Yea, yea, yea. I know it’s April Fools. Lots of jokes flying around. Good thing I am not wearing shoes with shoe laces.
Over Twitter I have seen a lot of releases that take advantage of a silly day. It seems that the laughs and fun will not stop. It is kind of fun if you let yourself flow with it. I have been given a crazy ride on some websites already.
On the other hand, something very un-funny has been going on in the publishing world.
Two of my online peeps from Shock Totem, have had their work used in a very uncomfortable way.
For a lot of us, writing is a lot of hard, mind breaking, soul searching work. We spend a lot of our free time, not that there is a lot in some cases, honing a craft that many cannot comprehend. (yea I get weird looks from people who ask me what my hobbies are) We discuss prose, poetry, punctuation, and plot with those who will give us reasons to not use certain phrases. It is something that takes years to get your first piece published.
It is a huge joy when something is accepted. It is an even bigger disappointment when someone swipes your writing and passes it off on your own. Or when someone else takes a poem and “tightens” it and posts it on a blog.
No I am not going to post sites or even who did these things. Both matters were taken care of professionally and very precisely. But the matter still stands that it happens.
I am not talking about style or even phrasing. Many writers have the same style but when you read them, you find they have a different voice and perspective in the story. This is not even about fanfic, where others expand your world with more stories.
No this is theft. This is taking someone’s work without permission and using it for your own purposes. Some might think that just because it is published online, that makes it available for anyone to use. It doesn’t. Yes you can post a link back to it, but don’t pass it off as your own. Don’t “improve it.” Don’t try to get it published under your name.
You know why?
We are watching. There are a lot of eyes in the publishing world. We have readers that look for our work. We have other authors who read various articles. We read voraciously, absorbing everything that we can about our craft. We remember phrases, styles, and delicate twists on phrasings. We hang out in forums and we talk a lot. If something is questionable it will be all over the net in just a few hours.
I have seen it.
And believe me, you don’t want to make us angry.