The case of Rachel Ann Nunes shows how indie authors are easy prey for plagiarists. This is the story of how one self-publishing, e-book author plans to win the fight against plagiarism: Rachel Ann Nunes, self-publishing indie author’s story.
Rachel Ann Nunes, Self-Publishing, E-Book Author, and Victim of Plagiarism.
“She stole my life’s work—my book—added sexually explicit scenes, published it as her own, then bashed me and my work using real school children’s names, and there is nothing I can do about it.”
In the past, if someone plagiarized a novel, the perpetrator could expect a speedy lawsuit brought by a publisher with deep pockets and a powerful legal team. “No one would try to plagiarize Harry Potter or The Firm,” says Farland, “because if someone did, their publishers would sue. The books’ authors, J.K. Rowling or John Grisham, wouldn’t have to lift a finger. But in the indie world, the cost of protecting a copyright is borne by the author, and the legal cost is far higher than most authors or small publishers can pay.”
Indie author Rachel Ann Nunes discovered ‘how costly’ when a plagiarist stole her popular Christian romance, A Bid for Love. The thief added explicit sex scenes, changed the title, and tried to publish the stolen work under a pseudonym. Book bloggers discovered the theft and alerted Nunes, but the plagiarist refused to back down, instead engaging in a cyberwar of threats, harassment and sock-puppetry against Nunes, the true author. The alleged thief, Tiffanie Rushton of Layton UT, who at the time was an elementary school teacher at nearby Farmington Utah at Eagle Bay Elementary in the Davis School District, even used the names of her third-grade students to promote her self-described “smut” and attack the real author.
If a plagiarist had done this with The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks or The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, people would be up in arms. If it had happened to Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, her publisher would gleefully rush to make an example of the plagiarist. But Rachel Ann Nunes is left to fend for herself.
Nunes has already spent over $20,000 pursuing the case, and she expects to spend tens of thousands more. “She’s stolen my book,” Nunes writes. “Do I let her steal my financial future by getting into huge debt to pay for legal fees to make her stop? If I don’t, I might as well just email her all my future manuscripts, because there will be nothing to stop her from plagiarizing them as well.”
Unfortunately, authors like Nunes have no protection. The legal system considers plagiarism to be a civil matter rather than criminal. So indie authors and small publishers are at an extreme disadvantage. While being a plagiarist might not be a criminal matter, the harassment happening to Nunes is.
“There are a lot of writers groups,” says Farland, “like the Romance Writers of America, and the Author’s Guild, but they are not set up to help indie authors who need to defend themselves against theft. The only way we can stop this is to unite as authors. Helping Nunes is only a first step. If we don’t show this new breed of book pirates that this stops now, the number of thefts will spiral out of control!”
Nunes is in deep financial trouble. Most authors don’t make much money. “I’ve helped Rachel set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise the estimated $100,000 required to sue this plagiarist,” says Farland. Rachel cannot prevail without your generous help. Sites like GoFundMe are the indie author’s salvation when attacked by these plagiarists. To read the whole amazing story of this plagiarist (and please make a comfortable donation while you are there), go to The Rachel Ann Nunes Story of Plagiarism on a Self-Publishing, Indie, E-Book Author.