A note from the editor about a word thief


(as defined by MerriamWebster.com*)

"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own : use (another’s production) without crediting the source." 

"to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source"

*"Plagiarize." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 19 July 2014. See: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize.

You may notice this new button that’s appeared on the blog. 

I never thought I’d need to add a copyright, yes a © to my blog posts. But, believe it or not, I found out that someone plagiarized one of my reviews the other day.

What? Why on earth would someone plagiarize a review? I can’t answer that question (though I’d love to know too), but I just know that it happened. Someone actually submitted a copy of one of my posted reviews – word for word, punctuation for punctuation – to NetGalley under their name and account. Pretty ballsy, I’d say.

I wouldn’t have known except for the eagle eye of a publisher’s digital and marketing executive who saw the two reviews and queried me to see, perhaps, if I’d submitted it twice. I. Hadn’t. 

I thought it was a computer glitch in the submissions process at first, but looking at the date and time stamps of when the reviews were submitted, it was clear that someone just copied and pasted my review as theirs and sent it off to the publisher through NetGalley’s feedback button.

Not a big deal and I’m hard pressed to think of stealing my reviews as "literary theft," but in all actuality that’s what this is. 

Yes, I review romance novels. I do so, proudly and happily. When I accept a book for review (or purchase one), I set aside time (usually a few hours) to read it thoughtfully. Then I mull the story over in my mind for a day or two or sometimes a bit longer – perhaps going back to reread a bit – then I’ll write my review. If the book is part of a series I haven’t read, I usually invest quite a bit more time, as I’ll read the entire series to review *one* book. So each review I write is, on the average, an investment of at least 8-10 hours of my time (freely given with no compensation). 

When I see someone take those words that took a bit of time to realize for y’all to read, without attribution, and simply "steal" them as their own. I’m taken aback and shocked. 

In some ways I wish I knew who did this, so I could ask why? 

I don’t know if I’ll ever have the answer to that, but thanks to the NetGalley investigation I do know that this person "runs a group review blog." Yes, you read that right. She runs a group review blog. (I do have her first name too, but I’m not sayin’ unless she ‘fesses up.)

The other very disturbing, but not unexpected news, was that this incident was not isolated to the review she stole from me. When investigating my theft, NetGalley discovered that there were several other reviews she had submitted to other publishers that were plagiarized from other bloggers/reviewers

While I don’t know who she is, what her blog is, or why she did this – I do know that NetGalley told her they don’t tolerate this kind of abuse and have banned her account with them. I also was reassured by NetGalley that my review did not appear on her group review blog, and she was informed that if they had posted plagiarized content publicly that it would need to come down. 

My thanks go the the digital and marketing executive who caught the discrepancy of two word for word reviews being submitted by two different NetGalley reader accounts and for the quick and thorough action that NetGalley took against this word thief.

That is why, from this day forward, you’ll see this banner on the blog. 

Please respect it. That’s. All. I. Ask.

If you’re an author and you want to quote from or use my review in its entirety for promotion, that’s wonderful! I. Love. Seeing. Review. Quotes.

Please just make sure that you attribute the quote to Fab Fantasy Fiction. That’s. It. 

If you could include that the review is by Emsy Van Wyck at FabFantasyFiction.com (or you could use mirror site names: RomancingIt.com and/or FabFantasticFiction.com) that’s even better. Add a link back to this site? Wonderful! 

In case you don’t know, many of my reviews also appear on Writerspace’s TheBestReviews.com. If you use that site, please attribute as they request. 

Blog Readers. I. Love. You. Yes, I do. Please comment on blog posts, friend me on Facebook and chat, follow and tweet to me on Twitter, or shoot me an email. I so welcome hearing what you think about what’s posted here. 

While imitation may be considered the sincerest form of flattery, plagiarism is not. May I repeat. Plagiarism. Is. Not. Flattery. 

So please, don’t steal my words. 

Thanks for listening!


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