Saturday, June 27, 2015

Plagiarism: Affects us All, Trust is Broken by @KarynGerrard #Opinion

On my own author site some days ago, I wrote a post laden with cynicism called "In This Pub Biz Nice Guys Finish Last"  Click HERE and I named plagiarism as one of the things that really depresses the hell out of me.

Bad enough people do it in all walks of life, speeches, essays, tests, thesis, but to plagiarize another author's work for financial gain is the lowest in my book.

We see it pop up in our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we shake our heads and tsk and move on. Recently there has been a reported case of alleged plagiarism by a best selling author at a major erotic romance publisher and, if proven, is, dear reader, far worse and more destructive than an errant post on social media.  

The publisher of the allegedly plagiarized work did not issue a public statement (as of the writing of this blog) and neither did the author allegedly caught plagiarizing. At the publisher's site, her books are still for sale though she is not listed anywhere in upcoming releases. The author in question hasn't tweeted or posted on her Facebook page since the news broke around June 15th. According to Raythe Reign, whose work was allegedly plagiarized, she contacted the author in question who admitted to plagiarism stating it happened because of  'financial problems' and 'writers block'.

Read more about it HERE from author Ethan Stone's blog. See the examples of the plagiarism at the author's Raythe Reign's site HERE

Plagiarism taints everyone. Its fraud, pure and simple. Or, to paste a firmer word--it's stealing. It casts aspersions to the genre, and unfairly in this case on erotic romance and the various sub-genres of MM. ménage, etc. It causes people to unfairly cast the side-eye at those prolific authors who publish a book every two weeks or so and unfairly at others who write with the publisher in question. Honest writers write their own stories and a lot of them do it for very little financial reward or recognition. To learn of plagiarism or the accusation of it stings.

In this pub biz, it is way too easy to take short-cuts and 'game the system' to get ahead. Here's a piece of advice: Don't do it no matter what the circumstances. It's all kinds of wrong.

A big shout-out to readers, who are usually the ones that catch plagiarism and report it. You all rock.

When an author plagiarizes, trust is broken. Whether its between fellow authors, the author and reader, or between the author and the publisher. The author signs a contract declaring the manuscript they are submitting is original work. If caught plagiarizing, that is breaking the contract. Trust? Gone. It also proves you really don't know a person, especially on the internet making the need for impeccable honesty paramount. Let's be careful out there.

~Karyn Gerrard

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