I didn’t think that actually needed to be said but apparently it does. Whether it’s ‘Oh yeah I found this site and all the books are FREE’, or ‘Yeah, YouTube has that on audio’ or most recently ‘I outsourced the first draft of my manuscript’. Stealing is stealing and it’s NOT OKAY.
Let me clarify, some books are FREE. I even have a small library of them on my website. They are all free on Amazon (at time of uploading) so I know they are legit. There are pirate site popping up every damn day, stealing books, films, you name it. Most pirate sites are crammed with viruses and are there to scrape the data of those wanting an illegal free download- good, I hope it crashes their computers, f**ks up their phones…you know why?
Because it’s stealing.
Same goes for audio books on YouTube. Most authors have an exclusive contract with whatever platform is selling their audio books. Audio books cost a a lot to produce, £3K or there about for a standard novel, so the likelihood of an author paying that out and then giving it away…zero….zero likelihood. You listen to it on YouTube, you’re most likely stealing.
That’s all pretty basic as far as I’m concerned and since it’s taking my hard earned income, it kind of ticks me off.
This next one isn’t so much stealing off my plate but is more insidious if I’m honest. It erodes a line of trust between author and reader, and author and other authors.
Plagiarising is disgusting. Simple. However it comes about, it’s never a misunderstanding, it’s theft. The worst kind.
Recently S M Soto stole chunks of Kim Jones book That Guy and passed it off as her own and she was caught…red frickin’ handed. She’s made a non apology and after a short time admitted to outsourcing the first draft to a ghost-writer.
This to me is the insidious part. It’s a really tough market, romance is intensively competitive. There is pressure to produce produce produce. ‘Your only as good as you last book’…Whatever, the pressure’s there but you know what, there’s pressure in everyday life, does that mean you resort to stealing someone else hard work?
I honestly couldn’t sleep at night. I don’t suppose it was a deliberate intention to steal. I mean you’d have to be insane to risk that in the tight book community but employing someone that is, I’m assuming working on a fixed price, well that person might just try and cut a few corners to make that hourly rate worth it. And let’s face it, you’d have to be a computer to read all the romance books out there and know if something was stolen.
I think the answer is fairly simple…If you’re and author…write your own damn book!
One thing I will say is, in light of how quickly and easy it is to whip up righteous outrage, is please stick to the facts, they are damning enough. There is no need for name calling. All that does is help the thief play the victim card. She’s not a victim, she’s a thief.
I do not condone the witch hunt mentality and I thoroughly endorse fact checking; innocent until proved guilty. The electronic evidence in this instance speaks volumes, as does the live video Kim did. Also the fact that SM has thrown everything but the kitchen sink under the bus with this one, in an attempt to blur the lines of truth.
And let me be clear, this is not the same as having the same title as another author, even if it is in the same genre. That’s is quite likely, if not common. As is using stock images for covers. This happens and is accepted. It’s not theft. It’s not passing off someone else hard work and words as your own.
Anyway, enough of the preaching. I just feel very strongly about this, as you might’ve guessed.
So just to be clear….
Here’s the link to the original book. I’m not going to give any more publicity to the plagiarised one.