British author Jeremy Duns is at it again. Once known for his debut novel Free Agent, Duns has spent the last 4 years of his life following other authors in an attempt to catch them doing wrong. Recently, he begged Wikipedia to delete his page as he claims he is “not notable.” Unfortunately for Duns, Wikipedia articles report what is found in sources and most of the sources about Duns contain information about his attempts to out authors for plagiarism or for leaving positive reviews of their own books. Or sometimes for simply not using their real names in chatrooms and forums.
In 2011, Author Q.R. Markham was called out for plagiarism with his book Assassin of Secrets. The book was initially praised by Jeremy Duns on his blog, but shortly thereafter the accusations surfaced. An extensive article in the Wall Street Journal quoted Duns on numerous occasions, showing examples of how Assassin of Secrets plagiarized at least 13 different novels. In addition to the article in the WSJ, Duns also documented the accounts of plagiarism on his blog.
A month after Duns exposed Markham, Lenore Hart was accused for plagiarism for his book The Raven’s Bride. The accusations were leveled by Jeremy Duns on Hart’s Facebook page. The accusation is that Hart used excerpts from the 1956 novel The Very Young Mrs Poe. Duns took to his own blog to post excerpts from both books comparing the texts. So as opposed to working on another great novel, Duns spent his time on Facebook and his blog in order to take on a fight that was already being dealt with by the publishers of both books. According to an article in the Washington Times, “Duns and Hart exchanged angry messages…on Hart’s Facebook page.”
Mr. R. J. Ellory is a best-selling thriller writer from the U.K. In 2012, Duns exposed Ellory for writing phony reviews on Amazon.com. Duns did this in a long series of Tweets on Twitter over many days. According to an article in the Telegraph, Duns only exposed Ellory after it was brought to his attention by another author who was concerned. Ellory wrote positive reviews of his own books, but he also left negative reviews for books written by other authors. Duns did a great job of exposing Ellory who more than likely would have continued with the phony reviews until caught by someone else. Ellory later issued an apology for his actions.
In August of 2012, Duns went on Twitter to attack British writer Matt Lynn and to accuse him of using pennames on internet forums – something that almost all forum users do. Mr Lynn ignored Duns’ rants, as do most of the writers that he attacks.
In 2012, Duns decided to take on Britain’s “Steven King” when he attached Stephen Leather. In an article in the Guardian, Duns accused Leather of picking on a writer by the name of Steve Roach. The article accuses Leather of making sockpuppet accounts on Twitter to attack Roach. In fact Roach has gone public with the fact that he was never bullied by Leather. Duns has also accused Roach of setting up fake blogs to attack him. A check of Duns’ blog also shows extensive history of accusations and complaints that he has made about Leather. Duns also stalked Leather’s Facebook page as he pulled a statement from Leather claiming to have paid someone to clean up his Wikipedia page from a “troll.” A check of the edit history for Leather’s page shows that this information was previously added, but later removed.
Dr Booke Magnanti:
In February 2013, Duns launched yet another attack on a wrier, this time against Dr Brooke Magnanti. Dr Magnanti had written a light-hearted article in the Daily Telegraph about Valentine’s Day. Duns launched a vicious attack on her, claiming that she had used information from Wikipedia page to compose her article. Guess what Duns? So did I.
And now…Jeremy Duns:
Jeremy Duns made a formal plea to Wikipedia on January 11, 2013. Upon looking at the history of his Wikipedia page, it is obvious why. The revision history of his page shows that between January 4 and January 6, 2013, there were numerous additions made. These additions included references to his outing of Hart and Ellory and his exchange with Hart on Facebook. The statement that sticks out the most was from the opening paragraph that states “Duns is most notable for being a critic of book reviews, attempting to out authors who write reviews on their own books.” Duns’ objection had to do with the addition of this information as he stated there are “tons of other more relevant things [he] has done in [his] career,” and then went on to explain he didn’t want to debate those “things” with strangers. Mr. Duns’ request to delete his page was not granted as the response from someone on the request stated “under normal circumstances could probably easily be removed from your biography, either as a one-off event or an undue addition, except you kind of have form for this (linking to articles where he was named for outing authors).”
While there is nothing wrong with Duns attempting to expose what he feels is wrong, it comes down the “glass house” theory. When you put yourself in the spotlight, regardless of the type of spotlight, you cannot expect to hide from what you are doing. Although once known as a gifted thrill writer, Duns has officially become the “publishing police.” Or as he likes to describe himself, ‘The Witchfinder.’