Monday, 29 September 2014

Another Author Plagiarises Your Zombie Heptathlon

Signs of a problem: a zombie heptathlon blurb other than your own appears before your eyes.

The symptoms: prickly face; fury; disgust; fear.

You’re just about to publish your book about a team of the undead competing to win a zombie heptathlon. You’ve been working on it for years and you know it will be a hit because every time you mention it, zombie-athletics fans wet themselves with delight. However, just as you are about to complete the eBook upload process, you receive an email. To your horror, the email is an advert for a book called Zombie Olympics.

You look at the sender’s name and feel your blood boil – it’s another member of the online forum where you first announced your intention to write a zombie heptathlon story. Angrily, you navigate to the forum. The treacherous author didn’t actually comment in the thread about your book, but you know he read it; your idea was too unique, too brilliant and too personal for another author to have come up with the same idea independently. Why, you had that idea back when your Auntie Maud died whilst training for a steeplechase. How many other authors would have had inspiration like that handed to them on a plate?

This is an insurmountable disaster. How will anybody believe that you had the idea first if your book is launched after your competitor’s? People might deem you the thief.

Firstly, relax – don’t forget how brilliant you are. Somebody may have stolen your idea but it is unlikely that he has the talent to execute it the way you can.

Next, sign up for a fake email account and write to the author pretending to be a local television news correspondent planning to interview him at his home. He will bite. Ask him politely for his address. Next purchase a small, cardboard treasure chest. Carefully cover it using shiny tissue paper and sparkling sequins. Now, squat above it and fill it with a poo. Once you are satisfied with your deposit, close the chest, wrap it in cellophane then brown paper. Send your gift by courier to the author of Zombie Olympics.

Do not be tempted to sign your offering. Do not be tempted to brag about the gesture online. Do not publically react to the copyright theft. It won’t be long before others start noticing the similarities between your books. Those who saw your earlier discussions about the content will put two and two together. At which point, you can stroll in and say, “Similarities? How flattering!”

You end up looking cool and confident and make the author of Zombie Olympics look like a sad wannabe.

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