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Top 10 Tips for Plagiarists

10. Don’t claim the dog did it. We all know that all but a very few dogs, maybe none other than Underdog, is capable of the task because they have no opposable thumbs. In fact, blaming it on any animal makes us suspect unless it is one of the gorillas studied by Dian Fossey.

9. Don’t plagairize someone famous. The more popular the author, the more likely your plagiarism will be caught out. Try to find someone obscure.

8. Don’t blame it on depression or physical disability, i.e., wheelchair bound stroke victims. Only because that insults wheelchair bound stroke victims everywhere.

7. Don’t set up a website and post the plagiaristic material. If it is on the web, someone is bound to find it, particularly when google indexes it.

6. Don’t do interviews. Again, the more people that hear about you, the more likely that your stealing will be sussed out. Try to rip as many people off before the gig is up.

5. Don’t steal from rich authors. These people are more likely than the poor obscure authors to be able to hire lawyers to sue you into oblivion.

4. Don’t copy word for word. It’s harder to catch out your theft if you mix it up a bit. Maybe try the word randomizer.

3. Don’t advertise as writing “because I feel each person has something unique to share with the world and writing is my gift to share” when, in fact, your uniqueness is actually some other person’s uniqueness.

2. Don’t send to reviewers who are known as “mean girls” because they might make up a top ten list just to mock your stealing and then your gig will really be up.

1. Don’t publish it, particularly as a POD option since it doesn’t really make sense to pay for your own stealing. It kind of defeats the purpose of stealing in the first place.

***


Text from the Prologue of “Of Atlantis”

By Lanaia Lee

From Conception to Devastation

The golden-haired child sat alone, as he usually did, and wondered whether his Father would die today. Some distance away, across the royal gardens , his nurse was talking to the two sentries who guarded him during the hours of daylight. The soldiers, grim eyed warriors, did not look at him and shifted nervously as he approached.
Archimedes was used to this reaction. Even at four he understood it.
He remembered with sadness the day three weeks ago when his Father, garbed for war, had walked along this same garden path, his cuirass gleaming in the sunlight. It was so beautiful that Alexander had reached out to touch the gleaming plates of iron, edged with gold, six golden lions on the breast. But as his hand came forward his Father moved swiftly back.
"Don't touch me boy!" he snapped.
"I would not hurt you, Father," whispered the prince, staring up at the black-bearded face, with its blind right eye like a huge opal beneath the savagely scarred brow.
"I came to say goodbye," muttered Lionus, "and to tell you to be good. Learn your lessons well.– 
"Will you win?" the child asked.
"Win or die, boy, " answered the King, kneeling to face his son. He appeared to relax, though his expression remained stern. "There are those that think I cannot win. They remember Onomarchus defeated me when we last met.

* * *

Picture of the text from David Gemmell’s Dark Prince.

Dark Prince

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

452 Comments

  1. Shawn Struck
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 11:44:00

    Well, I’ll be damned. Happily corrected. I apologize. I jumped to an incorrect conclusion, and that was wrong. I’ll make sure to double check next time.

    ReplyReply

  2. SallyQ
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 11:46:50

    Yes, it’s definitely gone. Denise has said on Lanaia’s guestbook that she didn’t realise there was a link to Gemmell’s piece still on the site.

    ReplyReply

  3. SallyQ
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 11:51:30

    Sorry, Shawn, I see you know that now.

    ReplyReply

  4. Stevie
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 11:57:52

    Yep, looks like it’s gone; notwithstanding the continuing wingeing on the homepage. If anyone deserves sympathy it’s David’s widow, Stella Gemmell, who soldiered on and finished off his final work for the benefit of his fans.

    I think Jane deserves a round of applause from us all.

    ReplyReply

  5. Julie
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:19:22

    *claps*

    ReplyReply

  6. SallyQ
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:22:04

    Well done, Jane for bringing this to everyone’s attention. I hope the boils clear up ;-)

    ReplyReply

  7. ilona andrews
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:24:04

    Go Jane!

    ReplyReply

  8. Jane
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:28:39

    I think we’ll close the comments then.

    ReplyReply

  9. David Gemmell
    Nov 17, 2007 @ 23:12:50

    This is preposterous!! That bitch stole my shit!!!!

    ReplyReply

  10. Karen Scott
    Nov 18, 2007 @ 08:24:34

    This is preposterous!! That bitch stole my shit!!!!

    Jane, methinks you’re being haunted. *g*

    ReplyReply

  11. Joshua Cook
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 10:14:28

    I can only say that, only after discovering David’s death today and reading up further reviews about his last book. I think all of us want a part of the world that David created in his novels. He showed us fantasy for it what it should be. Reality. Unlike other Authors. In this many people would want to be like David. But yes This girl did go a bit too far for her book. Oh well. Sorry for being a late learner of gossip. I am always the last to hear. News of death usually reaches me a year later. The draw back of being of this planet. Out of my mind. Especially now the legends will no longer continue.

    ReplyReply

  12. rose
    Dec 16, 2007 @ 02:09:51

    Nora Roberts brought up something that has bothered me for while. A writer dies, and still books come out in their names, how crass is that? It can’t possibly be the same. I think a person’s imagination, and talent are unique to them.Who could possibly know what was in their heads. I think this is why there isn’t a lot of plagiarism out there.I have often tried to imagine what direction a story line could take in a series, and I have never been close, because our thought procceses are all different. Thank God, because it’s always better from the original writer, who also happens to have talent. lIt’s not called world wide web for nothing, you cheat somebody is gonna know about it. If I was a writer, I would copywrite my brain, so nobody could put out stuff that I could be ashamed of after I died.I wonder if one can do that.

    ReplyReply

  13. Mridu Khullar » Blog Archive » The Plot Thickens
    Jan 05, 2008 @ 20:10:26

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    Jan 08, 2008 @ 01:18:20

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  15. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 07:18:50

    Does everyone think I’m stupid enough to send Jane a request for a review, knowing it was plagerized material? Get real!

    ReplyReply

  16. TeddyPig
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 09:31:28

    I do!

    ReplyReply

  17. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 10:16:36

    People may end up regretting their false accusations, especially if Of Atlantis hits big, I will remember those that stood beside me and those that all most caused me my life. Just remember that. Roval Publishing is alive and well and so is Of Atlantis. Those that accussed me so unjustly, with no documented proof, please think twice.

    ReplyReply

  18. Gwen
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 11:11:47

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Sorry. That just popped out.

    Ms Lee – I want to dare you to publish “Of Atlantis” in the form we’ve seen so far, with the text lifted from Gemmel’s work. They don’t really need the cash they would win from a suit against you and your (self)-publishing house, but Gemmel’s family can probably give the money to a charity who could use it. So everyone wins! You get the (negative) response you apparently need and seem desperate for (watching this blog a little, aren’t we?), lawyers make some money, and a charity makes out well. Win/win.

    ReplyReply

  19. Darlene Marshall
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 11:57:06

    Ms. Lee, I resisted as long as I could, but I can refrain no longer. You bring out my inner editor. If you wish to call yourself a professional author, proofread and correct your work!

    It hurts my brain to read something like this:

    >>People may end up regretting their false accusations, especially if Of Atlantis hits big, I will remember those that stood beside me and those that all most caused me my life.<>Just remember that. Roval Publishing is alive and well and so is Of Atlantis. Those that accussed me so unjustly, with no documented proof, please think twice<<

    Don’t forget the book title italics. The word you misspelled is “accused”. One “s”.

    If you wish to keep writing, I recommend to you The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, and 50,000 Words Divided and Spelled by New Century.

    Cordially,

    D. Marshall

    ReplyReply

  20. Darlene Marshall
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 12:08:52

    That’s odd. What I previewed isn’t what was posted. I also mentioned earlier in the post that the first sentence needed to be split, that the word you want is “almost”, not “all most”, that book titles should be italicized or underlined, and that “caused” is not the same as “cost”.

    You’re welcome.

    ReplyReply

  21. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 12:10:57

    Of Atlantis will be published. My editors did a side by side comparison against Gemmel’s work making sure there were no other similarities. This cost me five hundred bucks. The revised version will soon be published. If you accuse me, make sure there is documented proof. Hearsay is not proof.

    ReplyReply

  22. Gwen
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 13:37:42

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Sorry, sorry. It keeps slipping out. A bit like a fart at church.

    ReplyReply

  23. Karen Scott
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 14:20:33

    This cost me five hundred bucks

    You paid $500? Couldn’t you have…you know… done it yourself?

    Just sayin’.

    ReplyReply

  24. sallahdog
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 16:03:11

    This cost me five hundred bucks.

    JEEZUS!! Lady, its like you have a sign on your head saying”Yes I am a complete idiot, feel free to steal from me.”

    If your book was worth diddly, the money should flow TO you, not FROM you… This was told to you repeatedly, even after the whole plagarism thing came out and you STILL lined up to be screwed over again…

    I used to have a little sympathy, but really… no longer…

    ReplyReply

  25. Random
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 23:23:41

    Lanaia: They may have missed something. If you give me another five hundred bucks I’ll be sure to read Gemmel’s book–hell, I’ll even read a few of them–and then I’ll tell you how they all match up. Since you’re so determined to throw your money away, you might as well put it towards a good cause. Like my student loans. I’ll even build you another cross to nail yourself to for free!

    (Sorry, Jane, I’ll be sure to clean up my puddle of sarcasm before I leave.)

    So, guys . . . If this tale was a fable for n00b authors, what would this continued trollery be? The chicken that willingly puts its head under the farmer’s axe? The lemming that runs gleefully into a meat grinder?

    ReplyReply

  26. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 05:54:17

    No thanks, the 500 bucks was shared between my publisher and I for professional editing and

    From the United States, announcing the release of Within Lanaia’s Garden of Darkness, take Lanaia’s hand and come travel with her through her garden of darkness, collecting all the things the darkness has to offer. Traveling through the darkness with the supernatural and spirits, only if you dare. Remember at the end of the garden, there is always a ray of light called hope. You can get this book of poetry of the darkness available every where before the end of January.

    ReplyReply

  27. Darlene Marshall
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 09:03:15

    Please get Elements of Style, Ms. Lee. It’s only 78 pages long. It will save you from many of the errors you’re committing in your writing.

    Your post contains syntax and grammatical errors that make it difficult to take your writing seriously. A few hours invested in reviewing the structure of sentences and rules of grammar will improve your work. If you want to be a professional writer, whether of poetry or fiction, it pays to hone your craft.

    ReplyReply

  28. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 11:10:39

    All of my book go to my editors first. Next some one will say my poetry is not mine! THIS,I want some one to prove. Thank you for the advice, but I have my own editors.

    ReplyReply

  29. Jane
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 11:12:00

    Please do not use this forum to advertise your wares. Thank you.

    ReplyReply

  30. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 11:18:34

    I’m not advertising, just stating a fact, why won’t you read and connent on the revised version Of Atlantis? You and others caused me the stress I suffered another stroke, you could be nice enough to read the revised version. Read it and I gurantee, you will admit you were wrong. If anyone else would like to do this the offer stands! What’s wrong Jane, hate to admit you were wrong? If not read the book

    ReplyReply

  31. Rebecca
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 11:35:39

    Lanaia Lee,

    Leave it alone. You are in over your head.

    No one owes you anything.

    You can pay to publish a book you’ve paid others to edit and write, but you can’t pay people to read it and like it.

    Live your life and leave this behind you….you really don’t understand what you are doing by continuing to drive this issue.

    ReplyReply

  32. Anji
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 11:39:18

    Jane, maybe it’s best to close the thread – at least temporarily?

    ReplyReply

  33. Leave it alone « Trivial Pursuits
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 12:02:14

    [...] that totally confused about what set this off…. check out the 400+ post over @ Dear Author. Top Ten Tips for Plagiarists. [...]

  34. azteclady
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 12:06:40

    Is this really Lanaia Lee?

    If so… madre mía, mira que es idiota!

    If not… *shrug* I still think she’s short a full deck.

    ReplyReply

  35. Caro Kinkead
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 12:13:12

    In a way, it sounds too literate to be Lanaia Lee, but the actions seem familiar. Over on Absolute Write, when her thread died down, she’d come over and stir the pot.

    ReplyReply

  36. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 13:22:59

    You know after you write enough you become a little more literate and yes this is me and Of Atlantis will prevail. I just want to know why Jane won’t read the revised version Of Atlantis. This is a five volume series, nothing like Gemmel’s work. Jane, I’m challeging you. Are you going to accept? What’s wrong, scared because I have documented proof on my side?

    ReplyReply

  37. Karen Scott
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 13:28:52

    What’s wrong, scared because I have documented proof on my side?

    You know, grass is for walking on, not smoking.

    Just sayin’.

    ReplyReply

  38. Rebecca
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 13:37:11

    Lanaia Lee,

    GO AWAY.

    Rebecca, firmly.

    ReplyReply

  39. Gareth
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 13:37:28

    Lanaia,
    Is this challenge open to anyone or just the person stated? As a Gemmell fan, I would perhaps say that Im one of the Gemmell experts that could find any singular reference left within the pages of the novel should it so exist.

    Let me know if you need someone to check it as with over 30 books to go through it might take your rep some time to do so.

    ReplyReply

  40. Lanaia Lee
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 14:07:20

  41. Xopher
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 15:12:00

    You and others caused me the stress I suffered another stroke, you could be nice enough to read the revised version.

    Errors in this sentence (using the term loosely) include:
    –Incoherent runon clause.
    –Incorrect use of comma (should be semicolon).
    –Whiny poor-me post.
    –Attempted guilt trip.
    –Belief that anyone would want to read, or care enough to review, a “revised version” of a book that was plagiarized in the first place.
    –Belief that the poster is a writer.

    Lanaia, you are not a writer. Your writing proves this, even without reference to what we know about you being scammed by people you hired to do the writing you were unable (because you’re not a writer) to do yourself.

    This woman has got to be a hoaxtroll. I cannot imagine anyone, even after a stroke, being this obsessively self-destructive.

    ReplyReply

  42. JYD
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 16:01:31

    Proof Lanaia? What proof? A bunch of cut and pasted text? That is hardly proof. Without headers you could have typed it out yourself. Do you realize how utterly foolish you look?

    Just go away. The internet doesn’t need you. Nobody cares about your writing. Your poetry is like that of a 16 year old emo.

    ReplyReply

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  44. tasha
    Mar 06, 2008 @ 13:06:14

    And now she’s spamming various book review sites with more threats of lawsuits if these sites don’t publish public apologies. Included in the sites she’s contacted is a site that reviews only gay historical fiction, and the site owner is understandably confused, never having heard of Lanaia Lee, much less said anything about her.

    ReplyReply

  45. Jane
    Mar 06, 2008 @ 13:12:03

    Ah, I wondered if DA was the only recipient of her “gifts”. I did put her in the spam folder though so hopefully she’ll just continue to limit her harassment to emails instead of on blog posts.

    ReplyReply

  46. Bookworm
    May 05, 2008 @ 07:11:05

    Pilsbury sounds likes a great agent. She charges $500 for a book comparison, charging her own client for something SHE should have noticed?

    On top of that, what kind of agent places a clients book with a vanity press which charges excessive fee’s for something you can do yourself at LULU.com? IF this ill fated book was any good, an agent could get it placed somewhere without having to pay to see it in print.

    AG Press runs from a free hosting site full of adverts, hardly professional guys? Personally, I’d run a mile as oposed to paying them a dime to support my work.

    Lanaia has been shafted, not just by Mr Hill but all concerned. Game over really!

    ReplyReply

  47. Josh Shacklock
    Jul 08, 2008 @ 08:40:33

    Wow…is all I can say. Noticed this over at Legend Readers and I have to say it’s despicable. Whether or not your whole story is utter bullshit I can not quite decide Miss Lee, but really I have to ask how can anyone be so stupid as to dig themselves into such a hole? And I am sorry but you overuse your condition and problems in life, we've all suffered, it does not absolve you from anything. In my opinion you brought this upon yourself by hiring a ghost writer, you should take pride in your work and actually write it yourself. Do feel free to flame me as you no doubt will.

    ReplyReply

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  49. Jane Smith
    Jul 17, 2009 @ 03:46:20

    This is a wonderful post, which I’d not seen before. I’ve just linked to it from my blog, as part of Anti-Plagiarism Day. Thank you!

    ReplyReply

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  52. mike weber
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 18:41:07

    Sorry to necro a thread from five years ago, but i just encountered it, and mention of best-selling authors who lifted from older works reminds me – British Western writer JT Edson once lifted two pages verbatim (except for changing first-person to third-person narrative) From Daniel P Mannix’s memoir of his days as a sideshow performer, Step Right Up! (Memoirs of a Sword Swallower in the UK).

    ReplyReply

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