Warning. This is something I am very passionate about. To me, there is NO gray area.
If you take someone’s book and simply change out a name and/or gender, it’s plagiarism. You’re a thief. You’re taking that author’s hard work and trying to make it your own.
No, my books have not be plagiarised. That I know of yet. But I ran into someone on FB over the weekend, who was offering a ‘tearful apology’ on their page about how they ‘knew it was wrong’ to steal someone else’s work. And did it anyway.
And then they had people telling them how ‘brave’ they were for admitting it in public, that they still ‘loved the writing’ and would keep reading their books. And that they were so sympathetic to them.
Wrong. That author STOLE the work of another. They lied to you, to their publisher, and are making money off of what another author legitimately wrote.
They are a thief. The do not deserve your sympathy, understanding, or support. The ONLY thing they regret is being caught.
Writing is hard. If it wasn’t, more people would do it and be successful at it. To take another author’s work and pass it off as your own is never acceptable.
I don’t go to a law office and pass myself off as a lawyer. If that’s what I wanted to be, I’d go back to school and get the degree, pass the Bar.
I don’t walk into a hospital and pose as a nurse or doctor. I don’t have the knowledge, training, or license.
So, why would ANYONE think it’s okay to steal an author’s work? Because they’re lazy, immoral, and are more concerned with image than truth. With the idea of being an author without putting in the work. Because they can’t handle the years it takes to develop a readership base.
It’s still theft. No matter how you look at it. And I will not be associated with someone who thinks that stealing the work of an author is a viable path to being a successful author.