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Monday, March 24, 2014

A New Column On Book Killers

In a followup to yesterday's illustration of a Book Killer, I'm updating and expanding on a column written by Hayley Campbell for The Statesman, that my partner RJ Parker found. It is an excellent article about book killers, professional 'One Star Hit Piece Reviewers' and even famous authors getting fed up with the Amazon Marketplace 'look the other way' dealings with the BK's.

The truth about Amazon's Marketplace is definitely illustrated in this column. I don't agree with Ms. Campbell's view of the fight nor Anne Rice's. Cambell is wrong in that she thinks ignoring BK's is the way to go. It's not. A simple polite response to the obvious ones, coupled with burying them with a few held in reserve honest good reviews is a concrete strategy. Heated arguments with reviewers in public is not the way to go, but we have to do what we can in a professional manner, or simply allow the BK's to kill our sales without a fight. If we don't confront the Book Killers when possible to make legitimate points, we many times allow their hit piece to stand as the totem pole a reader sees when taking a look at our novels.

Anne is wrong because people are already sick of hearing about 'bullying' in any venue, but especially from authors. It makes us look pathetic if we do that. The first thought running through a reader's mind when they see something like the 'bullying' tag is 'ahhhhh... poor baby'. We should, and I know I can, argue a point with the worst troll on the internet, like that 'One Star Hit God' Chris Roberts, Campbell writes about. We can never lose our cool. Every comment we write should be a well thought out and written point in a factual manner. Anne Rice is now embroiled in a troll war she can't win. Once the name calling begins, the point becomes lost. It's a shame too, because she could have led a real movement to counteract the BK's. I share her frustration with Amazon, but troll wars in book comments or on Twitter feed the trolls, not the facts. We can't hide behind victim status under overworked tags like 'bullying', but I do like the fact famous authors like Anne Rice are getting fed up with the Book Killers.

Hayley Campbell's column in The Statesman


Charles Gramlich said...

I'll have to check it out. I'm curious as to the motives of the BKs. What is triggering their behavior? Are they just trolls, or is there something else behind it?

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

The one guy highlighted in the article named Chris Roberts prides himself on doing one star hit pieces, and claims no one can stop him. A rival True Crime author wrote BK reviews on every one of RJ Parker's books last year. Interns for major publishing houses have admitted in the media to being assigned BK duties on Indie authors. The underlying cause varies, but at this time, there's just not much we can do other than make a polite comment here and there when given an opening. They do damage sales, and ignoring them completely would only work if you're Stephen King or Lee Child. For the rest of us, one and two star attacks can indeed kill a book. Rough marketplace, Charles. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, the things people will do just to make asses of themselves.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I found another article on Chris Roberts, titling him as the Internet's most prolific troll, Charles. I guess he's after notoriety in blasting what others create. This is a link to Joe Veix's column in The Business Insider:

Chris Roberts did a one star hit piece on my partner's book yesterday, so I guess the guy keeps track of his name too. As you say 'the things people will do just to make asses of themselves'.