Nothing is yet proven and I am not personally accusing any of the people mentioned. I am merely compiling the information from other places into one easy to read post.)
So you have probably heard the news that is blowing up the twitter-sphere at the moment. About a week ago a new NA book was released, readers thought it was amazing and it started flying through the amazon charts to quickly land its way in the top 100. Earlier today someone realised why the book is so good. Allegedly it is plagiarised.
Dear Author posted this that compares sections of two bestselling NA novels Beautiful Disaster and Easy to the newly released Amazingly Broken by Jordin Williams. If you look at the comparisons you can clearly see that almost entire paragraphs have been copied with only a few tweaks being made. Accusations got thrown towards the author. That was then things started to get weird.
Jordin Williams' argument - The book was ghost written and she did not know about the plagiarism. There are 2 things overly off about that argument -
- Ghost writing makes sense when it is for a "big name" author backed a publisher. But a new, planning to self-pub author commissioning a ghost-writer? Really?
- Jordin's author bio says "Jordin Williams is a 26 year old ghostwriter turned author. She lives in Iowa and has always loved to sit down and read a good book. When she started ghostwriting books they would become popular even though she was never given any credit so she decided to write her own book, Amazingly Broken." If that is the case that she wanted recognition for her own work then why on earth would she hire a ghostwriter?!
And her review on goodreads -
|Picture from @peggysmartinez on twitter|
Also when the author first mentioned the ghost writer she said they had been hired through a site called Guru, when later asked she said it was through a different site called odesk (forgetting her lies maybe?)
The author just keeps making things worse for herself on twitter as well as making everyone following the story very confused. Apparently she is not a ghostwriter and cannot write. Ummm? Am I the only one confused?
***EDIT*** - An author interview with Jordin that can be seen here states that Easy, Rule and Wallbanger are her favourite books and that H.M. Ward is the author who most inspired her. So, we know for a fact that she has read Easy.***
Just when we all thought this story couldn't possibly get more complicated. Somehow it did. A few people have mentioned that this twilight fan-fiction Amazingly Damaged seems to be the same book. The characters have just had their names changed. This does not mean that the writer of Amazingly Damaged is this "Jordin Williams", they could be an unknowing victim of HUGE plagiarism. Or they could be "Jordin". No one knows. I have not compared these two books for myself but I have heard they are identical.
Amazingly Broken has now been removed from amazon and the authors website, goodreads profile, facebook page and twitter account have now been deleted. However, lots of people have screenshots of EVERYTHING so you can still see it all. On the Internet information never disappears.
This story of Amazingly Broken is a bit of a mystery. I can't even theorize anymore as it has gotten way too confusing. Unless "Jordin Williams" decides to put us out of our misery explaining this mass of chaos we will probably never fully know.
It is such a shame to think that there are people out their who steal other people's work (and equally sad that they are stupid enough to steal from bestselling novels). Hopefully this whole fiasco will discourage this behaviour in the future, and hopefully "Jordin" won't pop up under a new name with a new plagiarised book in the future.
Authors have been hurt by having their work stolen, the readers who have read Amazingly Broken feel cheated and scammed, and the bloggers who promoted the book feel even worse (though of course they did not know). Plagiarism only hurts and it needs to stop. We need to be vigilant; if you ever read a book and a paragraph gives you deja-vu don't just move on. Amazon needs to install some form of plagiarism checker (am I right in saying there isn't one at the moment?). They will probably need lots of encouragement for this to happen.
If there is anything I have missed in this story please let me know! There is also a chance other books have also been plagiarised into this book; I dread to think what will be unearthed now people are looking.
***EDIT 27/06/13*** - There is a possibility that this person has done things like this before. Allegations (as yet unproved) have been made that Jordin Williams also has published works under the names Emily Curran and Liz Thomas. If I am remembering correctly Emily Curran is also the same person who created the goodreads group and blog Booksy Cup freebies and bargains (I got a invite to this from Emily Curran and though she is not visible as a moderator the blog states an Emily as the creator. Also according to an old goodreads discussion I found about these two authors they are also linked to someone called Beth Klein.
Some of the books by these authors also apparently have a similarity or two to Easy and Beautiful Disaster -
If you look at these authors profiles they have all rated each other books 5 stars (and only having rated a very small amount of books that is a massive coincidence). They have also been doing lots of helping out with Amazingly Broken eg. liking all the 5 star reviews. If these people are all the same person as Jordin Williams there is a chance all their books could also be a result of plagiarism. I really hope not as otherwise she/he/they have been getting away with this for quite a while.
***Further Edit*** - It does appear that the authors I mentioned above are all "Jordin" as is an author I didn't mention as I couldn't find anyone else who had mentioned her back then - K.A. Andrews. All of these have now disappeared from goodreads and other places. There is a decent post here that sums up all the connections. It also mentions someone called Emma Buch who co-wrote one of Beth Kleins books and has rated all the others. I am not sure if she is also the same person as unlike the others she didn't rate all the books 5 stars (2 actually got 1 star reviews) and she still has a web presence. (*Yet another edit* Emma Buch has now also disappeared from the web as have several reviewers and beta readers who had given glowing reviews to some of these books.)
Here's a pretty image that shows most of the connections and similarities between these people.
I will keep this updated as more things are discovered.