The popularity of blogging, e-book publishing, and content marketing has attracted many aspiring authors and untrained freelance writers who may not be fully aware of what constitutes plagiarism. If you are new to publishing, this lack of knowledge could be damaging.
For example, one recent plagiarism case involved self-published “author” Jordin Williams who had hired a ghostwriter through the online freelance marketplace odesk.com. Without Williams’ knowledge, the ghostwriting freelancer plagiarized works from romance writers Tammara Webber and Jamie McGuire.
In the “Beginning Writer’s Answer Book” published by Writer’s Digest, editor Jane Friedman outlines four forms of plagiarism:
- Inserting parts of someone else’s work into your own without citing the source
- Submitting work done by someone else with your name on it
- Paraphrasing someone else’s words and trying to pass them off as your own
- Taking an article that you have sold the rights to and reusing all or parts of it in a new work
Information that can help you better understand the rules of quoting and when you need to seek permission from a book publisher is included in an e-book excerpt from the Answer Book entitled “What Are the Rights of Others?.” The excerpt can be downloaded for $5.99.
For $15.99 you can download the complete Beginning Writer’s Answer Book. The 452-page guide includes 29 chapters on topics such as formatting and submitting your work, selling nonfiction work, writing and selling articles, starting a freelance career, providing photographs and art with your writing, and using a pen name.
The guide also covers copyright basics and publishing jargon. The chapters at the end of the book answer questions about specialized fields such as: writing poetry, children’s books, scripts, and songs; writing for newspapers; and self-publishing.
In the Writer’s Digest Shop, you can find hundreds of books and webinars, including a list of free articles on topics such as how to publish a book (traditional publishing vs. self-publishing) and how to write a query letter.