This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the many problems one can run into as a book nerd.
#21. When Epic Reads Steals Your Book Nerd Problems
I first saw them announce this a couple weeks ago, but the videos didn’t start until last week. And I thought for a while that I could let it go, but when the promo tweets for the series started coming in and people were reacting to it, enthralled and in love with it, my rage soared to new levels. I finally couldn’t take it anymore when I saw the following promo tweet:
Hm. Let’s review my original banner for my series of discussion posts and its tagline:
Yeah. That just happened.
I understood that this could be a coincidence..
So yeah, it really HURT to see this term that I’ve been championing for over a year suddenly be taken and no longer be “mine” – for the extent that it was (obviously I do not own a copyright on it). Immediately my heart sank, imagining all the people who would find my future discussion posts (if I could even get the urge to write them anymore after this – not only does it feel like my originality is shot, but also now there’s this sense of having “competition”, needing to race to get to a new topic first, and then presenting the most original/funny content) and then would comment, “Ew, why did you steal this from Epic Reads?” “Gosh, what a rip off.”
So, I contacted Epic Reads privately to voice my concerns. Here is their non-response.
Hi Debby,I am decidedly not. I said, “I greatly respect everything that you do (and as a marketer, see the sense in all your projects).” This does not a fan make, nor will I support them anymore after this.
I’m so happy to hear you’re a fan of Epic Reads!
We weren’t familiar with your blog before your email today so it’s totally a coincidence when it comes to the Book Nerd Problems name, but it’s great to hear you’re one of the many also contributing to the “problems” we face as book lovers.Can you hear the condescension? Because I sure can. (Also: they follow me on Twitter, and have been following me since before I even started the discussion series.)
As for your concern about your readers thinking you borrowed the idea from us, I highly doubt anyone will. Your readers have been with you for a long time now and know when you started it and new readers will easily be able to see that you’ve been doing this for some time thanks to the way you’ve titled those posts. You’re up to 20! Very impressive.Right. Right. Because this is not at all a David vs Goliath situation. You’re not at all going to overshadow me or anything. Yeah, my posts are numbered, so for this post, people might understand – I was here first. What about in 6 months from now? What about in a year from now?!
Thanks again for being a fan and for contributing to the awesomeness that is the YA book community.Thanks for capitalizing on my idea and not even saying sorry once. Also for ignoring my point about Googling the feature name beforehand. Thanks for in the future stealing my Google search rankings – oh wait, you just did already, overnight. That’s just freaking awesome. Even for accidental plagiarism, you could apologize, sound like you care for a second, make genuine comments, or ANYTHING.
I am done with Epic Reads.
I have unfollowed all of their social media channels. I have muted their hashtags “#TeaTime”, “#ARCParty”, “#BookCheer”, etc. (though I did that for a long time already because dear god do I not need the flood of spammy Tweets Wednesday nights). The thing is, watching this for so long, it starts to lose its meaning. You can only rave about and profess undying love for so many books before it becomes old and obvious.
The point of this post:
You know what would happen if it was a blogger doing this? “Plagiarism!” would be called out the wazoo – even if it was also accidental. And most bloggers? They would own up, at least give credit or recognition, probably apologize for confusion, if not change the name itself. Yet another reason why bloggers are my people – and not corporate entities.
Let me make it as clear as day:
- I am not affiliated with Epic Reads.
- I am not a fan of Epic Reads.
- I do not watch their videos.
- My ideas are entirely my own, and do not try to tell me otherwise.
- You are free to keep following them if you wish – boycotting them is my own, personal decision.
Lessons of the Day
(Oh, oh, but apparently Harper is just co-opting whatever they please online and on social media nowadays, without googling to see if it already exists.)
And if your plagiarism truly was an accident and you had the same idea organically, apologize. It can be the fakest of fake apologies and you don’t have to mean it for a second, but it’s just generally the NICE thing to do. You may think I’m being overly dramatic, but please understand that my biggest issue here is in this frustratingly disingenuous response that clearly shows me they don’t even care at all.