Are millennials really driving cancel culture – or is it their overcautious critics?

Older generations argue that young peoples insistence on equality in all things including books threatens to stifle free speech. But is that always true? I wouldnt normally air my dirty literary linen in public, but here goes. When I finished writing my novel Putney, about a 13-year-old girl who has a love affair in the 1970s with an older man and realises decades later that it was actually abuse, my previous editor at Jonathan Cape chose not to publish it. The reasons emerged this year when described in the Observer as a Lolita for the era of #MeToo. Whether there was any truth in his words or not, Franklins position reveals how much fear now exists in publishing. The balance …

Plagiarism, book-stuffing, clickfarms … the rotten side of self-publishing

Scams are rife, particularly when some authors can rake in thousands each month but high-profile victims of plagiarism warn day of reckoning is coming NSerruyas alleged plagiarism was first exposed by US author Courtney Milan, who found passages from her book The Duchess War in Serruyas novel Royal Love. After Milan went public and after highlighted by authors and readers Serruya pulled her books from sale, blaming the overlaps on a ghostwriter she said shed hired from freelance marketplace Fiverr. A former law professor, Milan was a dreadful choice to lift from as was Roberts, who has never been sanguine about plagiarism, taking her fellow novelist and former friend Janet Dailey to court in 1997. But Serruya is just one …