Guiltless Reading Confessions: Plagiarizing book impressions?

  • Sunday, October 06, 2013

Guiltless Reading Confessions is a new feature where I can blabber about bookish things, bloggy things, and generally just speak my mind. I warn you, this is mostly just "streams of consciousness" so please don't nitpick. Feel free to jump in with your own two cents. I look forward to chatting with you! I'm linking up my confessions to "Let's Discuss" hosted by Oh Chrys! and The Fiction Conniption. Don't forget to check out more bookish discussions!

Whether you're a book blogger or an author, plagiarism can loom its ugly head at any time. If you're a book blogger, you're probably aware of cases of plagiarism within the book blogging community. If you're an author, you'll have about cases of some indie authors getting "inspiration"from other authors.

In the blogosphere where social media is a natural extension of the blog, the news -- and the opinions and sidetaking -- can escalate and spread extremely quickly. Frankly, a lot of it is nasty.

It's disappointing. We all deal with words and words are our treasure. Plagiarism taints our words, reducing it to a mere commodity. For those who have been plagiarized, it hurts. For readers, it hurts to find out that an author a blogger you enjoy reading would stoop to such desperate measures to produce content.

But hey, I'm a book blogger. When I think that my impressions about books I've read are being copy-pasted out there, or portions of reviews are being "Frankenstein-ed" I can only shake my head and wonder why. What then is the point of book blogging?

Now bear with me as I go down memory lane here for a second. When I started book blogging over five years ago, the reward for book blogging was plain and simple: you're a part of a community that talks books. The financial gain was non-existent or minimal.

Today, there is all manner of advertising and monetization on book blogs. Publishers and publicists see the value of tapping into the blogger niche for "real" reviews. The freebies and giveaways (books and swag) are flowing, fast and furious. There are book bloggers turned book tour hosts. There are sponsored posts and sponsored infographics.  Everything is potentially up for sale. Including blogger's book reviews.

It's obvious that the motivations for book blogging have changed drastically over the years.

It seems that plagiarizing others' content has become a simple fix to make a quick buck or at least to get free books with minimal effort.

What are your thoughts?

9 comments

  1. Ooooooo plagiarizing makes me crazy mad. Especially when you consider how long a blogger searched for the right words. And you're right, what's the point indeed!?

    I'm usually all about being sweet, nice, courteous, and respectful, but plagiarism should be shared when it occurs so other bloggers can be aware of the plagiarizer.

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    1. I agree Juju, we need to be vigilant and call out offenders.

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  2. Why plagiarize? If you don't have time to read a book, the publisher's book description will do for a feature of the book, not for a review.

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    1. So true, Harvee. Or a guest post won't hurt either. Not everyone needs to write reviews!

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  3. Ugh, I hate the idea of plagiarism! I don't think anyone has ever plagiarized my reviews, at least I hope not. I really can't believe that people would stoop so low as to copy someone else's work/thoughts. It's just disgusting to me.

    --Sam @ SIK Book Reviews

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  4. Plagiarism is just a posh word for theft IMHO

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  5. Why not be original, no one likes a copy.
    Just sayin'....

    Great post! First time I read a plagiarism post and didn't see a finger pointing.

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  6. I don't get this one. Do you mean plagiarizing your review or posting funny images I see somewhere else?

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    1. I meant book reviews being plagiarized. I think I've only scratched the surface, it can get quite complicated!

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall