Welcome to Author Next Door!
Perhaps you missed getting scorched by heat emanating from Romance blogs and Tweets this last week. The one group you never want to mess with is a group of writers, especially if you’ve screwed up or screwed them, both of which Brazilian Romance writer Cristiane Serruya royally has, pun intended.
Several have questioned if Ms. Serruya actually exists as a real person. That aside, whoever she is or whoever constitutes what she is has been shown to have plagiarized 34 authors and 51 books, including Courtney Milan and Nora Roberts. For specific details, see websites for Milan www.courtneymilan.com and Roberts www.fallintothestory.com (numbers from Roberts’ blog dated 2/25/19).
After publicly being outted as a plagiarist, Serruya supposedly posted her “surprise” and blamed it on her ghostwriters! Yes, she’s a writer who doesn’t write. Her own books. And while she isn’t the first or the last plagiarizing bookstuffer on Amazon, she’s today’s very visible poster child for the dirty underside of e-pubbing on Amazon KU.
The fallout is phenomenal, hence the humorous quip on https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com that “When I saw ‘Nora Roberts’ [on the list of plagiarized authors] my first thought was, ‘Everybody, get underground NOW.’”
Keeping a sense of humor—gallows humor counts—helps. If you haven’t already been on Roberts’ website, read her 2/24 blog (LOVE the last two sentences!) as well as the blogs before and after that. Nora Roberts is such a classy lady.
Many other eloquent writers have offered spot-on reflections regarding Serruya, ghostwriting, bookstuffing, marketing, and pricing in the downside of dealing with Amazon KU.
Because this is a such an important industry issue, I’ve spent days reading websites, blogs, Twitter #copypastecris, and back blogs addressing related issues and, in the process, learned a LOT about e-publishing practices and promotion, especially regarding Amazon KU. Information I have found is disheartening, especially in light of my hopes of e-pubbing this year.
There will be consequences. There should be consequences: legal, personal and public, singular and collective. Cristiane Serruya, readers, writers, ghostwriters, marketers, and especially the Amazon publishing machine need to face hard facts about what they do and how they do it.
Insert chorus of Billy Joel singing, “Honesty.”
For those interested in further reading, in addition to blogs mentioned above may I also suggest:
Sadly, there always will be cheaters, and the damage that cheaters do often outweighs any amends they can make.
We all have choices. We’ve all lamented that the energy some people put into their bad choices could otherwise have been funneled into much more constructive venues.
Here’s a salute to those who choose to do the right thing, especially when it’s the hard choice to execute.
Like writing your own book.
Karen Taylor Saunders