Friday, November 11, 2011

The best of James Bond, in ONE novel!

From an article in The Guardian:

In a shocking turn for the debut novel by Q.R. Markham, Assassin of Secrets, the US publisher is recalling all copies and offering refunds to those who have already purchased the book.  The UK publisher is taking back all copies of the book before it is released there this week.  Why are they doing it?

The answer is simple: plagiarism.

Apparently, Markham - actually bookseller and poet, Quentin Rowan - lifted whole passages from post-Fleming-era Bond novels, mostly written by John Gardner - six in total.  There were also whole passages lifted from Robert Ludlum's and Charles McCarry's novels.  In one case, Markham copy-and-pasted six pages in a row from one book.  How could something like this go unnoticed until after the books were printed and shipped around the world?

The publishers don't know the answer, and neither does author Jeremy Duns, who wrote a glowing recommendation for the book.  Apparently, Duns also did a Q&A session with the author which included plagiarized statements from the novel, Dream Time, by Geoffrey O'Brien.

It's amazing to think that this could happen in the age of Google.  After Duns was informed via a James Bond forum, he took random sentences from Markham's book and pasted them into a search engine.  After the shock of what he found in the search results, he immediately wrote to the publisher and asked that they remove his glowing review and the Q&A session from their website.

Take-away for Marketers

What can we learn from this?

Well, first of all, DON'T plagiarize!  Secondly, editing is important, no matter what industry you're serving.  Be it copy or dialog, make sure that what is said is original.  The standards for plagiarism are sometimes vague, but there are services, like Grammarly, that will check your writing for you.  Also, you can follow the lead of Duns and use Google to search for matches!

Just make sure you're checking somehow.  You can't afford to harm the brands you serve, or your personal brand, by copying someone else's work!

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