I suppose by now most of you have heard about the plagiarism thing that hit the romance community last week. I first got an inkling with the RWA said something about some plagiarism claims against one of their RITA finalists - although I'm not 100% positive it's the same dust-up there. Then a day or two later, the shit hit the fan and I started hearing about how some Brazilian chick had stolen large chunks of writing from a whole bunch of authors to create her books.
The BC claims she didn't do it - her ghost writer did it. Well, ain't that too damn bad, because she's still on the hotseat for it, whether she did it herself or someone else did it under her name.
And now there's a BIG thing about ghostwritten books and how these books are being dumped on Amazon. Which, of course, leads to a call for Amazon to fix it. Which will, of course, lead to Amazon fixing some of the wrong things again. Like what happened when they tried to clean up reviews and now I can't review books my friends wrote because they think somehow my honest opinions are lies. As if I'm getting something out of it besides having read an awesome book written by someone awesome who I can also call my friend. And now a bunch of people don't review at Amazon anymore. (Although I'm still seeing ads for people offering to review books for a small fee, so not sure how the Big A stopped anything hinky.)
My fear is that there'll be a witch hunt and honest authors will get caught in the crossfire. Not too worried about it myself, because I have a paper trail on each of my books a mile long - every draft, editor notes and letters, blog posts kvetching about the process, etc.
I've seen authors on FB posting about how they write their own f'ing books. Seems a little harsh to me, but hey, whatever. I write my own books. I couldn't envision a time when my control-freakness would allow me to let go enough to have anyone ghostwrite anything for me. I do know one ghostwriter and she's totally legit, but right now her work is probably getting lumped in with the bad ghostwriters out there. Which totally sucks.
Anyway, we all know plagiarism is wrong. It's stealing - whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it for you. And in some ways it's worse than just plain ol' stealing. They're taking something incredibly personal - words sucked out of an author's brain, cried over and worried over until a whole story comes alive - and slapping it together into something heinous.
I'm not sure what I'd do if I discovered someone had plagiarized my work. I mean, other than be seriously pissed off. I'm no one. Not like Nora Roberts who has threatened to rain hell down upon the BC and any others who would even think about stealing her work. (Go, Nora!) I'm not sure what any of us indies could do with our limited resources. Let's hope we never have to find out.