Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheating your way to a best-seller - Achieving sales the Q.R. Markham way

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Q.R. Markham. His novel, ASSASSIN OF SECRETS, was receiving good reviews, presumably selling okay. Then comes the charge that whole paragraphs, maybe even sections covering several pages, of Q.R. Markham's novel were ripped off from other books.

It's a dark and stormy night for lots of red-faced reviewers, too, including Kirkus, which gave ASSASSIN OF SECRETS a starred review, and Publishers Weekly, which also awarded it a starred review and even mentioned an "obvious Ian Fleming influence," the ultimate in irony, apparently not realizing it was less "influence" and more "stealing."

Author Jeremy Duns did a little digging, and according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, came up with "at least 13 novels" whose copyrighted material was lifted word for word by Q.R. Markham for his novel. Duns, who was fleeced into providing an author blurb for the book, calls it "the worst case of plagiarism I've ever seen."

Frankly my dear, Q.R. Markham - which isn't the thief's real name - doesn't give a damn, apparently. He at least has the good sense to hide behind a pseudonym, not that a fake name will do him any good now.

The frustrating part of this farce for any author who has worked to create entertaining fiction and labored largely in the shadows of anonymity is that this shameless thieving dirbag, devoid of any shred of integrity person is now selling copies of his book hand over greedy fist at Amazon, despite the fact ASSASSIN OF SECRETS (Kind of an ironic title now, if you think about it) has been pulled by it's publisher, Little, Brown, and is no longer available.

As I write this, ASSASSIN OF SECRETS is ranked #234 in all books at Amazon, including #5 in Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue, and #73 in Suspense Thrillers, all stratospheric ranks I have yet to approach as the author of two thrillers.

So, Mr. Q.R Markham (I did a little digging and discovered Q.R. stands for "Quite Red-faced), congratulations. You are now famous. Maybe not in the way you wanted to be, but hey, in today's society any sort of fame is worthwhile, right?

Personally, after seeing how your book has benefitted from your shameless, shameful thievery, I've decided the time has come for me to come clean about an incident from my past. In the ninth grade, I got caught cheating on an algebra test. That's right, the kid behind me ratted me out to the teacher when I wouldn't share the answers with him.

It was both the beginning and the end of my criminal career, as I decided a life of crime and deception was not worth the potential embarrassment of being caught, something Q.R. Markham might be discovering even as we speak.

But here's the thing. I did it. I cheated. I think it's time now that you went straight to Amazon and ordered my thriller, THE LONELY MILE to discover what all the fuss is about. Teach me a lesson just like you're teaching Q.R. Markham a lesson by ordering his book.

Please. It's the right thing to do.

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