Plagiarism—What Does Your Publisher Say? Or Do You Even Have One?

Plagiarism—What Does Your Publisher Say? Or Do You Even Have One?

When word that my novel, A Bid for Love, had been plagiarized blasted across the Internet, several people asked me where my original publisher was in all this. Or did I even have a publisher? And if so, why weren’t they involved? And if I wasn’t with a publisher anymore, where did I stand on indie vs traditional publishing?

We’ll get to the indie vs trad in an upcoming post, but as for the original publisher of A Bid for Love, it was originally published as Love to the Highest Bidder. Later, it went out of print and the rights reverted to me. I sold it to another publisher and they eventually closed doors and returned the rights. This time, I opted to indie publish.

“But if you had a publisher,” some have said, “you wouldn’t have to fight this plagiarism battle alone.”

Nonsense. Even if I hadn’t received the rights back to A Bid for Love, given the size of the publisher, they’d be lucky to be making a few thousand dollars a year on the book. Do you really think they’d spent the big money I have paid so far to stop copyright infringement? Do you think they care that I’ve been bullied, harassed, and defamed?

Maybe, but they wouldn’t go to court over it. I believe no publisher would go to court for an author unless that book was making enough money to make it worth their bottom line. Of course, since they employ attorneys, it might be far less expensive for them to sue. It wouldn’t take a lifetime of savings like it would an indie author. But still, most times publishers aren’t going to do it, not even to stop harassment, and who can blame them? (There are also no writers organizations I could find that have something in place for plagiarism cases.)

“So what does the original publisher of the novel think about all this?” people ask next. “What have they said?”

Well, nothing. At least they haven’t said a single word to me about it. Neither has the publisher I currently still have over a dozen books with, though both publishers produce and market books primarily in the same state where the person who stole my book lives. Where I live. (Update: The original publisher of the book has since been very helpful in handing over documents needed for the case. I am grateful.)

Because this happened here in Utah—in their backyard—people thought publishers might be concerned about their own products.  But I’m sure they’re busy and more pressing issues in mind than an author they used to publish. At any rate, since they don’t have any remaining interest in the book, I really didn’t expect to hear anything, so don’t misconstrue this as a complaint. I had no expectations at all.

But one of my former publishers, Cedar Fort did contact me and ask what they could do. They also contributed to the legal fund. I was very grateful for their kindness, and it really made a difference to know they had noticed what was going on and cared, especially when they had no connection with the plagiarized book.

I am so far from this being over that it makes me really sad and anxious pretty much all of the time. I didn’t ask for any of this. I just want to create stories, but, sadly, even the joy of writing has been stolen from me.

Please consider making a donation on the Go Fund Me account. Even five or ten dollars will help. At the very least, could you please share this on Facebook, Twitter, and other groups sites? I need help to make this all end.

Thank you!

Other posts about the case:Attorney Shawn P. Bailey takes over plagiarism case

Copyright 2014 Rachel Ann Nunes
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