Thursday, January 9, 2014

Anne Rice Versus The Bullies?

So someone sends me a link to an interesting thread on Amazon Forum Boards recently. A thread started by world famous author, Anne Rice.

My attention quickly drifts to the "Warning to authors" near the bottom. 

I quickly get the sense that Ms. Rice is aware of something concerning the struggle of indie authors versus the bullies of Amazon, GR, BL and LM. Now I am interested in trolling this thread.

It didn't take long for the first Goodreads bully to make an appearance. (Book World)

I just love how in the beginning, the bullies come off as sweet little angels, don't you?

Soon, other bullies from the Amazon Boards and Goodreads start invading the thread. Then again, that's their job. Bullies like, John Green (of Genxpose fame), Anna Karenina (the famous bully teacher), and Rick Guilateri - just to name a few. 

As I strolled through the many pages (over 170 last time I checked) I couldn't help but notice how pleasant they were coming off as. Of course, this was to be expected. But what I also saw was how at first, the bullies were not staying on topic. (No surprise there, right?) And it didn't take too long before they started in on another author who showed up, Rick Carufel. 

I considered to sign in and start commenting, but ever since I realized that Amazon Forum Threads are nothing but breeding grounds for bullies, I stopped participating. As much as I admire Ms. Rice's work, I wasn't about to break a promise to myself just because of her. Although I did struggle in my resistance. My thought was, I could post a few questions regarding the topic and then let her see how the bullies would quickly attack me. Most in part because I could tell she was taking a stand of sorts against author bullying through fake ratings and reviews. However, that example, while it would have been beneficial, was already being demonstrated in the bullies for quickly going after Mr. Carufel. 

But there also appeared to be signs that Ms. Rice was already aware of these people I mentioned earlier. Going through the thread, they made themselves obvious. They did for Ms. Rice what they did for Nathan Bransford, they couldn't refrain from showing their true colors. Oh sure, the bullies are great in the beginning of trying to stress their points about author attacks in book reviews, but eventually, when the person they are trying to convince doesn't completely buy into what the bullies are selling, the bullies start to turn. The biggest habit they have is what eventually does them in, and that habit is to "talk down" to the people they are otherwise trying to convince that bully reviews do not exist. 

Ms. Rice saw straight through them. 

In fact, she quickly picked up on that, and made a mention of it. The nastiest of the bullies was the teacher herself, Anna Karenina. Go figure. 

And as I read through the thread, I could once again see that the bullies were trying their "smoke and mirrors" routine on Ms. Rice. This routine consists of trying to explain to Ms. Rice that this so called war of indie authors versus the GR bullies was all about us authors complaining about legitimate ratings and reviews. But we all know that is not the case. 

I've stated this before and I will state it yet again, no author has a problem with real readers, or legitimate ratings or reviews by these real readers. Our problem resides in the fact that these bullies (and their supporters) are not real readers of the authors they attack through ratings and reviews. We have a problem with fake ratings given by the bullies on books (by authors) they attack by not having read our books. And with book reviews that personally attack authors. Not to mention, book shelves that are designed to humiliate authors. No real reader does this. 

Near the end of this thread (approx. page 170 - 175), started by Ms. Rice, I saw Angela Longstaffe post. Angela Longstaffe was recently banned by Goodreads for her constant carpet bombing, as reported by STGRB. They also captured this screenshot of Angela boasting about it too on her "Bullylikes" account. 


But the more I read through this thread, the more I began to wonder. The bullies are still trying to make the argument that they are "real readers" of books by authors they attack. And that what us authors are doing by standing up to them are trying to silence their right to rate books they read one star and or write personal attacks in their book reviews. Although, the bullies claim that this isn't going on when in fact, STGRB, Rick Carufel, and myself have presented plenty of evidence showing that the bullies do indeed attack authors through book reviews and nasty book shelves designed to humiliate authors. Then it occurred to me, maybe the bullies actually believe that attacking authors on a personal level through book reviews and harsh book shelves is them being "real readers". 

Maybe they do actually believe that carpet bombing is a "real reader" thing to do. 

They probably seriously do not see that carpet bombing is also bullying. I mean it, I don't think they really believe that these things are harmful to real people on many levels. This is what makes them the bullies that they are. First they deny this is going on, then they try and defend it when evidence is shown that it is going on. 

It boggles the mind. 

Anyhow, like I said, Ms. Rice sees through this, and on the thread, I could tell she was aware of who the bullies are. This made me stop and think, has she educated herself about the bullies? And if so, where did she learn of them? How does she recognize them? Other than eventually, their arrogance eventually shows in their posts, but still, I can only wonder, has she been to STGRB to learn about them? Has she visited Mr. Carufel's blog and learn of them? Has she come here to The Glass and learn of them? 

One can only wonder. 

Regardless, it was more than apparent on the thread that she knew who the bullies were, and she didn't bite one bit on their feeble attempts to disguise themselves, or their agenda. Try as they might, she still saw through them. 

Now, I wanted to post a lot of screenshots from this thread, but the truth is, I don't want to impose on any of Mr. Carufel's screenshots that he plans to post on his blog in the near future regarding this thread. There are also indications on the thread that Mr. Carufel and Ms. Rice may be emailing with each other regarding the bully situation on Amazon / Goodreads. As I mentioned earlier, Ms. Rice seems to be taking a stance against bullying authors on book sites through fake ratings, personal attacks in book reviews, carpet bombing, and nasty book shelves designed to humiliate, and belittle, authors. 

For this, I applaud her. In fact, I give a standing ovation.

Then it hits me, imagine if indeed, Ms. Rice does take an active approach to this matter. Imagine if Anne Rice gets involved enough to bring some national attention to this issue. I can only smile at the mere thought. With her name and presence added to the mix, there leaves no doubt the many possibilities that could lead to a resolution on author bullying on these book sites and forums. This could be just the thing that could bring huge amounts of pressure to Amazon / Goodreads to finally take a more serious course of action to rid their sites of this author harassment that is taking place, and has been taking place for so long now. 

Think about it, can Amazon / Goodreads risk the great Anne Rice going on national television and maybe advising authors to stay away from Amazon / Goodreads due to the abuse towards authors that is taking place? That could pretty much hurt those sites in a major way. Also imagine, if you will, if Ms. Rice was also to connect with some of her famous author friends and recruited them into the fight to stop author bashing through fake ratings, reviews, book shelves, and carpet bombing. The impact could be devastating for Amazon / Goodreads, and all other book sites that allow this bully practice. Especially "Booklikes" and "Leafmarks". 

I get all giggity just thinking about it. 

And from reading through the thread, that's exactly what appears to be going on. One post by Ms. Rice hinted at possibly writing a piece about it. This intrigues me. 

I highly recommend that everyone read Mr. Carufel's post(s) regarding this thread started by Ms. Rice when he finally gets around to putting it all together. (You can go to his blog by clicking on it in my side bar to the right on my blog, if you need to.) I'm sure it's going to be some good reading. 

There are also indications in the thread that he and Ms. Rice are emailing one another. 

With all of this having been said, I will post some screenshots for you to get you prepared on what you might see on Mr. Carufel's upcoming post(s) about the thread. I want to begin with a screenshot of Anna Karenina herself. 


Well, Anna, Ms. Rice is right, no one is disputing anyone's right to give an opinion about something they paid for. The problem is, the bullies are not buying the books and reading the work of the authors you and your friends attack. There lies the problem. The point is, how can you have an opinion on a book you never read? The carpet bombing example of Angela Longstaffe, of which she proudly boasts about in the screenshot above, and was banned from Goodreads for doing, is what this fight is all about. Well, one of them anyway. The other point is, real readers and lovers of books don't do that sort of thing. Ever notice that the only people who are complaining about the "new GR policy" are the same people who practice this abuse? You don't see any "real readers" complaining about it. It's only the those who are bullies (or bully supporters) who are complaining about it. 

So yes, I think Ms. Rice has made her position perfectly clear. Honest reviews by honest readers are welcomed and encouraged, even if they are one star reviews, but fake ratings and reviews (and nasty book shelves meant to belittle and humiliate authors) are not welcomed anymore. And again, I can't stress this enough, fake ratings and reviews are not "legitimate". Hence the term, fake. Real readers give real and honest ratings and reviews. There is no author I know who has a problem with that. 

Here is a comment from Mr. Carufel. 

This is so true, Rick, Ms. Rice's involvement with this struggle is in the worst interest to the bullies. It would be devastating to their agenda. Her involvement would validate you, me and STGRB on a much more national level. This would indeed piss the bullies off to no end. 

The truth is, there are more people out there who would stand against the bullies actions than support them. The bullies know this. They can speak otherwise, but they know. And let's say Ms. Rice does indeed get more seriously involved, and or brings in other high profile authors into the mix, how many of the bullies do you think will try and "jump" ship? But unfortunately (for them), me, you, and STGRB have already documented their activities. They won't be able to "jump" for long. The truth has already been posted as to who these bullies are. They will never be able to escape that. I think that reality is finally beginning to sink in to some. Perhaps they are now fearing the public backlash that could result from Ms. Rice getting involved and bringing many more eyes to the problem. The risk for the bullies is, they could be scorned by the mass population on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else they may be where social media is concerned. And this is the biggest fear now by the bullies where Ms. Rice's involvement is concerned. 

And why am I a little optimistic about her involvement? This next screenshot from Ms. Rice will answer that. 

Now you can understand why I believe she and Mr. Carufel might be emailing each other. And why I also believe that Ms. Rice understands fully the situation at hand. Notice those last two sentences. "Not even here. The harassment is continuing". 

Even on her thread of which she started, the bullies have revealed themselves despite their best efforts to disguise themselves. She clearly sees through them. More telling is, they are harassing people on Ms. Rice's thread!

This next screenshot I like on a personal level. Ms. Rice gives Anna Karenina a dose of reality. Check it out. 

I told you Ms. Rice can see who the bullies are.

In this next shot, Ms. Rice has to post this reminder to everyone. 

This is what happens every time the bullies show up on a thread.

Rick Carufel brings another matter to everyone's attention. Take a look. 

One of the bullies, "Book World" has something to say to Ms. Rice regarding Mr. Carufel.

Yes, "Book World" Ms. Rice sees people for who they really are. More importantly, she sees you and your bully friends for who you really are. Deal!

Carla chimes in. 

See how Carla tries to belittle, and humiliate Ms. Rice? That's the bully way, and one of the many things that Ms. Rice notices about these bullies. I told you, they can't help themselves. They can only be nice and respectable for only so long, and when their "subject" doesn't come around to their way of thinking, they do what they do best, they insult, disrespect, belittle and humiliate them. Thank you, Carla, your point is well taken. Uncalled for, but well taken none the less. I guess the best way to get a famous author to agree with you is to attack them too? Nice game plan there. That will win her over for sure.

Here is Ms. Rice talking about someone who rattled her with a comment. 

Here is Mr. Carufel again. 

Here is Pete Moron, I mean, Morin, taking a shot at Mr. Carufel.

The thing I notice most about this exchange is that Mr. Carufel not only addresses his comment to Ms. Rice, but he never mentions any names, or singles anybody out. However, Pete Moron, I mean, Morin, addresses his response directly at Mr. Carufel. Now, Mr. Carufel doesn't respond to Pete Moron, I mean, Morin, but I will take the liberty to do so. Yes, Petey, he probably does have to use the word "sociopath" in every single comment. If the shoe fits .... But it appears to me you have a problem with the truth. You and your bully friends are sociopaths. 

Ms. Rice tends to agree with Mr. Carufel. 

One of the big things with the bullies is attacking indie authors for their "type-o's" in their books. (That many of the bullies don't even read beyond the free sample first chapter allowed by Amazon.) But Ms. Rice has something to say about that too. 

But we all already know that the only reason the bullies mention those things a lot is to humiliate indie authors they have judged "badly behaving" in an attempt to fulfill their agenda, which is to hurt their book sales. But as Ms. Rice says, nobody is perfect, or immune from type-o's. Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but that's what she is alluding to. 

Oh, Mr. Carufel hits the nail on the head in this comment. 

Ms. Rice agrees. 

Next, I will leave you with why I think Ms. Rice has something up her sleeve when it comes to her involvement with this issue. And why I get really excited just thinking about it. Remember when I said that I think Ms. Rice could bring national attention to this issue? Well, here is why I believe that something big lurks on the horizon. (And why Bully Nation on Amazon / Goodreads and all other book sites should be taking note.)

One thing is for sure, if Ms. Rice can't bring national attention to this issue, then nobody can. Bullies, you are on notice. Your days are numbered. A movement that was started by STGRB has now worked its way slightly into the mainstream, and with Ms. Rice behind this cause, could now explode nationally, and validate everything STGRB, Rick Carufel, and myself, as well as others who dared to take a stand against the bullies, has been saying along for the past couple of years. With just one post at a time, finally, people are starting to wake up to the nonsense going on by the bullies. 

This is not an effort to take away a real readers rights to rate and review a book they have purchased, and read, but to combat the bullies, the fakers out there who rate and review books poorly due to author behavior, and not the book itself. It is a fight to combat those who create hostile and humiliating book shelves all for the sole purpose to degrade authors. This is a battle to stop bullies from attacking authors through book reviews, and the comments attached to book reviews. This is an effort to hold accountable, those who lie about reading books they rate and review, and those who practice the demeaning art of "carpet bombing". (Like Angela Longstaffe is so proud of doing.)

Real readers, legitimate readers, they don't practice this sort of behavior. Only bullies do. And that is who we are fighting here. And this apparently, is also who Ms. Anne Rice wants to take on as well. Like I said, I don't just applaud her, I give her a standing ovation. 

And guess what? You should too.

I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this is The Looking Glass. 

1 comment:

  1. As some of you may have figured out by now, I shut down all comments. My apologies for that. However, Mr. Carufel has a comment he wishes for me to post for him so here it is.

    By Rick Carufel:

    Great post Carroll. I really don't intend to post a lot about my conversation with Ms. Rice as I don't want to fuel the trolls. They will just claim I am trying to exploit Ms. Rice for my own agenda. I prefer that people like you do that reporting. Then I am not seen as the exploitative self-serving attention seeker they try to portray me to be. I care little about attention save for the fact of bringing the stalker troll problem to light before the bullies cause a suicide as bulling has with school kids. If unabated that will happen with an author too.


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