The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

GalleyCat Participates in Author Victimization

Okay. I like to think of my blog and my books like I think of a bakery – a place to go when you want to lift your spirits – when you just want to feel good!
Well, today is not a day full of warm fuzzies. Because sometimes, no matter how hard you want to dodge the drama, there are some crappy things worth speaking up about.
I’ve been spending some time on the Amazon Kindle Boards – it’s a great place to meet other authors, readers, find great reads, and for the most part, it’s much like a bakery – a place where you feel good.
A few weeks ago, an author that calls himself Christopher Smith appeared promoting his book Fifth Avenue. The community welcomed him, took a chance on his book, and drove his book to the top ten board. The book was labeled a thriller, but as days went by and readers tucked themselves into the book, they discovered some very explicit sex scenes. We are talking golden showers, people using excrement in their sexual interactions…well, you get the point. A few readers spoke up and said while they believed everyone had a right to read any book, they would not have bought the book had they known about the graphic sex that, really, had little to do with the book. The conversation was polite, an educational/entertaining discussion ensued until Smith began to lash out at everyone, even those who supported him! He accused one woman of liking rape because she didn’t voice distaste over Stieg Larssons book.
Well, needless to say, Smith acted unprofessionally, and then accused people of being homophobic when no one even had a problem with the gay characters in the book! Posters continually marked Smith’s posts as abusive, and the threads disappeared. And he disappeared. Or so we thought.
He appeared in an interview on GalleyCat, in which he professed to be the victim of a homophobic smear campaign.  Well, I don’t know what horrified me more, the outright lying or the fact that the reporter MaryAnn Yin, didn’t have ANY facts to back the story up. Nadda, nothing! All she had was the word of one man trying to sell his books.
It is no wonder people are distrustful of news sources.
Amazon Kindle Members responded to this horrible excuse for an interview and stated: 
ZeroGrizz: This is all poppycock. The original post about his book on the Amazon forum was from a reader who was startled by a fetish sex scene in the book that she didn't enjoy. She did not post smearing the book, she posted saying she wanted to let other potential readers know that they may find it offensive and that she wished the book had some sort of content warning on it.
I'm gay. If I thought the original post or the resulting conversation was homophobic I'd certainly speak up and say so. Having been the brunt of homophobia many times in my life (to the extent of losing two jobs because of it) I know what's what. This author is doing as much harm as gay bashers, by using it as a hot phrase to try and sell more of his books and cheapening true gay bashing. FOR SHAME!
William Maxwell: Unfortunately, not too long after that the author himself got involved, coming back onto the thread and posting some very vitriolic and insulting comments (such as the one previously mentioned, where he suggested a reader liked rape, and asked her what that said about her). At this point, the rankings for the book began to fall off, and readers who had previously supported him began posting that they had returned his book, or that they were sorry they'd posted positively about him in the first place. This is the entirety of the "controversy"-- that the author behaved in a rather asinine fashion, and instead of turning away from a few negative comments, let them get to him and started insulting his supporters. There was definitely no "organized campaign" by rabid homophobes-- anyone who's ever spent time on the Amazon boards knows that the posters on Amazon couldn't agree enough on ANY topic to mount an organized campaign.
Deanna Figueroa:
The man wasn't slandered, quite the opposite. He attacked readers and accused people posting of being sock puppets for a rival author. His behavior was despicable. I lost all respect for the man, who has used these threads which no longer exist to exaggerate what was said and is now using the incident to charge other authors for promotion of their books and garner sympathy for himself. If the threads were still on Amazon, he wouldn't be able to make most of these claims. He's quite lucky his own responses are no longer available to be viewed. His own words did him no favors at all.

This was my response to GalleyCat:
Shouldn't this be titled: Readers Respond To Christopher's Smith's Lies? Where are you facts? Because one person said "I was treated this way" and a whole slew of other people disagreed, you assume that one person spinning the story to get his name in headlines is true?
GalleyCat states they are the 'first word in book publishing' - more like last, unverified, word.
Here's a word for you: Apology. You need to retract that unverified story of Smith fighting a homophobic smear campaign and if your parents sent you to college for journalism - you need to apologize to them for wasting their money!
What author Smith is leaving out is that he states "As a critic, I expect honest reviews." Yet when a negative review is left on Amazon Smith leaves a harassing comment demanding why there is no verified purchase tag next to the review. Surprisingly, he does not ask the 'glowing' reviewers why there is not a verified tag next to those reviews.
Smith failed to mention that he held a contest on his website, and if someone left a review for his book on Amazon, they would be entered to win 200.00 worth of movies.
Smith failed to mention that he is so impressed with himself, he is charging authors 400.00 a pop for advertising on his websites and telling them his "secrets" to best seller stardom. Unfortunately, after he started promoting for an author, her sales came to a complete halt.
Smith does not mention that his book is currently ranked 117,000 in Barnes and Noble.
The only way he climbed up the ranks of Amazon was by taking advantage of an open minded community whom he unprofessionally attacked at the first "honest" review.
If someone is considered a bully or homophobe for attacking a person due to his sexual preference, I wonder what you would call someone who uses a very serious sensitive social issue, pretends to be a victim of it, and accuses a community of persecuting him: Oh, you call him Christopher Smith.
I also hope, in the future, reporters will make sure they have concrete facts before they print a story solely based on one person's ill conceived perceptions.

The End. 
Back to our regularly scheduled martini....