Being an independent author and publisher isn’t easy. You’re oftentimes trying to produce quality material on top of holding a day job and without the marketing budgets big publishers have to bring in the readers who make it all worthwhile. It’s even more difficult when you produce good stuff because, inevitably, other authors and publishers will steal that stuff and without a multi-million-dollar legal team, you’re pretty helpless when it happens.
I’ve already dealt with the suspicious similarities between my first novel “Gods of Ruin” and the subsequent Netflix series “House of Cards” including characters quirks, plot points, and branding. After getting some legal advice, however, I resigned myself to the fact that there was nothing I could do about the apparent creative theft.
Recently, a friend pointed out a book that again appears to have been heavily influenced by my work, this time, the spiritual fiction “Now and at the Hour of Our Death“:
I haven’t read “The Good Girl” by Mary Kubica, and from the looks of it, the book has little to do with mine except for the fact that the protagonist is ostensibly a “good girl.” Still, the similarities between covers (appearance of the model, piercing blue eyes, copy over the face, similar sans serif font, blue-gray color wash) are hard to ignore, especially considering I got feedback that my cover was too edgy when I released the book in 2013. I admit that “The Good Girl” design is an improvement on mine but the it still doesn’t warrant theft.
Maybe there’s a little divine retribution here. After all I did take my title from a fairly popular prayer…
In any case, there doesn’t seem to be much I can do about it legally. I can, however, always take solace in the idiom imitation is the greatest form of flattery and the fact that readers seem to like my book more (4.2 star rating on Goodreads versus 3.7). Now, if only I could get some of the attention (and sales) the big publishers garner for their books!
Update: it looks like the book may have inspired in other ways too from the looks of the television show Jane the Virgin: