Be prepared, we’re going in dry!
I’ve spoken before about authors getting miffed at their readers, ones that are crass toward the genre they write in, and how a certain review site can be a minefield for the unsuspecting. For the subject matter at hand, I’m afraid I’m going to have to leave out names at the request of the bullied author. This little spat that’s going on, while done by an unknown indie author, has shaken my writer friend to the core. I have taken numerous screenshots of the asshattery for potential use, should the fates shift the money her way, to file a libel/defamation suit. Karma willing, they’re get some spiritual smack down sooner or later.
Yes, it’s that bad.
My author friend has many publications, several that I’ve read because I love her writing style, and is in the process of taking her books that were previously with a publisher and self-publishing them. Beauty of a contract with a publishing house is when it’s up, you can walk away or keep on trucking. Plus, the manuscript is 99.99% clean.
Slipping your toes in publishing itself is a daunting task and akin to slathering yourself in chicken fat to run through a tiger cage. When a writer gets a few under his or her belt with a publisher, goes through the hardship of editing, and gets one out there it’s nothing to dismiss. Just like there are self published authors that go through the process of hiring an editor and some who believe that tossing anything with a cover on it through Amazon makes them a god.
Okay, to the meat of it. My friend, a seasoned author who has gotten her butt torn in two with critiques–some by yours truly–knows how to take a critical eye to a manuscript. This is not for the weak. I’d trust her with giving me the honest truth and not get butt hurt about it.
However, this wasn’t the case with someone who gave her their self-published book and asked for feedback. She attempted to read the 100k+ monstrosity however found flaws in the writing. Not the characters, the plot, or the like but the run on sentences, structure, and flow. I’ve downloaded a sample, as I didn’t want to spend the money, to see if her critical eye had some merit. You know, form my own opinion. Let’s just say she got further than I did. The third page into my kindle, once I got through numerous pages of THIS IS COPYRIGHTED! YOU CAN’T QUOTE ANY OF IT!, was one whole paragraph … and it continued onto the next. Not to mention the sentences that never want to end. Holy mother of a lizard. WTF?
She explained the issues and offered, if they wanted to send a few pages, she’d give them a more detailed of the structural issues. This was all done privately, not publicly. That’s when the shit hit the fan. They became verbally abusive about her ‘attack’ of their precious little baby.
So imagine trying to help a new author, as others had done for you at the beginning of your career, and having them attack you for your efforts? Oh but it gets better. This particular person decides to take what was said privately and places it on their Facebook for anyone, even non-friended people, easy access to read. Then it’s proclaimed as a review for their book. Surely she doesn’t get my book! Look at how she insults me! Tries to use me to sell more of her books and oh! I’m reading her book so I’ll post a fair, unbiased review perhaps insulting that she helps bestselling authors with their editing and can’t edit herself.
Oh and the mob mentality came out in full force from that. People like “I’ll never buy her book!” “OMG! I read your book, what does she know?” “I can’t wait for the sequel to your book it was so good!” performed fellatio like a two-dollar whore in this author’s honor.
The most laughable thing, for me, is that this newbie author posts on their little-known blog that my author friend did this all to draw attention to her book (insert the several posts on the offended author’s Facebook wall, blog, etc about their book). Okay, I take that back. The most laughable thing was that a few people asked for where the review was posted so they could reply. It was all cricket serenades on that particular query.
This person even got another author to post something on their rarely read blog about it. You know what that makes that indie author? Fair game in a libel/defamation suit.
noun: defamation; plural noun: defamations
the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.
I don’t care if you’re a world famous author or just starting out, trying to destroy another’s reputation by spreading lies and untruths isn’t the greatest character move. I’ve seen big dogs being torn down to size by acting like they’re above not only the law but human decency.
For my friend’s part, she’s done the right thing by not reacting to this person’s growing personal attacks in an unprofessional manner. She’s using other means to deal with it and I commend her for her direction.
Me however? I don’t take kindly to bullies and will continue to take screenshots and save them for when she needs them. Internet is forever, people. It doesn’t forget. You’ll always have to pay with cache, ;)
One final note, as I’m seeing more slanderous activity afoot. To call to the masses–however small your blog following is–to have them download a sample of the alleged bad review author’s book and review it on that is proof of what kind of person you truly are. Go on with your bad self with your mob mentality, even if it’s only a few blokes on the corner waiting for the pub to open. /sarcasm