Saturday, October 14, 2006

Plagarism and Fanfic

From Publishers' Weekly.
From the May 1, 2006 issue:

Sara Nelson's editorial on Little, Brown and the Kaavya Viswanathan (How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life) plagarism scandal mentioned something I hadn't seen about it before, not that I was reading the articles and blog entries all that carefully because the whole subject of plagarism these days is getting tedious and almost too commonplace, which is rather depressing. But in her editorial, Nelson mentioned that the copyright is shared by Alloy Entertainment, a known book packager. She says, in conclusion:
"We've known for years that publishers, probably including Little, Brown, have long employed freelance editors and 'book doctors,' of which packagers are just an institutional version. But Little, Brown has to resort to this? Realizing that a major house is willing to pay major money for a book that executives knew was going to require major works smacks of something majorly disturbing. It suggests that even the most well-bred publishing houses are not as desperate to find promising writers and great novels as they are to find attractive authors (preferably with interesting backstories) with whom they can match up test-marketed, packaged stories. And then they can take all the credit.
"Or blame, as the case may be."
And then, on the following page, I saw this headline: "'Star Wars' POD Fan Fiction Flap." Yes, my dear fl and other readers, Lori Jareo, who has been the subject of many a blog post re: her Another Hope, SW fan fic novel, made Publishers Weekly!

Not much new here, and PW did a nice job explaining fan fic in brief (though they said it comes from fans of "fantasy empires," which, I suppose is accurate since all fiction can be called fantasy, even cop shows). But I enjoyed this item:
"The book was published via Jareo's own print-on-demand company, WordTech Communications, which previously specialized in poetry. WordTech's books are available through Ingram, which is how Another Hope ended up on Amazon."
And this, re: Jareo's claim her book wasn't commercial and only her friends and family knew about it:
"Lucasfilms thought otherwise, and asked for the book to be removed. Before it was taken down by Amazon, the book at one point ranked at #13,371 in sales."
Wow, that's a lot of family and friends (oh, and acquaintances). Sheesh.

I especially like this quote about fan fic from Keith R.A. DeCandido, author of many a tie-in novel:
"I think it'll hae a much bigger effect on POD publishers. Book distributors and book vendors now have to be more careful with the product they get from them."

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