A Serious Business Question About The Quentin Rowan Scandal

I hinted at this story a few days ago, with a teaser link.  Essentially, it was discovered that Assassin Of Secrets, the debut novel by Quentin Rowan, contained multiple sentences that were pilfered from other novels.

According to an excerpt from an emailed confession cum explanation, Rowan says: “Once the book was bought, I had to make major changes in quite a hurry, basically re-write the whole thing from scratch…”

Okay, okay. Stealing sentences from other people’s novels (dishonestly and without ironic intent) is a Big NoNo, but what I want to know is why a debut novel that was clearly not ready for publication was already bought?!  More importantly, why was Rowan allowed to “skip the line” in front of other debut authors who are repeatedly told to have their novel ready to go before even considering a query letter to an agent?

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