A Harvard student received a $500,000 advance -- while still in high school -- for her debut novel. Now, when it's discovered that she plagiarized huge chunks from a best-selling author, what happens? She apologizes and her publisher says they'll "revise" future editions to take out the naughty bits. It's all an innocent mistake, says Little Brown. The student says she's a "big fan" of Megan McCaferty, the author she ripped off. Clearly. But what made the kid think she could get away with it? McCafferty has sold some 350,000 copies of her first three books. Didn't this kid realize someone was going to notice? And I don't mind Little Brown getting fooled by her. But once they found out, the fact that they haven't dumped her and demanded their advance back is shocking. Instead, they're defending her. Crazy. But why are these examples of plagiarism seemingly more common? The Internet. I think it's easier to cheat (so much more info is available so much more easily) and it's easier to catch them at it and make a noise via blogs, etc. Maybe she should tour with Augusten Burroughs and James Frey?
If you think a publisher that discovers one of their authors is a plagiarist should dump them, let Little, Brown know by calling 212-522-8700.