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Friday Midday Links: S&S Has a Down Year

More plagiarism from authors and journalists.

NY Times has another reporter who has admitted to lifting text from other journalists, specifically from the Wall Street Journal. He apologized and said he thought it was his own material. Slate made up its own list of excuses by plagiarists.

But apologies might be a thing of the past. Author Helene Hegmann was accused of lifting and she retorted that her copying was a remixing of material.

Although Ms. Hegemann has apologized for not being more open about her sources, she has also defended herself as the representative of a different generation, one that freely mixes and matches from the whirring flood of information across new and old media, to create something new. "There's no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity," said Ms. Hegemann in a statement released by her publisher after the scandal broke.

Hegemann’s book is finalists for the $20,000 prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in the fiction category. The jury picked her, even knowing the plagiarism charges.


Harlequin seriously wants everyone in the world to read its books. The latest is that they have opened an office in Turkey. ” HARLEQUIN TURKIYE will officially open its offices in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district in February, 2010.”


ComputerWorld has an article about how awful Adobe’s EPUB encryption is because even though the EPUB container might be standard, the proprietary systems are not, from the nook to the Sony and now Apple who will encrypt with Fair Play. Breaking the Amazon monopoly would be easy if publishers would just abandon the ridiculous DRM which only serves to punish legitimate customers by confusing and hampering their reading enjoyment. Sarah Wendell calls DRM, Driving Readers Mad. It’s so true.


Kindle for Blackberry is available but only in the US.

According to Kindle Daily Nation, a note in the Blackberry announcement indicates that Kindle will be available on the iPad. (Via Teleread).


File this under horribly creepy but some school is accused of spying on kids in their home through the students’ mac books. According to the lawsuit posted at Boing Boing, each family was issued a personal laptop equipped with a web camera by the Lower Merion School District. One student was disciplined for engaging “in improper behavior in his home” and they cited “as evidence a photograph from the webcam.” If this is true, I can’t even begin to express the egregious nature of the privacy violation.


Lori posted about things that pull her out of a book.

Men in their late 30′s or 40s that can have sex For. Ever. And Ever. And Over. And Over. Sorry, but unless you’re mainlining Viagra, that’s just not happening. Male recovery time is the perfect time for pillow talk. Just sayin’. (I will add a sour grapes note that this didn’t bother me until my late 30s. Heh.)


Sarah is taking a survey of where people buy their books. I buy at Amazon, Fictionwise, Books on Board and Barnes and Noble.


2009 wasn’t a very good year for Simon & Schuster. It’s revenue was down 7% and its operating income declined 42.5%. Caroline Reidy blames the assault on the hardcover and noted that all paperback formats did better which means in 2010, you’ll see more trade paperback reprints and originals. Here’s hoping that S&S jacks those ebook prices up high. (sarcasm).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. GrowlyCub
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 11:22:54

    Well, while in general I would agree with the assertion that it takes a while for older guys, there are exceptions even without chemical help. ;)

    ReplyReply

  2. library addict
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 12:19:40

    I know I should know better, but I am still always shocked to learn that publishers (or in this case jury panelists) reward an author knowing they plagiarized from another author (or group of authors). It saddens me.

    ReplyReply

  3. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 12:46:22

    Ms. Hegemann has apologized for not being more open about her sources, she has also defended herself as the representative of a different generation, one that freely mixes and matches from the whirring flood of information across new and old media, to create something new.

    I think the Time’s article said she called it “sampling”. Ugh. And her publisher is now trying to get the plagiarized authors to sign releases granting permission. Double Ugh. As for the literary nomination POST plagiarism disclosure: I simply have no words.

    ReplyReply

  4. Shiloh Walker
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 13:11:29

    Um… that laptop/spying thing is so far beyond creepy/freaky/wrong, it’s not even funny.

    What in the hell was that school thinking?

    ReplyReply

  5. TKF
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 14:57:56

    Lori posted about things that pull her out of a book.

    Men in their late 30's or 40s that can have sex For. Ever. And Ever. And Over. And Over.

    *shrug* I guess personal experience will vary, but I can assure you it's not out of the question . . . I find it way more realistic than mega-rich bachelors who are brought to their knees by a woman in mom jeans and her awesome chocolate chip cookies (Evanovich's Full House), all the non-Muslim sheiks who populate The World According to Harlequin, or the entire world wanting to bang a deranged midget (see everything LKH writes).

    ReplyReply

  6. Joanne
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 15:08:23

    @Shiloh Walker: What were they thinking? That’s the question isn’t it?

    I’m thinking they weren’t thinking.
    One more reason for parents to constantly and consistently question a school’s decisions. Administrators are just people and sometimes people are damn stupid and often just plain nasty.

    That “well-heeled Philly suburb” can afford to give their students laptops when other districts are begging for funds for books? Also very disturbing.

    @GrowlyCub: On a happier note: Oh yes indeed, but don’t tell too many people that secret, make them work for the knowledge.

    ReplyReply

  7. Julia Rachel Barrett
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 15:10:40

    1. The school claims they installed the program into the web cams so they could activate the cams if the computers were ever stolen. Who came up with this bright idea? The guy who drilled a hole in the girls’ shower room wall back in high school?
    2. Yeah, guys need some down time – some guys need more down time than others. Some still got it! I just think the commercials that warn – if you have an erection lasting more than four hours, see your doctor – are hilarious. D’oh!
    3. Plagiarism – this is a major sore spot with me. I once attended a writers’ conference and one of the authors on the faculty flat out used the story I had submitted for admission to the conference in her WIP – she read my story aloud, word for word, during a public reading and claimed it was hers, it was the new direction she was taking her writing. Can you imagine my shock and horror? When I confronted her, in the presence of the conference director, she had the balls to point at me and say – how can you listen to her? She’s a nobody! I handed him my submission as proof. You want to hear the worst part? Other attendees were pissed off at me for standing up for myself and embarrassing the author.
    Another faculty member spoke to me later. He said, Why do you think we come to these conferences? Besides the money, that is. To get ideas. To recharge our batteries. You should be flattered she thought so much of your story that she stole it.
    Should I be? Still pisses me off.

    ReplyReply

  8. Shannon Stacey
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 15:27:29

    How nice that there’s a well-heeled school out there, private or not, that can give all its families laptops, while our teachers are using photocopied articles printed from the internet in Social Studies because their textbooks still have a chapter on the Soviet Union.

    ReplyReply

  9. Kalen Hughes
    Feb 19, 2010 @ 16:00:46

    our teachers are using photocopied articles printed from the internet in Social Studies because their textbooks still have a chapter on the Soviet Union.

    I just saw a kid bring home a ditto. All purple and smudgy and stinky. Her school’s photocopy budget allowed for ten photocopies per teacher for the entire YEAR. After that, the original photocopy needed to make the ditto has be done on the teacher’s own dime.

    ReplyReply

  10. SAO
    Feb 20, 2010 @ 02:51:32

    Hey, I thought Harlequin already did get read the world over. I’ve bought French Hqns in Haiti, Bulgarian language Hqns, Russian, and of course in the US and UK.

    It’s amazing the veil of mystery a poorly understood language can give. I didn’t figure out the child in the secret baby plot was 10 a child and 2) not the hero until halfway through the Bulgarian HQN I read. (They are great language learning tools. How much more fun to learn words when you have a better reward than the standard textbook text.)

    ReplyReply

  11. Jan
    Mar 13, 2010 @ 21:33:21

    This is the reason I read dearauthor.com. Nice posts.

    http://videolobster.blogspot.com/2010/03/jamiroquai-devour-hypocoristic-music.html

    ReplyReply

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