The moral? Don’t let bullies stop you. Keep making great art!
Y’all remember what we said in our Guidelines for New Authors? Trolls like free things. In particular, trolls like free books just so they can hate on them. Or even worse, they write nasty reviews on (potentially free) books by authors they believe to be badly behaving.
Case in point:
If any of you see this kind of thing, please report it. Trolls shouldn’t be allowed to steal a book just to post a nasty review because the author is on their hit list. This should never be allowed to happen.
More news on Gavin Hetherington. It appears as though Gavin is leaving BookLikes because he is fed up with the bullying. The most recent message he received on the site was the last straw:
He gave us his permission to publish the message. We have no words to describe how loathsome and disgusting it is:
We want everyone to know we think this is absolutely unacceptable. Bashing (i.e. gay-bashing) of this nature we thought was below even the bullies. Apparently not. At this point, nothing they do will surprise us.
It appears as though Jenny Trout has made a good decision. She’s decided to stop bashing Anna Todd. In her latest post, she writes:
And of course, she wants everyone to know that we had *nothing* to do with her decision:
Whether or not this is true, whether or not we had anything to do with it, or anyone else did, or the fact that Jenny just joined Wattpad last April and doesn’t want Anna’s fans coming down hard on her, we don’t really care. In fact, Jenny can tell us to f*** off all she wants and call us all kinds of names if it makes her feel better, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that Jenny made the right choice. She realized that Anna is a human being with feelings who also happens to be one of the sweetest people on the planet and doesn’t deserve to be bashed just because she’s successful. Writing an honest opinion about a book on your blog is one thing, but bashing the author and her book because you’re jealous of her success is another. And in the end, we’re glad Jenny came to see that.
Good for you, Jenny.
We wanted to point out a couple of recent comments left by blog readers who made a very good point about Jenny Trout’s criticism of Anna Todd’s book. Her criticism of the condition of Anna’s manuscript, it seems, was done in ignorance since many people don’t understand how Wattpad works. The March Hare said:
By attacking the grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. of Anna’s manuscript, Jenny and her friends are really making themselves look foolish. Has anyone here ever used Wattpad? I would describe it as a “creative writing website”. It’s a website where you write your story in rough draft, let me say that again, ROUGH DRAFT, and publish it for your friends to read and critique. Because Anna acquired millions of followers and reads, publishers took note and that’s how she was picked up by Simon & Schuster. People need to do their research about Wattpad and how it works before they start criticizing someone for the condition of their manuscript. Not only are these people mean and jealous, they’re ignorant and that’s a really bad combination.
I wonder if Jenny is even aware that Wattpad is a place where you post your FIRST DRAFTS.
Yes, your FIRST DRAFTS. Your UNEDITED manuscript.
She’s reading it like it’s a completely edited, published novel, which isn’t what actually happens on Wattpad. WP is for first-draft beta reading.
And they’re right. If you go to Wattpad and sign up, there is a button at the top of your profile that says:
If you click on it, you’re taken to this page:
It is literally a “type and publish as you go” website, so if there are books on Wattpad that appear to need editing, that’s why. To criticize a popular book on Wattpad for not being “perfect” is like criticizing the appearance of a diamond right after it’s been mined, before it’s even been cut. The criticism is just out of place and inappropriate. Now, once Anna’s book is cut, polished, and published by Simon & Schuster, then Trout and her cronies can have at it, but in the meantime, they should probably keep their silence.
Well it looks like our last post on Jenny Trout bashing Anna Todd hasn’t gone unnoticed by the jealous author and her bully friends. Yesterday, they took to Twitter in a frenzy. Jenny even thanked us.
Aw, wasn’t that sweet of her?
You don’t have to thank us, Jenny. We were happy to do it. You know, it says a lot that a young woman of 25 years is conducting herself in a much more mature manner than you are. We’re not surprised she’s so successful. Hey, here’s an idea! Maybe once you grow up, you’ll be able to follow in her footsteps and be successful, too!
In the meantime, everyone, we get to enjoy her self-glorifying conversations with her fellow Twitter bully buddies:
This one reminded us of some of the comments on Jenny’s Anna-bashing blog rant:
And we absolutely loved the irony of this one written by Rick Gualtieri, the king of idiotic bullshit:
You’ll all remember Rick as the indie author who defended reviewers who threatened Lauren Pippa. We came across Rick when we discovered he was a member of Angela Horn’s Asshat group back before her group was dissolved and she was banned from Goodreads. Rick’s a real joy to be around if you’re a member of the low class troll population, aka the GR exiles and the BookLikes Bullies. Otherwise, we recommend steering clear of him.
So, you see that, folks? Ad hominem attacks, insults, jokes… this is about what we expected from them because it’s the kind of thing that the bullies do whenever they are called out on their behavior. Instead of realizing their mistakes and apologizing, or even responding with a well-placed and reasonably sound counter argument that would reflect some sort of intellectual sophistication, they resort to what they do best — self-projected gibes and failed mockery.
Ah well, as one of our new blog readers always says, haters gonna hate.
Professional jealousy is a topic that has been brought up several times on our blog in reference to some of the bullies. These are the bullies in our lists who are not just readers, but also authors who seek out other authors to harass, threaten, bully, and otherwise destroy their careers. Namely, these are authors like LH, AH, AS, etc. They are the ones who’ve bullied other, more successful authors like Jamie McGuire, Jessica Park, Amanda Hocking, EL James, Anne Rice, etc. More than once, our blog readers have made the comment that professional jealousy plays a HUGE role in this bullying and we at STGRB have to agree. However, we’ve never shown you actual proof of this fact until today.
Now, ever since Jenny Trout was banned from Anne Rice’s blog a few weeks ago, we’ve been keeping a close eye on her blog. If you all don’t remember that wonderful episode, we covered it in Anne Rice Bans the Bullies. Basically, Anne left a link on her Facebook page to our blog post covering Carpet Bomber #9, Nenia Campbell. Upon hearing of this, Jenny Trout, along with several other of her bully friends, hopped on over to Anne’s Facebook page, harassed her, and tried to get her to believe lies about about our website in order to discourage her from supporting us. Anne, being the intelligent woman that she is, saw through their nonsense and did what all victims should do when they are under a bully attack. She deleted their comments and banned them all from her page, including Jenny.
Now, in Jenny’s recent blog rant on author Anna Todd and Anna’s immensely successful book, After, Jenny Trout not only harshly criticizes Anna’s book (or more appropriately, her manuscript) for very minor, very fixable problems, she insults Anna personally, coming very close to calling her a plagiarist. Then, Jenny admits to being jealous and tells her readers why.
Hmm… okay. Here’s a secret that one of our oldest and wisest blog readers shared with us: you don’t have to write like Shakespeare to tell a compelling story. Because that’s what readers care about. THE STORY. It doesn’t really matter if there are a few punctuation or grammatical errors in the manuscript, readers want a good story. And there are authors out there who tell compelling stories and their voices resonate with large audiences. No one really knows how or why. It just happens like that sometimes.
In Anna’s case, she wrote a compelling story she loved and she shared it with her friends on Wattpad. It resonated with A LOT of people. She did it ON HER OWN and built HER OWN author platform. That’s the kind of thing publishers like to see and capitalize on and they do. Does it matter that Anna’s story was similar to another that we know? No. There’s a phrase that comes to mind — there’s nothing new under the sun. Ideas and story elements get recycled. It happens. Sometimes when it does, the story catches on and acquires a large readership. And this is what happened with Anna’s book.
It also helps that Anna Todd is a really cool person. She has a lot of online friends and followers. She’s not a bully or a condescending grandmother type who pats people on the head and murmurs, “Oh, my sweet, summer child.” She doesn’t write jealous, disgruntled blog posts bitching about other people’s success. And we’re pretty sure she’s never been banned from Anne Rice’s Facebook page, or anyone’s Facebook page for that matter.
So, Jenny, here’s our advice: GET OVER IT. STOP comparing yourself to other people and their career success. Down that path lies madness. If you go down that road, the ugly green monster of envy will consume you. START focusing on yourself, your writing, and your career successes no matter how small they are. Whether it’s an email from a favorite fan or the sale of a new book, any success you have should be celebrated. Because really, it doesn’t matter how successful you end up being, there will always be someone who is more successful than you and who’s chosen a path to success that you, in all your wisdom *rolls eyes*, don’t approve of.
So, what are you going to do? Constantly bitch and moan about other people’s success and sit in your corner of the room with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face? OR are you going to be an adult and choose to be happy with yourself and your life and your own success regardless of others who are doing better than you?
It’s your life, your happiness, and your decision.
Make it a good one.
P.S. If you think Jenny’s post was bad, the comments on her post are even worse. The professional jealousy in all of them is VERY apparent:
In our previous post, we showed you an example of what not to do as an author. It was an incident that happened back in 2011 and as a result, the particular author involved experienced an incredibly harsh backlash from it. A backlash that should have never happened. This was around the same time the BBA culture began to evolve that consisted of self-appointed “author police” who take it upon themselves to “punish” authors for their so called “bad behavior”. As we have shown on our blog time and again, these people are nothing more than internet thugs and cyber bullies who delight in hurting other people for some ridiculous rule or standard they’ve created, to which they have decided to hold the entire world accountable… well, except for them and their friends.
And we’re not talking about the generally accepted rule that an author should never get into a reviewer’s face about legitimate, negative reviews of the author’s books. We’re talking about all the absolutely ridiculous rules these self-appointed “author police” have made up since the BBA culture began, like:
These rules and many others like them are absurd. Authors ARE NOT second class citizens. They have a right to have an opinion and they have a right to voice that opinion.
Also, what we’ve noticed is that the case we presented in our previous post is very rare. It is on a rare occasion where we see an author go into a reviewer’s space and harass them for a bad review. What is far more common these days are bully attacks on authors who’ve either spoken out about the bullies and their behavior, like this:
Or when they speak out about something else, like a review of another author’s book or a topic about which they feel strongly… like Todd Barselow’s anonymity petition to Amazon. You all remember when Todd started his petition back in February and March of this year, right?
Well, what we want to show you today is a list that one of the top Amazon Fora Trolls, Anna Karenina, created and posted in the Amazon fora, displaying the names of authors that signed Todd’s petition. We’re not going to display the list here. If you want to read it, you can click on the link.
Yep, you read that right! Anna actually hunted down the names of these authors and listed them publicly. AND she put links to their Amazon profiles in a direct attempt to cause damage to these authors. She did it deliberately with malicious intent. She knew what would happen. She knew that by listing them they would automatically become targets, which they did.
And why? Was it because they harassed reviewers about bad reviews of their books? No. It was because they SIGNED TODD’S PETITION. Yep, that’s right. All they did was sign a petition. That’s it.
So, we decided to do a little research. We went down the list and checked out the books on GR by the authors listed to find the damages done to them during the time that Todd’s petition was circulating in the media and AK’s list was created. What we found was A LOT of carpet bombs and A LOT of sock puppet carpet bomber accounts, several of which were created during that time period (that we will feature on our blog shortly).
Below, we share a few screenshots we took. You will notice there is one troll who’s been on our BBG list for a long time, who pops up on almost every author.
The following are a few from one of the top author’s books:
Here are more from another author’s books:
We could continue, but we don’t want to bore you with screenshots. We think you get the point. The Amazon Fora Trolls are out to harm any author who tries to have an opinion and a voice, even if they are just signing a petition.
Shame on you Anna K.
To let our readers know, if there are any authors who have a grievance against this woman for harm she has caused and would like to serve her court papers, we know who she is and where she can be found. If you are currently pursuing this, contact us privately and we can give you that information.
In our next few posts, we will show you more examples of the AFT harming authors.
So stay tuned.
We wanted to let our readers know that Gavin Hetherington just recently contacted us to thank us for setting the record straight regarding the “Gavin the thief” fiasco. If you all remember, a blog reader left a link on our blog weeks ago about a Gavin Hetherington in the UK, living very near Gavin the author, who stole money from an old woman. Suspicious that it might be the same Gavin, we stated on our blog that we would do some digging to find out the truth. After a bit of research, we discovered that Gavin the author and Gavin the thief were two completely different people. Apparently, Gavin the author hadn’t seen our post on this when we published it. Gavin also apologized for any wrongs he may have done or any hurt he may have caused anyone. Because of this, we have removed from public view the two posts we published on him, here and here. We leave them as a record and will only allow viewing upon special request. We are, however, leaving up our four part series Once Upon a Time in the Land of BookLikes to show what the bullies did to him. This story we feel is important for illustrating to our readers how quickly the bullies will take a false claim, utterly destroy an author with it, and then blame other people (like us) when they find out they were mistaken. Gavin gave us permission to post his email to us: Thank you for contacting us, Gavin, and good luck.
Below is a screenshot of a comment by KarlynP left on Gavin’s recent BL post explaining that he sent us the above email. We are posting it to show people how easily the bullies lie and end up believing their own lies much like the time they thought Google had blocked us. Remember that?
We have one word to describe your comment here, Karlyn: BULLSHIT. We are calling you on your bullshit. You need to get your facts straight, sweetheart. But of course that always seems to be too difficult for you, doesn’t it? There was no blood on our hands and you know it. We don’t know who left the link to the article on our blog nor on Shelby’s and we certainly didn’t call Gavin a thief. Nor did we “make” Shelby accuse him of thievery. She did that entirely on her own. What we said was that the two Gavins could be the same person and that we would do some digging to find the truth. Well, guess what. We found the truth and we posted it for the sole purpose of clearing Gavin’s name. Why did we do that? Because your friend, Shelby, and her minions smeared him throughout the ENTIRE blogosphere. They were wrong and they owe him an apology. And we have yet to see that apology given.
Recently, we promised one of our blog readers we would give an example of something an author should never do. This is it. Below is a perfectly legitimate review done by a well-known review site and following, is the author’s response to it (we’ve purposefully kept the name of the site and the author anonymous).
Please, authors, don’t ever do this:
No. Just no. If a reviewer, especially a reviewer involved in a blog tour, writes a review that is this professional, don’t ever do what this author did. This review was not a bully review (i.e. a review that personally attacks the author or is written for revenge). This review was also not mean-spirited in any way. The reviewer simply wrote what he/she thought of the book. That is not bullying.
Edit: Also, in this particular case, the author experienced a huge backlash from this, which we don’t condone either. Bullying an author for a mistake like this is wrong, but it does happen. We’ve seen it happen over and over. This is why we’re warning our readers and giving them an example of what not to do.
There has been some debate over whether reviews are for readers only or for authors or both. STGRB has stated our opinion on the matter both here and here. In general, we agree that reviews are for readers, but there are a few fine points to be considered (see conversation linked above).
We may be doing some more posts on this topic in the future, but in the meantime, we have several posts planned for next week, a few of them, requests by some of our blog readers.
So stay tuned.
We were contacted just recently by an author (we will call Anon) who was bullied last year. She wanted us to pass along this message to those who bullied her:
This author also let us know that she will be releasing a new book this year. To this author, all we have to say is:
That’s the spirit, Anon! Don’t let the bullies tear you down or stop you! Keep making great art!
And to all those STGRB haters out there, we say:
Cheers! Be patient. So much more is coming.