Crucified…Party of One

Hi All,

Happy Wednesday.  Jennifer the scribe, here.  Usually I try to make my posts marketing related, and knowing that writers make up a large part of our audience, don’t use the Scribes blog to talk about myself, but about what writers do and how we do it.  But, today’s an unusual post because over the weekend I was placed in an unusual set of circumstances.

If you receive the Romance Writer’s Report, you may have run across the ad I placed on behalf of my company, Market or Die Author Services.  The ad was simple. It stated what my company offered and what our basic pricing structure looked like. A few weeks later, a friend notified me that a post about Market or Die popped up on Absolute Write Water Cooler, located in their beware and background check forum.

It wasn’t pretty.

Almost instantly Market or Die Author Services was cited as a scam and associated with Publish America (absolutely, not true!) My website was criticized for being too vague and ripping off poor, unsuspecting writers who should know better. Then, a few friends jumped in on the forum in my defense.

It only got worse.  So much worse, that I can’t write about it, but you can read it for yourself here:  http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259446

The Water Cooler forum went on to criticize my own personal webpage, my current employer and asking clients and friends, who posted on my behalf, to post their sales numbers as a result of working with me. And, when they didn’t….the form went on to criticize them in return.

Now, you might be asking yourself at this point why didn’t I jump in an fight my own battle? The truth is, I applied for a user name at Absolute Write so I could do just that.  Access to the forum was never granted to me. Yet, the Peanut Gallery continued to spin their lies.

I now know how Obama must feel when he watches Fox News.

Suckerpunched, and deflated, I had no choice than to sit at my kitchen table and read the virtual mud ball fight happening before my eyes. So, now it’s my turn.  Here’s a taste of your own medicine peanut gallery…let’s see how you like it.

To screen name: Kahzarkhum, please stop wasting your time on absolute write and go write something of substance.  Although, now that I think of it, you’re probably writing on the forum because you can’t write anything of substance.  Lord knows, you can’t use a mouse and do research or you would have known your subject matter prior to your initial post.

To screen name M.T. Logue – Wow, you’re really internet brave, hiding behind that screen name.  How’s the view from the cheap seats in the peanut gallery? To answer your question, increasing the number of likes on an FB ad gets you need people to engage with.  Any writer who has a concept of marketing will tell you FB likes does not equal sales.  Please do your research so you do not continue to embarrass yourself. Your comments were cruel and hurtful.  I hope someone treats you as you have treated me one day.

To anyone who has ever been internet bullied, I feel your pain.  To those who haven’t consider yourself lucky.

~Jennifer

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11 thoughts on “Crucified…Party of One”

  1. Someone should tip over that water cooler and get it off line. I read the stuff, Jen, but I had to register before commenting-and I never got their OK email. There are people out there that have nothing better to do than to be mean. I’ve dealt with it in reviews of my books. Seems there should be some internet police to take these people out of commission.

    1. I was able to get access late yesterday, Joy. I dropped by the cooler and tried to state my position, and clear up some misconceptions regarding Author Services. The commenters there have already made up their minds. Nothing I can say will be able to make them think ok, maybe you do have a point. So, I was professional, and dropped in to comment. I won’t be going back. It’s a waste of my time. I have clients to support, a son, and a book to write. Not to mention a full time job at one of the world’s largest corporations. Frankly, I’m too busy to deal with a bunch of schoolyard bullies. I can only hope they remember my name when they see it on the NYT bestseller list one day!

  2. Unfortunately, there will always be people who take pleasure in dissing others to make themselves feel more important, Jennifer. They are small-minded individuals who can’t seem to help themselves but to jump into the pitch fork frenzy when they see a potential witch hunt on the horizon. it’s the typical “mob mentality.” I think you find that kind of thing anywhere that large groups feel threatened by the unknown. You being a newbie in the field of providing marketing services for authors, especially at a time when authors are so defensive about all the changes taking place in the industry, puts you in that “unknown” category. A site like that, though, who exist under the guise of trying to help authors, should be more responsible about doing their research before they make judgments and start to slander businesses they clearly know nothing about.

    So sorry you had to experience the “ugly” side of this industry. Just remember how many great people you know who are writers that think you are awesome at what you do! I, for one, would not be where I am without your invaluable marketing advice. Hang tough, my friend!

  3. I know how it feels to be ganged up on by bullies, or to have your motives misinterpreted then criticized when your intentions were good. Some people take delight in being ugly and assuming the worst of others, especially if they are able to hide behind a screen name. Real journalists would have contacted you BEFORE the article ran, so you could respond to each point. It’s a matter of basic fairness.

    Here’s the thing though, Jennifer. I never would have heard about this if you hadn’t written your blog. You are giving these people great free advertising. My advice would be not to defend yourself because it just keeps the issue up front and center. Delete your blog post and FB mention, ignore the bullies, and keep doing what you do. I see your posts every day. You are an energetic, positive, well-intentioned person. Don’t let them steal your light!

    1. Thanks, Kate. You are a love. I wanted to write about it, more for education to others than anything else. Internet bullying happens, much like the big kids in the school yard who want to take your milk money. At this point, taking down the blog and FB posts could be interpreted that I was embarrassed over what happened. I’m not. I think anyone who reads the AW blog string will see an example of how to handle a volatile situation. Be calm. Be professional. Defend your position and know when to walk away.

      I won’t be going back to AW. I have no plans of blogging about this after today. However, if anyone learns from my experience I think it’s worth it.

  4. I think if anyone were to bother to google any of the authors, they would see their websites and work. Secondly, to ask someone about their sales figures is in poor taste and just bad manners, so in that you must consider the source. Don’t you worry, Jen. Publicity is good no matter if it’s good or bad. You just keep doing what you’re doing.

  5. Agree with Kate!!

    I can’t tell you how many unprofessionally wannabes I’ve met in my ten years in this profession. Most are bitter and frustrated that they are not successful and feel the need to take it out on someone else rather than take responsibility for it themselves and get to work. It’s fear that drives all of it. The more scared someone is, the more they lash out.

    People like this, unfortunately, are a dime a dozen. Haters are all over the place, and they don’t listen to reason. Don’t waste your time or energy on them.

    1. I won’t anymore, Melanie. I ended up feeling like I had to respond. I had clients post on my behalf and then get eaten alive. I wasn’t about to let them take that kind of treatment from anyone. So, the moment I got access to the site, I went on and tried to defend my position. I was calm and professional. Hopefully, this blog post will give the reader an idea of what they can do if it happens to them. Did I handle it right? Who knows. But, it’s a lesson to us all regardless. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Yep, I’ve been bullied online, especially in horse forums. This is the first time I’ve seen writers turn on each other.

    Still, I believe that authors facing online peanut galleries – or even hecklers at appearances – is not a matter of “if” but “when.”

    The conventional wisdom of Don’t Lower Yourself to Their Level doesn’t seem to work on social media because the conflicts show up on Google searches, perhaps even on the first page of results.

    I suspect we authors should formulate a crisis communication plan/policy in advance, before we get caught up in reactive emotions and start leaking blood into the water?

  7. To quote the West Wing (one of my favorite shows) “The Internet has been a wonderful tool for hate groups.”

    It’s a sad state about how people choose to use their voice online. More often it’s to tear down instead of build up. In the history of online discussions, no one, anywhere, has ever won an argument online. Logic seems to be in drastically short supply. As well as compassion, but that’s another rant.

    No matter how much effort is put into dousing a flame war, only one thing works, letting it burn itself out. Everything else just fans the flames.

    Now, because I’m a guy (and I like to fix things), I might have a solution for you. It’s a sneaky, skulky kind of solution best done in a trenchcoat. You go through the back door (I know you. Stop thinking naughty thoughts!). Instead of dealing with forums, go to a much more authoritative and objective source. Write to the pred-ed.com people here: http://www.pred-ed.com/pecontac.htm#EM to get Market or Die listed on their promotional pages.

    Then we can pick out a nice spot in the New Jersey wetlands to put the recently acquired anthropology information to work.

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