Current plagiarism update: 86 books/36 writers
This is a very long slog on many fronts. There are days since all this started it feels as if we’re battling Hydra. Slash at one head, more pop up.
But we’re slashing away, and we’re moving forward.
Writers wouldn’t be able to move forward on any of this without readers.
A reader first discovered the copied passages in Serruya’s book and notified Courtney Milan of the infringement. We wouldn’t know the stunning extent of this one woman’s thievery without that first reader. And all the other readers who’ve since dug in, looked for other copying. Generated lists, kept track, gave support, shared outrage.
You can’t fight if you don’t know. And it’s damn hard to keep fighting without support.
It was a reader who first discovered copied passages in Janet Dailey’s Notorious and notified me. I might never have known my work had been stolen.
It’s almost always a reader.
Readers have beat the drum against the scammers on the Kindle platform, helping to alert writers. Now both readers and writers–traditionally published, indie, hybrid–who are honest and hard-working are digging deep into this morass to uncover the muck.
For writers this slog is a matter of protecting their work, their livelihoods, and the honorable profession of storytelling. For readers? It’s a labor of love, and it’s about the books they love. It’s about a moral center.
There are writers much more tech savvy than I am (that’s not a hard one!) who are spending precious time helping to expose these cheats and liars and con artists who think of books only as assets, only as a way to make money. They scam their way to every dollar.
There’s no way any of this could be done without the readers who took the time, made the effort–continue to take the time, make the effort–to help. The readers who made noise because this is just wrong. Because they care about books and the people who work to write them.
I’m so grateful to the readers who sounded the alarm, to the writers who are diving deep, to all helping to expose this ugly, ugly underbelly that contaminates what we–writers and readers–love and respect.
Readers and writers are connected–strongly, even personally–through the art of storytelling. Those who corrupt that art won’t win.
When we win this, every writer who takes pen to paper, sits at a keyboard facing a blank screen, struggles to create worlds with words will have readers to thank for the victory.
I’m so grateful. I know there are scores like me who are grateful.
We won’t forget.