Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Plagiarising Ferrets - What Do Romance Publishers Really Want?

Take a look at this article by Paul Tolme in Newsweek, in which this author, who wrote a learned piece all about black footed ferrets, was plagiarized by a romance writer for her corny Native American novel, "Shadow Bear."

Seems unlikely? And so it was. I really laughed - it's a very well written article, describing how "Shadow Bear"'s author googled Tolme's work and lifted it wholesale to add a bit of "authenticity" (or in this case, inauthenticity) to her bodice-ripper. Or - well, actually it's hard to know what she DID intend, since ferrets don't add anything to the erotic tension, believe me.

What I want to know is how any editor, however fast asleep, passed the book for publication? The good people at Signet Books, publishers of "Shadow Bear," will have the answer to that I suppose. At the very least, there seems to be an opportunity here for writers who can't write.

Some of the comments on the Newsweek article are funny too - unintentionally, I think. Hm.


  1. How funny. They must churn these novels out tend to the dozen, with barely a backward contemptuous glance at the reader. Our University uses Turn It In software to catch this sort of plagiarism. And ignorance is no defense. If you get caught you face being thrown off the course.

  2. This is amazing and funny--and serious. Thanks for posting it. Mr. Tolme's attitude is great and I really enjoyed his article. Ms Edwards is not a novice author and definitely should have known better, shame on her. (even a novice author should have known better!) And, you're right, how a book with a passage like that ever got published is a mystery! Marjorie


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