Lately, plagiarists have been outed by readers on the ‘net but it doesn’t seem to deter the practice much.  Other than banning the plagiarized work for profit, publishers seem to be forgetful and forgiving for this sort of fraud. Perfect example of this would be Janet Dailey, whose books I see on bookstore shelves all the time. When you steal somebody else’s work, you shouldn’t be allowed to publish again. One would think that your credibility as an “author” would be shattered to pieces.  At least that’s the way I see it. This is a new day where most authors are just an email away (in most cases) publicists, editors– so it continues to surprise me, the audacity of thieves who steal words. But in my book such authors aren’t meant to succeed if this is the way they choose to do it.

Plagiarism As Viewed Outside Online Communities

Realistically, most of the reading community off line have no clue about what authors stole from whom and when. If you ask random readers at your local bookstores, most readers will probably say that they didn’t know Janet Dailey plagiarized Nora Roberts and some probably wouldn’t care. As a reader I would feel betrayed if I realized that an author I enjoyed plagiarized another author’s work. Publishers may seem ready to forgive and forget but readers like me do not suffer from long-term memory loss to part with our money so easily for a thief. I can forgive but never forget.

Plagiarism is unethical and wrong but the message about it doesn’t have legs outside the online community nor much sympathy with readers. I’m not speaking of academia where plagiarism will get you kicked out of college. Some readers are going to continue reading Janet Dailey’s Calder series–despite the fact that she committed fraud against another author — that’s a fact and the reason why she continues to thrive. Cassie Edwards fans may stick with her regardless of the charges of fraud. As reading community we should care about this issue but I’m a realist, I know that many don’t. When plagiarists start getting penalized in a monetary way then I’ll start to believe that this an issue that is taken seriously by the publishing industry. This ends my two cents on the subject. Other articles of note on plagiarism: SBTB and Dear Author.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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12 Responses to Plagiarism

  1. Karen Scott says:

    I can’t even look at a Janet Dailey book after finding out what she did.

  2. Sotheara says:

    I’ve never read a Janet Dailey book, and I can definitely say I never will.

  3. Avid Reader says:

    Well, I can’t say the same. I did read a Janet Dailey book before learning about the plagerism. It’s public record but I wasn’t aware of it. However, I haven’t read her since then because I don’t trust her.

  4. jmc says:

    I remember reading a bunch of Dailey’s 50 state categories a long, long time ago. But nothing since the plagiarism — it offends my sense of justice that any publisher gave her another contract after that.

    And I don’t understand the relative silence from the author community. This is stealing, theft of your work, your livelihood. Doesn’t it matter to you? Even if you don’t want to accuse a colleague, you can still safely say “Plagiarism is bad”, can’t you?

  5. 52 says:

    I’m not a huge fan of romance in general, but if you ignored the whole plagiarism thing, would you recommend her?

    I suppose that the author community doesn’t do much about it because maybe they think it’s a compliment. I cant read Eragon or Eldest anymore, not just because of the dire film, because he’s copied huge chunks out of othe fantasy books. I think that plagiarism bothers the readers the most because it looks like the author takes us for fools, that they think we wouldn’t notice what they were doing.

    I think as well that every good idea has been taken, so writers either have to copy each other and hope no one else notices or start churning out dren, well, more so than normal.

  6. Avid Reader says:

    The one book I read by her was good. In fact, I was raving about it on a message board when I learned the plagerism thing. Would I recommend her? Probably not. She is noted for her Calder series and I didn’t have a good track record with her, so, no.

  7. Kristie(J) says:

    I’m appalled to that Janet Dailey is still getting published. And her reasoning for doing so is so whacked. I tried CE years ago, but her books to be total crap. But I too think there should be more of an uproar among the writers community. It could happen to any of them and you would think they would care more if their works were stolen.

  8. Orion says:

    Stephenie Meyer plagiarized teen author Jordan Scott’s vampire love story The Nocturne! Having heard these types of rumors about Meyer before, I’m not surprised…but knocking off a teenager’s first book — THAT’S low. That’s seriously low, even for you, Meyer. Instead of Breaking Dawn, you should have called this cheap imitation “The Knock-off”.

    So, it’s no wonder that Breaking Dawn was such a weird ending to the series. No wonder it didn’t fit in. No wonder that Meyer told the public in 2006 that she was going to struggle to meet her publishing deadline to get Breaking Dawn out by August 2008. And it’s no wonder Meyer admitted that she “worked with” and “based” Breaking Dawn on another novel which she “won’t mention the name of”.

    It’s no lie. Take a look at the similarities for yourself.

  9. Naina Ali says:

    Meyer’s The Host is also a shoddy ripoff of K.A.Applegate’s Animorph series. That woman is disgusting.

  10. Denise says:

    I have read all Janet’s books and will continue too. I think she is great and I love everything she has had published. I have also read Nora Roberts and I enjoy her too. There is plenty of people to read both their works so hush about it!!!!!!!!

  11. Karen Scott says:

    There is plenty of people to read both their works so hush about it!!!!!!!!

    What, so you’re the only person allowed to have an opinion on this?

  12. Perturbed says:

    What can one do after discovering a plagiarist? Can you expose them on your blog? I told this twit last summer to stop plagiarizing my website. Today this cretin spams my blog with the copy he lifted from my site last August. Can you say “Special Olympic Plagiary Team”? I could provide all the backups to my claims.

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