Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Blog Reviews, Website Pages, and Plagiarism

Every so often, I get asked one of two questions.

"Why do you not have a page for ________ series on your series-books.com site?"  The questioner then makes a comment about this being strange because I do have reviews of the series in this blog.

"Why do you not have blog reviews of ________ series?"  The questioner then makes a comment about this being strange because I do have the series listed on my series-books.com website.

Let's discuss why this is so.  And it's not strange at all, despite what some might think.

Let's consider when I last read certain series.  I have not read the Dana Girls series in more than 20 years.  I had no website or blog over 20 years ago, so that's why I have no reviews.  The same is true for other series like Vicki Barr, Judy Bolton, and Trixie Belden.  I have not read them in 20 years or more.  I can't have reviews when I last read them before I was ever online.

Starting in 2003, I began building the series-books.com website.  I started with Peggy Lane.  I continued from there, working steadily on adding pages through 2008.  In 2008 and 2009, I continued adding pages, but at a slower rate.

In early 2009, I began selling on Bonanza (then Bonanzle).  That took up a lot of my time, since I had to promote my booth.

Take a book at my blog archive.  I began writing many posts for this blog in 2008.  Back then, the posts were mostly about selling sites and problems I was having.

As I added some pages to my site in 2008 and 2009, I did write some reviews of those series in this blog.

In November 2011, I began reading the original and revised text Nancy Drew books.  I reviewed every book in this blog.  I continued reading straight through to #175 and followed up with Nancy Drew Girl Detective.  I wrote reviews of every single book.

Since that time, I have been much more likely to review books here than set up a page about a series on my website.  Adding a page to the website is a lot of work, probably more than most can appreciate.  It's not like I can just slap up a few pictures and write up some text in a few minutes.  The entire process usually takes many hours over the course of many days or even weeks.  I am not inclined to do that these days due to the work involved.

Furthermore, I am not likely to add any additional pages to the website since other websites and blogs have copied large amounts of information and images from it, including series book summaries written by me, without any credit given as to the source.  My Vicki Barr page has this note:  "The summaries appearing on this page for volumes 12 through 15 were taken from the dust jackets, and the summary for volume 16 was taken from the pre-text synopsis."  That statement means that I am the author of the summaries for #1-11, so any other site that has my Vicki Barr summaries of #1-11 has copied them off of my site without permission.

Additionally, all Penny Parker and Dana Girls dust jackets seen anywhere on the Internet that have the appearance of being perfect with no flaws were sourced from my pages here and here.  The images were not online until I put them there, and now they are everywhere.  Some sites and blogs have cropped off the spines to try to hide that my images were used, but I am not fooled since I know the images intimately.  Even Project Gutenberg took my Penny Parker images without permission, and now my images are on actual printed books that can be purchased online.  It's too bad I wasn't paid for all the time I spent on them.

The series-books.com website is most likely now complete.  I see no reason to create additional content for others to use without permission.  For some reason, they don't copy the information out of this blog.  They seem to think that the website is there just so that they can copy the content.  And don't tell me to watermark my images.  That should have been done 15 years ago.  It's a bit late now.

I mentioned that website pages cannot be done quickly, and blog reviews also cannot be done quickly.  Even reviews that are very brief take up more time than people realize.  When I wrote up the last batch of Sweet Valley High reviews, I spent three hours on them and didn't take a break.  I also spent at least three hours, maybe more, when I wrote up my Kay Tracey reviews of #13 through 18.

I also don't write reviews of all books that I read.  I quite often don't write up anything.  Sure, it would be nice to create a website page and write a review of every book and series, but I don't have the energy or motivation to do so.  I am not being paid for this.  If this were a job, then the information would be quite complete.  I do this for fun.  So you get what I feel like giving.

I am also not two people, even though some of you think I am.  I am not Jennifer Fisher, who runs the Nancy Drew Sleuths.  My name is Jennifer White.  It's a bit distressing that people think that one person can do everything that both of us do.  Putting together conventions is not in my skill set.  I could never do what Jennifer Fisher does.  I have my hands full just keeping this blog going.

If you want to know what I think of a certain series, check the website and this blog.  For many series, the information will be in only one place.  For others, you might get lucky and find information in both places.  But you should never think it odd to find information in one place and not the other.

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