I’m already a month into the semester and I haven’t typed a word about it. What to say… the internship is going well. I’ve read a number of queries and requested a few full manuscripts. I did a research project that I just handed in today on Lexile measures and BISAC categorizations. I’m not sure what’s next, and that makes me a bit nervous.
The Linguistics course has been very interesting in a difficult-to-grasp kind of way. I’ll leave it at that. I am looking forward to writing my paper on alternative communication for students with language disabilities.
Now, onto something publishing-related, but not necessarily school-related.
A friend mentioned something on Facebook late this afternoon that I admit I have been following all evening. Allegedly, an author with several published works has just published another, and it closely mirrors a fanfiction completed back in 2011. Sections of the fic were adjusted slightly, names were changed, and from what I can gather the plot is generally the same. Someone on Goodreads did a Grammarly plagiarism check, and the new book did not come out smelling very good.
There are several things that bother me about this. The actual authors of the fic have gone onto the book author’s Facebook page and asked that she come clean. While the book author has not responded to them personally, her minions have come out in droves dismissing the fic authors as attention-seekers and encouraging the book author to sue each and every person making a negative comment for libel. Alternately, the supporters of the original fic have also jumped on board to defend their beloved authors. They’ve been calling names and mud-slinging and saying that the book author has done this before, to another fic author in another book (stolen lemon-outcome unknown).
Like most arguments on the Internet, there is no civilized rhetoric. THE ONLY PERSON who has been civilized in this whole debacle is the person who brought the plagiarism to light. She had a very solid case, compared the similar sections, pretty much let the facts speak for themselves. Word got out and spread like wildfire. Camps were formed. The e-books were taken down from B&N and Amazon, then put back up, and now they’re just hard to find.
Then I got to thinking about my unfinished fic. I mean, no person in their right mind would go out there and steal a fic that was 1) unfinished, and 2) canon. But what if I did finish it? I put a lot into that story. If somebody stole it, changed the names and a few scenarios and then put their name on it FOR PROFIT, how would I feel? I’d feel like I’d wasted a good portion of my life, for one thing; and for another, I’d feel robbed. The fans of this book author don’t see it that way. They believe in her, blindly.
The thing that has taken me aback the most is the book author fans that gave up on her. The proof was just too undeniable. They were sad, not mad. Not yet anyway. Some of them wondered what other books weren’t original. I couldn’t imagine losing faith in my favorite author. I don’t even want to think about it.
Of course this has implications for the publisher. Shouldn’t they be the ones running the Word Doc through Grammarly? If they did, why weren’t any flags raised? Was it no big deal because it was fic? Why did the established author think this was okay? Rumor is that she was a fic writer in the same fandom. Doesn’t that mean that she would’ve brought some readers from fic days and that maybe one or two of them would recognize the writing? I mean, EVEN THE STORY TAGLINE WAS IDENTICAL.
I don’t want to make this post all about the who’s and what’s, but if you really want to know, dear reader, leave me a note and I’ll send you the details offline. For now, I’ll just sit on the sideline and watch as this unfolds.