Wednesday, March 6, 2019

To Our Readers and Warriors

Readers and Warriors


            Patricia Davids here. Hello readers and fans of Christian romance fiction. I’m here today to talk about an insidious element seeping into publishing. It’s not a new occurrence but it is a disturbing trend. Plagiarism. I’m writing this blog post because readers, we authors need your sharp eyes.

From the online Merriam Webster Dictionary
Definition of plagiarize
to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's ownuse (another's production) without crediting the source
to commit literary theftpresent as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

I am happy to say that to my knowledge I have never been plagiarized. I sweat bullets with each of my books. Writing does not come easily to me, every book is a struggle, but I love storytelling. One cannot exist without the other for me. That is the reason I don’t read extensively in the genre I write. I don’t want to unconsciously type what someone else has already written. I would be crushed to see my words in someone else’s book or to think I stole their words and made them mine.

If you haven’t read Nora Roberts Facebook blog post on the most recent plagiarism scandal you should. She is no stranger to having her words stolen. You’ll find it here .

You’ll also be able to read additional posts about the broken system of e-book sales that is driving the problem on Amazon.

Nora doesn’t write Christian fiction. She is wildly successful and it’s no wonder she is a target, right? Christian writers don’t do things like steal someone’s work and pass it off as their own. Don’t feel too superior. It does happen. Read the Publishers Weekly article about it, Zondervan-settles-plagiarism-case. The lure of fame and money has corrupted more than one so-called Christian.

Stealing is a sin and we are taught to forgive, but it is also a crime that we can't ignore. So dear readers, here is where you come in. 

If you believe a paragraph or an entire story sounds familiar to another book you have read, please contact the author with your concern. I don’t mean the story simply seems familiar because let’s face it many Amish stories follow a familiar pattern, but they are not direct copies of one another. I ask for your due diligence. Locate the books that seem similar and make sure it isn’t simply the same story line but the same wording. That’s important. It was a reader who caught both instances of plagiarism from Nora’s books. You as a reader are our first line of defense.

You don’t need to become investigative reporters. Continue to enjoy the stories we craft but don’t be afraid to tell an author, “Hey, I think this other book is a lot like yours.” We can take it from there. No harm done if you’re wrong. None of us are looking to spend time in court defending our work but we may be forced to do just that. All true warriors guard what they love and defend the just.



6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this with the reader's Patricia. It's such a shame.

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    1. It is a shame. I don't understand how people think they won't get caught.

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  2. We need to cover our industry with prayer! Bad things do happen...even to unsuspecting authors. Your blog post today has been eye-opening, Pat!

    God bless our wonderful, supportive readers!

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  3. Thanks for writing about this issue, Patricia. Plagiarism is the worst of the worst offenses. To steal someone's artfully crafted words is sinful. And then to pretend as if you wrote them yourself?? Just awful. It's very discouraging to hear these stories but it is empowering to know that authors band together when injustices occur. Blessings.

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  4. Great post and needed, unfortunately. I've been following Nora's blog. I didn't know about the other one and can't express how disappointing that is to see happen.

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  5. Wow, that was/is a real ordeal for Nora, so sorry to hear that. I certainly sympathize. Someone told her that someone took a sentence out of Whisky Beach and plagiarized it. Who would remember a sentence to recognize it, it must have been a good sentence. I'm always worried about that because something could stick in the back of your mind and you think it's yours. Now I'm scared to read other author's books. Thanks for sharing, Patricia, I didn't know all that was going on. Certainly will be in my prayers.

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