Getting Real With Autum

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Months Topic is:

And now here is Autum-

I think of myself kind of as a book blog voyeur. Yes I know, that sounds really creepy. I am the kind of person that floats around from blog to blog and just reads stuff. I find myself in the really weird parts of the book blogging community. I don’t really comment on stuff too often, more now than I have before. I love reading reviews. I don’t really care for reviews of things I haven’t read. I do however love reading reviews of books I have read. Let’s all just admit that there is a secret part of us that has to have our feelings on our favorite books validated. I know I do, I also know how irritated I am when someone doesn’t like a book I like. Sometimes I read reviews and think: “Wow did they even read the same book I did?” Therein lies the question. Did they read the book they reviewed? In some cases, the answer is no. Since I have been being the behind the scenes creeper, I see a lot of crap. I mean a lot! So one of things I have stumbled upon in this fortress of books is the reviewer who doesn’t read the book and steals another reviewer’s review. This topic is near and dear to me. I once had my original songs stolen and someone claimed them as theirs. I never got an apology or anything.

I know there has been a lot of plagiarizing scandals floating around the book blogging community and really plagiarism is the crux of the reviewer who doesn’t read. There really is no other way to word it or explain it. You haven’t read the book; you read other reviews and come up with your own review on something you haven’t read yourself. Is that not plagiarism in its lowest form? For the hell of it, let’s go ahead and define what plagiarism is.

The process of copying another person's idea or written work and claiming it as original.

If you want to be shady, you can define plagiarism how it fits your situation and pick away the meaning until you are left with ethical codes you yourself are perfectly happy about following. For those of us who don’t understand what this means, let’s break this down even further.

Copying-Something that is made exactly like something else in appearance or function.
Idea- A personal opinion or belief.
Original- existing first, from the beginning, or before other people or things

I think we get it now. So you think you are being smooth by reading other’s review on Kitty’s Novel- Kitty Loves Yarn (I am a cat lady, give me a break lol) you have never read Kitty Loves Yarn, but it’ REALLY popular right now. You don’t want to read it, so you peruse GoodReads and see some great reviews on the book.

Reviewer Monster says: I loved Kitty Loves Yarn. I was so moved by Kitty’s love for the yarn. It was symbolic of life and death and blah blah blah. (yup that’s what I came up with folks. Award winning stuff there)

Now shady reviewer reads this and decided to reword this and put on his/her blog. That my friends, is plagiarizing. There are tons of reviews that are similar because we notice similar things about the book, that’s cool, as long as it is an idea that came from your own head without any outside influence. For example when I wrote a review for Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead, I noticed that there were similar reviews just like the one I wrote. That doesn’t mean I plagiarized it. There were just so many similar thoughts on the book. This goes for anything. Just because it’s been done before doesn’t define plagiarism. When you do something on the back of someone else’s idea, that’s where is becomes plagiarism.

I think it is very important for bloggers to protect themselves from the vultures. This includes your written work and your images. You also need to know when you may be plagiarizing.

• If you are providing your own graphics, place a watermark on them. If you are a graphic designer this is pretty easy to do.

• If you suspect someone of plagiarizing, keep a log. Keep screenshots and confront the person in a rational and grown up way. Do not sling mud. Do not bully anyone! Keep it mature!

• Be original with your reviews. Read the book; listen to the audio book, or something. You don’t need reviews enough to steal them! Your reviews don’t have to be long. Just come up with something small. I literally write like 2 sentences sometimes.

• If you want to use someone’s idea, cite their work. Seriously, just give a link back to the original source.

• If you use a picture from a website make sure you have permission! You may be slapped with a lawsuit if you don’t. A simple “I don’t own any images on here, they are property of their respective owners. Please contact me if you own the image and wish for me to take it down.” WILL NOT WORK. I REPEAT. THAT WILL NOT WORK. You can STILL be sued for using other people’s images.

If you get caught plagiarizing someone else’s work ( I hope you don’t) take these steps.

• Remove said content.
• Privately apologize to the person you stole from.
• If the crap hits the fan, publically apologize to the person you stole from.
• Don’t make excuses. You did it. Now man up.
• Look up what plagiarism is and reflect on how and why you did it.
• Don’t do it again.
• If you lose parts of your audience because of said infraction, you deserve it. You shouldn’t have done it. It deserves to be on your permanent record and you don’t get to slide on it or get it swept under the rug. Yes you should be able to move on, but you deserve the crap-storm that comes to you. Also you have no right to ever publically speak about how it’s wrong to plagiarize. You have lost that right when you did it. Getting caught doesn’t give you the expert membership. That’s like a burglar speaking about how it’s wrong to burglarize. Give me a break.

About Autum:
 Hello! My name is Autum and I am a geeky girl! I am 28 and still trying to find out where I belong in this crazy world. I love animals, music, reading, cooking, and watching crazy horror movies. I have a tendency to be sarcastic and a little odd at times. I also love playing video games. As you can see I have a lot of hobbies.

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  1. Lol, I sometimes do think that, when their review of the book is totally opposite of my feelings about it. How can they not love what I did?
    But I really cannot imagine why someone would steal reviews, or copy them, or just alter a few words in them and post it as their own. What is the fun, the worth, in that? Why not just review the books you do read?

    1. lol it really is stupid, but seriously it happens! I get bent out of shape when people don't like my favorite books.

    2. I have looked at different blogs and seen someone literally copy someone else's review word for word and claim it as their own. I see it a lot on goodreads, and I'm like wait a minute, wasn't that so-and-so's review? And sure enough so-and-so posts a facebook post later about how someone copied their work word for word. Yuck!

  2. I come from an academics background and I've just never understood plagiarism. I just don't. You almost always get caught and the after effects are worse than if you'd have just not done anything at all. SO you miss a review? Is that worse than getting publicly called out for being a jerk and publicly humiliated?

  3. plagiarism seems to be very popular right now. And it seems the more friends you have the more you can get away with it. Luckily no one has ever tried to steal from me, that I know of. And I never read reviews until after I write my own, I am always afraid I could be unintentionally influenced.

  4. The fact that someone feels so desperate to have a book review on their site that they steal it from someone else is really pathetic.

  5. Writing a review is the result of reading a book. I don't understand WHY someone would review something that they haven't read. What's the point? Plagiarism is stupid and just makes me mad.

  6. I do get why people do it (no, I am not one who does). Its a short cut and its for folk who are lazy, but want a certain image that it brings. Personally, I am very careful not to read reviews on books that I know that I will be reviewing and I cringe afterwards if I happen to notice that I shared even a similar turn of phrase with someone else. I do like seeing this post and the reminder it gives to keep reviewing for the right reasons and not stray into the slippery need to be impressive and wow those who read my reviews. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I don't get why people do it. Maybe I'm just being a jerk but I do NOT get it. I think it's shitty. There is absolutely no excuse for a person to steal another persons review.

    2. I agree with your sentiment, Amber. I can and would never make excuses for doing wrong.

      It's just that generally when someone gets caught, I've observed that they have a strong following, advertisers, etc which led me to realize their motives.

    3. Basically, if they can't handle the pressure then they shouldn't be doing it. I get what you're saying, of course. But it still drives me crazy. :)

  7. I usually stick to reading book reviews on books that have been recommended to me or the ones I read for fun and do not plan to review on my blog. I purposely stay away from reading reviews for books I intend to review, I might check them out after my own review has been published, but I don't want anyone's thoughts influencing me on writing my own review and there's also the danger of reading a spoiler which I hate. If you're not willing to take the time to read an author's work and come up with your own thoughts you shouldn't be in the book blogging world!

    1. I agree completely. I know even when me and Amber are joint reviewing a book, we don't read each others reviews! And we're partners.


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