Saturday, January 07, 2012

High Road, Low Road

Well, friends. I guess it's time to get off the high road.

As most of you know, my book, The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos," which was selected by Barnes & Noble for special promotion in its exclusive Nook First program, has been out since just before Christmas as an electronic book for e-readers. In just under three weeks, it comes out in paper form and then becomes available at any bookseller.

If you've been following along at home, you know that there's been quite a bit of drama over at my book's Barnes & Noble page. I've been blessed to get a ton of super-great, five-star reviews over there, which is thrilling and exciting. I'm grateful for every one. However, I'm being dogged by a troll reviewer who has been putting up hateful "reviews" for every good review that goes up, from the very first day of release.

(There are multiple reasons, most of which I will not go into here, that make it clear to me and my publisher that these are not valid negative reviews. Yes, authors get poor reviews. No, I don't expect every person to like my writing and my book. These are not typical, believable, appropriate negative reviews.)

For numerous reasons, I have a pretty good idea who is responsible, and if you know me very well and/or have been reading this blog for a long time, like before I learned to moderate comments, you probably do too.

At first these "reviews" were all posted anonymously, as fast as possible, and involved content that mainly trashed my character and made clear that the reviewer(s) had not even read the book. After those became way too suspicious-looking, the commenter(s) adopted various screen names--some totally transparent to me, some simply meaningless.

The latest one accuses me of plagiarism, so that gives you some idea of how low certain spiteful and jealous people will go when they've got nothing better to do.

Many of these comments have been flagged as abusive, off-topic, or inappropriate. My publisher and book marketing manager are in contact with Barnes & Noble regarding an investigation. But in the meantime, this person or persons is/are intent on continuing to bring down my ratings average by putting up a 1-star review for every 4- or 5-star review that goes up. (Fortunately, most potential buyers and reviewers are smart enough to notice the suspicious nature of these troll reviews, and more than one have actually mentioned it in the comments.)

If you are so inclined, and have bought my book in Nook format (also works on an iPad, your computer, or a Nook app for your smartphone) and read all or part of it and liked it, you might consider going over to Barnes & Noble and saying so in a review.

Even if you have not bought and read the book, if you are so inclined, you can go over to the Barnes & Noble page and report the harassing bogus reviews as inappropriate. You can also click "yes" in response to the question "was this review helpful?" underneath the appropriate reviews, and click "no" in response to the same question underneath the 1-star troll reviews. This pushes the bogus reviews to the bottom of the review list and pushes the valid, appropriate reviews to the top.

Yes, you have to "create an account" in order to write a review, report an inappropriate review, or click yes or no to the question (I'm pretty sure). That is a pain in the rear, I agree. But in all honesty, it takes less than a minute. I hope that will not stop you if you are leaning toward taking action against Troll Reviewer(s).

Of course, in the end, good, nice, honest, hard-working, talented people prevail in this world. We all know that. But meanwhile it would be nice if my book's ratings weren't being manipulated downward by a person or persons with serious psychological problems.


Rob Hardy said...

You're an engaging writer, you have a Ph.D., you've published a book being featured by B&N, you have an extremely hot author photo taken by one of your smart and happy daughters, you have a devoted and supportive husband who works hard at two jobs but still has time to ski and bike and buy his friends beers while listening to local bands at the pub, and you're a genuinely nice person. Someone is jealous! I suspect someone who hasn't worked out her guilt issues about being a working mother, and confuses your support for SAHMS with bashing of mothers who work (because secretly she's bashing herself). I've told you about my friend who, when I was a stay-at-home dad, would pepper her conversation with examples of "what you can do with two incomes." I put up with it, because it was so clearly self-justification. And she didn't, unlike this person, do it to be mean.

Angel said...

Horrible!! Some people have too much time on their hands and not enough hobbies. Seriously. Sorry you have such an awful person following you. :(

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your work and it pisses me off that someone is doing this to your B&N page. I just created an account and marked the legitimate comments as 'helpful' and the troll comments as 'unhelpful,' and flagged all of them, too. Best wishes for your book.

Mnmom said...

This is Mnmom - at my sister's place. Who would do such a thing? Who has enough time to carry such creepy negativity in their soul? As soon as it's at MSMR I will be buying it.

Mom and Kiddo said...

The mind boggles that people do not have more important things to do. It's just their inner misery projected outward, but of course, you know that.

Rita said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I agree with @RobHardy, someone is jealous.