Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tip O'Day #307 - Don't be Fooled

Guest blogger Ben Drake on plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a very nasty word and if it happens to you it is absolutely devastating – a horrific violation.

My wife’s first novel was taken on by someone claiming to be an independent publisher. She jumped at the opportunity like pretty much anyone who was in her position would. It’s what every writer dreams of. The contract seemed pretty straightforward. He would publish her novel and she would get a percentage of every copy sold. He promised to edit it thoroughly and publish it within six mouths. We were both very excited.

As time went by with nothing but endless excuses, we became concerned. Then we found an online story with devastating news - her publisher was a plagiarist. There were stories by people who shared a similar experience. Some had their work stolen, others had made big orders but never received a single copy of their books.

My wife got his attention then. He sent back emails saying that it was all untrue; they were just upset when he decided not to publish their work. Blinded by the prospect of her novel being published, my wife was a little more at ease. After another long wait, she demanded answers and he became abusive. We read on a blog that, since he had admitted to plagiarism and said he was sorry, that he felt he could remain in this business. So her heart sank even more and she pulled out of the contract.

Within a few days, she received an absolutely appalling copy of her novel. The promised editing had not taken place. There were many spelling and grammar mistakes, as well as entire pages being left blank. I believe he intended to steal her book all along, but when we made a lot of noise, he just used lulu as a publisher, so she could not say that he plagiarized her work as well.

Learn more about Ben at his Dream Publishing website.
Dixon says: A sad story. I wonder if a quick check of Preditors and Editors website before signing the contract wouldn’t have saved these folks a lot of grief.


  1. I agree, Dixon. P&E has saved me from making contacts I might have regretted. It's my first recommendation for anyone seeking agents or a publisher - especially self-publishers. Thank goodness these folks are on top of it!

  2. Ok, thank you very much. Better late than never, now she will know for her next ones. How do I go about finding P&E.