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ethics

When Should We Start Building Our Platform?

Red flag with text: Don't Have a Platform? Red Flag!

In my post about book pirates and plagiarism, I mentioned that book bloggers and reviewers are now more wary of debut authors, especially those who are self-published. I don’t blame them. Some people out there are willing to do an insane amount of work to fake legitimacy. A book blogger […]

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August 6, 2013

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The New Face of Book Pirates: Plagiarists

Pirate skulls with text: Pirates and Plagiarism

Surprisingly, many authors haven’t bothered worrying about book pirates. They figured a few copies going to readers who never would have paid for them anyway didn’t matter. Heck, some authors even thought book pirates could be good for their career. Spread the word, appeal to more readers who might buy their […]

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July 30, 2013

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Amazon’s Fan Fiction Model: Is It a Good Idea?

Kindle Worlds logo with text: Good Idea? Or Bad Idea?

The internet exploded yesterday with Amazon’s introduction of “Kindle Worlds,” a new publishing model for writers inspired to write fan fiction (fanfic). Everyone and anyone has been commenting on this development, often with gnashing of teeth. Some see this as a win for the fanfic authors, and some see this […]

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May 23, 2013

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Where’s the Line between Spamming and Sharing?

Hand shoving with text: Can We Be Too Pushy when Sharing?

Anyone reading this post probably doesn’t intend to be a spammer, but it’s possible to cross the line and not realize it. If we’re lucky, a friend will let us know. However, how we react to that observation is yet another minefield in the impression we leave behind in social media. A […]

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February 14, 2013

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Fan Fiction to Published Book: A Case Study

Into the Dark cover image with text: ...And the Journey from Fan Fiction to Published Book

Last time, we discussed the different options for publishing a story that had its genesis in fan fiction: name-change-only, reworking, and rewriting. Whether we believe there’s ever a “right” way to publish a story that began as fan fiction (fanfic), authors who completely rewrite their story should be recognized for at least […]

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December 13, 2012

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Can Writers Reuse Their Own Work?

Printer control screen with text: Can We Copy Our Own Work?

On the surface, this might seem like a clear-cut question. Unless we’ve turned the copyright over to another entity, it seems like we should be able to reuse our own work. However the issues surrounding what is sometimes termed “self-plagiarism” are more complicated than they might first appear. Many of us […]

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December 11, 2012

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How Fake Reviews Hurt Everyone

Close up of fake fruit and text: "Reviews: Are They Real or Fake?"

I had the idea for this post over a month ago after seeing a Slate article about the “epidemic” of niceness in online book culture. Their point boiled down to whether all the friendliness on social media made people feel they couldn’t say bad things about books. I was going […]

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September 25, 2012

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How Much Are We Responsible for our Guest Posters?

Hand with dollar bills and text: "Are Guest Posts Like Advertisements?"

Most of us who blog think having guest posts is a “good” thing. We bring in others outside our expertise. We expose our blog to their followers. We get to take a break in our blogging schedule. Heck, I’ve written about the benefits of guest posts. But there’s a hidden […]

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September 13, 2012

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An Author’s Guide to Fan Fiction

Lighthouse at night

Recent events have brought fan fiction out of the hidden realm of über-fans and into mainstream media.  For the first time, many authors are learning of the existence of fan fiction and wondering how it might affect them. Let’s take a look at what fan fiction is, what it means […]

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May 31, 2012

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Is Taking the Hard Road a “Waste”?

Pair of dice

My post about the ethics of fan fiction went viral this week, spreading beyond even the Twilight fandom.  From a post on mediabistro/GalleyCat to mentions at Dear Author, Jezebel, The Paris Review, and AbsoluteWrite, people have been discussing ethics in regards to writing and the publishing industry. I don’t bring that […]

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March 15, 2012

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