Author and expert on bullying Anne Rice took to her Facebook page this weekend to announce her latest project: She’s writing a book on author bullying.
No, not a book on her bad behavior, but the bullying of reviewers and readers against authors. I could not make this up if I tried.
In what is truly a case of the pot calling the kettle black, Rice will pen a tome which which expresses her understanding of the motivations and actions of the bullies that torment her and other authors so terribly.
Some time in 2015, I hope to complete a substantial pamphlet or booklet about my experience with the notorious gangster bullies who abuse customers and authors online. My focus will be primarily abuse on Amazon — of young writers, indie writers, and self published writers who are most vulnerable to concerted bully attacks. I will not be naming names, using screenshots, and the like — but describing in clear terms the results of my years of research in the Amazon Discussion Forums with these people, and what it is I believe that they do, and why, and what authors and readers need to know about their abuses. If you have experienced bullying as an author or a reviewer or a customer and want to share your experience, I welcome your email and assure you of confidentiality. I will never name names in reporting the fruits of my research unless I have explicit permission to do so or I am referring to a published blog. I have received a number of such emails in the past. One author shared that she came under fire from the bullies because she unwittingly reviewed a book by an author whom they had targeted. Another author wrote that she made an innocent remark on her own FB page which resulted in their collective wrath. I think stories like this are instructive. So again, do email me (email under About) if you have an experience you want to share. I am doing this because I believe the gangster bully situation is an unjust one, and I think authors of reputation (who are largely immune to the “power” of these bullies) have to stick up for those who are vulnerable. It is my hope that my essay on this, in booklet form, may encourage people to report bullying when they see it, and make people aware of the dishonesty and complex patterns of abuse involved. The Book World is really a great place, a bright place made up of countless writers and readers, and countless honest reviewers, and it does not deserve the small, dark undercurrent of internet bullying that has developed in recent years. I’d like to add that I myself love the Amazon reviewing system and review there frequently. As a customer of Amazon I support them and what they make possible. The system, as I’ve known it, has been 99.99% good. And I myself have not been significantly harmed by bullies. This is not about me personally. It’s about those who have been hurt, and what I can do to see that it does not happen to others. Maybe my booklet will inspire others to address it.