Saturday, November 19, 2011

Multi-Book Deal for Plagiarist

Here's a cute story for all of us having trouble finding a home for our original work, the multi-book deal this guy got for a bunch of spy novels...upended when it was discovered the first one was heavily plagiarized.

It reminds me, in a roundabout way, of the time some fellow sent Jerzy Kosinski's bestselling Being There out to agents as if it were his own manuscript and got turned down multiple times, occasionally with extreme prejudice. (Kosinski himself was accused of plagiarizing Being There and also of falsely claiming that much of The Painted Bird was autobiographical.)

I'm sure there's some kind of lesson in all of this. Tell me, what do you think it is?


  1. The result to a degree of greed and uninformed agents and editors who are averaging out at aged 12 and think Twilight is great literature. It should be pointed out that this person, I won't call him a writer, plagiarized Ian Flemming and John Gardner. He was caught by James Bond fans who found entire scenes with the names changed. In addition this book was lauded by critics as a clever homage to spy novels such as Ian Flemming's Bond. So critics were too poorly read to catch that Flemming's original Bond books and Gardener's reboots were both being liberally ripped off. The person in question also "wrote" well received essays. Guess what? He plagiarized them as well.
    What does this mean? Oh, that he's likely to now be offered a big book deal where he explains his actions, they sell it to Hollywood and in the end crime, as always, pays.
    It is of course a disgrace.

  2. There's no lesson, because the bookdeal was upended, no? Well, I suppose there's a lesson for the "writer" -- don't plagiarize, you douche bag!

    Writing is supposed to be creative and fun, not copying. There's no art in copying, that's just boring.

  3. I'm still waiting to see my book plagiarized. I sent it to this chick we all know to beta read. Never heard back so I emailed her, like six months later. She claims she sent it back and assumed I was too heartbroken by her comments to ever respond but I never got it. So I sent her a heavily updated version. Still waiting on that one, nearly a year later.

    When I see it on the shelf with her name, at least I'll know I wrote a pretty good book.

  4. It says to me that the system is broken, and that when the people in charge say they want something new, they don't mean it.