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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Questioning a fellow Author's Integrity...

Anyone that knows me, knows this.

1) I am a kind and giving person, that does things for others never expecting anything in return.

2) I am an integral and dignified person, always doing me best to be the best I can be, and try to surround myself with like minded people. I'm honest and genuine.

3) I SUPPORT AUTHORS & the writing community!!

Now before I get started on the details of this post, here are a few details you should know.

1) In my attempt to support authors and this cause, I offer a wide array of service FOR FREE!

* Why free? Because in offering my services free I am able to freely express my honest opinion, keep my integrity, offer real advise, keep my divinity untarnished as in so doing I will not be dubbed a "Sell-out" and people cannot say that I did X & Y for the money. This also makes me a trustworthy individual.

* I also find that in offering free services and help to authors, it is beneficial for them as well.

2) One of the many services I offer are 'Read & Review's'. For this I have a select group of like minded individuals whom help and assist me in these reviews. Integral women and authors, who like me, simply want to help.

* Per my submission guidelines, the reviews that we give are HONEST. Now, "honest" does not always equal "good" Honest, is honest. Period.

* Since we have a high volume of submissions, though we try, we do not always guarantee that we will all read the same book at the same time. So in the attempt to be more efficient, at times my board member may be reading different stories/books than I. Yet, all stories/books are the ones submitted and are read in order of submission, AND we keep our promise to read & review the book(s) submitted.

* My review board and myself are open to multiple genres! We read almost any genre. Period.


Okay, now that that has been said, here is what happened...

Author James McAllister submitted his story "The Best Laid Plans" to us for review. When his book came up in line, I sent it out to the other 3 members of my team to read, as I was bombarded by other works (things I was doing for the writing community, mind you! FOR FREE!), for whatever reason one of my reviewers had received an illegible copy and I was unable to read the book. That left 2 reviewers.

So, I thought to myself, "Well 2 reviews are better than 1."

A few days passed and I heard back from both reviewers telling me that the story was very difficult to follow, and simply put, not all that good. But they both promised to push through it.

* SIDE NOTE: A week prior to this, I (myself) had read the authors first book and since I genuinely liked it, I gave him a good review. AND, a Author Spotlight on my blog to boot.*

A day or two later, I finally got some time on my hands to pick up the book and start reading it for myself. In all truth, the book was inundated with technobabble, details of things that did not require such detailing, and not enough detail on things that needed it the most.
I admit, I (personally) made it to Chapter 5 then called it quits because this story had no real firmament and the plot and back story were all over the place, thus leaving me in a more than confused state.
So, I thought to myself, "I've already given a review on his other book, and rather than tarnish his reputation as an author, it's best to not say anything at all," After all, my mother always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, than don't say anything at all"... I simply had nothing good to say about this story.
So, as I had already reviewed his other book, helped promote his work in a great many ways (FOR FREE, MIND YOU... not asking for anything in return), I felt that me not leaving a bad review (as I couldn't honestly give a good one) was more than fair.

The next day, I touched base with the other 2 reviewers. Both tell me that they are having the same difficulty as I and I give them the option of moving forward with the read and leave a review, if the so desire, or if (like me) they could not say anything pleasant about the story, to set it aside and move onto the next book, as (once again) we (as a whole) did not want to hinder the authors reputation.

1 of my girls opted to set it aside, the other opted to press on. For that, I give her props! It took heart and will-power! I thought to myself "1 is better than none."

A day or 2 pass by and my reviewer contacts me and says that she'd read the story almost completely, excluding a few pages (1 or 2 at the most) and was ready to give her review. She sent her review to me for approval, as is accustomed. I do this to ensure that no harsh or disrespectful are said.

Her review was not a good one, but she was specific in pointing out the details which she felt were lacking in a very respectful manner, offering constructive critique. I gave her the go ahead and she posted her review.

That evening an infuriated and appalled Mr. McAllister emails me to and proceeds to insult my group and myself. Rising allegations that I purposefully gave his book to a person that did not like sci-fi, therefore did not read past the 1st Chapter and insulted him in her review. He was rude in his email.

I responded in turn and very professionally stated the terms of our review process which is all indicated upon submission. I also told him that my reviewer did indeed read past the 1 Chapter of his book and she formulated her review accordingly. The man was not accepting of this and proceeded to send me several offensive emails. Back and forth the emails went. All the while, I was being professional and standing my ground, and standing by the fair review that was given by my board member.

His last email to me was extremely offensive, and at that time I threw all professionalism out the window and let him have it. Okay, I admit that that was wrong of me, but I am only human.

Mr. McAllister refused to accept this and proceeded to visit all of my websites and slander our review board. Accusing us of purposefully giving him a bad review. That our integrity and honesty were at question, and so on. He would not let up.

I was forced to ban him from my webpages. Following are some photos of our conversation. Please be aware, that I am only showing the photo's of MY end of the conversation, as apparently Mr. McAllister had another fiasco with my reviewer on her end as well, emailing her with rude and obnoxious comments.

So, why am I blogging about this? Because if you cannot take constructive criticism and want your ego stroked than my review board is not for you. As stated in our submission guidelines; we give HONEST reviews.
It's so sad to say that once I'd gotten his first email, I instinctively knew that I could not put slander past him. I knew it was coming!

Alright people... What do you think??