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Hooks, Books, and Crooks

by on October 11, 2012

I wanna be a bestseller so freakin’ bad and I want the cash to go with it. Question is are you willing to do anything for it? Hold that thought and bear with me while I chase a rabbit here.

A few weeks ago I watched an episode of Suits. Anyone seen this show? Harvey Specter, Mike Ross. Hot lawyers, blah, blah, blah. Anyway the episode that got me thinking was She Knows, season 2 Premier. One of the sub-plots is a bookstore clerk who accuses the publisher of stealing her book proposal who then finds someone to write the book and publishes it without giving the poor clerk credit. All Mike has to do is make her go away.

Seems easy enough, high-powered law firm, wanna be author, evil greedy publisher. Write the girl a check, give her credit and all is well. Not so. The clerk wanted a little more for her dreams.

So back to my earlier question, are you willing to do anything to be a well-paid bestselling author? Would you resort to stealing someone’s idea (maybe their only idea) and never give them credit? Or maybe something a little more subtle like take a snippet or two from several sources and pass it off as your own?

As in that episode of Suits or as an fan of crime dramas will tell you, there is nothing new under the sun. There are only so many plots, themes and tropes, the question is putting your own spin on the boy meets girl dilemma. Quite frankly there are some who see nothing wrong with, shall we say, liberating another author’s work, changing the names and locations, slapping a new title on it and calling it their own. And they will leech off any and everyone they can until they get caught.

The person may actually have some talent of their own, but is too lazy or too impatient to invest the time necessary to develop their craft and skill. Don’t know what to write? Have a writing prompt delivered to your inbox. I know there are several on Twitter and writing forums like Savvy Authors and Absolute Write.

Keep in mind while all authors dream of HUGE success and major cash, they learn what they can about their craft, hone their skill, apply those tools and then learn some more. They won’t just do anything to achieve that goal. They have morals, ethics and thank goodness a conscience and respect for themselves and other authors. Writing is an ongoing learning process. There is always something new to try, learn, master. If you want to know what happened to the bookstore clerk, you’ll have to watch, She Knows.

If anyone has a Klondike bar, well I may just be willing to sing and dance. Until next time, Indulge Your inner Romantic.

Releasing October 15 from Evernight Publishing

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  1. Dahlia DeWinters permalink

    Excellent post. I’ve seen the “change the names” scenario too many times to count. Talk about no conscience.

  2. I love this post. I can’t understand how someone can steal from someone like that…but people do all the time.

  3. Cherryce permalink

    Nice blog

  4. Its one of my biggest fears when sending my work out into the big wide world.

  5. Its definitely something that worries me when I send works out… or someone will try to claim my work as their own. Hard to balance wanting to make it and your morals. There are some things writers have to guard themselves from.

  6. I see that a lot. From plots, to book covers, to fan fiction. It’s becoming a dog eat dog world in publishing with little regard for the books that were out longer and a clear indication of where a major “new” idea came from. It irritates me. Especially, since anything truly original is frowned upon and left in the slush pile or rejected because it’s too different that whats out there already.

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