.

  103. Hybrid author here, and I wish you could hear me cheering everything you just posted. I hope the legal issues are resolved quickly and beneficially and you can get back to focusing on your work.

  104. Thank you. I would love to be a writer but know my limitations. So instead I read. You’re the only author I still buy real books (not e-books) from. I’ll wait a year to buy the stand alone in paperback. You’re dedication to your art is greatly appreciated. I also re-read books that I’ve enjoyed because it feels like a visit with an old friend…. and it makes it worth the price. Keep up the good fight.

  105. I have read this entire blog…and I have read several postings aloud to my husband!… Nora, your integrity and passion is so profound…if more people had such passion…think how the world could be! You have been and will continue to be my favorite author.
    Thank you!!
    (How about running for president??)

  106. Hi: As a new writer, I like to thank you for your stance on the issues you described. Many of the points you covered are a new revelation to me as a newbie. An excellent resource to be vigilant and principled. Thank you!

  107. As a former Harlequin author turned indie, THANK YOU for speaking up. I agree with you and I’m not afraid to say so. But you’ll reach far more people than I will. So thank you for doing it!! I’ve been so furious at the deceit, mostly because of the effect on readers. I’m fortunate enough to have a wonderful fan base and I adore them. But I’m angry for them (and all readers) that the simple act of buying a book for a few hours entertainment has gotten so difficult. As a reader, I hate how useless the recommendation lists on Amazon have gotten. I buy books recommended by my friends and readers these days. And when I recognize the author as someone I can trust.

    I know it’s hard for writers starting out now, and I’m angry for them too. For the real ones who care and don’t treat this like just another internet marketing scam. I remember what it was like to be a bright-eyed hopeful, to join RWA for the first time, and to look up to writers like you in awe. There are good stories waiting to be told, and I hate that there are people who feel defeated before they ever begin because scammers think books aren’t personal and important.

  108. Nora, I love your writing and will continue to pay for your books. I may read them from the library first, but then will purchase them to keep.

  109. Keep fighting for what is right. Your fans will stand for you. People shouldn’t be able to capitalize off another’s work. Stealing is stealing. A pretender is a pretender. You are absolutely doing the right thing. Ignore the people who don’t understand you are doing this for all writers.

  110. Thank you, Nora, for continuing to stand up for what is right! Regardless of what it is called, stealing is wrong.

  111. Go Nora!!!🙌
    I was and am a voracious reader. But I grew up poor and couldn’t afford to buy books. The library and Bookmobile were where I got to read. I would come home with 5-10 books and just lose myself in the stories. And I would reread the ones I loved. And most turned out to be books that you had written.

    I only have a handful of authors that I read. But like I mentioned elsewhere, if there is a new author I might want to read, I go by word of mouth and what my friends say. I just don’t trust online reviews.

  112. All hail, Queen Nora! Go get ’em!
    Thanks for all the wonderful hours I’ve spent with your books. Some are comfort reads (The Witness is one), so I reread them on the regular. I buy them. Sometimes new, sometimes used. But I pay for the use of someone’s hard work. And appreciate it. All the thieves and apologists who think stealing is OK can go straight to hell. Also, since you worked hard and long for your “millions”, you’re entitled to do with them whatever you want! And if you get the sudden urge to go mansion shopping, share pictures.
    P.S. say hi to Eve for me. I wanna be her when I grow up.

  113. I love the library for your books and cd’s so I can listen on the way to work. In fact just bought a new radio for my car when CD player quit playing in my old one because the library has a great selection and I hold library cards from the 3 counties around me so I can get ebooks and cd’s from one if the other does not have what I want. Library cards are free.

  114. Well done! I KNOW you write your own books… how else could Eve Dallas be so kick-ass fierce? Go get ‘em, girl!

  115. Thank you for taking this on and for helping those true indie writers who do not have the resources to fight for themselves. If the scammers win, then everyone who loves to read will lose. We will lose the opportunity to travel to new places and learn different things through the eyes of the characters you (and all the true authors) create for us. Bravo!

  116. Bravo Nora!! You are amazing! I will say learning about all of this has made me grateful for my iron clad rule of only buying books by authors that are “known” to me. Otherwise, I go to my library. ..often.

  117. I agree with everything you’ve said, but readers have no idea about publishing costs etc. For example: I started buying your “In Death” books a few months ago on my BN NOOK. Each book, except for the latest one cost $7.99. Each book averages 300 pages. So 3 books equals about $24. Many 1000 page books cost $14 or less. There is no pricing consistency, no way to compare prices. A 300 page book can be finished in 2 or three days. Then time for another book. I would never ask a writer to cheapen her writing, but from the reader side it is frustrating. Writing is art, but once read it is gone, not hung on a wall to be looked at over and over. I hope you win, whether in court or in public opinion. And I will keep reading

    1. The publisher prices established best-selling authors higher than a new or midlist, or lower selling. Publishing IS a business. How much did they pay the author in advance? What is the royalty scale for that author? How much did it cost to produce the book, create the cover and so on? All these factor into the cover price.

      I don’t personally know of many 1000 page books, unless the unethical practice of book stuffing’s involved. Then you’re not really getting what you paid for.

      I disagree about a book being gone once read. I so disagree. I have untold books in my home, and so many of them are books I read again. And again. Plus, I agree with Dana from Key of Knowledge–books themselves–the literal books–can be art on the shelf in the case. It’s a matter of taste.

      People will pay to go to a concert, to a film, to a play–once the music stops, the credits roll, the curtain falls, it’s over. They can’t hang that on their wall either, but they take away the experience. Why are books expected to be treated differently than other forms of art?

      I don’t get it.

      If you feel the books are too expensive for your budget, your library would offer them for download. The author still gets paid, but you read the book for free. Libraries are a treasure.

      1. Kudos to that – the best answer – I surround myself with books that I love, want to read and will re read. Knowing that they are friends that I can tap into anytime I need whatever my mood. My books have a huge place in my living space both for form and function. I love living with them and reading them. So I continue to channel my inner Dana from the key trilogy- have a book for every thing you do, breakfast lunch and dinner. (Don’t forget the midnight snack). Read responsibly- we now know that we too have an obligation to verify what we buy and read is really valid. Thanks to Nora for bringing this to light!

  118. You’ve been clear all along. Sweat equity is the price of great writing. No one can borrow it, should steal it, or should excuse it. My library is filled with your work because it’s the good stuff! You don’t need my encouragement, but go get ‘em!

  119. Nora,

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to not only fight for the injustice done to you, but also other writers! Thank you for making you opinion known. Today it seems like it is agrievious if a person has an opinion of there own, which does not match society’s “accepted” opinion. Thank you for taking the time to tell us all your opinion and to educate your readers about the workings of the publishing world.

    Now as someone else said…..aren’t you supposed to be writing/working? 😉

    1. I completely love all your books ma’am, just can’t see one that doesnt make feel glad that I love books.

      Keep at it👍

  120. I have bought every nearly every book you have written from way back to Mills and Boons to your latest one, the ones I have not bought I got from my local Library. I have in my cupboard about 1500 books some 46 years old and I reread them time after time. I got a Kobo a few years ago and have 2000 plus on that and a some a few hundred were free but had they not been I would have missed out on some wonderful authors like Diane Henders , Jana Deleon, Dannika Dark and others whose first books were free and I cannot buy them in the UK in paperback but I have gone on to buy everything they have written on my Kobo. I read a lot and do not watch much tv about 4 hours a week. I would never expect or want any author to spend months writing books just to give them all away , yes I would love a new book every few weeks from my favourite authors but that is not realistic so I reread from book 1 starting couple of weeks before the new one comes out or even for no reason just because I love them.
    Please keep up the good work and good luck with the fight for justice.

  121. Nora, Thank you so much for bringing this to light. I had no idea this was going on. I never really knew what a ghost writer was. but then I’m a reader, not a writer. This has been a great tutorial. Thank you for doing what you do! I LOVE your books! I’ve still got my first copy of Irish Thoroughbred, it’s a little tattered and worn, but I still re-read it! I was a late comer to the In Death series, but I am so hooked! You really are the “Eve Dallas” of authors! Go Nora!

  122. Everytime I think I couldn’t love you more, you prove me wrong. I have spent this past week questioning habits. Trying to be sure I walk the ethical path when buying books. I prefer traditional publishing because I prefer an actual book in my hand and also paper doesn’t have the same glare and doesn’t trigger my migraines. But i know there are so many wonderful individuals authors who don’t publish in paper and i want to support them too.
    Before this debacle i didn’t understand about most of these terms, click-farms, book-stuffing, ghost-writers who aren’t noted. The only GW I knew about were the biography writers, etc. but were acknowledged. I’ve felt like a total naive nube! Thank you for the education. I will try to support new, legitimate authors and be mindful of not supporting the crap, scam artists.
    And as a voracious reader and longtime fan who has had the privilege of chatting with you way back on eharlequin.com, you are still as awesome and cool as ever. Thank you for modeling for your kickass heroines by being just as strong and badass. Go Nora!!
    PS, Can we see pictures of your mansion one day? Pretty please? 😉

  123. I am just so very sorry you’ve had to take time away from writing to address this awful mess. I had no idea it existed. Plagiarism is a crime, plain and simple. But the other stuff: click farms, KU, etc.? Not a clue what they are because I buy the books I know of – paper, because I love the smell and feel of them; audio, of books of yours I’ve actually read before but want to be entertained while I drive; and ebooks, again of yours, to reread in the event I leave my actual paper book home and have an appointment somewhere.

    Regarding other authors, I have an established list of authors I’ve read for years (yours, Sanford, Baldacci, Gardner, Thor, Flynn, etc.) and wouldn’t even know how to find this new hybrid of writers I have no desire to know. Oh, and selections for my book club each month – some of which are silly, but hey, book club.

    Once again, I’m sorry you’ve had to address this ridiculous, but serious issue. I’m sure I speak for others when I say that we want you to continue doing what you do – writing wonderfully – and to hell with these idiots who believe you’ve somehow done something wrong or nefarious.

    I love you, Nora. You are truly remarkable.

  124. AMEN Nora. I’m just so in awe everytime I read a book ( yours or any of my favorite authors ) of the amount of time it takes in research for each and every book. Blown away in fact! I’m one of those voracious readers, have been since I was in elementary school ( and I’ll soon be 70)! I remember the feel, the smell and the instant love I felt for that book & just about every book since. I’m so saddened that this /these practices are going on. As you can see there are alot of folks that are standing beside you in your Right to fight these practices. We Love you & believe in you…

  125. You remind me of Rep. AOC. The Repubs keep trying to take her down, and she keeps showing them that you don’t mess with the best or you will get your a** handed to you.

  126. I am heartsick for you and the other writers affected by this latest plagiarism scandal. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be the victim of such an atrocious theft, and I am particularly sorry to hear that this is the second time you’ve had to deal with this. I hope you will all see appropriate and swift justice done.

    Thank you for speaking up about the hydra of problems exposed by this scandal, and for shining a light on practices that can only thrive in the dark. My first novel came out three years ago, and since then, I have been on a learning curve about the ever-evolving publishing industry. Your recent posts have educated me a great deal, and I am so grateful to you for sharing your insights.

    I was so happy to learn about your Foundation, which I’m sorry to say I didn’t know about before. I checked out the website and was excited to read about your support for libraries and other wonderful causes. Adult literacy is a personal interest of mine, and I recently launched a modest awareness campaign. I was delighted to be able to add the Nora Roberts Foundation to the organizations featured on my website, and I wish you and your Foundation every success in your ongoing mission.

    Once again, on behalf this voracious reader and painstaking writer, thank you.

  127. Nora, I admit to agonizing between your new releases, and that is entirely your fault!! If you weren’t so good at what you do I wouldn’t feel this way. You keep writing and fighting and we will be right there with you. I pray you will go through the legal process quickly. It is never wrong to stand up for what’s right.
    PS- I you need help with legal fees just let us know!! Keep your head up, you have “right” on your side.

  128. Have followed this line about plagiarism, ghost writers an so on and I have to admit, I had no idea!!!!!! but, I cant understand how anyone could get the idea in their heads to plagiarte any of your books, because thers is NO ONE who can use the words, like you do! Its so recognizeable, the way you can make a sentence sing the way you do. So even to try to copy anything you ave written is absolutely idiotic.
    Since 1983, when I found the first book, written by you, in a military installation in Germany, I have bought everything you ever have written! Both as Roberts and JD Robb. Have a standing order of new books at Amazon! Since Im living in Sweden, it will take at 3 least month before we get the European version, so e-books is my salvation!
    Thank You! I love you and your work!

  129. Thank you so much for these words. As an indie who takes great pains to produce the best story possible and invests in its quality, I salute you. Libraries are the place for free books, not me. I deserve to be paid for my work, as do we all. As a voracious reader myself, I won’t pass up a bargain on a good book, but I always willing to pay for an author’s work. Thank you for all your fine work and the efforts around this issue. I eagerly await the third book in your Chronicles of the One series!

  130. Thank you Nora for bringing this to light. Keep up the good work. From the first book years ago I have never missed another and managed to find any I missed. Your books take me into another world and they have saved my day many times. If I had to pick one author, it would be you.

  131. I am reading your books since 1993. One thing I am absolutely sure of is that quality matters and wins any day over quantity.
    Any book aficionado worth her salt would agree with me. Yes, quality is expensive but is worth every cent . I too fell in the trap of cheap books online but the some i read failed to hold my attention and I happily stopped reading/ purchasing them.
    I admire you and your work. So proud to see you taking stand on this issue. More power to you.

  132. I literally cried with relief when I got to the end of this post. I was so afraid the haters would run you off from this mission of setting things right in our industry. I believe whole-heartedly we can change this–we’re a tight community and we are many–but we need a strong leader we can get behind to move this mountain. We’re with you, Ms. Roberts. One-hundred-thousand percent. Lead on, and we will follow. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. <3

  133. I applaud your stance. Artist deserve to be paid! Writers of books, songs, movies, TV shows. It is a talent that takes honing and hard work.

    I do have to say, I do appreciate when your publisher offers one of your Ebooks for a few dollars. They are generally books I have in paper (and have already read) but want to have electronically as well so I ALWAYS snatch them up!

    Keep up the good fight. Cheaters deserve to be punished and if they get a little humiliated along the way, GREAT.

  134. I absolutely love reading. Nothing upsets me more than to find misspelling or improper language. I’m not even a high school graduate and I know the proper says to use some of the the words and phrases they mess up.

  135. Love your books and love your stand against plagiarism. Keep it up! We are behind you 100%.

  136. A standing ovation. Thank you for putting that so eloquently into words.

    Now, I just wish there was something we could do about it. In the days before the scammers caught on to how good it is, real writers stood a fair chance at making it with great content. I was SO close. I could taste it. I made $15,000 over two months with my new release.

    But it all changed when page reads came in. Now, I do well but I know I could do better. And I just don’t know how much fight I have left in me. I see my dreams dying a little more every day, and it’s fair to say that maybe my books just aren’t that good and that the scammers have nothing to do with it, but… if that’s the case, why has every beta reader I’ve hired to rip my books to shreds said the opposite?

    I don’t know what to do anymore, and I think we all need to put our heads together so that real writers don’t get lost in the chaos.

  137. Pardon my French, but A- FUCKING- MEN!
    I am one of the nameless, faceless Indies authors that labor over each story, and I do my damnedest to grow and improve each time I publish.
    And yes… I feel buried beneath the scammers, the plagiarists, and the cheaters who take all the revenue and all of the readers and churn out regurgitated crap that overshadows the finely crafted novels of myself and my peers and prices them at a price point that will drive less dedicated (or stubborn) authors out of the business.
    I feel just Gods awdful when I get messages from readers saying, “I want to read your books, but they’re so expensive! Can you make your books cheaper/Free?” (By the way, none of my e-books are priced more than $4.99, because yeah… I VALUE my work!)
    So thank you, Nora. Thank you for taking this on and shedding light on the growing malignancy of these scammers and cheats.

  138. Thank you!
    I learned something else too. I had no idea that even borrowing a book from a library still helps an author. That is so cool!!
    I hope you are successful in your fight.
    You are an inspiration to many.

  139. Thank you for all the information! And I totally understand where your frustration would be coming from….and also for standing up for the underdogs! I want to say that I get my share of e-reader books. However, that being said, I ALWAYS buy the actual Nora Robert and JD Robb books … the real -deal books! I have a few authors that I refuse to put on my e-reader. A couple of years ago when I discovered JD Robb and knew I needed to go back to the first one to get the whole effect…I scoured bargain book stores, bargain shelves, and EBay to get the books and am out there on New Book Tuesday to get each one when it hits the stores! Keep on keeping on with what you do with your talent. There are TONS of us who love you for the enjoyment you give to us through your words and imagination. Such as….I think I totally smiled through the first several pages in Connections in Death as you brought back to life your characters in true Dallas fashion. That a person of your literary reputation still stands for those writers who dream of being like you….that’s awesome.

  140. Thank you! I had no idea which of these posts to leave my comment on, since they are ALL awesome, but I chose this one because I had tears pricking my eyes when I reached the end.

    I am an author who writes my own books. Writing has to fit in around paying work and kids, and I basically don’t sleep when I’m on a deadline, but I still wouldn’t do it any other way. Lately it has been so demoralising for us ordinary midlist authors to try to get reviews, to get our books seen by readers, while those gaming the system take all the top spots and force us to the sidelines. It’s demoralising, but I still wouldn’t do it any other way.

    But reading your posts has made me feel strong and proud again. Knowing that you are willing to stand up and say what needs to be said, knowing that you are willing to fight, has inspired me to stand up and fight too.

    I cannot thank you enough for fighting back, and for saying what needs to be said.

  141. THANK YOU. So many thank yous for saying this, for doing this. It makes me happy. It gives me hope. It makes me love you even more than I already do (if that were possible). All the crooks, liars and thieves nearly made me quit. I’m glad I didn’t and won’t. Quitting lets them win. I’m just gonna keep on writing.

  142. Now for the record, I’m not trying to open up a hornets nest, I’m just looking to have an honest conversation. On the old indeath.net site you ordered a cease and desist on the fanfiction part of the website because one of the writers broke one of the rules that you put in place, which is highly understandable. But my question to you is, was you being a victim of plagiarism one of the reasons why you never allowed fanfiction on your work?

    Again I’m not trying to open up a hornets nest, I’m just hoping that we can have a pragmatic conversation about that subject.

  143. It’s only one of the reasons. I don’t like fanfic. I understand that’s not an altogether popular stand, and some feel it’s a kind of homage, and a good way to practice.

    But they’re MY characters, and I worked hard to create them, give them life inside my books. And so I feel very protective of them, very protective of my work.

  144. I’ve spent the last two months re-reading the InDeath series. Not finished yet. I love your voice and your stories. I look forward to each new release. Bravo for your words and your stance.

  145. You are, and have always been my favorite author. But now you’re my Hero too! I hope you bust their asses good! You get ’em girl!!

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