Monday, February 14, 2011

Candace Sams Archive #7

The Candace Sams Affair: The Archived Version (Part 7),

For all whom are curious, this is a word for word posting of everything that was said during the Candace Sams affair on amazon. I altered none of what was said. The only things I changed were some html that had been attatched to the word document that had come from the amazon page. (And I took that out because it was bloody hard to post here on lj.)

I bear no ill will towards the author. This was not posted in order to either boost or lower her sales. This is here to educate writers, both new & veteran on how not to respond to a negative review.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 1:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author 6 hours ago
 Jackie M says:
Oh I haven't looked, I don't care enough, I just find it odd that you keep saying she did this without proving it with a link back to the blog post. And I've read LB's comments and she hasn't posted any link. Which just leaves me to guess that you've fabricated the imaginary article. Plus, you've said LB hasn't been talking to you, so I doubt she sent you a link to where she requested her minions to come attack you.

A ton of people are talking about this discussion, but I think it's due more to your comments than anything LB has done.

Also, I find it really odd that a publisher doesn't know how to contact an author they have under contract.

8 of 8 people think this post adds to the discussion.

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 1:43 PM PST
 W. A. Woodworth says:
Your book might be getting a 1 star review, but I'm giving this discussion thread 5 stars!

Thank you, internet!

5 of 5 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 1:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author 26 seconds ago
 John Green says:
Niteflyr1- you seem to be ignoring the fact that you're the one who started all of this ""haunting of the site"" by your own actions. What started out as simply one person's opinion has grown into the stuff of Internet Legend: ""The Writer That Wouldn't Die!"" (and you'll probably misconstrue the use of the word ""die""). Its surreal that you typed so much about 'the right of the individual to speak' as you doggedly slam and ridicule the reviewer for doing just that. I seem to recall your initial ire being raised over the use of the phrase ""you've been warned"". Allowing for snarkiness, as people are wont to be, a politely worded request for the one-on-one you crave so much might have served. Instead, here we all are...

Without having read your novel, I'm guessing you've probably written more on this site than you did for the book itself. Incidentally, I'd like to say thanks for letting me be a part of this soon-to-be-legendary endeavor. It was... intriguing.

Almost forgot- I see that someone's alerted your publisher about this whole fiasco. To borrow your ""Gestapo"" comment gods-know-how-many posts ago: when the jack-booted copyboys come to haul you before that brown-shirted Editor With The Armband you attempted to scapegoat and silences your Lone Voice Of Freedom... just remember- we all tried to stop you.

You've been warned.

15 of 15 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 1:47 PM PST
 Reece Notley says:
[Deleted by the author 5 hours ago]
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 1:53 PM PST
 Magdalen77 says:
L B Taylor didn't ask anyone to come over and defend her. This person is feeding her own persecution complex.

8 of 8 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 1:58 PM PST
 Magdalen77 says:
I don't think that comment sounds crazy, but you are correct I likely shouldn't be over here egging you on to even more craziness. I apologize but I do like to watch things like ""The Smoking Gun's World's Dumbest...."" and this thread has some of those qualities.

5 of 5 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 2:02 PM PST
 Karla Y. Munoz says:
This reminds me of watching slasher fics. You're staring at the screen screaming at the blond not to run into the woods, but they don't listen.


11 of 11 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:16 PM PST
 Niteflyr One says:

But that's what I do, Jackie...I'm crazy, remember?

Taylor referred to a blog posting over at Amazon in one of her very first contacts with me. I couldn't care less that you can't find it...there was never a link, it was a post where she directed me. I went there and saw what was said.

No one has answered my question....what about my disagreement with the reviewer brought you here? Is it for the publicity for your books? Will you be posting excerpts and handing out promos? Will there be cross-posted release dates?

Why is it so paramount that I shut up? What about my paragraph to Taylor and the succeeding posts with her (when she would talk before leaving) has you all so pissed? What's scaring you so much? I'm not afraid. In fact, this is kind of liberating. Every one of your posts almost screams in fear of what's going to happen to me. What about ANY publisher or editor has you so frightened that you'd react so violently?

Folks, I'm still here. The sun is still shining. I have a great job...I just spoke with some defense security personnel this morning and they didn't find anything at all odd about me. They invited me out to dinner tonight...and they're buying <g>.

I'll lay this out one more time, though no one is listening.

This isn't and never was about my taking an overwhelming dislike to the reviewer's rating. It was about how long it would take you parasites to jump over here once I actually said something to her and stood my ground. I could set my clock by how long it took you amiable, friendly, kind and tactful folks to get here and attack. This is what has happened to other, better known authors than I, for doing the same exact thing. Posters on this loop have stated they'd 'never buy a book from me'. I don't want your business. If you cannot let me at least speak about my book, on a page designated by for my use, then there's some serious trouble in these here good old States. I don't want anyone who'd squash a right to buy anything I'm selling. No book, no product of any kind is worth shutting up and backing down on a right I believe I should have, just so you won't get mad at me - I'd have thought you'd have figured it out...I don't want your kind of business. There are millions and millions of readers out there who couldn't give a fig's difference about this entire conversation. There are probably only fifty people on this post site who canNOT believe I'd do something so incredulous as simply stand up for my right to question a reviewer. How flaming dare I? Who am I after all? What gives me the absolute, unmitigated gall to confront a reviewer?

Yeah...I dare. And I'll keep daring. Keep using the same verbiage, ye olde idiologues...I'm not going to stop saying what I want to. There's no romance book in the world worth giving up what I think is a right...however small a right it might be; however unknown I might be, however wreckish and freakish this situation may seem. Any author has the right to question any reviewer's comment. Any reader has that right as well. If that's not your cup of tea, then don't do it. I'm not forcing down your collective throats what you should or shouldn't do in the same or a similar situation. I had no problem with Taylor posting her comment....the trouble started when a very small part of the publishing community came over here to tell me how to handle my business. I'd think that if I tanked in this business, you'd find only a little less competition to deal with, if any at all. So....let me tank. I'm not hearing this outraged roar from anyone that you so seem to promise. And the sun will still come up tomorrow...

1 of 14 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:22 PM PST
 Boo says:
Ms. Sams wrote: ""Once again...thank you. I don't want you reading my book. Please don't. Burn a copy if you can find one....go to every internet site you can and have every cronie you know come over here and post...the more the better....""

--It sounds to me like she is one of those ""even negative attention is good attention"" kind of authors Go ahead and count how often she 'begs' you all to get more people here, how often she tries to nonchalantly tell you 'I don't care if you buy' or 'I have TONS of loyal supporters, I don't need you!'

It sounds to me like she's begging for the sales. And she's a little blind to reality.

6 of 7 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:26 PM PST
 Niteflyr One says:

And what would you know about reality, Boo? You're spending your Monday night chasing after a romance author's posts....

1 of 12 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 2:28 PM PST
 Karla Y. Munoz says:
I'm not an author who writes books. I write fanfiction.

I'm not a parasite. I'm a homosapien, thank you very much. XD

I was linked here by a friend. She couldn't quite believe this train wreck. I don't blame her.

You're welcome to say whatever you want. Of course you are, then again, so are we.


8 of 8 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:33 PM PST
 Elizabeth Vail says:
Dear Niteflyr,

Okay, I'll bite - I'll answer your question. LB wrote a review - she wasn't intending to start a discussion. You call her a coward for not responding - why does she have to respond? Just as you believe your comments should matter - so should LB's. I think that's why people are getting on your case, is that you are angry that LB won't answer your rebuttal. But it's an opinion - one that LB had while reading your book. She wasn't intending to start a discussion, so I don't consider her a ""hit an run"" reviewer - she stated her opinion. She's entitled to that opinion and she's also entitled not to respond to your attempts to start a discussion, because she's already had her say.

Nothing you can say can convince her otherwise of her opinion - I don't mean you personally, I mean anyone who says ""you've read and evaluated the book wrong for this and that reason"" isn't going to have that effect. It doesn't change how the reader reacted and evaluated the book the first time and that's what counts. First impressions are important.

I believe in your first response you also said that it was obvious LB was making a personal attack, which I (and several other readers) personally didn't get from reading LB's post. I think this is another reason for the number of comments on this review. It's not that you're committing a crime or doing anything ethically wrong about responding to a critic - it's just that it's an entirely pointless action. It doesn't change the person's opinion so what is the point?

As well, by mentioning the some of the parts the reviewer disliked about the book were the result of the editing your book received - again, how is that relevant to the review? The reviewer critiques the finished product - it's not up to them to point blame, it's up to them to evaluate the product as a whole. I appreciate that your book is the result of much work and effort from you, your editor, your publishers, etc. - but the reviewer's job is to review the finished product and, in LB's opinion, it didn't pass muster.

Again, if you feel the parts LB found unsatisfactory were the result of editing, why not open a discussion with your editor - I mean, if you agree with LB that these parts were also unsatisfactory, why not use this review as part of your discussion on whether or not your editor's input is helping or hindering your book?

 12 of 12 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:33 PM PST
 Niteflyr One says:

How many times can you folks use the word train wreck? <g> Can't you come up with something more imaginative....implosion might be good <g>? And, as you can CLEARLY see....others ARE linking the posters over here. And where a carcass has been presented...maggots will be found.

0 of 14 people think this post adds to the discussion. ________________________________________________________________________

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2009 2:36 PM PST
 Niteflyr One says:

Why wouldn't she respond? Why would these 'kindly' folks rip me a new orifice for questioning her? Why 'after' questioning her...did all of the malcontents show up with their remarks? What was the entire affair to them?

Like I said...I could have set my watch by the response time....

As to my editor...only the office staff under him is answering the phone. He hasn't been heard from in many, many months.


 John Green says:
Niteflyr1: ""This isn't and never was about my taking an overwhelming dislike to the reviewer's rating. It was about how long it would take you parasites to jump over here once I actually said something to her and stood my ground. I could set my clock by how long it took you amiable, friendly, kind and tactful folks to get here and attack.""

What follows are the original postings in their entirety:

Niteflyr1: It looks like this reviewer has something personal against the author. Apparently, he/she doesn't know that most titles of this kind are written to please an editor these days and the editors are sometimes wrong in asking authors to re-write to 'their' specifications. But this review was more a diatribe on a comparison of 'other' stories the reader liked as opposed to reading the title and reviewing based on the new kind of work that it was meant to be.

LBB: I LOVE science fiction romance. Been reading it for years. Also love light hearted romances. Been reading them for years. Sams book was just bad. (And if a bad book is published just to please an editor should I read it, much less buy it?)

Niteflyr1: And there you go's easy to play the critic...not so easy to take the criticism.

LBTaylor: I've never read any of Candace Sam's books before this, so there was nothing personal against the author. In fact, I thought when I read the reviews on Amazon it would be a great book to read. I love this genre but when I pay good money for something and the story is just plain bad I can't recommend it to others. I want people that read my reviews to know that not all books are four or five stars. That said, I would encourage authors to read 'Romance Pet Peeves' under 'Products Tagged With'. It's not just me, Niteflyr One. An added thought, Niteflyr One, one of my favorite books is Mrs. Mike. For several years I have been looking for the old VHS tape starring Dick Powell that came out in the 1940's because I would love to see the movie. I've read the book several times. So see, we do appreciate some of the same things.

Niteflyr1: As stated before, it's easy to post criticism...not so easy to 'accept' it. These hobby-posters are known in the professional publishing world as, ""hit-and-run"" reviewers. I would suggest readers view Harriet Klausner's reviews - she is a ""professional"" reviewer with experience.

LBTaylor: I can read the editorial review(s) such as Publisher's Weekly on most pages to see what the book is about. I don't want a ""professional"" book reviewer's opinion though I wouldn't mind reading Ms. Klausner's honest review of a book- whether she liked a book or not, and why. I respect that you don't agree with my review. I still think the book is not good and can't recommend it to others.

Niteflyr1: As before and ad nauseum, clearly it is much easier to rate a book poorly than it is for the reviewer to take criticism of 'his/her' own review. This becomes less an issue of review protocol and more an issue of 'do unto to others' but 'do not do unto me'. Again...I point to Ms. Klausner as a number one reviewer for She knows that authors rarely have full editorial control; rarely do they have even 'scant' control over their covers or the language used in dialogue or even sequencing of scenes: love scenes, kissing scenes, scenes of violence, etc. These are ultimately controlled by editorial staff...very rarely the author alone.

Ms. Klausner is reviewing with the knowledge that a professional reviewer would have. That is to say that she knows the titles are judged in relation to others of their kind, the differences inherent in trying new concepts as well as pacing, world-building, imagination, etc. While it is certainly 'any' reader's right to review, clearly there are some who are not as familiar with the industry, they are not even in tune with other cognitive readers when it comes to genres. Some are not even in tune with general fair-mindedness and comportment. Even readers who don't like books are not so generally vitriolic as the reviewer with whom I take issue.

In short...the power Amazon gives, some would-be reviewers take to heart and readily 'slam' books over and over and over (as the reviewer in question has done time and time again). This becomes less a 'review' issue and more -sad to say - someone's willingness to wield a bit of power rather carelessly. There are 'better', more intelligent ways to review even poorly written books...for some less experienced and less well-read, this becomes an issue of either the book is a 'five' or it's a 'one'.

The reviewer above cited conversations on blogs to prove his/her point. Those conversations were, on the whole, fraught with sophomoric comments blaming authors for all kinds of editorial decisions over which they have no or very little control (kissing scenes, cover content, love scenes, language, etc., etc., etc). The bloggers, as with this reviewer, used information based upon what they 'think' the author should or should not have done, to write their so-called 'reviews'. This is a little like most of us telling a gardener how to grow a rose even if we've never grown one ourselves and know nothing about how to do it. Once more...I point to this reviewer's previous comments - of other books - to make my point.

This reviewers comments across Amazon - emotionally and not objectively made - have become riddled with what appear to be caustic remarks that aren't helpful. But this is the nature of many posters on Amazon. There is a tendency, because of some need for power, to vilify authors' works. The above reviewer, as I have stated, has made a habit of doing this very thing. This leads me to believe the reviewer in question is somewhat of a frustrated romance author - who could not get his/her own work published - or who cannot write a manuscript at all......there seems, therefore, to be a need to render rather caustic attacks and on those who 'can' write and who 'can' get published.

In conclusion...the Internet has become a refuge for some who see 'their' opportunity to brandish a bit of power. Reviewing this reviewer's comments...he/she has made good use of hating a lot of books and letting the world know it.

7 of 9 people think this post adds to the discussion.

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