Jeez, the YA book blogging world isn't itself without some kind of drama, huh? In this issue we have a little bit on blogging plagiarism and blogging superiority. First, on plagiarism . . .
Hey, you uncreative shit. Just don't do it, okay? If you can't think up an original thought and feel the need to take from someone else verbatim and post it as your own, perhaps you shouldn't have a blog. As if people wouldn't find out. As if we're not a well-connected network of people that looks out of each other. Such is the problem with people like this; they underestimate. Big mistake.
And I'm not one to believe ignorance in this matter is okay due to age. I mean, what could possibly be the thought process of copying and pasting someone's post and re-posting it on your own blog as your own and see it as okay? If you're a teenager, you don't have an excuse because the notion of plagiarism of banged into your head in school. You can fail classes for plagiarizing. In college, you run the risk of being kicked out of school. So really, where's the excuse for this? There isn't one.
Plagiarism on a bigger scale, when money starts getting involved, can have very serious legal repercussions. On our scale, copying and pasting reviews from free sites written by amateur reviewers won't put you in front of a judge, but you will be called out and ostracized from the community, absolutely destroying any chances of publishers and publicists contacting you for reviews should you do it and be a shit about it. As one, our voice as the power to change book covers. As if we can't crucify an asshole blogger.
Personally, should I find out anyone ever plagiarizes my blog, I'm not going to take you to court. Really, I don't think it should go that far as we're just not in a position to lose like a professional reviewer or author would, plus it's amazingly costly and you could rightly get fined or wasting the court's time. Not something that I want to deal with, but that's just me. But you can guarantee I will make your life a living hell. Not only am I a blogger but I am a writer and I take plagiarism very seriously. So fuck with me. I dare you.
Copyright law with the written word dictates that the second the words are written down, they are copyrighted to the author. This blog post? Copyrighted. And while you can't copyright ideas (that has been ruled over and over again, it's about the execution of the idea, not the idea itself that can be copyrighted), starting a meme titled "What the Mailman Brought Me" is going to make you look like an asshole for taking an already long-standing idea, changing the title and calling it yours. Just because you change a few minor things doesn't mean you can call it your own. That's not how originality works.
We live in a derivative word and we are subconsciously influenced by so many things and it's impossible to keep track of it all. But be aware of what you're writing. As other bloggers have said, don't read reviews of books you're reading until after you've already posted your review, for instance. Keeping your exposure down on something is very beneficial and it'll keep you from ending up with egg on your face. Accidental egg on your face isn't so bad. It can be cleaned off. But throwing egg in your own face? That'll stain.
As for wankery and blogger superiority, I read on a blog (for the life of me I can't remember the name) a rebuttal for a post on yet another blog (whose name escapes me) that basically trashed American book bloggers for their unintelligent content and elevated UK bloggers for being of such a higher level.
Um, fuck you.
This self-aggrandizing blogger chastised US book bloggers for reviewing books she'd never heard of, not seeking out UK books to review, for the amount of memes we may or may not use and for how loud and obnoxious we are in how we advertise our blogs; apparently, according to this blogger, UK book bloggers are all about content, not comments or followers or any of that.
Again, fuck you.
I'm American and I have lived in the UK for an extended period of time and this kind of hypocrisy really chapped my ass, even now. We are accused of being narrow-minded, unintelligent and sheltered from the rest of the world. Funny, because everyone I heard making such accusations were just as sheltered, ignorant and uninformed about how Americans really are. When I was over there (mind this was in 2006, height of Bush World so American sentiments were in the shitter) I was looked at as representing everything that was wrong with America, as if I had something to do with it, while at the same time being chastised for not knowing more about the greater world around me. Isn't that a bit contradictory?
For this particular UK book blogger, she mentioned she'd never heard of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn until very recently. So can I call her an uneducated moron for not knowing about one of our classics? Or would that just make me a brutish oaf and there the American goes again, expecting everyone to know everything about them while they know nothing about everyone else? Why does she get to sit there and accuse us of of being so closed off while she's exhibiting the same exact signs of being sheltered?
I follow a lot of book bloggers. Some of my favorites are from the UK and I've never noticed any stark differences in how anything is portrayed on their blogs. I don't even know a blog is outside of the US until they start having contests and I realize they're in Australia or England or Pakistan. I also didn't realize we're writing theses on books here either. Should everyone have a college degree before deigning to write a book blog? A lot of these blogs are maintained by teenagers and it's insulting to insinuate that they, nor anyone else, has unintelligent content because they do a few memes or their reviews don't live up to particular unwritten standards.
Any lobotomized chimp can tell you that the center of the publishing world, the WORLD, is New York City. Not London. Not Bologna. Not Stuttgart. New York City. USA. America. I'm sure that brings major chagrin to that particular UK blogger but it's true. Also, what does sell in England might not sell in America. Different tastes. US publishers also aren't willing to ship internationally when promoting ARCs. At least most of them don't. I haven't seen any that do. It doesn't make them assholes; it just makes them cost effective. Plus why would they try to promote a book across the pond when it's not even being released there? And vise versa? I've never been contacted by and UK publishers to review ARCs. Why would they? The market's completely different. Why am I going to help promote a book that the majority of my readers can't even get? Duh?
It's this nonsensical masturbatory logic that gets to me. Don't accuse us of basically being showboating idiots when you haven't even thought your argument through. Don't be so quick to judge us and pat yourself on the back as if it makes you look good. You look like a sack of shit. While I may be the boorish American that's slinging insults and swears around, I'm not as dumb as you may think I am, and neither is anyone else. My IQ's 12-fucking-6, bitch. So don't think you can insult me, or my counterparts, and get away with it. We don't judge each other over here based on country of origin. No one's any better than anyone else and we all support each other. We don't shit on each other because we think someone's somehow lesser.
I'll say it one more time: FUCK YOU.
ETA - Thanks to an anonymous comment (that has been removed due to other information posted), the link for the offending superiority blogger is here. And just an FYI, if you happen to know which blogger caused this plagiarism debacle, please don't post the name or any identifying markers. Your comment will be deleted if you do. It's just not necessary to point fingers.
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