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The Dangers of Cowriting

If you are part of the Indie Bookworld you will probably have seen the plagiarism allegation that completely pulled the rug from under my feet last weekend.

If you haven’t, you can see JM Darhower’s blogpost about it here.

My statement addressing the situation here.

And you can find Elle’s response, which she told me to share here.

Now you are all caught up, I’ll move on to the reason I’m sharing all of this with you. I want to do everything I can to stop this happening to someone else.

Elle Raven and I met in March 2014, we soon became fast friends. When we decided to cowrite the possibility of her plagiarising another author never once crossed my mind. She had become a close friend, I had complete trust in her. She would never do such a thing! Or so I thought. Until I read the facts just under a week ago. The same facts you'll have read at the three links above. It was clear my trust was completely misplaced.

Two days ago I read a comment saying I was ignorant not to use a plagiarism checker on her chapters. Until I read that comment I had no idea I could have access to something like that. My first solo written book was published in July 2014. I learn something new about self publishing everyday. After all of this I can't see myself ever trusting anyone enough to cowrite again but, and it's a big but. If I do, I'll be using every plagiarism checker I can find to ensure the integrity of the work I didn't personally write.

Elle's actions not only ruined her reputation but they jeopardised mine along with many others who helped us during the process of publishing our book - beta readers, editors, formatters, cover designer, and bloggers. I can only imagine how JM Darhower must be feeling about all of this. It should never have happened. Our readers and reviewers must be feeling betrayed and I completely understand. We've all been betrayed by Elle in one way or another.

I've seen a number of authors cowrite and only heard a handful of horror stories about the process, some are due to the sharing of royalties, others the disagreements about plot lines. I wanted to put my story out there as a warning to other authors considering cowriting. Be careful who you jump into bed with. Not everyone is trustworthy.

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