Monday, April 11, 2011

Blowing The Lid Off: Bad Shenanigans In Author Land!


I’m floored. Just absolutely floored. And I think that may very well be a strictly Southern expression so basically what I’m saying is I’m just absolutely pissed off and it’s to the point of being so bad I’m lying on the floor with it!

We hear the old “authors behaving badly” all the time. But it’s usually in reference to something they have said or done publicly. Well, let me tell ya…it’s not just the public persona that needs to maintain professional standards…AND…remember exactly what friendship means.

No one ever talks much about what goes on behind the scenes, do they? It’s all whispered. It’s the truly DIRTY end of this business. No publisher selling your book and conveniently forgetting to send you your money, keeping the rights to your books long after your contract has expired can surpass some of the antics that go on behind closed doors. If you think that an author having a melt down on a blog is bad behavior, remind yourself of some of the downright mean-spirited things that go on in private.

We all know it happens, too. And if you didn’t know it, you suspected.

There are cliques in the publishing world, aren’t there? This group of authors hangs with this bunch. That group hangs with another bunch. You can tell exactly who are friends, can’t you? No problem. It’s great to have friends online. You need to bond with other authors. And oftentimes that bonding comes about through shared publishers, shared genres, or even shared battles you’ve won together—or lost. I know I have some dear friends due to a couple of publisher closings that left us with our jaws dropping. Bonds are forged, lifelong friendships are made. All good, right?

Not necessarily.

Don’t let friendship get in the way of good judgment. Don’t let that one friend talk you into something you should not do. Don’t let the pack mentality become so rabid that you attack when it is just plain damn wrong. Think!

I’ve recently become aware of an incident that involved that pack mentality. A group of author friends going to Amazon and giving one-star ratings to two other authors to be exact. Yep. How do I know this? Well, when you get ready to email someone, make sure you select exactly who you want that email to go out to when that drop down menu appears, okay? And you’d best check all recipient names before you hit send, too.

The authors who had planned this are very very lucky it wasn’t me they were going after. The two they had targeted want all of this to go away, but know I’m blogging about this, know I won’t use any names. Why? Because I promised them I wouldn’t use names. I gave my word. Something that the unholy alliance of authors who planned the Amazon sabotage probably wouldn’t understand. But if it were me? I’d publish their names and the email that was accidentally intercepted. Damn straight I would.

I’ve been around the block a whole lot of times, and there is no way in hell that I’d let that bunch go without public humiliation. I liken what they planned to do, what they have so obviously done before to other authors judging by what I read, to career murder. If an author can commit career suicide, surely sabotage should be viewed as murder.

Now, in another entirely unrelated situation, lots of authors have been complaining about getting bad ratings at Good Reads. A couple of M/M authors I talked to last night have had twos tossed up less than an hour after a book’s release—and the books would have taken much longer than that to even read. But it’s not just within the M/M genre this is happening. It’s happening to M/F authors, too. There is also the matter of Facebook taking down pages with no explanation whatsoever—to both M/M and M/F authors. The reason I am pointing out that it’s happening to both is because no one needs to think this is genre-based. It’s not. It’s about erotic content in general.

Several authors have said that the Facebook take downs occurred a few days after they had accepted friendship from someone they deemed to be of an ultra-conservative religion. Hmmm…when you get a friend request, make sure you take a look at that person’s page before you accept. If their profile is set to private and you can’t get any info? Well, I’ve accepted in the past and then deleted later on when I discovered the person was not a true reader and just a guy looking for women. Or when I’ve discovered pics and statements made on the page that are contrary to my beliefs. Lately? If a page is set to private, I just don’t accept. Period.

With the Good Reads ratings, some authors suspect it’s other authors giving the bad ratings. Why would they do that? Same reason they were going to do it to the authors above on Amazon. Jealousy. The author is good, getting too much attention, better sales, or just plain rubs them the wrong way. But there is something else to be considered here too. Put aside ultra-conservative fanatics. Put aside jealousy from other authors. What about authors who don’t write erotic romance and consider it porn?

Have you ever come across one of them? I have. And it wasn’t pretty.

As soon as they find out you write erotic romance—BAM—they don’t want to talk to you anymore. And if you are published with a digital publisher? Well, you don’t rate a simple howdy do! And no, not all authors who are published or aspire to be published with NY publishers only are like this. Not at all. I’m just giving you the different possibilities for these ratings that seem to be cropping up everywhere these days. Conspiracy theory? No. Shenanigans! And the not so funny kind at that!

And about those bad ratings showing up less than an hour after a book is released and it would take much much longer to read the book? Well, what about when the book releases and less than an hour later, it shows five-star ratings? Same thing—just the flip side. Hey! Rate your own book a five. That’s cool. Damn straight it is. You worked hard for it. But please wait until the day after it releases, will ya? LOL See, I consider that okay. But what isn’t okay is when an author registers with Amazon or even their publisher with several different email addresses and leaves all kinds of glowing comments for herself and that wonderful five star—occasional four-star rating (just to make it believable), now is it? Basically, if a book goes up today and I go back the next day and I see fifteen glowing comments? I’m going to read them. Yes, I am. And not everyone is good at hiding their writing style. You see, as an editor, I’ve learned to mimic various author styles of writing. I’m one of those who could vary my reviews on these sites and get away with it! LOL Joking, joking, joking. It’s just not something I’d do. I’d know I did it and it would bug the hell out of me. But not everyone does a good job of writing these reviews. So when I spot these hoards of readers going to a site and posting glowing reviews, it catches my attention, and I can almost always spot the reviews that were written by the same person. It’s not always the author doing this either. Sometimes it’s a well-intentioned friend.

But think about it. KNOW that someone is going to notice. And I’m not the only one who notices.

And here’s one more thing for you to think about:

This is something that happened a couple of months ago to a friend of mine. She had been a friend to two authors—online, of course. She chatted back and forth with both of them daily. She considered herself to be good friends with both and had been for almost two years. But the author/s confessed something to her that ruined both those relationships. It seems that these authors had been talking to this friend of mine but were one in the same. Just an author with two separate pen names, friending other authors as two individual people. Confused? Me too.

How the hell can you pretend to be two different friends to the same person for almost two years. My friend listened to this author/s problems. Talked to her through her marital breakup. They exchanged pics of their children for God’s sake. Oh…the author with the two pen names has four children. But she split them up in “ownership” between the two pen names. Now that’s just WHACKED! My friend was hurt by this. Deeply. She asked me just a couple of days ago if I used more than one pen name. My reply? “Hell no. I don’t have time, energy, or the intelligence needed!” LOL The only way I’d ever use a second pen name would be if I tried my hand at Young Adult. And then I’d keep that pen name a secret—but NOT from my friends. And I KNOW who they are, too! But you see? My author friend now suspects everyone is lying to her. Not good.

It breaks my heart that someone did this to her. Really does. It could be argued that when they struck up a friendship, revealing that pen name wasn’t necessary. But after three or four months? Definitely when you begin to reveal personal information, I’d say it would have been time to come clean, wouldn’t you?

If the shenanigans I’ve posted about today boggle your mind, well, you’re right on track. We should all be hearing a collective “HUH?” while reading. What happened to playing fair? Honor? Respect? For that matter, what happened to The Golden Rule. Remember that one?

DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.


And I don’t mean to bring religion into all of this. But don’t you think that living your life by the Golden Rule just plain works? Nothing religious about it. Just plain makes sense to me, at least.

To those of you who have engaged in some of these kinds of shenanigans, I say, back up. Take stock. Recommit yourself to maintaining a better level of professionalism. And if you choose to make friends online, then be respectful.

To those of you who have never crossed the line, I say, others can and will learn from the example you set. It’s through you that new authors learn—and not just about the writing craft.

In closing today, I want to issue a warning. The price of chocolate is going up! LOL…yeah, the price of everything is going up, but chocolate has me worried, lol

AND…for my weekly book trailer showcase, I’ve chosen Cindy Jacks! I love this video. Soooo sexy! It’s for her Ellora’s Cave Quickie entitled LEAP. You can find Cindy here: http://cindyjacks.com



http://tessmackall.com

Books available from Ellora's Cave and Pink Petal Books.

106 comments:

Amber Skyze said...

We use the expression floored up here in the north. At least I do! :) As for the rest. I've been a victim of the bad ratings just an hour after a new release..both on my publishers website and Good Reads. I can't understand why people would want to do things like that.
Great blog...makes you rethink your online friendships.

Tess MacKall said...

Glad to hear the usage of "floored" is universal! lol

You're a victim. And I guarantee it's probably due to jealousy. I used to say these ratings were the work of gremlins. But more and more info is coming out now and the identity of these gremlins is getting well known for sure.

Sorry this has happened to you, Amber. I suspect I'll be a target as well.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Wow! Now I'm a little scared about my book coming out. It always amazes me how little personal honor people have.

Cornelia Amiri said...

Thanks for posting this. I never understood why any author has to act Catty or arrogant becasue they aer New York pubbed or because they write a different cross genre than someone else. You would think peopel who create people (even if they are fictional) for a living would be open and understanding. But they are cliques. Big time. Probabbly like every ebook author, I've been snubbed by many authors many times for being e-pubbed and like most romance authors I've even been snubbed by many sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery writers for writing romance
I enjoy all genres, ebooks are real books, erotica romance is difficutlt to write and sought out by readers and I applaud anyone who can write it (its clearly one of the hardest cross genres to write - no pun intended) and finally - Life is too short for nonsense

BrennaLyons said...

Floored is pretty common terminology, in my experience. In my area, it typically means more that something is so shocking and beyond the pale as to be ludicrous, no matter where your emotions finally settle on the matter.

I'm with you, Tess!

What's worse is it's not only authors. I've been privy to a publisher telling me (in a drunken moment at a convention) that she ROUTINELY gives every book by authors that leave her publishing house 1 stars anywhere she can. So, it was no surprise to me when the 1 stars started showing up on every book I wrote after I left her publishing house. Shrug.

But some of my horror stories about other authors? I had one that took it upon himself to contact two of my publishers with lies loosely based on a few facts about my life (he'd been a friend for several years and did know some things about me, though obviously not much, based on how much he got wrong). Ironically, BOTH publishers had known me 3 to 4 times as long as he had and, even if they hadn't known what he was saying was completely fiction, would never have taken his side in such an underhanded, backstabbing venture. Beyond that, how did he miss that he will NEVER be welcome at either of them, because they've seen him at his worst, and his worst is light-years beyond acceptable behavior? IMO, that's career suicide.

I've also been the target of a reader with a bad head of wiring that cyber stalked me from site to site. I can stand the 1 star review crap, but he was posting libelous statements to go with the 1 stars (accusing me of plagiarism, no less!), and that got his reviews pulled from three sites and him banned from several Yahoo groups. The fact that the two authors he claimed I plagiarized both took my side against him was just sweet justice.

Some days, I know why some authors say they refuse to hang out with other authors. Thank goodness I have a long relationship with several groups of them that haven't proven to be rabid. Otherwise, I might say the same.

Brenna

Tess MacKall said...

Jennifer! Don' you dare let this scare you. You do what you need to do to get the word out about your book. These are extreme cases I'm pointing out to you. I am happy to inform you that this is not the norm. And the vast majority of authors do know how to behave and value friendships.

Make sure you let everyone here know when your book is out. Would love to hear all about it, hon.

Tess MacKall said...

Cornelia, So glad you liked the post.

Now about those authors who think we are less because we're e pubbed. Isn't it just sweet sweet justice to know that WE are on the cutting edge of the new face of publishing! That WE, erotic romance writers, began this frenzy?

I dare say there is jealousy over that, too, now that everyone is jumping on the digital band wagon.

And you're right about certain genres looking down on romance writers too. Enough is enough. Time to admire one another's imagination and success and wish each other well.

Dee Dawning said...

What a bummer I write a four hundred word comment and blogger fucks it up. Well I don't feel like doing it again so I'll catch you later. Good blog by the way

C. Zampa said...

In defene of a quick five star rating...sometimes a beta reader or crit partner who DID read the book in advance may have waited on the sidelines, waiting to post a review the minutes the book came out. That is a possiblity.

I hate thinking that authors would give themselves good ratings. But, unfortunately, I know you're right about that.

I was, I think, the victim of a two-star rating the minute I got out of the publishing shute...or was it one star? LOL..Either way, it drastically dropped my overall rating after they started to accumulate. It was hurtful and spiteful and there was no way this stranger (for I did not know them) could have read the book so quickly. Many other authors on my author loop attested to the fact that this person does this to all authors of my genre. How sad, how pathetic to be so bitter, so vindictive.

I could go on and on.

Nothing you've said in your post surprises me. Makes me very sad, and it is very discouraging. Especially to a new author like myself.

Tess MacKall said...

Oh YES, Brenna! I've heard that about that particular publisher. Apparently the publisher is damn proud of those less than ethical antics. Disgusting for sure.

And for someone to go to your publisher to try and sabotage your career is just the lowest. Worse than a one or two rating any time.

Cyber stalkers are everywhere these days. I've had a couple myself. I'm a bit more careful these days. I probably come off as a bit aloof to new people I "meet" because of my experiences over the years.

I know I'm guarding my FB page. Too many horror stories coming from authors about being deleted.

I hope that bringing all of this out in the open and making everyone aware will help somewhat.

Tess MacKall said...

LMAO Dee! Sorry sweetie. Hope all is well with you. And thanks.

Marguerite Lafayette said...

I hate to say that I am not surprised to hear this, but am deeply saddened. I guess it's true that we never get past that "high school" mentality. I'm glad you mentioned the reviews that appear hours after the book is released. I had noticed that myself and thought it odd. I mean if you are going to fake reviews then at least make it believable. LOL

Seriously though, Amazon has had similar issues before. I've personally gotten to the point that I no longer base my purchases on reviews of the book.

Writing has always been a subjective art, but with so many people out to play power games because they lack the ability to support others just sickens me.

I've met so many wonderfully supportive authors, editors and publishers during my time in the industry that I am truly grateful not to have encountered too many negative and truly destructive people.

I know that I have lost friends due to my immaturity when I started out in my writing career that I will always grieve. I also have made enemies, but if I give up and stop writing then I let them win and I just can't do that LOL.

Tess MacKall said...

It is all very sad, Carol. But we shouldn't be discouraged. Because like I said to Jennifer, the vast majority of authors are amazing people. People of honor.

So don't despair. While it's very likely that someone gave you a two due to the genre you write in, it's happening across the board. It's honestly an attack by some ultra right wing group on erotic romance in general.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thank you, Tess! :)

Tess MacKall said...

Margie, so glad most of your experiences have been positive. Here's hoping they remain that way.

Don't beat yourself up. We all live and learn. We all make mistakes along the way. Intent is what makes or break friendships, not the actual deed. Sometimes a simple sorry works and sometimes you need more.

The high school mentality seems to be rampant online. Anonymity gives permission. But I have to wonder how people can sit back and grin at some of the things they do just because they can't be identified as the culprit. How can they live with themselves?

It's a question will never get an answer to I'm afraid.

Tess MacKall said...

You're welcome, Jennifer. You stop back by and keep commenting and letting us know how things are going, too!

Hugs,
Tess

Cassie Exline said...

Very floored. So floored, I'm not sure what to say. I ache for the author who was hurt, no, I'm angry about that. Who in the world has that kind of time to pretend to be two people? Why would authors give other authors bad reviews for no "real" reason? Maybe I'm an introvert for a good reason, self-preservation.

Debbie Gould said...

Damn! I thought this sruff went away in high school. Shows you what I know. It is difficult enough trusting someone you can't see them. Now it will be even harder. Great post though!

James L. Hatch said...

OMG, I am so naive. I've never even considered rating myself, or that others might want to submarine me. Maybe I've been lucky, or just not a threat to anyone because a) no one has the foggiest idea who I am and b) my sales aren't the envy of anyone I know. Does hiding in the weeds keep the target off your forehead? For you really successful authors, I say more power to you. Don't let the bastards grind you down. I also promise I will never be a turd about ratings. If I read something you write and don't like it, I won't rate it, period. Another golden rule: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

James

Harlie Reader said...

Are we not all grown women? I mean really? Floored doesn't even sum it up for me. I belong to a couple of different loops and sometimes I have to distance myself from a couple of them because of the shenanigans of a couple of the women. (Not Three Wicked)

Harlie Reader said...

Oh and I'm a reviewer and it just makes me so mad when people do that when reviewing or in this case, not reviewing the book.

Ooooooo..........grrrrr...

Casey Sheridan said...

Wow! I'm sure naive. I couldn't imagine doing that to any other author. I do put stars and reviews on books that I've read up on Goodreads, but only if I liked the book. If I didn't like it, I just quietly remove it from my reading list.

I have run into those other authors that turn their back on you when you tell them you write erotica. I've had non-authors do the same thing. I DO NOT write porn. So there!

I don't understand the cattiness or the snobbery. Being published is a wonderful feeling, so exciting, why would someone want to take that away?

Great post, by the way.

Cate Masters said...

Unbelievable. And sad, that an author has to degrade another author to make him/herself appear better in readers' eyes? I can't think of any other reason. We're all in this crazy business together, and need to support each other. If it weren't for some wonderful authors encouraging me, I might have given up.
Thanks for posting this, Tess.

Marguerite Lafayette said...

I've said my apologizes but the damage has been done. The best I can say is that I have learned from the experience.

As for the anonymity you've nailed it. People seem to lose all ethical restraints when they can hide and not have to face the accused.

It always concerns me that so many lose sight of the damage they inflict in order to belong. Quite frankly I would rather struggle on my own than to have to stand upon the tattered remains of other authors. Quite frankly, there's enough hate in this world without me adding to it.

I also firmly believe in what goes around, comes around. People that routinely exhibit this behavior often find they have a limited shelf life as a friend (cohort) and will turn on each other, i.e. if you play with snakes then you best count on getting bit.

I just feel it important to realize that a bad review isn't the end of your writing career. What happen is inexcusable and devastating, but I am sure these authors will survive this vindictiveness. I am glad that these authors have you in their corner and I am sure they are grateful for your support.

Honestly this all reminds me of Pastor Martin Niemöller poem "First they came" which illustrated how silence and duplicity created the climate for the holocaust. We should always stand up and face this sort of injustice and I do commend you Tess for bring this to light.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Tess, none of this surprises me in the least. :( I can go to Amazon and pull up my book page. There are other authors and their titles listed there. I guess, tagged somehow to give the author more visibility. And, I'm not savvy enough to know how to fix it.

But, you know what? As far as who I am. Doesn't matter if you see me online or in person, I'm always the same. Not an envious bone in my body, and I'm not competitive. I couldn't put on an act, pretending to be someone I'm not, and I don't have fifty pen names either. I do good to remember my real one. haha.

All I've ever wanted to do is write, learn the craft and make a few true friends that I could count on.

Yes,I'm a spiritual person, but choose to leave the judging to a higher power. And, I truly try to live by the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you."

There's just too much heartache and strife in this world for me to get off on making matters worse for another author. What do these people think they'll gain by giving bad reviews or low ratings? I'm just not built that way...

Things happen and we all make mistakes, no matter how unintentional. But these people are being hurtful on purpose, and that's truly shameful.

Didn't mean to get so long winded. Sorry.

Laura G. said...

WOW! Just wow, Tess! I'm completely floored, too. I'm a firm believer in What goes around comes around. If you put bad crap out there, you'll get it back ten fold. And like you? I KNOW who my friends are, too.

And why is all of this considered a 'competition'?? That's crazy. It's already been proven that there are only so many story lines (what, like 7?) and that if we all sat down to write the same story, they'd all be different. So, where's the competition?

Life is too short. Why tear others down? If someone doesn't like another author (or are jealous or believe they should have whatever that author has worked for) then they should ignore that author and get their own butt busy. Earn it -- that's how that author did it. Tearing someone else down certainly won't get them there.

Damn! There's that soapbox under my feet again... Tess, ya gotta lock this thing up in a closet somewhere! LOL

Great post, woman! HUGS!

Molly Daniels said...

And that is why I'm up front with both of my pen names!

Amber's right; we use 'floored' in the Midwest too.

I have noticed a few authors who refuse to speak to others not in their 'clique', and it puzzles me: why would you EVER refuse to speak to a potential reader?

And that rabid mob mentality toward rating each other's books...(shudder).

aka Kenzie Michaels

Brindle Chase said...

Stunned... yes, floored works too. Some of the pettiness I see on book forums is astounding. Seriously, did we not grow up and get our adult cards? Did we forget how to behave in polite society?

Anywho. Shame on authors trashing other authors.

On another point... I see nothing wrong with authors scoring themselves. And here's why. Who gets hurt if they do? Anyone? No? Then who cares? Readers will adjust the author's overall score making their self scores obsolete quickly enough! I belive in my books, so I kick each one off with a 5 star. My readers quickly adjust that score (why always down? *lol*) ... and it helps offset those nasty 1 star people... you know the type "I loved the story, but gave it a 1 because it was too short"

Marguerite Lafayette said...

Concerning Facebook, I have heard from several authors that had their FB pages removed it was due to someone claiming their posts were offensive. FB will pull your page automatically and then you can dispute it, but you will lose the bulk of your data. It is like the Salem Witch hunt all over again. I don't blame FB for erring on the side of caution but look at the page before deleting it. More times than not it will over a photo.

The worst part is you can make you page private but if your privacy setting are for friends of friends then they too can see you pics and comments and can label you as offensive which will result in being deleted.

It's just sad people can't just tell someone, "hey I find that offensive." Instead they have to go complain to the powers that be. :(

Angie Cox said...

Floored would explain my feelings towards this as well. I would have thought people (authors) who struggled (includes me still) to get published and reconized for our hard work would remember what it feels like. How high you get for the first REAL five star and how low you get after a bad review.

This puts a whole new twist to the mean girl personna. SAD

Karenna Colcroft said...

Bullying at its finest. Unfortunately, bullying doesn't always stop when you get out of school...

I've never understood why people would do this kind of thing to each other. How they could possibly think it's okay. I don't know if I've gotten bad reviews on Amazon or Good Reads; I don't check my reviews there often. After reading this, I'm not sure I dare to check them at all.

Thanks for posting this, Tess.

SilverWolf said...

I never thought authors would behave like that. I mean nobody starts out on top of the game they have to earn their fame. So, why trash someone else?

I believe that what goes around comes around so you had better watch what you do. But, then I live by the motto "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I try to never treat anyone in a manner other than how I would want someone to treat me.

I have reviewed a few books and when doing so try to remember what my mom always said “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” This means if I read a book but didn’t like it I wouldn’t review it. Now if I could just let the author know without anyone ever finding out that might be different. However, I’d still try and le the know what I thought in a positive way so as not to hurt their feelings after all I know they had to put a lot of time and effort into their book.

I have several e-mail addresses and I have never thought about doing what the author with the pen name did to her “friend” in fact that just ticks me off to no end. A true friend would never do that to their friend. I’m sorry your friend had that happen to them, it’s wrong, and distasteful as far as I’m concerned. I do hope your friend will get past it and not let this ruin how they treat others or even stop them from forming other friendships. Authors need that network of friends and colleagues to bounce ideas off of, work through problems dealing with their books or characters, or even their editors or publishers; there are times when everyone needs someone to talk even if it’s just so they can figure out their own solution to their problem.

I’d like to thank all of the writers out there weather I’ve read their work or not. Without you we wouldn’t have anything to read. Not to mention nothing to occupy our minds and help us learn. I’ve learned a lot throughout my life just by reading, even fiction can teach you something, if nothing else than that it’s ok to have a vivid imagination. THANK YOU!!!!!

Mia Watts said...

Well, I have five starred a book of mine on ARe. I've never written a review for myself. I don't vote for myself in contests, or put myself up for award contests because I think that's cheating. I know a lot of people who do submit their own names for public kudos.

I have two living pen names and all my stories are true. Some friends and family don't know my real name, because I choose to protect my livelihood, and yes, it matters.

Okay, I've come clean! :) Also, I've noticed that the poor rating happens on Fictionwise too. No kidding. Almost immediately there's the very worst possible review posted for a new book. Makes me want to take that poster and say, "GEEEEZZZ! Grow up already!"

Just sayin'.

Tess MacKall said...

A lot of authors do keep to themselves, Cassie. I know I've stopped being as active on groups as I was. I've also stopped being as forthcoming with help for other authors as I was. The reason? I don't want to forge anymore relationships.

I have a lot of authors email me with questions, asking for advice, asking me to look over something they've written, etc. And I've honestly started to turn down a lot of those looksees. I do answer questions as I can, but I'm not nearly as trusting as I used to be for sure.

Tess MacKall said...

High school antics all over again, Deb. And I hated high school. Idiots!

Kissa Starling said...

Oh girl don't I know it. That's my response to these authors/publishers/etc.

I've had someone go rate all of my books on Goodreads on the same day and I knew they hadn't bought them. I had one rated before the book was even released. I did contact Goodreads about that one but they said there was nothing they could do. I saw an article berating authors who rate their own books but hey, I rate every one I write. I do it publicly and don't care who knows it. If I can't stand by my own work who can right? I don't hide it, I don't write reviews under other names and I don't ask others to on my behalf.

I am appalled at the authors rating someone else at Amazon out of jealousy. Those authors are lower than a black eyed mule with leprosy and I'd like a chance to kick 'em myself.

Over the last few years I've met a lot of people online. I hate to say that I'm a bit like your friend about not knowing who to trust and when. Same goes for publishers. I've been lied to, stomped on and taken advantage of many times on this world wide web. These days I find it easier to sit back and watch the shenanigans from afar. It's sad that we have to dodge the incoming deluge of crap almost daily. Good thing we like what we do right?

Maybe this post will warn some new author just starting out- I know I wish I'd have read it earlier!

Tess MacKall said...

My granny always said that, James. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

But I love the line in the movie Steel Magnolias delivered by Olympia Dukakis' character----

If you can't say something nice, then come sit by me. LOL

Of course, this isn't a matter of gossiping, this is a matter of damaging someone's career with undeserved ratings.

Tess MacKall said...

(Not Three Wicked)...LOL Thanks for making sure that was understood, Harlie Reader. When you see something less than what you might consider professional or honorable behavior, I think the best thing to do is simply back away. Of course, that in itself can get you labeled by those who want to make trouble too.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Yep, there are some issues running around with reviewers that do this type of thing too. However, there are a lot of great sites out there that deliver honest opinions without the snark. And as an author, and I think I speak for all other authors in saying this, we are grateful to those legitimate review sites. And applaud your efforts. After all, you're mostly volunteers. So thank you, Harlie.

Tess MacKall said...

It's like this, Casey, a lot of times we don't hear about this type of behavior until it's too late. When we're a target. I got very angry with the latest bit and decided I'd blog about it. Authors need to be aware that not everything is all good around them. It's easy to think that the person you're talking to online is just your neighbor down the street. But in reality, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Tess MacKall said...

Hiya Kate! The mentoring process here in author land can be so amazing! And it's a dirty rotten shame that some will waste their time and intelligence on trashing authors when that negative energy could do so much more.

But like others have said here in comments---KARMA! It's coming!

Tess MacKall said...

It's definitely important to note, Margie, that a bad review is not a career ender. I certainly don't want new authors worrying over this.

What I've posted today is not at all the norm--whatever that is--most authors are very helpful, honest, and friendly.

But you know how these bad apples are.

Harlie Reader said...

What I was trying to say was that this loop is professional and not snarky at all. Sorry if it came across differently....

Harlie Reader said...

Weezie was great, wasn't she?!

Tess MacKall said...

I agree with everything you've said, Lisa. Life is way too short. There's nothing wrong with envying another author for their accomplishments, but there is something definitely wrong with hurting them because of it.

I envy so many authors for their astounding abilities, but never in a thousand years would I choose to intentionally sabotage them.

I've always heard it said: It takes all kinds in this world.

But frankly, I think there are a few kinds we could do without.

Tess MacKall said...

LOL LAura G. I love it when you get on your soapbox. You make perfect sense.

And there are like thirty some odd different plot lines---then, of course, you've got to add in sub plots. LOL

In a way, I think this sabotage is more a result of an author simply not fitting in with a certain group than anything else. Sometimes if you question something--the way something is done, there's backlash.

And I think that's all I am going to say on that subject.

Tess MacKall said...

Helloooooo Molly/Kenzie! LOL

Girl I've seen some of that clique stuff where certain authors can't be bothered to speak to other authors. We all converse via email and blogs and I swear, you can almost see their noses stuck up in the air.

When I was a newbie, I got that treatment right much. But I'm also a bit of a bulldozer, lol, and fought for what I wanted. You can't back down to bullies and assholes, now can ya?

Tess MacKall said...

Pssst...Brindle...where do they give out adult cards? I find that I don't have one. LMAOOOOO

About rating your own books? I see nothing wrong with that as long as you do it once and don't just keep signing up with new emails and doing it.

One reason for doing it is that it's hard to get someone to rate a book FIRST. Really is. A reader is a lot more likely to rate a book if they see someone else has rated it first.

Have I rated one of my books myself before? You betcha! I'm proud of my work and thing all of it is a shining example of American literature! LOL So hell yeah, I've rated. Although I haven't on Amazon. Hmmm...might do that. Or might not. Requires concentration I don't have these days.

Tess MacKall said...

Yes, Margie, some pages at FB have been pulled for cover art and given back later. But the real issue is those pages being taken down without being given back or any explanation as to why.

I tend to be very careful on social networking sites. I don't post a lot of "sexy" comments. But I've had a couple of "friends" post things I thought went a bit too far on my page. What did I do? Deleted the comments and messaged my friends as to why.

Their response? They completely understood and apologized.

Tess MacKall said...

Mean Girl persona is exactly what this is, Angie. Exactly. And they usually get theirs in the end, don't they?

Unfortunately, we might not be able to see it. Maybe we'll get to hear about it, though. Sweet justice.

Karma is coming!

Tess MacKall said...

To be honest, Karenna, I'm thinking about getting off Good Reads. I have trouble with time issues as it is. I don't have the time to give to Good Reads that needs to be given. So it's something I've been considering for a while now. But with all this hoopla going on lately---and I've been hearing about it for a few weeks now---I'd honestly hate to have to deal with someone reviewing one of my books or a friend's book in which we suspected shenanigans.

Is it worth the upset? And I WOULD be upset.

Tess MacKall said...

You're a doll, Silver Wolf. Everything you said is something we should all remember. You're a true friend to authors and readers alike.

Tess MacKall said...

Ohhh Mia...FW. That place used to drive me batty. How the hell do you have all GREATS and suddenly you've got a POOR? So not happening. It's one of these gremlins at work. Just doing their THANG! I don't think I've been on FB in months just because of that. I hate looking at my books with all those Greats and right there is a POOR.

Tess MacKall said...

"If I can't stand behind my own work, who can?" Very well said, Kissa. I agree with you 100%.

I think the Good Reads people need to be a bit more vigilant. They may very well be in danger of big "author exodus". There are rumblings about that.

There should be a setting where erotic romance authors feel safe. Hey, if you don't like what we write, don't read it and stay the eff away, is how I look at it.

But then, people that do this type of thing, always hide don't they?

Tess MacKall said...

Oh I knew what you meant, Harlie. LOL
Who's Weezie? Or was that Weazy? I've got a dog named Weazy. lol And I've got to get off and cook some dinner. Back later on to catch anymore comments.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've talked with soooo many people who have been victimized by this petty behavior and yes, it 'floors' me too. I've always believed we should support each other in this business. My friends and I care about, help and support each other. All of us are quick to help new authors gain their footing. Are these people middle-schoolers that they gang up on and hurt others? I just don't get it. It's just mean. But you know what they say...Karma is a BITCH.

jrlindermuth said...

Some people never grow up. I'm happy when friends score a coup. I hope they're equally happy when it's my turn. Petty jealousy never got anyone anywhere worth being.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Wonderful blog. It touched on several things in the business that I have noticed as well. Whatever happens, whatever I do, I keep in mind that most of it will come back to me--for better or for worse. I have a few standards I try to adhere to: be kind, be true to myself, do the best I can and not hold on to a grudge. None of us can be liked by everyone. It is important to maintain a professional demeanor wherever we show up on line. An excellent blog.

Tess MacKall said...

It's definitely getting worse, Regina. I kept hearing about too many incidents to make it some fluke. But still it's NOT the norm. Heck, the commenters on this blog prove that. But it's good to be savvy and aware of what is going on around you.

That is something we can help new authors with. Online is a lot like real life. It has it's ups and downs. And we're definitely seeing some of the downs with all this.

Tess MacKall said...

And that's the way it should be JR. Enjoy your friend's moment and they'll enjoy your moment with you. It's no fun celebrating success alone, now is it?

Tess MacKall said...

Be true to yourself. That's great advice, Sarah. And what I try to do. I can't do something I wouldn't want anyone else to do to me. I don't have to like every author I meet online. And believe me, lol, I've met some doozys...or is that doozzies?

Anyway, if you don't like someone, they're not your cup of tea or their book or writing style is not your THANG? Walk away. No one wins with mean-girl mentality for sure.

Cari Quinn said...

I've only been in the writing circles for a few years and I've already seen so much crazy stuff. I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of wonderful people but I definitely understand that wariness that comes in at forming new relationships for all the reasons mentioned.

I've had a few 1 and 2 star reviews and I'm okay with them. Sure I'd love it if all readers read my work but I'm hopeful that the people were genuine and tried it and just found it wasn't for them. True, it kinda makes me wonder when the same person poorly rates several of my books - if I really detest a book, I don't often go back for more from the same writer, at least if it's a new to me author - but I try to shrug it off. GR can be a hard place to hang out in but I've also met so many awesome authors/reviewers there that it's my favorite social networking site.

Excellent post, Tess. Definitely a must read for newer and "older" authors alike.

anny cook said...

Sigh. Been there. One star. Back stabbing. Stalking. Yeah, the glamorous life of an author.

That's the reason I just don't look. I don't look for reviews. I don't look for stars. I don't belong to any of the reader groups. I just sit over in my corner, doing my thing.

Like many of you, I believe such actions will come back to haunt the actors. And I also believe it will be four fold. So I don't really need to do anything except mind my own business.

I really sorry to say I knew this stuff before reading the post. But then, sometime the quiet ones listen more carefully, you know?

Tess MacKall said...

I'd definitely say that you have a situation on your hands when the same person comes back again to rate another one of your books with a two, Cari. I'd politely invite them NOT to buy anymore of my books!

Tess MacKall said...

This stuff HAS been around for a while, hasn't it, Anny.But ya know...no one wants to talk about it, to bring it out in the open for some strange reason.

It's the dirty little secret.

Glamorous lifestyle. LOL I like your corner, Anny. I might just come for a visit real soon!

anny cook said...

Come on over, girl. There's always room for you.

Tess MacKall said...

And Jello too? LOL

Hugs to ya, Anny!

Willa Edwards said...

I gave myself a five star review on goodreads and felt so guilt about it. I didn't think it was fair. But I hated the way goodreads made my widget look like I had three zero star reviews when they were really people that had put my book at a to-be-read. I didn't think I had the right to comment on my work. After all if I didn't love it, it wouldn't have been published, period. That was my five star review. To think that anyone would disrespect all readers and their opinions by posting phonie reviews in the negative or positive makes me sick. After all, in the end, that's what we're all here for, to entertain our readers, to challenge and encourage our readers. To disrespect them so is unbelievable. Those people don't deserve to be authors. There are plenty of people who will be professional and love their readers like they deserve just waiting for their chance. Step out fo the way shenaniganors.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

I envy too, Tess. But not in a negative way. I read so many wonderful stories from authors I know and respect, and strive to be as good. Not to write exactly like them, but to be able to tell a story with as much believability as they do. To write as clean. Nothing wrong with that.

Darn virus protection finally stopped going off. Maybe my computer is clean. You guys be careful out there. Both my computers got hit about the same time today. Something WEIRD going on there too.

Tess MacKall said...

Don't feel guilty, Willa. It's like Kissa said, stand behind your own work. If you can't? Who can? I think it helps encourage others to rate your work as well.

Like you said, we're all here to entertain and engage readers. That's our job. To sabotage each other is ridiculous. Very petty.

Tess MacKall said...

Glad the virus is gone now, Lisa. And like you, I try harder everyday to improve in the writing craft. There's a big difference between envying someone's success and outright jealousy. I have said to myself numerous times about an author's work: God I wish I could write like that.

But you know what? I do write like that. We all do. We simply have different styles, a different voice when we write.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

You are a beautiful writer, Tess, and one of the ones I do envy and respect. You have such a way with words that are uniquely you. But as you say, we are all unique. Including me, if I can ever get myself to believe it. teehee. A part of our personality come out in our words whether we want it to or not.

Summing up the dastardly deeds and covert sabatoge that goes on: If folks would just live and let live, be happy for the accomplishments of others, this world would be a much better place.

I'm praying the computers are fixed. Was very worried.

Jen B. said...

Ok, I get the jealousy thing. But I think you are right that these people will reap what they sow. And how stupid to use email to set the whole thing up. Too much can and will go wrong with email. But I have a question. How is it possible for a book to get a five star review months before it even comes out? I understand ARC reviews but that happens pretty close to release. One author wrote recently that there were reviews on Goodreads for a book that wasn't even written yet! When Goodreads was informed they said there was nothing they could do. Huh? Any thoughts on this bit of weirdness?

Dawn R. said...

*blinks and shudders* As a reviewer I think I have given 2 or a 2.5 on a few books but never am I mean or nasty. Frankly this is stunning that authors do this to other authors and as someone with a pen name myself, i try to be as nice, polite and professional as I can. I don't want to burn any bridges in case I need questions answered on potential publishers or any other industry related issue.

*shudders* And I rememeber high school...I hated every minute of it!

Pommawolf said...

I guess I am what you would be floored. As a reader who enjoys many authors books and mostly erotic romance genre, I am appalled that people who claim to me professional in their writing careers would do these things. But as the internet is a tool, and used just like any other tool is free, ready and available to harm other authors. I've read all your comments and am not surprised that all of you have shown more consideration that the offenders have surely shown you. I am sorry that there are such rotten human beings that base their success on their actions against others. They are very little people with very arrogant selfish souls. You rap what you sow, and their secrets will come out and bite them in the ass one day.

Pommawolf said...

That reap what you sow.....sorry follks...*S*

Darcy

Tami said...

I'm telling you what - I was thinking:

WTF? This can not seriously be going on. I'm glad I'm not friends with these jerk offs. Thanks for educating. It's nice to see that there is someone sticking up to the moraless people, and educating young writers.

Janet Eckford said...

This was so good and I feel so needed right now. I've had several people I know comment on the mean spirited behavior of "reviewers". I was 15 once and have no desire to ever be that age again and can't understand why some people willfully stay frozen there. We are not competing for scarce resources and the behavior of some authors and publishers is just petty. The sad part is that now ignoring the bully doesn't always work because our craft, reputation, and sometimes livelyhood is impacted by their behavior.

Tess MacKall said...

Thank you, Lisa. And live and let live is a nice way of putting it too.

Tess MacKall said...

A five-star review months before it goes out, JEN-not even written? WOW...Well, maybe that can be accomplished by the great Nora Roberts, readers anticipating her next blockbuster hit, but I'd be hard pressed to see that otherwise.

Scratching my head on that one. There is some odd odd stuff going on for sure. And Good Reads? If Good Reads needs to do a better job than it's doing. I dare say that hell yeah they could do something about that situation. They could send a message to the person that did it and say: Hey, take that down.

Tess MacKall said...

Yeah, Dawn, high school all over again, with a twist. People are messing with careers and wallets here. This isn't as "harmless" as they may think it is.

While surveys say that readers only pick up books based on reviews ten to fourteen percent of the time (depends on which survey you pay attention to), that is still a nice chunk of readers they are trying to influence.

Not to mention what they are doing to authors mentally. I suppose there are authors out there who just don't care what a review says. I know Anny doesn't look at them. But anytime I see a less than stellar review, I have the tendency to think two things: One, where did I go wrong, and two, am I good enough to even stay in this business.

Now granted that second thought is fleeting, lol. I have a thickskin, but it's there. So for a newbie or someone more sensitive, it can be an "author killer"--especially if someone targets a writer.

We appreciate your faithful service to authors everywhere, Dawn. Your thoughtful reviews and support of authors in general.

Tess MacKall said...

Pommawolf, thank you. I do suspect that one day all of this will come back to bite these bad authors. But what I'd really prefer is that they read this post, all of these comments, take what is being said to heart and know that everyone is now watching this mess and it doesn't have quite the sting it did before.

If an author knows that games can be played with them---that in some cases games ARE being played, then these low ratings hopefully won't be so hurtful.

And yep, lol, I got the reap vs. rap! Thanks.

Tess MacKall said...

Thanks, Tami. Took me a while to decide to write this post. I was warned I might become a target. Well, maybe I will. But if I do indeed become a target, I think I'll wear those low ratings like a badge of honor. No, they won't feel good at all, but I'll announce those low ratings for what I believe they are, applaud legitimate reviews from reviewers who do what they do for all the right reasons, and simply move on.

Tess MacKall said...

Yes, Janet, the sad part is this is not a game. We're talking about a writer's career here. I guess they think it's like shooting fish in a barrel. There are so many of us that they can just have all the fun they want. Nasty people for sure.

Tina Donahue said...

Nothing surprises me anymore. I do believe in karma. What those authors did to the other authors will come back in spades to them.

If you're so untalented that you need to trash another author's work to get your own noticed, then you shouldn't be in the biz, should you?

And BTW, the readers/fans I've spoken to don't buy a book based on its ratings/reviews. They buy it because they like the cover/blurb/author or all three.

So all that poison seems kind of useless and a lot like highschool, doesn't it?

Guess some folks never grow up.

Catriana S. said...

I'm still a newbie to the publishing field, but it's sad to know this happens. Not surprising, but still sad. I know it's a business and to a certain extent we're competing with each other, but there are lines to be drawn and standards to be met.

There's already one author I know of who just...I can't stand their attitude. Because of that, I will never read their books or want to deal with them. Beyond that, I've thankfully met only very kind and helpful individuals, and I hope it continues to stay that way.

Tess MacKall said...

That's how I find books, Tina. I am first attracted to a cover, which makes me read the blurb. Then I look for an excerpt.

As an editor, when I read that excerpt, I KNOW whether I want to purchase the book. I'm also pretty much aware of which publishers put out quality work as well. So I tend to steer clear of certain publishers.

I mentioned in another comment that the most recent surveys claim that readers choose books based on ten to fourteen percent of the time.

While getting these ratings definitely hurts the ego and somewhat maybe purchase, it's a lot more about authors being jerks than really doing any damage to a writer's career, I think. But they are trying to damage careers and wallets.

Tess MacKall said...

And you simply steer clear of that author you don't like, too, don't you, Catriana? That's what I try to do. It really is a waste of time and energy to intentionally plan to hurt someone.

If these bad authors would use that energy to improve their writing, they'd be much better off. Good luck in your career, make sure you keep us apprised of releases. We'd love to know more about you here at 3WWP2.

Mary Suzanne said...

I had a really bad review on one of my books that had already sold hundreds of copies and is still selling.

I'm not sure if it was an author that couldn’t write worth a damn giving the review, or someone out there needing an English lesson in grammar and spelling. LOL

Mary Suzanne

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Mary! Probably just a jerk. Someone who doesn't like erotic content. I doubt you've made any enemies. You're too sweet.

Cindy Jacks said...

I have to say I've seen all the craziness you've described, Tess and it floors me too. I just want to write good books for readers to enjoy. The rest of the meanness and unprofessional behavior, I do my best to steer clear of. And thanks very much for the shout out! I really appreciate it. You're da bomb ;)

Tess MacKall said...

Well, it's been said before that I GO OFF like a BOMB! LOL Thanks, Cindy. And like you, I've been seeing this craziness for a long time. Just figured it needed to be said out in the open.

And I LOVED your video.

Hugs...

Michael said...

Wow... I've seen some of these first hand Tess but giving authors a 2 star after its released? WOW!

I am all about the do onto others...phrase. I try to support everyone I can, give my fellow authors comments and pubs whenever I can make the time. Sometimes even late but I do when I can.

Ive seen the "cliques" too and without embarrassing anyone, i'll say that I believe this is HS BS that needs to end. Arent we all adults here?

I try to support everyone I know and some I dont know that well when their posts come up on FB. Just that little bit can and will make someones day. Have I gotten the same treatment? Not all the time but from those I know have supported me from the beginning I am grateful.

As you state, know who your friends are. Shame that you have to take this attitude. We are all in the same boat, looking for readers.

S.Lira aka Michael M/Rawiya

Tess MacKall said...

You're right, Michael. It's all HS BS. Makes you wonder how their kids are going to turn out, doesn't it?

You continue on the course you've set for yourself. Ignore the bad ratings from these sites that aren't truly legitimate review sites. That's the best advice I can give anyone right there.

Don't take stock in a review unless it's a site your publisher sends to. Reader feedback is great, and readers are honest. But when you add buttheads into the mix, honesty flies out the window.

Miriam Newman said...

Wow, Tess, sorry for some of the junk that has happened to you. I first heard of this author jealousy thing a couple of years ago from someone it happened to. Before that, I was so naive I never suspected it. All I can say is that I do believe it catches up with the perpetrators in the end. Writing is a very small world.

As for leaving reviews, I don't. I buy a lot of books. If I really like one I'll email the author privately and let them know it because, hey, I'm a reader, too. If I really hate it, I keep my mouth shut. That book was that author's dream, too. I recognize it and move on.

Tess MacKall said...

Hi Miriam, actually this didn't happen to me---YET! But to some friends of mine.

But it seems to be coming up more and more these days. I've seen several posts on groups about this kind of behavior.

Everyone knows what's going on, we just don't talk about it in the open.

I'm not into leaving reviews either. And I really have a hard time with places that allow you to do so at a blink. I think a person should be required to buy the book in order to rate it. How else would they know? I guess they can borrow from a friend, but still, it should be harder somehow to do all of this.

Just not sure how to fix it.

Savannah Chase said...

I have heard a lot about this going on and it is sad. People have nothing better to do and try to trash others. It is one of the ugly things that go on in the industry. This is why people are no longer taking reviews and ratings to heart. With this stuff happening who knows what is real and what is there to trash.

Laurann Dohner said...

I missed this post. I'm coming into the discussion late and hesitated to say anything but then I wonder how many more people don't talk about what goes on. People should know they aren't alone so here goes.

I've been a victim myself. I don't complain about but yeah. Regina saves my sanity through the crazy stuff (Love you, Regina! LOL She has my eternal thanks). I've never rated my own books and refuse to because of something that happened to me right after I became published. My first book that came out got a lot of ratings and comments from readers. It stunned me. It was awesome, good or bad, that people took the time. I was so grateful that anyone read my book - still am! LOL. I suddenly had an inbox full of emails from some authors who accused me of doing it myself to 'make them look bad'. Me - stunned, horrified, shocked, and I cried. I don't have a lot of friends. I'm at home with kids. I have no real social life besides the kids/husband. Back when I started I emailed maybe 5 people. My friends I do have don't own computers and the ones who do...I went to a Mormon church. They don't read my books. I understand and don't blame them. I had one friend go to my website and called me to say it was 'pretty' but she couldn't go past the first page of it because it made her uncomfortable. LOL. I thanked her for at least going that far. The point is though...it made some people hate me and they were really mean. I cried a lot of days when I'd get those emails. I tried to tell them that I don't know the people who rated and left comments. That's the truth.

I've grown thicker skin. So I NEVER rate my own because of that. I've also gotten mean emails about how many books I put out. Those make me angry...now...but it took a while for it to stop hurting me. I put in 65 or more hours a week. I work hard, a lot of hours, and if someone wants to put me down for getting books out...if it upsets them...then put in MY hours! I will LOL that but it's happened enough now that I actually get mad. I passed hurt and have moved onto 'stop wasting time writing to insult me and better spend your time writing a book if it bothers you' stage.

I also wanted to say though...there are a LOT of wonderful authors out there who have supported me through those rough times even when they didn't know I was sobbing at my desk over the meanness of others. Some of the nicest people I've met are fellow authors. They more than make up for any mean spirited ones I've come across.

Anonymous said...

I've been writing for several years and have 2 books published. I've been lucky so far not to have had this happen to me(that I know of). I too believe in the golden rule. I'm also a business owner. Recently I've gained competition. I've learned from people I know he has said bad things about me and even filed complaints against me with the city. Several of my customers (old and new) have tried him and have told me lots of things he does that are either illegeal or unethical. My reply to them is first of all, I've already heard a lot of what he is doing and if that is how he does business, he'll soon be out of business. I run my business and treat my customers like I wan't to be treated. If I make a mistake, I'll do my best to correct it. I won't stoop to his level and do or say things about him or his business. All I know about him is that he is from the middle east and I have no control over how he runs his business. He is not my competition because I won't compete against him. I run my business to the best of my ability and I do not need to stoop to any underhanded tactics to survive. FYI I've been running my business the same way for the last 10 years and off to a good start in year
11. I use tha same stragity in my writing.
G W Pickle

Tess MacKall said...

You may very well be right, Sav. Several years ago, according to surveys, readers found books through review sites over twenty-five percent of the time. Now that has dropped drastically.

So readers may also find some of these reviews very odd and be less trusting of them. Great insight, girlie!

Tess MacKall said...

You mean they sent emails to you directly, Laurann? Goodness. Seriously. I thought these people preferred to hide behind anonymity. I'd be crushed, too, if a bunch of authors emailed me with such accusations.

As for putting out a lot of books? If your mojo is working, you can do it. Personally, I'm into so many other things--editing being one--that I don't churn them out too fast. I can when I put my mind to it and I'm in the zone. But it takes a lot to keep me in the zone. I work in the publishing industry a good seventy hours a week, (don't make enough money to warrant those hours, though! lol), but I can't just write the entire time. My characters always want me to step back.

But I applaud those who are so prolific they can just DO IT!

Tess MacKall said...

G.W. this biz is like any other. You're selling quality and service with a smile. Some people don't yet understand that this IS a business. They play games.

I'm in this for the longer haul--if I don't die first! lol So I don't play fast and loose with authors and readers. I work hard at the craft of writing. I KNOW how much work goes into producing a manuscript. And after it's produced? Promotions.

Sabotage is unforgivable.

Vanessa A. Johnson said...

Hi Tess,
Yes, it is a damn shame for this to be happening...but you know it'll/they'll continue unless someone blows the whistle on them, call them out...I at least hope they now know that you and your friend know what they were up to....Karma is a Mutha!
You reap what you sow! It's so sad, there's room enough for everyone at the table.

Tess MacKall said...

There's room enough for everyone at the table. Well said, Vanessa. I'm afraid other than blogging about this, I'm clueless as to what the authors will be doing about this.

When all is said and done, not much CAN be done other than public humiliation. And that means the victims must be outed as well. Not everyone feels comfortable in that kind of spotlight.

Regardless, the decision isn't mine to make. I can only offer my support and take this as far as I can without causing further injury.

But like you, I believe that karma thing is the real thing. It's coming. Sooner or later.

Nanny said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, per usual. Great post, Tess. This really sucks, and is part of the reason I only base purchases on reviews by reviewers I really trust. I've heard of people doing this for a while, although I didn't realize it was other authors. That's just shameful.

You know I hide behind online anonymity, because of what I review on my personal blog, but the people who matter and I consider my friends know me by all my names, even my real one. I don't use pen names to deceive I use them to keep myself and kids safe. Because there are some real wackos out there.

Tess MacKall said...

Oh yeah, real whackos out there for sure Nanny girl. And I'm proud to be one of your friends, too!

Yeah, I'd been hearing about this rating biz for a while now too. And I just suddenly got fed up with it.

Why had no one blogged about it. Brought it out in the open? And then my friend sent me that email with regard to the little conspiracy against her and another author. Oh heck, but hell just flew in me as my daddy used to say. lol

And then there was the matter of the other author friend being duped into two friendships.

The whole online thing needs a good overhaul for sure. How? Beats me.