Is self-publication enabling authors to plagiarise?

I was reading Wallace D. Wattle’s book titled The Science of Getting Rich which was first published in 1910. Boy has it stood the test of time! Wallace made some predictions in his book that have truly come to light. For instance, he foresaw the opportunities that the ‘electric railway’ would be bring for many.  This passage caught my eye:

“But the electric railway business is still in its infancy, and offers plenty of scope for enterprise; and it will be but a very few years until traffic and transportation through the air will become a great industry, and in all its branches will give employment to hundreds of thousands, and perhaps to millions, of people.”

There are lots of historical facts in the book that are truly riveting. Wallace’s writing was revolutionary in that he was proposing new ways of thinking such as have been recently adopted by believers in the Law of Attraction like Rhonda Byrne who authored the best selling book, The Secret. Entrepreneurs like Patric Chan, whose ebook, Simple Success Principles I reviewed, have unashamedly lifted chunks of passages from The Science of Getting Rich. 

In an age where we constantly need things done in lightning speed, Kindle Direct Publishing has been a God send for such people, as well as authors on zero budget as one can have a book published in five minutes and selling on Kindle stores within 24 – 48 hours, all for free. Chan himself, suggests a straightforward way of publishing a book; by compiling one’s blogs [into something that is at least not nonsensical], give it a title such as “53 ways of …” and Wham Bam!, two days later, it’s selling on Amazon Kindle. Having read tens of books on Kindle, it is  clear to me that proof reading is not a requirement prior to publishing for Kindle, nor is editing of the kind that seeks to identify plagiarised materials. Now, as I have banged on to my students, the infringement of copyright is a serious matter. Copyright and plagiarism are similar where the former requires permission for use of someone’s work and the latter necessitates proper attribution.

Chan’s ebook on Kindle is no master piece. It is riddled with grammatical errors for which he makes no excuses (good for him). I have said before how I admire the book but I do wonder about the little issue of plagiarism. Chan briefly mentions Wallace’s book but fails to make proper references and appears to have copied the text, word-for-word, in places. The following passage is from Wallace’s book:

You must lay aside all other concepts of the universe than this monistic one; and you must dwell upon this until it is fixed in your mind, and has become your habitual thought. Read these creed statements over and over again; fix every word upon your memory, and meditate upon them until you firmly believe what they say. If a doubt comes to you, cast it aside as a sin. Do not listen to arguments against this idea; do not go to churches or lectures where a contrary concept of things is taught or preached. Do not read magazines or books which teach a different idea; if you get mixed up in your faith, all your efforts will be in vain. Do not ask why these things are true, nor speculate as to how they can be true; simply take them on trust. The science of getting rich begins with the absolute acceptance of this faith.

And this passage was taken from Chan’s eBook:

“You must lay aside all the other concepts of the universe except for this monistic one; and you must dwell upon this until it is fixed in your mind, and has become your habitual daily thought. Read these creed statements over and over again; fix every word inside your memory, and meditate upon them until you firmly believe what they say. If a doubt comes to you, cast it aside as a sin. Do not listen to arguments against this idea; do not go to churches or lectures, where a contrary concept of things is taught or preached. Do not read magazines or books which teach a different set of ideas; if you get mixed up in your faith, all of your efforts will be in vain. Do not ask why these things are true, nor speculate as to how they can be true; simply trust them with all you have. The science of getting rich begins with the absolute acceptance of this habitual faith.

Your thoughts on this will be very welcome!

Until next time!

Email marketing

Slightly taking a detour from the rigours of internal self-improvement of the past weeks, today I will write about the most current interest of mine, perhaps placing focus a little on taking real Action. This week I have been reading a book by Dr Andy Williams titled SEO 2017 and beyond. Andy is my favourite SEO authority and he happens to write programs that solve digital issues. You know which ones I mean? When you buy an app and you find you need to buy another to make the former work at optimum level etc.
As a writer, I like to observe different writing styles and ‘SEO 2017 and beyond’ made me take a closer look at the media that I indulge in on a daily basis. eCommerce, currently, Email marketing is an interesting one for me and the following are my tips for people who want to get into that area of marketing.
• ‘Get started for FREE’ [these words will set your prospects reeling. Afterall, everybody loves freebies]
• ‘This is a one-time only opportunity’ [create urgency]
• Are you a … or…? [get people worried about being one thing and not the other and that’s when you can direct them to becoming this one thing at the same time driving them towards the product that will help them become that thing]
• Tell a real sentimental story and ask if they resonate with this story then suggest how you got over your problem and that’s how they too can overcome [building a relationship based on commonality]
• Give lots of valuable but FREE information. Suggest to your prospects that they can progress even further if they buy your product [Most crucial. The free info. must be of high quality and way more than what the niche expects. Remember, this is the information age. Information is golden.]
• Make your niche feel like they are part of a private tribe; they are special; you favour them above all others. [relationship building]
• You must never sit on the fence. Do not be everything to everyone. [If you do, those people will only buy from you one time and one time only]
• Exclude others and draw your niche closer because they will buy from you over and over again [relationship building]
• Convince your niche that you are a big deal when it comes to what you are doing [authority]
• Be brutally honest, self-deprecate sometimes. [people love to think that you are not all perfect. They can relate to that person more]
• Show millions of happy customers [people are social creatures so when you involve other people, trust is built; and maybe likeability]
• Place links on the email after every paragraph or two, linking to the product you are pushing [Call-to-Action]
• Embolden some text [it shows that this is the most important thing about the email]
• Place spaces carefully between each line of text [not sure why but all the best SMM gurus do this]
• Show them the lifestyle they want through either the use of seductive words or imagery [make them desire something even more; it’s not the same as creating desire though]
• Google Alerts will enable you to monitor new Keywords in your niche. Alerts can be sent through email or RSS feeds which you can add to a Feedly account (Feedly is a tool that notifies you of any new content from your competitors’ websites). This will enable you/your company to have your finger on the pulse. Share the breaking news on social media and you become an influencer [this is essentially a job for the person who does the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) for your website but I just I like it sooo much I had to mention it. Besides, I happen to think copywriters could assume the role of the Breaker of News if the SEO and SMM are not engaging in it]

So, there you have it, you budding copywriters.

Till next time…

Patricia