Don't be a copycat!


While I have no problem with Patterson’s method, it always makes me cringe a bit to see the books in the store labeled “JAMES PATTERSON” in huge font and then “and Maxine Paetro” in teeny tiny font.

I mean, I understand WHY it’s like that. But it seems so… blatant. Like saying “James Patterson… and some other person, but who cares about them?”


It’s probably because his name is an instant sell. And the others aren’t :confused:


I know why. I just think it’s tacky.


I definitely agree. If it makes any difference, it’s probably not his choice, but the publisher.


Kind of like how after LJ Smith was fired, her old publishing company continued on her Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle books, with her name in big, bold letters followed by a tiny written by Aubrey Clark underneath it. Not shady at all. :roll_eyes:


Really? I knew nothing about that. That’s shady AF. :confused:


If anyone is keeping up with the hashtag, there’s now over 30 books that have been plaigairised, recipes, articles, website content and a Wattpad story.


Which Wattpad story?

ETA: I found it on the hashtag.


Yeah. She wrote the original series (four books) and the Return series (three books). After that, she was fired because the publishers wanted Elena to be with Stefan, not Damon, and since that was where the books were going, they gave her the boot and brought in a ghostwriter. Six books later and Elena ended up with Damon anyway, because that’s how the TV show ended. :woman_facepalming:


Wtffffff that’s probably the worst trad-pub horror story I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard many.) :confused: if I was in her shoes it would be hard to convince me not to burn down the publishers headquarters.


Found the updated list for anyone who haven’t seen it:




I have a feeling that list will grow.


He was the CEO of a huge advertising company before becoming an author. I’m sure he knows how to market.

When I got into self-publishing, I studied covers. You know you’re a big name author when it’s your name that’s in the big font and prominently displayed on the cover and the title in smaller font.


‘Work for hire’ contract clause. Writers beware.
Curious factoid: after that experience, LJ Smith then signed another work-for-hire contract with Amazon to produce fanfic based on her own original work.
The writing world can be strange.


Some aggressive plagiarists use POD services, because rip-off print sales are less likely to be noticed by authors and small publishers. Services like Amazon’s CreateSpace make this especially easy, because they hardly police at all, pushing the responsibility back to the copyright owners.

Amazon has several times been caught stocking knock-off and legitimate print books together in the same warehouse, so they become virtually impossible to trace. This is kind of egregious, given that much of the meta-data is identical, so it would be easy for them to flag that they were getting print requests from multiple accounts for what is probably the same work.

Here’s a recent example, from a small publisher that has been ripped off multiple times.


I’m surprised anyone thought a book about assembly language was worth pirating these days - or worth writing in the first place. Maybe this is the long tail in action again - a million pirate copies of one popular book will get you shut down in short order, but ten pirate copies each of a hundred thousand books might never be noticed.


This plagiarist sounds like she got a kick out of scamming her clients and ripping off other writers. As someone who’s done freelance and ghostwriting work starting on sites like Fiverr, Elance and Upwork, I dig the frustration of churning out content for the fiction mill. (Even when you set your own rates, competition from cheaper talent slices through your profits.) However, CopyPasteCris drove wildly past “frustrated” and went off the deep end with this. 30+ books, articles and recipes?? Wow. That’s dedication to giving the industry the middle finger.


I’ve seen mention of how icky it feels to know authors and publishers hire cheap labor to write for them. I’m of two minds about it. Big corps that pay pennies per word get no love from me. (I’m looking at all you blue chip tech companies hiring copywriters for small change.) But most authors and small publishers are doing ME a service by hiring me to write for them, especially if I can slide a clause in for a cut of royalties.

It’s TOUGH, TOUGH work doing the marketing and promoting, and let’s not even get into building a platform. If I publish a book–whether on my own or trad–the hours spent doing that part actually cut into the time I could spend doing the thing I love–writing.

As a ghostwriter, I never have to market, promote, or build a platform. I don’t have to have a social media presence or interact with other writers. I don’t pay for an editor, an illustrator, or anything else. I just deliver book after book and get paid. In my opinion, it’s the best way to go if you don’t have the capital to self-publish, and you can still follow your writing and get the validation of knowing you have bestsellers, critically-acclaimed novels, and reader fans the world over. I love doing ghostwriting.


LJ Smith wrote those books on contract – work-for-hire. They were not her idea. She was paid a flat rate.

She got fired because when they took off, the flat rate no longer seemed fair to her and she raised hell and claimed they were cheating her. (Nonsense. She signed that contract knowing exactly what it meant. She wrote a TON of books for them and was paid the same way every time. If she didn’t understand it, she’s the world’s biggest moron.)

I hardly blame them for firing someone who was publicly claiming that they cheated them.

I loved her books, but I lost all respect for her.