Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vanity Does Not Suit You, My Dear Author

Vanity Does Not Suit You, My Dear Author 
by Eliza Richardson 

Members of the book club and I started reading digital books in November. One of the first things that struck us as odd about self-published books was the lack of concern for details. Editing was shoddy, covers messy and timelines were topsy turvy. Of course not all books were like this and it sometimes became a game to us to find a “quality read” among so many choices. 

In early February, a few of us downloaded free copies of The Great Gift by Misty Wright. Who doesn’t enjoy a good love story? Paragraphs of this book were fine, and then it would spurt into paragraphs of unedited bits and then it would be fine again. It was definitely odd but we were not surprised. The work was self-published and we assumed this was just another author who did not care about the finer details. 


On 19th February, we were excited to find another book by Misty Wright, Love’s Freedom was also free. At least seven of us downloaded it, until two of us noticed a strong resemblance to Hartley’s Crush by Lietha Wards which was initially published in 2011. At least a year earlier than Misty Wright’s book. 



My curiosity got the better of me and I started to dig a little deeper. 

A few members helped and here’s what we found. Assassin’s Love by Misty Wright is the same as Crying Blood by Jennifer Cloud. The Great Gift by Misty Wright is the same as The Perfect Gift by Mark Stewart. We stopped digging at this point and we have included some screenshots of what we found ...


Assassin’s Love by Misty Wright vs. Crying Blood by Jennifer Cloud. Crying Blood was published in 2005 by Whiskey Creek Press and then self-published by the author in 2008. At least four years earlier than Misty Wright’s book. 


We understand if an author doesn't care about the finer details. But to take credit for someone else's work? We think it's more than distasteful. How can person be so vain that dishonesty prevails and ethics are discarded? 

Our question is this, to someone who is only just discovering digital eBooks doesn't Amazon have any way of discovering for these things before a book appears in their store?

And so, our e-reading journey continues ..... 

9 comments:

  1. Wow! I've always feared that happening with my work. It just goes to show how necessary it is to actually copyright your work before you release it to the public. Sometimes I wonder about joining writing communities where you share your work with others and just how far some people will go to publish themselves. This is an outrage and hopefully this person is being sued by the rightful owners of these works. What a great way to let authors know that your tour company of bloggers won't tolerate it, either! Thanks for being honorable.

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  2. Thank you, Dear Author for once again exposing a fraud. Don't these people get it? They will get caught -- and vilified.

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  3. In the digital age, it appears we need more stringent recourse for "stealing" from others. At one time, in most countries, stealing was a hanging offense.

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  4. In light of this article, I've removed a guest post by Misty Wright on my Authors to Watch site. As an author myself, I would be outraged if I found out someone stole my work. Thank you for bringing this to the public's attention.

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  5. Thank you so much for letting me know about this. I can't believe this happened to me.

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  6. Thanks for publicizing this. Google Cassie Edwards. Her books are still on store shelves. I so feel this kind of moral issue has to be up to the individual, but I guess I don't know much about human nature. A few months ago the issue came up cuz someone was lifting entire blogposts and reporting under their name. Someone recently thanked me for a free download and in the next few weeks two of her blogposts were derived from material I covered. At least credit the inspiration . And copyright issues are never prosecuted unless someone sues. It is a whole new ball game and I am too old to play.

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  7. As soon as you create a work in a tangible form, it's copyrighted. If you want to sue and improve your chances of getting court and legal fees paid as well as damages, then you must pursue a more formal registration through the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov. It's best to do the formal registration before or as soon as the work hits the public eye.

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  8. My copies are copyrighted, and after being notified on twitter this morning I checked on Amazon, and lo and behold, you guys are right! That is my book. I see that Amazon has removed it from publication. Thank goodness! that would make around number 12 that was stolen from me. Sometimes people are so ridiculous they don't even remove my copyright on the inside but change the cover. I see that Misty removed the prologue, but changed two names and kept the rest of the text. Crazy! You wonder what goes through peoples minds. It takes me months, years to write a book! How can someone just steal it? I must be completely naive! Thank you so much for your help. I went on 'GoodReads' and commented on her stolen books that you guys have discovered and gave the name of the real authors! ~Lietha Wards~

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