I was feeling rather stuck on what to write today, a distinct lack of writing inspiration. So, I was thinking about what I do when I’m stuck, when the words just don’t want to come – and just as I was thinking this I came across some posts that are the epitome of what you don’t do. Yet again there are plagiarism scandals going through the self-publishing community. While I have seen one or two different names coming up recently, the main culprit seems to be one Addison Scott, who had around a dozen titles up on Amazon – and it turns out didn’t write a single one of them. Each and every one stolen from another author, the names and titles changed but otherwise pretty much word for word.
These were originally self-published books, so I guess Scott thought these were people without the power of a publisher behind them so less chance of retribution, probably less chance of it being noticed. At the end of day, the sad thing is that what retribution is these person actually going to get? Yes, the books will be taken down but will those poor authors ever see a penny from Scott in terms of the money that was made on their work? Will Scott even get a slap on the wrist, much less anything more – or will they be free just to change to a different name and start all over again?
I can’t imagine how those original authors are feeling. What we write is so personal, it’s a part of ourselves, and for someone else to steal that and put their own name on it – it’s just a horrible violation. What can be done about it? I honestly have no idea. I appreciate that Amazon has taken the books down quickly, but I believe B&N and Kobo are still selling books ‘by Addison Scott’ despite being informed of the situation – so I suppose a more stringent policy on the part of sellers would be a good start.
It just confuses me why this person feels the need to do this in the first place. I’m sure most of us will agree that unless you’re a big name then ebook publishing is not exactly lucrative! If you didn’t have a love of writing then there are surely much easier ways to make money. Most of us go into it because we love what we do, because we enjoy interacting with our readers, because feedback on our work means the world to us – I honestly don’t understand what this person would get out of it when every nice comment, every positive review they received they would have to know was about someone else’s words.
At least we can take a positive out of this that the genuine writing/reading community has not only spotted and flagged up this issue in the first place, but is united in condemning it. With a few less positive issues around at the moment, it’s nice to see people coming together and supporting each other. Let’s hope it continues.
Take care x