Updated: May 5, 2019
There is a lot of anger traveling through the world of Romance authors right now. A USA Today and Amazon Best Selling author, Cristiane Serruya has been accused of plagiarism. Not only did she plagiarize large sections of other romance author's books, the books she chose were written by well-known and famous authors such as Nora Roberts, Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, and Kresley Cole, to name a few.
Over twenty-five authors in all. Who knows how many books this involves. And as I write this, I'm betting the numbers will rise even higher. .
Christiane has put all of the blame for this on her ghostwriter.
A ghostwriter, you say? What's that?
According to Wikipedia, this is the definition of a ghostwriter:
A ghostwriter is hired to write literary or journalistic works, speeches, or other texts that are officially credited to another person as the author.
Now, this is what I don't understand. Why is there even such a thing as a ghostwriter? If your name is printed on the cover of a book as the author, shouldn't the story inside be written by you? Only you?
If you hire someone to help you, and yes, ghostwriters are paid for what they do, they should also be acknowledged. Maybe using the word collaborator. Or here's a thought, how about co-author? It isn't as if the author doesn't include credit for other things that helped bring the book into existence. Such as the cover design, the acknowledgements from the author for information used to build their story and, heck, even the dedication.
Yeah, I say get rid of the title, ghostwriter. No one gains from this. Not the author, the ghostwriter and especially not the reader.
It was an avid reader who brought this latest plagiarism to light. She contacted one of the above authors and from there, it snowballed as more and more authors found the same had happened to them.
Kudos to that reader. This goes to show you how loyal the readers of romance novels are.
Since I am new in the world of writing, I can't even imagine what these authors are going through. There is so much work that goes into writing a book. The time taken to write and re-write again, the perfect sentence. The careful attention to detail, making sure everything connects and falls in the right sequence throughout the story. And then, there's the editing... a dirty word in a writer's life.
It wasn't until after I started writing this series, I realized how difficult this all is. And even though I"m on my fifth book, it's still difficult at times.
Cristiane has said she never meant for this to happen. And she would never do such a thing. But, just as quickly, all of her social media pages disappeared - Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. Just like that, BAM! They're all gone.
Just like Cristiane.
By the way, on Amazon, Cristiane's books are now shown as either no longer available, out of print or only available through third party sellers.
Another kudos, this one going out to Amazon... though it would be better if they removed anything pertaining to her completely.
In her bio on Amazon, Cristiane claims to have been a lawyer, but thought she needed a change. And, lo and behold, it turned out to be the missing puzzle in her life.
Which makes one wonder, was there ever really a Cristiane at all? Has anyone even ever met her? Not just by communicating with her through social media, but actually talked to her in person?
Could this have been something even bigger? Maybe a group of people that started out small, but then got greedy, deciding to go after the big authors. A stupid move, because these authors won't stand back and take this. Unlike the little-less-known authors, who don't have the resources to fight this, they do.
And they will.
And please... please don't blame this on authors who publish independently. Most of us are working as hard as we can at this writing thing. Wait... struggling is a more perfect fit of word here. And we're following all the rules. I know there's a lot of controversy right now about authors placing their books in obscure and less known categories, that don't pertain at all to their books, hoping to build up their ratings. I'm hoping Amazon starts clamping down on this. Again, it's not fair to us that, again, follow the rules.
I know, boring... but there's always the hope we'll be the winners in the end.
One final thought... in no way do I blame ghostwriters for what happened. This is if they can honestly claim they didn't know the manuscripts they were handed to fix included plagiarized material. I've read a few came out on their own, admitting they were a part of this and even a few more claimed to have turned down the job because something just didn't seem right.
And the zinger? Those that did do the work for Cristiane, didn't even get paid. Maybe this is a sign it's time they started to stand up for themselves and get the credit they deserve for what they do.
That's all I have to say... except I hope some good comes out of all this.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Oh... and you can be completely assured there is no plagiarism in any one of my books. What you see, is all me! I don't know if this is a good thing, or what...
It looks like Nora Roberts might have a chance of winning this one for authors everywhere. Check out the following link for the latest news on what's happening with this current case against plagiarism!