Some Super Not Fun News
Gah, I don’t know how to start this post. I love being real with you all, but I try not to get too real, if you know what I mean. There is a sh*tty side of this industry I’m in, and I try not to air too much of my dirty laundry. We all have enough of that in the real world, and that’s kinda the whole reason we read anyway. Books are waaaay cheaper an escape than a vacation.
Unfortunately, now is one of those rare times where I have to get real-REAL with you.
Alright. *deep breath*
Let’s talk about plagiarism.
Most of you are probably used to that term being thrown around in a classroom setting—write an essay, do some research, and oh, if you nab a line from someone else’s work and don’t properly cite it, you’re officially plagiarizing it.
Well, you can plagiarize things besides essays. Things like covers.
This morning I woke up to a barrage of messages pointing me to a Facebook post (several, actually), messages alerting me that whoever designed Pestilence’s cover used copyrighted photos (PSA: that’s a no-no) and there’s proof and I don’t know but it looks like your cover has been plagiarized and the sky is falling. (That last one’s not true, but I like being dramatic. Today is a super dramatic day for me.)
Okay, the thing is, when I commissioned Pestilence’s cover, I was under the impression that everything was hand drawn (painted?). I had no idea my designer was using photos—copyrighted or otherwise—for anything but inspiration. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that she was doing that (using photos for inspiration). Cover design to me was some magical process that seemed wickedly hard (‘cause it totally is), and I was happy to leave the designing to the designers and that was the end of that.
Obviously that was naïve of me.
Anyway, point is, I commissioned the cover for Pestilence assuming this was a completely original work. Seems, in light of what’s come out, that’s not the case.
What does this mean? Well, I’m in the process of sorting that out at the moment. I’m consulting a lawyer and figuring out what the best option is for me at this time. An enormous thanks goes to Kathryn Goldman from Charm City Legal who is helping me navigate these murky waters.
Unfortunately, this most likely means I’m getting a new cover. There are so many of you who fell in love with Pestilence’s cover before you ever read the book, and I can only imagine how disappointing this news is to hear. I promise I will try to do right by you all.
I am so truly, deeply sorry—to so many people. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to the artists who created the beautiful designs that were copied to make my cover. Plagiarism hurts so badly, and I know how little compensation artists already get for their work. I’m sorry for the role I played in that. To the honest designers out there that have to deal with this, I’m sure this makes you all sick to your stomachs. And again, readers, you guys make this dream of mine real. Hate disappointing you all.
I promise for better news tomorrow. Until then, happy reading.