When I received zero bad reviews for Gods of the Mountain in the first 5 months of its release, I decided I needed to go to someone notorious for giving negative reviews so that others wouldn’t accuse me of paying for them. I was also looking for feedback before the audiobook went into recording, so on the Bookstooge’s review policy page, I commented:
“I need a bad review, my book has only been getting 4 and 5 stars (mostly 5) and it’s beginning to look like I’ve been paying for them.”
I’d made such blogger requests before to varying responses but he found my comment humorous enough to agree and we traded emails where I made my intentions clear. Eventually, he did write a review, but before I poison the well with my opinion of it, feel free to read it yourself here along with the comments section which I’ll be referencing.
Adding and subtracting points from his rating for reasons like my emails to him showed that the review was meant to be a little tongue in cheek. These points, as well as the book having “Sandersonitis” was accurate. I did resend the book while editing it for the audiobook version and it was partially inspired by Brandon Sanderson. If he thought it was funny to subtract points for that, I had no problem with it. Everything accurate in this review, I found funny.
It was when he started lying that I got a bit antsy, and his denial and threats in response to my requests for clarification or correction revealed how petty and dishonest this reviewer really is.
Those of you who read my blog will know that I take pride in not being an indie author. Being only selected by traditional publishers, I haven’t paid a cent to get my writing published and I doubtfully ever will. So when I made a comment correcting a claim on his review that I was an indie author, which I thought was unnecessary considering the publisher is mentioned on the VERY FIRST PAGE, he didn’t feel the need to correct this or add a note or reply at all. Being an optimist, I regretfully gave him the benefit of the doubt and took it as an honest mistake.
Before assuming that he was willing to throw his integrity as a reviewer out the window to discredit me, I decided to address another point in his review I was unclear on.
His first remarks on my writing linked to another post in which he took a quote out of the context of its sentence to convince his readers of its “ambiguity”. I think we can agree that out of context “being turned on” could mean arouse, but in the sentence he removed it from, the character mentioned “even the youngest of them could harness the power of the symbols” which were already revealed to be deadly when used… yet he was blaming the book for an assumption he made that it was sexual in nature despite this context.
He went so far in the comments section of this “quote post” to imply I didn’t use an editor despite, once again, the editors being referenced in the book. In the review, he also claimed that this was one of a handful of instances that the grammar was “awkward”. He later clarified in an email that there were 5 of these instances, but upon requesting other examples so I might improve the book by removing them, he suddenly became defensive and, sounding like a drunk, said:
“I’ve let a lot of your “give me answers and detailed justification” comments alone. Don’t comment again. This is your only and final warning.”
You can read the comments for yourself, it’s all there. I didn’t ask for answers or detailed justification, in fact, I was being damn right jovial and accepting. All I asked for was another example, and I figured with him mentioning a specific number of them, that he might be able to point them out and help improve the book before the audiobook began recording. Yet as many religious men do when asked for evidence to hold up a lie, I can only assume he felt backed into a corner and that threatening to censor my next comment was the only way to get out of it.
He mentioned “this is why I’m always hesitant to review upon request.” to which I assume he’s done this to someone else before and think no wonder they had problems with you. He also mentioned “I’d try him again in 5-10 years” but I’d prefer that he didn’t read anything of mine in the future just in case he tried to peddle even more BS to his meager following.
Consider this bridge burned, dishonest manchild.