November 10, 2014

Definitely Back!

Yes, I know this is a speech I give a lot. I come back blog for a few weeks, or months, and then I fall of the face of the earth. Again. Remember those days when I blogged religiously? Well I do, and I miss them. So much!

This break was different. Between the failing health of my mom, and a recent batch of my beloved pets needing some serious medication and healing this time it was easy to stop blogging. But I’d be lying if I said that was the reason. Blogging keeps me pretty anchored and I love interacting with the few readers I have. This time I even fell off of Goodreads. Which is crazy because Goodreads is one of my top addictions. It may have even overtaken my reading time!

Not to mention that I stopped reading. The cause of all of this? Plagiarism. Strange thing is back when I first took up book blogging it only took 11 months before someone plagiarized one of my reviews. Four years later that review is still up on Amazon despite trying to get a hold of the user, which I am informed is deleted. Then Amazon has been none responsive.  I’ve been contacting Amazon and flagging the review. It’s still there. Strangely enough, only one of my comments has stuck to the review all of them getting deleted.

This year I was going about my usual check to make sure no one had stolen my reviews. Because I had know idea the first time I had been plagiarized until a year and half later. What I found was a bit sickening: 10 reviews stolen, by 3 different bloggers. Posted on on 2 blogs, Amazon, and Goodreads. (Well I guess only 2 were bloggers.) The reviewers didn’t even try to “make it their own”. Just like the first plagiarizer back in 2010, they simply copied and pasted my reviews.

It hurt having to come up with polite ways to inform them that I was aware they had stolen my content and that they needed to remove it ASAP. The first two did it promptly. However, the last blogger got really rude about it. Finally I had to threaten to do a “reveal”, and out her to the public. Which is something I never wanted to do. It was ugly and finally she did the right thing.

However, I felt mean because blogs and other accounts were suddenly deleted. Yeah, I was the victim of plagiarism. It’s surprising how the plagiarizers made me feel like a bully.

What really hurt. The thing that finally made me quit reviewing and reading, and ultimately turn my back on Book Whispers. Was that my reviews where more popular/more helpful coming from these other people. No, I don’t think that’s petty. Not at all. Anyone who has put their heart and soul into something knows that it hurts when other people take credit for it. What’s more is if other people are praising the thief.

When I write a review it’s a 5 step process, that’s not even including all the tiny steps in between. The reviews may not always be the brightest or best ones out there, but they’re my words. Opinions I have about books. Books. That one constant in my life that I love. Pretty sure my love for books is unhealthy.

That’s what the book blogging community is. A bunch of probably-unhealthily-addicted bookworms spreading the love. We’re tight knit here! So when you’re plagiarized, or someone you know is. It hits hard, and it feels personal.

So as I saw all the responses and likes of my plagiarized reviews in other peoples hands. Well, I shut down. Everything that had to do with books and my love for them got the axe. Thank you to all my Goodreads friends, and my followers who missed the posts and reviews. You guys pulled me back in.

The truth is I’m a tiny time book blogger, and I love it. I stay away from drama and I get to simply do what I want with my blog.

The final thing that helped make my decision coming back to Book Whispers and not writing that farewell post might be silly. While cleaning up my blog reader I noticed so many book blogs I started out with. Ones that I had waited 1 to 3 years to see if they’d ever start up again. While I deleted the inactive blogs and remembered the hosted events that I had done with those bloggers, it hit me that I did not want the same fate for Book Whispers.

The day I realized that I could book blog and have a place that no one could remove my reviews was so exciting. Book Whispers was a 1 month frantic brainstorm until I launched it. Every post was a thrill. Oh, how I loyally posted.

So after crisis I’m back! Sorry for the long story, but I feel like others should know.

My readers because I love you guys and you all deserve to know why I abandoned Book Whispers.

Also, while I didn’t make it public people need to know the struggle and hurt plagiarism can cause. Even though I know this post will probably get very little views, I’ve got my two cents out there.

Now with all that said. I’m back baby! Expect regular posts from here on out!

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