Plagiarism and Ghost Writing

Every once in a while, there’s some major news about an author stealing passages from other authors’ books. Here’s a new one on me: taking recipes from online recipes, passages from Wikipedia in their entirety, AND stealing passages from authors’ books, THEN sending these to ghost writers to turn into books. Quickly! She’s a Brazilian “author” and a lawyer, she knows better, and she even was brash enough to enter one of her books in the RITA awards contest–which is a big deal in the romance writer’s association. She said that Fiverr folks did it, but then ghost writers have been coming out of the woodwork saying that she sent them the passages and told them to incorporate them in her books. They didn’t realize they’d been plagiarizing works.

Bent out of shape sunflower–where there’s a will, there’s a way!

So, she’s pulled her books down from sale’s sites, RWA has removed her book from the awards’ consideration, she’s closed her Facebook and other social networking sites, shut down her website, she’s been outed.

Okay, folks, here’s a hint: Readers read other authors’ books. When we write our books, they don’t read only OURS. If they love a certain genre, they will read several books in that genre. If a writer steals passages from other authors, guess what happens? Fans will notice! They do!

I’ve written a couple of romance time travels, one still needing revision and hasn’t been published, but I loved reading them. Mine isn’t like anyone else’s. I don’t want my books to be a copy of anyone else’s. But I remember reading reviews on one author’s work on her time travels on Amazon, thinking I’d buy her books because I love time travels and there aren’t that many of them, and man, was she being blasted for copying other time travel authors’ books’ (major authors), passages shared on the reviews–they had her number. Of course, I didn’t buy her books.

Lots of my readers re-read my books over and over again. They know them better than I do. So if they do that with mine, they do that with others, and if we’re copying each others’ books, what do you think will happen? Fans will tell on the offending writer! Really! It’s happened a number of times. No one knows until readers out them.

There was a YA writer who did the same thing. She made New York Times Bestseller! She is at one of the Ivy League colleges and her English instructor said he couldn’t believe it. Her writing was not exemplary. Her daddy had payed handsomely to get her into the college because she kept doing so poorly on the entrance exams. Then what happened? She was found out! Numerous fans of other YA works shared the plagiarized passages and all of a sudden, the famous college student was outed! She was proven to be a FRAUD.

What’s incredible too is that the plagiarizer of the romance books even dedicated a book to herself for all the hard work she does writing her books. Ha!

It’s frustrating for those of us who work and work and work at this stuff, trying to come up with new ideas, new ways of saying the same thing–falling in love, making the commitment, solving plots–when someone is gaming the system. See, it’s not just that she’s stealing other authors’ work, but she’s getting the books out there as fast as she can, and the more books you have out in a shorter period of time, the better your rankings. I’m a fast writer, but dang, I wish I could put out a book a week and not have to work so hard.

Yet, I truly love what I do, and I own the characters, the stories, and my name is on my work for MY work.

Okay, baby is on her way soon and I’ve got to get some writing done! I’m nearly 8,000 words ahead on my word count–all my words too! Even though I say I’m ahead, this is just to make minimum word count. The books usually run longer–by 10,000-20,000 words, so I need the extra time to write the extra words.

Have a super day and make it uniquely yours!


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4 thoughts on “Plagiarism and Ghost Writing

  1. Good morning my Lady, Have a Great week Princess Fairy will have a great time at grandma home.
    Donna & I could use some of your 50 F,… she is at -6 F feels -24 F , I awoke below ) but right now I am at 0 F fells -16 F.
    We are closed – Schools but Actually My phone just beep a new alert
    Winona Alert I-90 is closed. Many Roads are drifted closed.
    No Travel Advised. Expiration 3:58 PM

  2. Plagiarism
    Is a Deadly SIN. When I taught at the University, I have a couple of students that went into Sites and copied whole paragraphs in perfect Spanish… I took their papers and the one from the Sites which 20 years ago I didn’t know how to do and have to ask help from the IT Dept. Took all to my Dean …
    I was given the freedom to do what I believe was Right. I told the Dean is and ” F ” I won’t tolerate stealing other’s people work.
    I didn’t say anything to the students left them have the final Exam, when they give me their exam I gave them and envelope with a date/ time to come to my office.
    Even with the proof one after awhile ask to please forgive, the other set in his “word” it was his Work. both have an ” F ” for the course…. guess what
    The one that said it was his work, the next year fall semester sign for the same course unknowing I was teaching the Course, it has been posted as Staff, por fellow he enters the classroom speaking with other student it was no until he seated that he saw me… he went WHITE never came back.

    • lol, good for you, Lola! I was the mean substitute teacher when I had to babysit the high school students. First class, the students did their work. They could work with a partner. Then they turned their papers into a basket at the back of the class. The next class, they picked up the students’ papers and began copying the answers! I couldn’t believe it. “Teacher lets us do it,” one of the kids said. It didn’t make it right. It was a history class and he had to teach it along with his physical education classes. I guess he didn’t care if anyone learned anything or not. I made the students either do the work or turn the papers in blank. No wonder our education is so lacking! It’s just sad.

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