Harper & Collins and plagiarism

First, a disclaimer.  I have no idea who LK Rigel is, other than she is an independent author who obviously takes a great deal of trouble and care with her marketing and covers (unlike me, who relies on the sheer genius of the written word).  She has a novel, Spiderwork, that she commissioned the cover for from Nathalia Suellen.  I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look like the sort of book I’d buy, but then I doubt middle-aged married men is her key demographic.  However, what incenses me is that Harper and Collins apparently tried to buy the cover artwork from Nathalia, and when she declined, shamelessly ripped it off for their novel, Bewitching by Alex Flinn.

How can an established publisher like H&C have so few ethics?  How do they think they can get away with it?  I have emailed them, and I would encourage anyone else to do likewise.

Compare the two covers here and see what you think.


About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

One Response to Harper & Collins and plagiarism

  1. snodlander says:

    And here’s the very note I wrote:

    Dear Harper and Collins

    I am writing to you about the artwork on your publication Bewitching by Alex Flinn. It appears you contacted Nathalia Suellen, the artist for the independent book Spiderwork by L K Rigel, with a view to buy her artwork. When she declined, it looks as though you ripped off her artwork anyway. The similarities between the two are too remarkable to be coincidence, especially given the previous communication you had with the artist. I note with interest your site contains the following legal message:

    This Site is owned and operated by HarperCollins Publishers Limited (“HarperCollins”) and the information and materials appearing on the Site (“the Content”) are displayed for personal, non-commercial use only. All software used on this Site and all Content included on this Site (including without limitation Site design, text, graphics, audio and video and the selection and arrangement thereof) is the property of HarperCollins or its suppliers and is protected by international copyright laws

    Apparently this is a case of one law for you, another for everyone else. I would ask that you urgently review the artwork for this book, especially given the current discussion the established publishing world is having re Intellectual Property rights of paper-based publishing being at threat by e-media.

    One day the world will recognise my literary genius and will beat a path to my door begging to publish my novel. At that point I will have to seriously consider whether I want to be represented by a publishing house that seems to be so ethically challenged.


    Bob Simms
    Future Nobel prize for literature winner

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