You may or may not have seen Chuck Wendig’s joke about being able to create an ebook with 100,000 instances of the word ‘fart’, slap a cover of a baboon peeing into its own mouth on it, and self-publish it on Amazon:
This is true-ish, in that I can literally write the word “fart” 100,000 times and slap a cover of baboon urinating into his own mouth, then upload that cool motherfucker right to Amazon. Nobody would stop me. Whereas, at the Kept Gates, a dozen editors and agents would slap my Baboon Fart Story to the ground like an errant badminton birdie.
It was a joke, although not everyone saw the humor in it (as is true always of jokes). Nonetheless, @phronk went to a lot of effort to make the joke real, and because jokes can go viral it quickly gathered more reviews than the average book (most were 5 stars of course) as well as likely earning more money than most authors see in their lifetime (this is not a joke, and actually only needs to be a small number to be true – the long tail is long, folks).
Charles Stross threw in some commentary of his own. The book isn’t just fart repeated over and over; it’s broken into paragraphs and sentences with punctuation and so forth. It raised this interesting question:
If I take an existing novel and replace all the words with words of my own, retaining only the punctuation and pagination, is this plagiarism?
And this raises the converse idea: taking Baboon Fart Story’s structure, and replacing each instance of the word ‘fart’ with an actual english word to craft a coherent narrative!
There is much more of course, and it’s worthwhile reading here: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2014/02/baboon-fart-odyssey.html#more