Maud Fitch wrote:My pet peeve is what I call piggyback publishing, when books are written and published in the style of a current bestseller, right down to similar titles and copycat covers. Be original I say!
I couldn't agree with you more. I see an awful lot of this going on with both books and movies. It is all about making money it seems. Long ago I used to fence (swords, not wire screen partitioning). My instructor was a former Olympic epee champion. I mention this only to assure you this was a serious class and not just fun-and-games. Shortly after I joined, our class was told by our instructor that we were expected to attend an upcoming competition as observers. The protective vests worn during the competition and the swords were connected to electronics which would record "hits" when contact between them was made. The whole object was to hit the opponent's vest with the tip of the foil thus recording a valid strike, or hit. To my amusement, amazement and disgust I noticed that on several occasions the competitors (who were all very experienced fencers) would wind up in very awkward and convoluted positions, and in very close proximity to each other. At these times they would grab the tips of their foils and jab repeatedly at the opponents vest to score a hit. This was not fencing ... this was cheating in my opinion. Unfortunately it was totally valid according to the rules.
This is what writers do when they copy another person's style, premises, title, or book cover so closely that it skirts the borders of plagiarism. I have no respect for any writer or publisher who would stoop to marketing ploys such as this simply to make money. The fact that it takes place is testament to the fact that many people are duped by it. It may be legal but it is unscrupulous, disgraceful and cheating. If a writer cannot succeed gracefully, with talent, they should get the hell out of the business. The same goes for fencers.