Mad Cow Alert! Elizabeth Llewellyn

Dear, dear Readers, it has been too long. Get out your popcorn and beer. Ready?

You read my review of Putting My Foot Down? Fairly innocuous, I thought, but I guess I was wrong. (Well, no, but that’s the reason for this post) Turns out my old, dear friend, Elle, she of Suicide Ride infamy has also posted a review of the “book”.  And she gave it 5 stars.

Whatever.

But it now seems that between revisiting my review of her book, trashing her family and mother-in-law, proclaiming her deepest admiration for tRump, and using her dead husband to bolster her claim of victimhood, Elle has found the time to take exception to my review. Of someone else’s book.

Someone needs to take her bottle and keyboard away cause she’s a nasty piece of work even without the booze.

One of my (many, cherished) minions sent me this:

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I did not have it taken down, I sort of wanted the cray cray to remain for all to see but it did get taken down, along with several of her other comments but we’ll get there in a minute, so she returned because Elle has to have the last word.

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My “stank toe”… oh, yeah, this one is a writer. Not half as much as she thinks she is. But wait! There’s more! There was one other one star review and Elle just had to drive by and take a shot (first from the bottle then on the keyboard).

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No dissenting opinion is safe. And before any more of you ask, that is the way she writes, drunk or sober and if you keep asking I will post parts of her now unavailable books to prove it.  (She claims she removed her books to give them to a legit publisher so they will get what they deserve. Yeah.)

Well hell, what do I care if some drunk, desperately searching for recognition  heifer from the South wants to take what she fondly think of as the greatest potshot in history? I don’t but Monday afternoon after I had spent the day doing things in the life I don’t have (according to so many of my adoring followers like Elle) I opened my emails to find this.

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What the everloving fuck? If you guessed Elle, you guessed correctly. She commented and down voted all these reviews. Some comments Amazon had erased before I got there and a couple didn’t make any sense, once or twice she made more than one comment.

This is a woman who claims all of us haterz  want to be her. No. Oh, no. Hell to the no.  Who in their right mind would want to be this mess? Want to know who the heifer follows on Amazon? Not her friends whose books she reviews (in violation of the TOS), no not them, she follows one woman.

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I’m so, well, not flattered. Maybe a little creeped out. And a little concerned for the people she is fixated on living close to her. Okay, she had her fun, moo-ving on. But wait! There’s more!

Tuesday emails brought this.

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I think she managed to comment on all of them. Who doesn’t have a life? I’m thinking it’s the heifer, must be the grass looks greener outside of her pasture.

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An image of a Belted Galloway. It takes a brave bovine to wear a wide, white belt around the widest part of their body but the BG is a fashion forward cow.

Back to our heifer of the hour. Since I didn’t respond and Elle is desperate for attention she interrupted her regularly scheduled post about being a grieving widow to post this.

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Yes, I have pissed off a few deserving souls and I own it. The most amazing part of the post above is if you go to that Google search one of the top posts listed is one I reposted about Weinberg’s limp attack on John Green.  But they all mentioned my name so they all must be about how terrible I am.

I have a lovely collection of screenshots (no surprise) all about Elle but leave you with this link and this screenshot.

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Is this enough recognition for you, Elle, because all those screenshots do not paint a flattering picture of you.

 

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Amazon Modifies Its TOS to Prohibit Incentivized Reviews

On October 3 Amazon posted a notice of an update to their customer reviews. This mainly addressed the problem of incentivized reviews that has been a topic of much sometimes heated discussion lately.

From Amazon’s TOS:

Promotions and Commercial Solicitations
In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, content and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including:

Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your (or your relative’s, close friend’s, business associate’s, or employer’s) products or services.
Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your competitors’ products or services.
Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else.
Offering compensation or requesting compensation (including free or discounted products) in exchange for creating, modifying, or posting content.
Posting advertisements or solicitations, including URLs with referrer tags or affiliate codes.
The only exceptions are:

You may post content requested by Amazon (such as Customer Reviews of products you purchased on Amazon or received through the Vine program, and answers requested through Questions and Answers). In those cases, your content must comply with any additional guidelines specified by Amazon.
You may post an answer to a question asked through the Questions and Answers feature (but not a question itself) regarding products or services for which you have a financial or close personal connection to the brand, seller, author, or artist, but only if you clearly and conspicuously disclose the connection (e.g., “I represent the brand for this product.”). We automatically label some answers from sellers or manufacturers, in which case additional disclosure is not necessary.
You may post content other than Customer Reviews and Questions and Answers regarding products or services for which you have a financial or close personal connection to the brand, seller, author, or artist, but only if you clearly and conspicuously disclose the connection (e.g., “I was paid for this post.”). However, no brand or business may participate in the Community in a way (including by advertising, special offers, or any other “call to action”) that diverts Amazon customers to another non-Amazon website, service, application, or channel for the purpose of conducting marketing or sales transactions. Content posted through brand, seller, author, or artist accounts regarding their own products or services does not require additional labeling.
Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review.

For more information and examples, read About Promotional Content.

There is a lot of discussion many places about the disclosure on reviews and, yes, you still need it. Please note that not only will it not save your Amazon reviews but it will make customers distrust any review you post. And any author who encourages this.

Like this one.

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Then she sort of leaves it up to the reviewer:

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I know she has been evacuated because of the hurricane so hopefully when she returns home (may it be in one piece) she will find her misplaced good judgement.

Add the disclaimer. If you lose a review on Amazon, it’s just words. If you don’t disclose and people find out you’ve been receiving books you review for free, well, you might lose their trust and that is something  a lot more important than any review.

 

Whatever Became of Laura (Harner)?

We’re going to talk a little bit about plagiarism, no, we’re going to talk about Laura (L.E.) Harner. I think for a very long time to talk about one will be to talk about the other. Last October Harner made a name for herself not for her prolific writing, she already had that, but for her blatant theft from two other well known authors, Becky McGraw and Opal Carew.

Yes, I posted a blog and two heads-ups about the situation, here, here, and here. Beyond the plagiarism itself was the way Harner acted, or didn’t act, once she was exposed. First, there was nothing, then I heard a series of excuses from second hand sources, then more nothing, her sites went silent, then this showed up about two weeks later (I think).

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I remember people wondering how long it takes to say, “I’m sorry,” or how long it took to consult with legal counsel before saying, “I plagiarized”. I guess the better part of forever. On the 28th of October The Guardian posted an article about Harner/McGraw/Carew and Herner again took care to avoid actually owning her bad actions.

“Made mistakes”, “might have crossed a line”, “working to address concerns raised by two authors who have accused me of plagiarism”, are not really admitting you outright ripped off the work of two fellow authors. This avoidance by Harner pretty much guaranteed that she wouldn’t be given much sympathy especially after she asked,  “please do not judge me too harshly”, in the same statement. The book community following this mess reserved their sympathy for McGraw and Carew.

In November the RWA gave Harner a lifetime expulsion.And then there was the sound of crickets for months.

Then on February 13 Harner broke her silence and posted on her website and FB page:

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This screenshot is from her repeat posting. The original is on my other laptop and we aren’t communicating well at the moment. The apology, which has disappeared from both sites raised a lot of questions:

Why did it take so long?

Why didn’t Harner apologize to Carew?

Was this part of some agreement made with McGraw?

Why was it so much about Harner and her feelings?

Is she really sorry or just sorry she got caught?

And my answers are:

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

Right about now, I’m pretty certain she is very sorry. At least for herself.

So let’s talk about now, what is Laura doing now? Turns out Harner released a new book in April. Not having read Harner before this I do not know how well her other books have shown at this point but Broken SEAL is rated 3.3 stars on Amazon (3.87 on Goodreads) at the moment.

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I checked her the rest of her books on Amazon and while most of them never rise above double digit numbers of reviews almost all of them are rated better. I would say not too bad considering.

I am sure we have all seen a book listed or a post by an author stating that the book has been revised, maybe lengthened, maybe a different title, maybe under the author’s other pseudonym. Maybe an author revisits a sort story and realizes that now that short is a book. If the book moves from one publisher to another the content might undergo some changes. No one has a problem with that.

There is usually an announcement and a “Previously published as” in the front of the book.

On June 21 A Perfect Storm by Annalise Alexander, a “new”, “unknown” author,  was released. You have to ask yourself is Harner learned nothing from her foray into plagiarism. On the 28th Jenny Trout posted a new Don’t Do This Ever because a reader had sent her her concerns about the very similar content of A Perfect Storm to Harner’s Whiteout. Had the plagiarist been plagiarized?

No.

Harner has a new pseudonym, Annalise Alexander, but sadly not a new book. With a change in the weather- from a blizzard to a hurricane, new names, a few other details, about ten more pages, Harner/Alexander published Whiteout as A Perfect Storm and charged $2.00 more for it.

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Ummm, no. This did not go over at all well. Harner self publishes under her own Hot Corner Press.

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Notice the publisher? Now on Smashwords:

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You have to ask, would one author publish another author who has plagiarized them? But then on Barnes & Noble:

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A different publisher and on Amazon:

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Still another. Not sure what is going on. Harner has been in the business long enough to know that there is a large number of readers/reviewers/bloggers that will ferret out all the discrepancies. Harner can’t afford discrepancies. Harner can’t afford to be anything but transparent.

There’s nothing wrong with being a formulaic author, we all know and read at least one, well I do. And there is nothing wrong with rewriting a previously published story. If you don’t tell your readers what you’ve done you can be sure they will tell you. Some of them might use profanity when they do.

But there is something wrong with what Harner has done. And I have to ask, is there no one close to her who can stop her? A family member, an editor, a beta reader? Anyone? Someone to say, “No, Laura, that is not a good idea, your readers won’t like that.”

Once again she isn’t giving any explanation for her decisions,

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there is another strong wave of disgust,

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and I have to wonder if Harner can be saved from herself.

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Please, no.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting My Bitch Flag Fly

Self published authors have a hard time finding bloggers that will review them and here is a shining example of why that is.

Dear author, the everyone is talking about,  first I have to address a couple issues with your book. “”What is this?” I asked with in-trepidation.”  In-trepidation?  No. Please see the definitions below and choose wisely (hint:  choose the second).

Simple Definition of intrepid

  • : feeling no fear : very bold or brave

Simple Definition of trepidation

  • : a feeling of fear that causes you to hesitate because you think something bad or unpleasant is going to happen

Then there is this sentence,  “Do I make you feel things you’ve never felt before?” , I am positive that there are a few talented writers out there that could make this line work but I am equally positive that you aren’t one of them. You can’t even write a decent non-apology.

And now let us speak about that non-apology, it starts out innocently enough, “Dear Authors, Readers, and Bloggers alike, I do want to clear up some misconceptions about all of the things that have been circulating around on social media recently:” And then it rapidly slides down Mount Whatthefuck,  ” I’m sorry that you either didn’t enjoy Quinn or simply refuse to read this series due to the latest events that have transpired on social media. I appreciate your true and honest feedback, I truly do.”  I suspect that the honest feedback you’ve been getting since your little FB plea has been far, far too honest and if you really appreciate honest feedback than I wouldn’t be writing this.

People have misconstrued my words on a post that was screen shot and then circulated.First of all,
I did not call this particular blogger a bitch. I said “flag that bitch” – it’s a colloquial term – as in “flag that review” – and it was in NO way shape or form meant to demean that particular blogger. One cannot “flag” a person on Goodreads – they can, however, flag “reviews”. Hence : “Flag that review”” Umm, no. Why no? Let us look at a screenshot.

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You refer to “some blogger”, then “flag that bitch”. then “People LIKE her review”. Blogger, bitch, her, c’mon do you really think anyone believes you meant the review and not the person?

“I absolutely feel horrid that this blogger thought I had called her that name. For that being taken out of context, I apologize. I would never want to take a hurtful jab at anyone or hurt their feelings. I would never call or think to call anyone, let alone a blogger a bitch. Anyone who knows me, has NEVER seen, read, nor heard me call a person a profanity on any public or personal thread, period. So yes – I screwed up – because Flag that bitch sounds bad any which way you spin it.”  Yes, you certainly did screw up and nothing was taken out of context. And here we see the first mention of another problem:  the dreaded “anybody who knows me” denial and innocence excuse.

“People who know me – know my heart and soul – and they know I was not coming from a bad place when I posted my request. Believe me when I say I have had my fair share of poor reviews – and I had never before taken action or offense to them over the past two years that I have been writing.” You weren’t coming from a bad place? So, you were filled with joy and love when you called on your fans to “flag that bitch”?

“Yes – I had disagreed with this bloggers review. Just as it is this bloggers right for her to have her own opinion of my book – I felt I had a right to my opinion about her review. Why is that so wrong? Why must I be afraid to not voice my own opinion when readers so clearly can?” Why, oh why, can’t I call the bitch a bitch, you cry. How about because the bitch, uh, reviewer isn’t trying to sell her opinion. You, however, are trying to sell this piece of crap.

“I felt that one particular blogger was making a mockery of me and of my story – This blogger clearly went out of her way to find (in my eyes) demeaning gif’s to compliment each of her derogatory paragraphs in-between. It was my interpretation – just as it was your interpretation that her review was fantastic.” Bless your heart, you can’t count either. There were three gifs, three. Here is the review, please have someone count the paragraphs for you. I guess demeaning is open to interpretation, be happy that none of them were of a pigeon shitting on a book.

“I want to be as open and candid as possible in this situation, because it is only fair for you to see my intentions, and my mistakes for being a human, as well as my remorse. I am woman enough to admit when I am wrong – I most certainly ran on emotions – and afterwards had a smack me in the head moment – because in that moment of emotionalism, I was NOT thinking. I should have contacted that reviewer.” Got news for you, you still aren’t thinking. Contact the reviewer, are you insane? It’s either insane or jaw-dropping stupid. Remember only one of you is trying to sell something. And the reviewer is entitled to her opinion.

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“All of the comments thereafter that ensued on this bloggers thread both on Facebook and on Goodreads were distasteful, unprofessional, and frankly I was taken aback. It was to my understanding that there were certain guidelines for one to follow when reviewing books with Sullivan + Partners. I was under the impression bloggers were to first and foremost supposed to communicate with them if they felt the book was under a 3 star read before posting a review. This did not happen.” You do realize you are insulting people again? I think your understanding had less to do with reality and more to do with wishful thinking. And I wonder what Sullivan + Partners think of you right now.

“All of the bloggers that have been working with Sullivan + Partners have been so incredible and professional, even the negative reviews had been so professionally crafted. So I was shocked and taken aback by this particular review, because of the cartoonish tone which was full of satire, and snippets that were taken out of context. Again, this was my own interpretation.” I have some bad news for you, even in context your writing is not all that good. And you really need to familiarize yourself with the idiom “out of context”. You don’t seem to know what it means. And you keep subtly and not so subtly harping on the “unprofessionalism” of the reviewer, I thought you were apologizing?

“I had placed all bloggers working with Sullivan on a pedestal, because even the 2 – 3 star reviews were of quality caliber and objective. When I saw this particular review I had thought surely this reviewer didn’t come from Sullivan.” She read your crappy book, she gets to say it is crappy. Her writing is much better than yours. Much better. Light years better. And she uses the correct words, you need to consult a dictionary. Often.

“Yes – I had asked some of my team members to flag that review – because honestly – it was one of the first reviews I felt was malicious, demeaning, and full of derision, and it hurt. I do have feelings, we all have feelings. However, it may not have been the way you would have handled this situation, but at that particular moment in time, it was my way of handling it – right or wrong -” Call me crazy but I’m not really seeing an apology anywhere in this rambling mess  of “it’s everybody’s fault but mine”. Right or wrong? As incredible as it is to me this isn’t your first book  and you claim to have had 2 star reviews before so you just decided that you wanted to be the latest snowflake to meltdown? It’s a pretty mild review.

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“I’m terribly sorry all these bloggers felt “I took the cake” – as well as jumped to the worst conclusions about me and my character. As I said, if you knew the entire story – both sides of the coin – I don’t believe you would be feeling this way toward me. There is nothing I can do to change your view point of me, and for that I am saddened. I truly am.” If there’s another side to the story then let’s hear it but so far all I’m seeing is excuses. Get to the point.

“I strive very hard to keep all drama off my pages – as well avoiding all forms of gossip, calling people names, publicly calling people out, or having malicious intent to down others. I have been nothing but supportive of readers, authors and bloggers alike.” This is my first encounter with you and you are presenting yourself as a whining entitled snowflake. Good first impression.

“We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God, do we not? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Why is it okay for both readers and bloggers alike to now trash me – publicly circulating only half the story – all the while “judging” me and running me down? The anger and derisiveness those people are exuding has been far worse.”  If there is another side of the story, get to it. But just because you didn’t like that review is not the other side of the story, it is your excuse for very bad behavior. I heard you didn’t just post a call to arms on FB but you also posted this on Goodreads:

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You commented then deleted those comments on reviews on GR you didn’t like,  and you were trying to mess with the book database. That is a very big no-no. GR isn’t going to be forgiving. Then you posted this in response to a fan who tried to talk you off the edge:

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What’s with the whole real life/fiction thing? She didn’t like your writing. Stop trying to make it something else. And, um, “Fuck that”? What happened to striving not to name call? What happened to keeping it drama free? Honey, you are the 600 lb drama llama of the internet right now.

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“I have always taught my children there are 2 sides to every coin and to not make a decision on judging until they know the entire story from both sides. I truly feel that if people knew me  – they would have seen this in a different light. I’m just astounded that others who were NOT involved – have chimed in the way they have – quick to judge, and quick to trash me, and my character when they know nothing about me, or the entire situation. Nor do those people know my heart or just how giving of a person I am, nor do they know how much sleep I have lost over this debacle.” We know that you melted down like any other snowflake, asked your fans to flag a review that did not violate GR’s TOS, called reviewers trolls, reviewed your own book and made snotty remarks about readers/reviewers that didn’t like your book, tried to alter the book database, and made this rambling hot mess of excuses and tried to pass it off as an apology. Your character is thinner than the ones in your book.

BTW, people have the right to rate your book however they like and why would anyone recommend your book now? You’ve attacked one reviewer then proceeded to spew over all the one stars. What will you do to the next person who doesn’t like your book?

“Nobody knows how much another person is going through at any given moment in their live. The things within peoples personal life can sometimes stretch a persons ability to deal with certain matters and situations which would normally have been brushed off with ease. This was one of those cases. It is hard for me to believe that nobody has never been short-tempered before, or reacted to something rashly when their mental and physical limits have been stretched so very thin. I am most certain those people would want to have grace and forgiveness displayed to them, and I’m am doubly certain they wouldn’t want one of their most weakest moments spread to all four corners of social media either.”  Well, if you flop it out there people are gonna talk. Forgiveness is granted to those who ask but you haven’t asked.  It wasn’t a weak moment, once you got started you didn’t seem to know when to quit, or maybe you didn’t want to quit.

“I only wish this person who felt they needed to screen shot a post that was meant for my team – to have come to me personally and had a one on one discussion with me – asking me to explain myself – it would have been the right and professional thing to do, no?” Why is it everybody but you has to be professional? You are the author, sort of, when are you going to be professional? Will it be any time in this decade?

“This entire scenario deeply saddens me, and the outpouring of judgement without asking me my side, is even sadder. I felt I needed to explain my side to you, because I am not “that” author. I am simply not. I may be unfiltered at times, but my heart is genuine, and I would even go so far as to give those who dislike me the shirt off my back.”  What side? Did anybody see her side? “Nobody knows how much another person is going through at any given moment in their live. The things within peoples personal life can sometimes stretch a persons ability to deal with certain matters and situations which would normally have been brushed off with ease.” That isn’t your side and it’s a pretty bad piece of writing.

“Now that you have heard the other side of the coin, there will still be people who will hold no grace or forgiveness in their heart. This saddens me as well. Those people will be content to remain angry and “quick to judge” and I cannot fix that or change their mind about me or my character no matter what I do or say.”  You cannot change their minds because you have done nothing to show you are sorry for your actions.

“I had a new reader contact me last night. Instead of trashing me publicly, she approached me via messenger to clear the air and her conscious. I so very much appreciated that. She wanted to discuss this with me before passing her own judgement on the situation. I gave her the above letter you just read – and this was her response.”  And now you will try to show people the correct, according to you, way to handle their unhappiness with your actions. Here’s the thing, once you put it out in public you don’t have control of the situation anymore.

“READER RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE LETTER

Thank you for responding. And I appreciate you explaining. I see your point; however, it wouldn’t be my way to handle the situation, it was your way and that’s your right.

I certainly understand “things we all go through” as my husband has stage 4 cancer. He is the love of my life and we have been married for 35 years. I am a 54 year old high school registrar, my husband is a teacher. As I said I have always been a reader. It’s my escape to another world and

gives me peace and enjoyment. I had just finished your book this morning and immediately preordered book 2 which I understand to be out on 4/19. I will read it at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital for yet another day of treatment for my husband. For you see even though I didn’t care for your post I am still a fan, a new fan of your work, and I will continue to read your books.

MY RESPONSE:

well, now your making me cry. lol. I am sorry about your husband, and I will most certainly say a prayer for him.

It just saddens me that people just assume I’m calling others a name such as that, and jumping the gun. – when I did not.

Thank you for your kind words – they mean a lot to me right now. Stay strong. xoxo

HER FINAL RESPONSE:

I’m sorry I assumed too much. I saw the post and felt you called the blogger a bitch. I was disappointed because I loved your book so much! If nothing else I got to speak with you and now I know you’re a caring person, a Mom and someone that prays!

Keep writing! You have true talent! God bless”

And we get to see you as a caring, praying mom. Is that reserved only for those that contact you using your approved methods? And what has this to do with making an apology?

“AND  THIS  ABOVE is why I write. This is what moves me.  This brought literal tears to my eyes, because I care about other people, what they are going through, and I care about their pain. I told her I would pray for her and her husband, and I have and will continue to do so. Somewhere inside I am outraged by your using God in your petty and outrageous actions against those reviewers who didn’t like your book and/or your actions.

“It’s not about money for me, it’s about connecting with readers who are needing an escape from the realities of life and their own pain even if it’s for a few hours. This is my character , this is the real me, and this new reader  touched me on a very deep level. THIS is what it’s  all about for me. It’s about connecting with readers and touching their lives in a positive way.” It’s good it’s not about money because I think you tanked this turkey.

“I am only sorry and disheartened your first impression of me was in a negative light. I by no means meant anyone any ill will, harm, or malice. I had acquired all of the participating blogger names to add into the acknowledgement section of both my paperback books and digital books, thank all of you for taking time out of your busy ARC schedule to read for me. All of those blogger names will still remain in my books no matter what you think of me, or my books, because I am still appreciative of the time you took from your busy schedule to even read the first book.”  Ye-ah, you certainly appreciated all over the place. I would hate to see what you do when you aren’t appreciative.

In the book the heroine packed her vibrator when she went on the run in a national park. The author posted this picture on GR along with making remarks 2, 4, and 6 in the conversation that followed.

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For someone who claims to avoid name calling and drama you  certainly couldn’t prove it by your actions. Let’s take one last look at those actions:

You took offense at a 2 star review and asked your followers to flag it.

You left a review of your book which was basically a way to diss any one star review.

You posted some not very drama-free comments in various places.

You tried to alter the GR book database.

You wrote this “apology” wherein you explained how good and righteous you are and all those reviewers who didn’t like your book aren’t. An apology isn’t about you, you, you.

Your “apology” is rated

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Manifesto- I’m Not Impressed

The more I think about Harris’ puff piece, the more irritated I get. Couldn’t she have put just a little effort into this?  Let’s start.

“In a world in which the internet, with its forums and discussion groups, has blurred the line between readers and writers almost to invisibility, the relationship between one and the other now seems increasingly difficult – audience participation in the creation of art is considered by many to be not only legitimate, but desirable.” JH

I don’t think the internet has blurred the line, I think inexperience and eagerness has blurred the line. Inexperience, on the part of authors especially. Far too many authors use the internet in a way that invites fans, casual readers, bloggers, any passing stranger to view their private lives and opinions. When you know all about someone’s kids, their malfunctioning furnace, their contributions to a candidate’s presidential campaign, their homophobia, the conversation they had with their agent/publisher/editor,  where and what they had for dinner, then the line has more than blurred.

Readers/reviewers/fans aren’t to blame for this, this rests squarely on the authors. A number of the more outrageously behaving authors, Harris included, seem to believe that anything goes on social media. Not if you don’t want those blurred lines. I’m firmly of the opinion that authors, for the most part, should have an author account/page and a private one.

The author page should be friendly but professional. The private one where the author connects with only their trusted friends and not anyone connected to their profession is where they can vent their opinions and frustrations. Not saying an author can’t share a little of their private life with their readers but far, far too many authors share far, far too much.

I don’t need to know an author’s views on hot button topics like religion, abortion, or politics. I really, really don’t want to listen to an author complain about their fans, those are the people supporting them, and all too often authors seem to think that buying their book(s) is not enough. How many times have you read an author urging their fans to leave them (only) positive reviews? How many times have you seen authors asking their fans to join their street teams or review teams?

Part of this is because authors now, even if traditionally published, are responsible for all or most of their own promotion. And once again (most) authors are inexperienced. Authors, who thought they would only have to write the book and someone else would sell it for them or it would magically sell itself are finding that the writing might be not the hardest part of the process. Self published authors complain about this all the time, what did they think was going to happen?

Is the relationship between reader and author increasingly difficult? Only if you are an author like Harris, or Annie Rice, or any number of overly entitled self published ones. You want to vent about how much you don’t like us? How we don’t know how to read your book? Why we aren’t leaving you glowing reviews? How dare we dislike your latest release because of what you did with the main characters? Do it where we don’t see it. In private. To a few trusted friends.

Please leave us with the illusion that you are the truly wonderful person we like to think you are. Nora Roberts- looking right at you.

Now we tackle the audience participation part- are you crazy? What the hell. I can’t quite figure this out. Is Harris talking about reviews and discussions that complain bitterly when a book doesn’t go where a certain group of readers think it should? Like the whole Charlaine Harris/ Sookie Stackhouse finale fracas all over the net?  Aside from the threats of violence directed at Harris, something that readers should abhor and denounce, it was certainly interesting to watch a very large group of people get a rude awakening. Charlaine went where she was always going and all those discussions all over the net didn’t change her mind.

Audience participation? Only if the author wants it or encourages it and then they can’t or shouldn’t complain about what happens.

“Both on and offline, everyone has an opinion. And everyone has a platform from which to disseminate their opinions. Much of the time, this is a good thing. It allows a potential dialogue to exist between readers and creators. It allows readers to get in touch with the authors of work they have enjoyed. It allows writers to understand where and how they might have gone wrong, and how they can improve and grow. However, this breaking-down of barriers has also created a false sense of entitlement, giving some readers the impression that artists and writers not only inhabit a privileged world, in which there are no bills to pay and in which time is infinitely flexible, but that they also exist primarily to serve the public, to be available night and day, and to cater for the personal needs of everyone who contacts them.” – JH

Oh look, Harris and I agree on something, everyone does have an opinion, dialogue is good, readers and authors talk, everybody learns something, and then we part ways. Harris now speaks of “some” readers. At this point I want to break readers up into three groups- readers like myself who know quite a bit about the process of producing a book, the readers who just like to read and maybe leave a comment occasionally on an author’s page, and the reader who Harris has chosen to talk about.

“Some readers”, I checked my Websters’ and one definition of some is a fairly large amount or number. Oh, really? I suspect that Harris is taking one of her all too frequent swipes at readers who do not hang on and agree with her every word. Let’s do something that would make Harris’ head explode, let’s adjust the text- just a little.

“This breaking down of barriers has not, in some cases, educated readers and authors enough, there are those from both groups that have a false sense of entitlement, giving some authors and readers the impression that artists, writers, and readers inhabit a privileged world, in which there are no bills to pay and in which time is infinitely flexible, they also exist to primarily serve the public or the writer, depending on who is doing the thinking,  to be available night and day, and to cater to the personal needs of every writer or reader who contacts them.”  There, all better now.

Yes, “some” readers think this way but so do “some” writers. I suspect Harris is one because if she weren’t then she might be more interested in producing a commissioned piece that speaks to the problems created by both sides and not just the ones she wants to bitch about.

Do you remember this blog from September? The one where an author gave instructions on what to do for a “free” book. Yeah. Well, Joanne, I hate to burst that pretty little bubble you are floating around in but readers have lives. too.  They have jobs and bills and not enough time in their day just like any artist or author. They don’t have the time to write and post reviews everywhere, they don’t have time to post their reading progress everywhere, they might have precious little time to even just read a few pages a day, they might have had to budget carefully to buy your newest book because money is tight but they want to support you and to find out that some authors feel that just buying that book isn’t enough isn’t helping the reader/author relationship. “Some readers”, Joanne, don’t have the luxury of being your unpaid publicity machine.

Don’t complain about the problem, fix it. Set boundaries and rules, not just for readers but for writers, for yourself. Follow them.

“This is partly due to the fact that there are so many more writers than there were fifty years ago. The rise of self-publishing, e-books and fanfiction means that far more people are now able to identify as writers. And although this is a good thing in many ways, it does also help perpetuate the idea that anyone can write a book, and that the people who actually do so are simply luckier, wealthier, or blessed with more spare time than those who do not.” JH

“Some” of the people who think this way are writers, or they think they are.

“The truth is, not everyone can – or should – be a writer, in the same way that not everyone can or should be an accountant, or a ballet dancer, teacher, pilot, soldier, or marathon runner. The same combination of aptitude, experience and acquired skills apply to being a writer as to any other job. We would never think of telling a doctor that we were thinking of taking up medicine when we retired. We would never expect a plumber to work for free – or a plasterer, for publicity. We would never expect to hear the word “privilege” of a teacher who has spent their career working hard to earn a living. We would never expect a lawyer who has paid to go through law school to tutor aspiring lawyers for free.” -JH

I agree that not everybody who thinks they can write should write. I agree that you need  talent, training, and experience because that’s how you become successful in any field. And then I’m going to disagree again. Because sometimes doing a job for free or for the publicity is beneficial to the person doing it. I know someone who paid for the privilege of being on a board of directors. It was expected, it is necessary for his position.

I don’t expect authors to write for free but that is a judgement call that they might have to make. There are discussions between SPAs all over about free books. Should they, shouldn’t they?  With the explosion of self publishing I believe that a free book is a good way to find readers. And here is a whole discussion for another time but authors expecting to make a living writing nowadays are authors who haven’t done their research.

“And yet, and yet, these demands are made of writers all the time. Perhaps it’s because the value of writing is such a difficult thing to quantify. Everyone dreams. Not everyone gets to dream for a living. But are we writers expecting too much? Can we keep artistic control, whilst expecting to earn a living? And, in a world in which the consumer increasingly calls the shots, can we still hope for a relationship with our readers that transcends that of mere supply and demand?”– JH

No, they are not. If you don’t want to offer a piece of work for free- don’t. Sometimes though it can work to your advantage. I’ve been self-employed for 25 yrs. Sometimes the money doesn’t flow freely. Sometimes people think you should work for free or next to nothing, sometimes they think anybody can do it. So what? I venture that everybody in any profession encounters some for of this carp. Writers, artists, aren’t that special.

Are writers expecting too much? They are if they think like you do. Can you retain artistic control? Well, Joanne, that is between you and your publisher. I love that you think consumers call the shots. We buy books. We buy books that we enjoy. We buy books from authors we like. The beauty of writing is the writer can almost always find someone who will read their book. The question is can they find enough readers to make their work profitable.

If you want a “relationship” with readers then by all means have one. Set the rules, set the boundaries. Is someone going to complain about your work ? Absolutely. There will always be complaints, you’re complaining right now.

“Not long ago, I was involved in the debate around an app called CleanReader, which contained an algorithm that picked out and replaced “offensive words” in e-books with “acceptable substitutes.” Thus, “breasts” becomes “chest,” “bitch” becomes “witch” and any kind of profanity is reduced to a series of American euphemisms, making nonsense of the text, its rhythms, style and meaning. Writers rallied round to combat the distribution of this app, which was swiftly withdrawn from sale. But the designers of the app, a Christian couple from Idaho, wrote to me several times to protest that readers, having paid for my books, should have the right to change my words if they disapproved of them. Readers are consumers, they said. Therefore, just as a person ordering a salad in a restaurant should have the right to ask the chef for a different dressing, readers should also have the choice to enjoy a story without being exposed to language they deem offensive, or ideas that challenge their perceptions. After all, they said; isn’t that why writers exist in the first place? Are they not there primarily to serve the needs of the public, and does it not make sense that they should take those needs into account?” -JH

Joanne, bless your heart, let this go. This couple is earnestly bat shit. They probably only read the Bible and tracts published by certain Christian publishers. If someone is that afraid of words on paper then you just have to realize that nothing is going to help them. Let. It. Go. They. Are. Bat. Shit. Crazy.

“Well, of course our readers do have a choice. And of course, we writers owe them a great deal. But a novel isn’t a salad with interchangeable ingredients. Nor is the reader entitled to order from a menu. As writers, we are always grateful when a reader chooses one of our books. We hope that they will enjoy it. And most writers value feedback and dialogue with their readers. But ultimately, a reader’s role is different to that of a writer. And a writer’s role is to try to convey a series of ideas as honestly and as well as we possibly can, with minimal interference, and most of all, without being distracted by heckling from the audience.” -JH

Readers have the choice to read your books or not. The only thing you owe readers is a well written book. You owe readers and yourself to be professional in your interactions with them. Thank you for being grateful, it just doesn’t sound that way. Yes, Miss Obvious, a reader’s role is different from that of a writer. Duh.  If your book is already published no one can interfere of heckle. If you are writing a book and you can’t handle your social pages then get an assistant and let them. No one is standing next to you barking orders in your ear while you write. No one can interfere with your writing unless you let them.

“The fact is that the writer cannot please everyone all of the time. We shouldn’t even try – fiction, by its nature, should present a challenge. Books allow us to see the world in different ways; to experience things we might never encounter – or wish to – outside the world of fiction. Fiction is not by its nature a design for living, nor an imaginary comfort zone. Although it can be both those things, its range goes much further than comfort or escapism. Fiction is often uncomfortable; often unexpected.  Most importantly, fiction is not democratic. It is, at best, a benign dictatorship, in which there can be an infinite number of followers with any number of different ideas, but only ever one leader. Like all good leaders, the writer can (and should) take advice from time to time, but where the actual work is concerned, they, and no-one else, must take final responsibility.” -JH

Obvious. Obvious. Obvious. Obvious. Yes. Not necessarily. Mostly obvious (for another time). Obvious. Yes, take advice but if the writer is the one taking the responsibility then the author is the one setting boundaries with readers and the author is the one who either allows or doesn’t interference and “heckling”, a word that is not the best choice for a writer in this setting.

“I love my readers. I love their enthusiasm, their willingness to engage. I enjoy our conversations on Twitter and at festivals. I love their diversity, and the fact that they all see different things in my books, according to what’s important to them, and according to what they have experienced. Without readers, writers would have no context; no audience; no voice. But that doesn’t mean we’re employees, writing books to order. We, too, have a choice. We choose what kind of relationship we want to have with our readers – whether to interact online, go to festivals, give interviews, tour abroad, teach pro bono creative writing sessions or even live in seclusion, without talking to anyone. Writers are as diverse as readers themselves, and all of them have their own way of operating. What may work for one author may be hopelessly inappropriate for another. But whatever our methods of working, the relationship between a writer and their readers should be based on mutual respect, along with a shared understanding of books, their nature and their importance.” -JH

I question your love  for your readers because this whole piece so far has been one long negative description of “some” readers. Remember, some is a fairly large amount or number. And I realized something writing this, you shouldn’t be grateful for just your readers, you should be grateful for all readers. But I suspect you won’t be able to figure out why and won’t even try. I suspect your gratitude has very narrow dimensions.

I’ve read some of your opinions and that whole mutual respect thing? Mutual means shared and I sort of get the feeling you want to dictate my side of mutual. You don’t get to do that. This goes right back to appreciating all readers, appreciating their love of books, yours or someone else’s. All this lovely, lovely talk about gratitude and appreciation is negated by the next paragraph.

“On the internet I’ve seen a growing number of sites and blogs enumerating what readers expect of writers. Requests for increased diversity, increased awareness of current issues, requests for time and attention, gratis copies of books for review, interviews and guest blog posts – or simply demands to work faster. Readers have numerous spaces in which to discuss author behaviour, to analyse their politics, lifestyle and beliefs – sometimes, in extreme cases, to urge other readers to boycott the work of those authors whose themes are seen as too controversial, or whose ideas do not coincide with their own. Authors are expected to respect these reader spaces, whatever the nature of the discussion. To comment on a bad review – or even to be seen to notice it – is to risk being labelled an “author behaving badly”. Authors whose work is deemed to have problematic content are expected to analyse the cause – and in some cases, to apologize. There is an increasing call for trigger warnings; profanity warnings; age guidelines – in order to help the reader choose amidst a bewildering number of books. The demands on authors are numerous; often even daunting.” – JH

This is the “Where I will complain about all the drawbacks of being a public person and how I can’t be a bitch when I want without someone complaining about it, and why won’t these people do as I want. Also, the book world is changing and readers want things I don’t want to write, don’t want to do, don’t want to acknowledge” paragraph. Awww. We get it. Your job description has changed and you don’t like it.  Deal, oh whiny one, deal.

Not everything applies to you, not everything is about you. If you don’t want your behavior discussed, be professional. Don’t discuss politics on your business pages, use your private one. Don’t be Laurell K Hamilton. If you don’t want it talked about, don’t put it out there. Why is this so hard to understand? A boycott? So what? No one is asking for the book to be banned.

Yes, a lot of readers prefer authors not to comment on and in certain discussions because they perceive you as having a majority of the power and it is hard to argue with that. Also, some readers feel that the author pops up in an effort to change or direct the discussion into author approved channels. Go complain in private. And if you don’t want something discussed in public, don’t make it public.

Why do you want to comment on your “bad” reviews? In public. Yeah. You don’t want to comment on the review, you want to comment on the reviewer.

Don’t be EL James who has ducked, evaded, blocked, and generally been a spoiled brat about the abuse in her books. You don’t agree, you don’t want to be in endless discussions, you want it all to go away. Make a statement. Set rules and boundaries and then follow them. If readers think you got it wrong and you don’t, say their POV never occurred to you but you’re glad they are having a relevant and productive discussion but you don’t have anything to add.  Thank them for their interest in your work. Move on.

Yes, the book industry is changing, if you don’t want to set trigger warnings, age guidelines, etc, then delegate.  If this now is truly part and parcel of what a trad. pub. author must do, then do it or stop writing. Things change, things evolve. We are not required to like all of them, or any of them.

“But do readers ever ask themselves what authors want of them? Do authors ever ask themselves what they want of their readers? –JH

I would hope you want me to buy your book. I suspect you want me to shut up.

“I think that for most authors, it comes down to two deceptively simple things.

The first and most prosaic is: we want to make a living. This fact is at the same time obvious, and fiercely contested, not least by many authors, who rightly see their work as something more than just a means of paying the rent.

That’s because, many authors find it hard to talk about money. It’s considered vulgar for artists to care about where the next meal is coming from. And many authors are driven to write: would probably write whether or not they had an audience; or whether they were ever published or paid, just for the joy of writing. This is at the same time their strength, and also their downfall; with the exception of a canny few who treat art as a business, writers are often reluctant to think of their work as just another product. We do not like to think of our books as units, to be bought and sold. And yet, to the publishing industry, that’s exactly what they are; the product of thousands of hours of work: of editing; copy-editing; design; marketing; proof-reading; promotion. Publishers spend most of their time thinking about the readers – the consumers of our work – but for an author, thinking about the readers (or, even worse, the pay-check) while trying to write a novel is like thinking about the drop when performing a high-wire act; dangerous, counterproductive, and likely to lead to failure.” -JH

If you wish to continue to foster the ridiculous idea that writers cannot be expected to think about money because it’s somehow wrong to consider the electric bill or the next meal then that is your problem, not mine. If you decide you are going to make your living writing, first don’t give up your day job until you can make your living writing and second, if you can’t bring yourself to consider the monetary side of your writing then your chances of making money are low and you have no one to blame but yourself. Your dumb self.

But if, as Samuel Johnson maintains, no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money, there must be a lot of blockheads in the writing community. I’ll admit I’m one myself. Nevertheless, however much we may cling to society’s romanticized views of art for art’s sake, authors and illustrators need to pay their bills like everyone else.” -JH

You want to help the reader/author relationship? Disabuse authors of the notion that talking about money is something dirty.

“That’s where the readers come in. Many readers seem to believe that authors are earning millions. The reality is that most authors earn rather less than the minimum wage, and when touring, attending festivals, blogging, giving interviews, holding readings, writing guest posts for bloggers, too often give their work for free. That’s why it’s important for readers to show appreciation for the work of the authors we love; firstly by buying their books (as opposed to downloading them illegally); by borrowing them from libraries (because authors are paid for borrowed books, a sum which, though small, adds up and can often provide a welcome annual windfall); and most importantly, by supporting their work; by attending festivals and readings, by writing reviews and joining in discussion groups, and generally promoting awareness of their writing, and of books in general.” -JH

Many readers aren’t quite as dumb as you seem to think. We know what the financial reality of writing really is. There are numerous articles on the incomes of authors, both traditional and otherwise. We read. I would think you would advise new authors to read these articles, too, but I see it’s not going to happen.

Yes, I knew buying that book wasn’t enough. We must now provide unpaid support and promotion. We write reviews, but you were just complaining about the ones you didn’t like. We have discussions but you want to set your own guidelines on what we discuss. You want good reviews, discussions only on approved topics, and attendance at festivals and readings.

“Because what authors really want (and money provides this, to some extent) is validation of their work. We write because we want you to care; because we hope you’re listening – that we can make a connection, somehow; that we can prove we are not alone.

Because stories – even fairy stories – are never just entertainment. Stories are more important than that. They help us understand who we are. They teach us empathy and respect for other cultures, other ideas. They help us articulate concepts that cannot otherwise be expressed. Stories help us communicate; they help eliminate boundaries; they teach us different ways in which to see the world around us. Their value may be intangible, but it is no less real for that. And stories bring us together – readers and writers everywhere – exploring our human experience and sharing it with others.” -JH

If you want to know you are not alone, go on the internet. There we are. 24/7 somebody is awake and willing to talk. There is a catch, they might not agree with everything you say.

Stories are important and they do allow us insight into other cultures, that call for diversity you found to be  onerous previously is not a call for you to provide it, but it is a call for you to support it. Oh, wait, that’s another thing you might have to add to your schedule. A little support for another author.

“So this is my manifesto, my promise to you, the reader. From you, I ask that you take it in good faith, respond in kind, and understand that, whatever I do, I do for the sake of something we both value – otherwise we wouldn’t be here.” -JH

“We” are here because of posts such as yours. Where you demand much of your readers, dismiss the majority as rather dim-witted, and totally ignore any author responsibility in the difficult relationship between author and reader. You want to improve our relationship? Start educating new authors. Stop complaining about readers talking about whatever you have chosen to make public. Stop bemoaning about the evolving requirements of your job, yes, it is a job. Stop with the “you must do more for me so I can earn more” carp, recognize that for some of your readers that book is a huge investment and then calling on them to spend more by going to signings and other events so you can earn more is not being grateful, it’s being selfish. Start acting like a professional, whatever you don’t want public keep private.

I find your manifesto very one-sided, you never once call on your fellow authors to step up, you never once address what you can do to make the reader/author relationship better. Sure, you post a series of “I”s where you promise to do your job writing-wise, but that seems to be all you are promising. What else can you do? What else will you do?

There are “some” very successful and not so successful authors who don’t have the problems with readers that you do. Why? Because, Joanne, they have the smarts not to act like you do.

EL James Celebrates, Chuck Wendig Pouts, Annie Rice Spreads Hysterical Rhetoric (as usual)

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – Martin Luther King.

Hello, Dear Readers, how are you all today? I’m feeling a little ranty, so be warned. Did any of you participate in the #AskELJames Twitter yesterday? You did? You didn’t? Well, it was a rousing success. What? You’ve heard just the opposite? I know, but really, Dear Readers, what has the internet been talking about for the past 24+ hours? Here’s a hint:  Not Anne Rice.

Once again, threats of physical violence are not acceptable so all those who felt the need to leave one attached to the hashtag managed to make James the object of sympathy, so think about it.

I haven’t been all that involved with the whole 50 Shades furor because I just plain hated her writing, if you want to call it writing. James has had an interesting rise to infamy. She started by writing fanfic and indeed  50 Shades is a Twilight fanfic ripoff. Not only that but she seems to have left the fanfic community on a father sour note. There are more accounts of her fanfic days out there but I’m going to borrow a page from James’ style of research and just not bother.

What has bothered a lot of people is that James seems to like to ignore, avoid, and block those who wish to engage her in a discussion of the inaccurate portrayal of BDSM, the abusive nature of Christian and Ana’s relationship and what a lot of readers define as rape. She also likes to send inappropriate messages and engage in a little jeering and belittling* with her fans. This Twitter exchange highlights a response, to a DV survivor yet. Charming.

So. When #AskELJames appeared a lot of people had a lot of questions and a lot of snark to post. Hey, it’s not like EL hasn’t done the same. S lot of posters have been saying she should have known better, that her PR people are probably looking for their next position, and that there just wasn’t any excuse for what happened to her.

What happened to her is people are still talking about a woman who can barely write her name. Do I think she got spanked? Hell no. She’s probably laughing her ass off and high-fiving whoever thought that campaign up. People are still talking and it seems to me it’s all about what happened to James and nothing about what James has done to others.

Now we come to Chuck Wendig who wrote this post about poor, beleaguered ELM James and then this post where he pouts and whines and get sympathy because what? Oh, I guess people pointing out where you totally ignored James’ behavior and the people she has attacked is more than you can handle. A more graceless, self absorbed post I have seldom seen. Not once, not once did you acknowledge any of the legitimate issues people have had with James, not once did you point out her behavior has fanned the ire of members of the BDSM community and DV survivors. No, no, you just couldn’t be bothered.

What was it, Chuck? Did you just not bother to do any research or are these people not as important as a woman on top of the best seller lists despite her inability to write a decent grocery list? Let me give you a clue, Chuck, those people read books and now I’m betting they won’t be reading you.

“Today I peeled back the Internet curtain and looked into that #AskELJames hashtag and thought, “Well, there’s some ugly stuff going on there and it’s against a woman,”” C Wendig, Online is IRL. You know, I had to reread that line a couple times before I actually figured it out, “and it’s against a woman”, so you chose to leap on your keyboard and ride to the little woman’s rescue. “To that society, women must shout back and louder, until a woman’s voice is as unremarkable as a man’s.”– Caroline Criado Perez. So the next time you decide to ride to the rescue ask yourself if you would do this for a man and if the answer is no,  then shut up.

BTW, congratulations, you have gotten the STGRB’s seal of approval for your post. If that doesn’t make you realize your colossal mistakes and missteps then nothing ever will.

Dumbass.

Then there is Annie, what can I say? That isn’t profane, that is. If ever there was a menace to authors and reviewers online it is Annie, who never lets the facts get in her way. Annie has been trying ever so hard to silence those that she doesn’t like and won’t bow down to her. She’s even found herself a couple mind numbingly stupid stooges to do her dirty work so she can claim willful ignorance.

I guess it’s understandable in a way that Annie would want to rush  to James’ defense, she did thank her for making erotica more acceptable and thereby making A N Roquelaure more profitable. Ever the champion of hysterical, overwrought, incendiary accusations having little to do with reality this link takes you to a solid rebuttal of her latest foray into the reality only she inhabits, and this is not the first time Annie has used inflammatory language to garner sympathy for her Holy Cause, read this. And this link points out that Annie, for all her holy fervor, doesn’t really look into the James furor, she just takes the word of someone who wants to curry favor and runs with it.

Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – Martin Luther King.

ETA: “jeering and belittling

Anne Rice Is Against Pseudonyms and Alias’ on the Internet, Except When She Isn’t

[reblogged from Alexandra’s Adventures in Books]

As many of you are aware, Anne Rice supports a petition to have Amazon disallow pseudonymous reviews and postings and require real names.

It’s important to note that on Amazon while users may elect to have a display name for reviews and forum posts, Amazon knows the customers’ real name, and typically also address.  Therefore they are not “anonymous” in the true sense.

From Anne’s Facebook page, Todd Barselow posted this comment promoting his petition for Amazon to disallow pseudonymous reviews and postings on February 7,

 

“I will look forward to this. I just glanced at that petition to Amazon that I penned last year and people are still signing it and commenting on it. It has better than 9k signatures now.
https://www.change.org/p/amazon-com-protect-amazon-com-users-and-indie-publishing-authors-from-bullying-and-harassment-by-removing-anonymity-and-requiring-identity-verification-for-reviewing-and-forum-participation”

 

Anne Rice’s response to Todd,

 

“I’m glad you posted this, Todd, but we need to warn those signing it that they will be held up to ridicule in the Amazon Forums. They are defamed there and people are invited to spite them and punish the signers by removing reviews from their work. And Amazon does not take down this sort of post even though it violates their guidelines.”

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10153129926295452

Anne Rice signed the petition to require reviews and forum posts be posted under verified real names,

“Anne Rice PALM DESERT, CA

about 1 year ago Liked 25

My experience with the gangster bullies in the Forum has been very bleak and ugly. I post there under my own name. They blatantly violate your guidelines with personal insults and harassing posts. If you would only apply your own guidelines this would greatly help. I feel a lot of these people are obsessive abusers who have found some sort of dark home on Amazon tormenting writers. I urge you to take action.”

 

Interestingly enough Facebook does have a policy that requires user accounts be under real names.  Although certainly some get away with using fictitious names, Facebook has been notoriously stringent in it’s enforcement of the rule.

Recently a regular poster to Anne’s Facebook page, Granny Goodwitch, has run afoul of this TOS rule of Facebook’s, having her user account closed.  Anne has posted numerous posts on her Facebook page bemoaning the enforcement by Facebook that user accounts be real names, and calls it “harassment”,

 

‘Good Morning, People of the Page. It is a somewhat gray day here, and unseasonably cool for Palm Desert in May. I’m not at my best today, and will post when I can. I’m deeply distressed that Granny Goodwitch is no longer able to appear regularly on our page, and confused as to why she is encountering difficulties with FB. Just don’t get it. —- I think this will be a quiet day for me, reading “The Yearling,” and trying to “feel better.”‘

 

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10153360877000452

 

‘Signing off, ladies and gentlemen with this message about Granny Goodwitch and her targeting by Facebook. ‘Tis a mystery why FB has taken down Granny’s page, and subsequent pages that Granny has tried to launch. —- Granny, as many of you know is a Pillar of this page, providing links to fabulous stories about archaeology, science, and a whole spectrum of interesting topics. She is a lovely person, an inspiring person and a person of great warmth and love. I’ve met her at signings, and I truly love her for the love she has shown me and so many others. — What can we do to reach the powers that be at FB, and discover why this is happening? Yes, I know there are rules about names, apparently, but they do not seem to be logically or consistently applied. I know of people now posting under pseudonyms on FB. This is all a puzzle. What was the purpose of targeting Granny Goodwitch? —- If any of you have contacts at FB, if any of you know any way to appeal to the management, if any of you perhaps work with or for FB and can shed some light on the sudden targeting of Granny Goodwitch, I would so appreciate it. I think a lot of people would appreciate it. Please, if you can, help us to solve this mystery. I will check back in the morning for comments.’

 

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10153366610185452
“Our beloved Granny Goodwitch is once again banned from FB. She is clearly being harassed and we do not know why. Much confusion and mystery surrounds what is happening. I have received word that some others who post on this page are being harassed. If anyone has any information as to this, who is doing it, why, whether it’s an individual or a group, etc. please let me know by email. (See “About” for email.) I promise you complete confidentiality as to your identity, and your email information will only be seen by me and my lawyer, and those authorities at FB who might do something to correct this injustice. Remember even the best internet sites can be abused, manipulated, and misused.”

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10153382170515452

And as further evidence of AR’s blatant hypocrisy, she’s posted an article about reasons people use alias’ on the internet,

https://www.facebook.com/annericefanpage/posts/10153376767560452
Something people tried to explain to her when she started supporting and promoting the removal of pseudonyms on Amazon, and she called “bullies” and “trolls” and “thugs” for doing so.

 

Here’s an article on the Anne Rice – Todd Barselow connection,

 

Thanks To Anne Rice Todd Barselow Has Made All Of You His Bitches