If you are an author, if you follow an author, if you’re an avid romance reader, then you have likely heard about the latest plagiarism scandal to rock our world (aka Romancelandia). It’s disgusting and it’s awful and that woman is despicable for thinking she could get away with it (29 books is what I saw last). If you haven’t heard about it, you can follow the hashtag #CopyPasteCris for more information. Courtney Milan and Nora Roberts both have excellent posts on the subject.
She even tried to enter the RITAs (the Romance genre’s biggest and most prestigious awards). I’m baffled how she thought she could get away with it, blame it on ghostwriters, and cling to the lie that she was doing nothing wrong. (You can read her rebuttal here). The thing that stunned me the most is when she dedicated a book to HERSELF because she dug, scratched and clawed with her blood, sweat and tears to publish a story (no, you didn’t, honey. You stole, lied and cheated to publish a story that wasn’t even yours).
Here’s my thoughts on the matter (not that anyone particularly cares, but I’m sharing them anyway). If you are hiring a ghostwriter to churn out more work and slapping your name on the cover, then you are a liar. If you are claiming someone else’s work as your own and slapping your name on the cover, then you are a thief.
As Nora says in her post, “This culture, this ugly underbelly of legitimate self-publishing is all about content. More, more, more, fast, fast, fast.” She is right-on in her assessment. Because Amazon has made their algorithms clear in that you can’t get ahead as an author if you aren’t churning books out at a rapid rate. So the new indie author “business model” is to do just that by cutting corners, cheating, lying, stealing.
If someone is putting out a massive amount of books a month, then something is up. If someone is putting out great books at the beginning of their series and then shit books after than, then something is up. Perhaps they have sold out to a ghostwriter or two to help them keep up the pace of this crazy indie publishing world.
An exception to that, though, is there are a few authors who are incredibly prolific. I can think of two off the top of my head you should check out Sandra Sookoo and Bianca D’Arc. And, yes, they write their own books (follow them on Facebook and you’ll see that for yourself).
The truth about writing, y’all, is there is no shortcut. It’s hard work that is so worth it when you finally finish that novel and get it into the hands of readers. It’s a right of passage, a major accomplishment that no one can take away from you. You put in the work, the hours, the real blood, sweat and tears and you learn and hone your craft. This takes years if you’re doing it right. YES. YEARS.
I may be slow, but I write my own books. I put in the hours and fret over the words. I rip out large chunks and start over when something doesn’t feel right. I write books that are 30,000 words and 100,000 words. The point is, I write. I’ve been writing for more than a decade and I hope to keep on writing for more decades to come.