How to Plagiarize and Get Away With It 101

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So you want to learn how to plagiarize. You want to learn how to steal other people’s work and make big bucks off it. Well, have a seat and I’ll explain all this in the best possible way that I can.

It’s happened before many times in the past and it will undoubtedly continue happening because there will always be people who think it’s okay and even acceptable to take material from another author’s book. I’ve even heard accounts where the person messaged the author to thank them for inspiring them and actually think the author will consider it an honor when they’re told their material is being reused. True story. Let’s just say the author was not honored, or pleased. In fact, the person responsible was slapped with a lawsuit for stealing copy written material.

Small similarities are one thing. We see them all the time and can easily overlook two characters by the same name, or a plot that kind of sounds like another book (come on, who didn’t see Twilight everywhere after it was published? Every book and their sister were stamped with Twilight wannnabe). Things like that are more or less unavoidable. Mostly the first, not so much the second. What can be avoided is outright stealing whole chunks of material from another book. There is no excuse for it. Stealing (also known as plagiarizing) another person’s hard work is a big no-no! You will not get away with it and if you’re serious about your writing and want to become an author, you want the community not to think you’re a total sleaze. That’s just my humble opinion.

What amazes me each time I hear of another case such as this is how that person never thought they were going to get caught. Like seriously? Dude, the world is not that big. Someone, somewhere is going to pick up that book and then your book and be like, hey, wait a minute…Believe it or not, people are smart. They notice stuff.

If you’re going to put all that time and trouble taking bits and peaces (or whole novels) of another person’s work, why not put that effort into your own novel? Build your own characters and your own world. It’s much more rewarding and safe, because let me tell you a secret, putting the time and effort into creating an original piece of work will cost you a whole lot less than getting sued for stealing. Lawyers, court fees and all the rest, it’s not cheap. That’s not including having your name smeared with the proverbial red marker. No publisher will ever work with you, so if one day you decide to get serious about your work, well, tough luck. Yeah, you can self-publish under a fake name and reap the rewards, but eventually, one day, the truth will come out and that name you tried so hard to build, will be ruined all because of one really stupid mistake.

The reason behind my post is due to what currently happened to an author friend of mine Lacey Weatherford and her novel, Smitten. It was brought to her attention by an anonymous source that someone had word for word stolen her work and produced it to Harliquin Manuscripts during a contest being held by the publishing house. Not only was the plot identical to Lacey’s, but they even kept all the character names and had in fact inserted bits and pieces from Lacey’s other two books in the series. Lacey is currently in talks with her lawyer to take legal action.

But it’s not just indies that get victimized. Authors from traditionally published companies have been known to go head to head with people who have stolen their work. Author TAMMARA WEBBER’S Easy was plagiarized by the same person who stole JAMIE MCGUIRE’S Beautiful Disaster. More on that HERE and HERE. Since this incident, Jordin Williams has closed shop and Amazon has removed all copies of Amazingly Broken. I think this article by NORA ROBERTS on plagiarism is the best I’ve read in a while. Nora was also the victim of plagerism by two authors, Cassie Edwards & Janet Dailey.

So if you think well, so and so’s indie and no one will notice, or care, think again. People will notice and really, is it worth the headache? Write your own book. Do it from the heart and take pride in your work.

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