It’s Thursday and today’s discussion has its roots in something I witnessed this week on Amazon when I wanted to write my review of the Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Something that arrested me!
I came across angry reviewers screaming of plagiarism! The root of the controversy is a book published about the same topic by Kim Michele Richardson “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” and released before Jojo’s book.
Some wrote “I won’t be buying this book but it needs to be said that JoJo’s blatant lifting of scenes and situations is plagiarism at the highest level. After reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and then reading the BuzzFeed article showing the lifted passages, I am appalled! JoJo didn’t even change the names of the characters!”
Other: “Reading the reviews I thought perhaps I had already purchased the book; seems it’s been copies from another author.
I’m surprised that a successful author would stoop so low.“
And worse some readers base their reviews only on an article of Buzzfeed saying that “Jojo Moyes did not even change the names of the characters” (which by the way is untrue based on The Book Woman’s synopsis and reviews compared with Jojo’s book that I have read).
I haven’t read Kim Richardson’s book (but now do plan to) but I was so astonished that I did indeed read the article in buzzfeed that you can find HERE.
I also read some discussion on Goodreads where the lines are not so clear cut about real plagiarism. You can find some of these discussion HERE.
Buzzfeed states that both Kim and Jojo share publishers as Sourcebooks (Kim’s publisher) is 45% ownership of Penguin Random House (Jojo’s publisher).
Kim Richardson’s book was published in May 7th 2019
Jojo Moyes book was published on October 8th 2019.
But a friend of mine told me that another author, an indie author also had published a book about these Pack Women Librarians this year!!!
Susan Fanetti ‘s Carry the World has been published on May 4th 2019 so before Kim Richardson’s book! Technically SHE is the first to have published about that topic yet none is aware of that fact or is screaming murder! You can find her book HERE.
As an indie author you can’t say that Susan had access to privy informations that Kim’s publisher would have “leaked”.
What bothers me in all this are the reviewers on Amazon claiming that Jojo did plagiarism when they haven’t read her book! I won’t take sides as I haven’t read Kim’s book yet but I HATE when people run after some news they have read and bash authors without having first knowledge.
Second fact bothering me: the publishing houses IF they were aware of Kim’s book and its detail yet endorsing Jojo’s story. I find it hard to believe as lawsuit can cost a lot but maybe I would indeed be surprised with the extent publishers would go to make money.
Third fact: history is not the propriety of a sole individual. How many books have been written around WWII and about the same sub topics? Even sharing common details? Was there real plagiarism here? Maybe, maybe not.
What I do intend though is read Susan Fanetti’s book (I began yesterday) and I will also read in the coming months Kim Richardson’s book to make up MY OWN mind and not rely on gossips and news articles.
And I still keep my own review and my own rating or Jojo’s book that I found fabulous and extremely well written despite all this controversy.
Question for you now: have you heard about this hot topic? What’s your intake? Do you know of similar “cases” in the literary world? Have you read both books? Plagiarism or not?
Thanks for reading!