Trolls – what is their problem?

internet-troll

As far as I can make out, all internet trolls have an enormous chip on their shoulder. Despite never actually managing to produce a book the general public enjoyed reading in their thousands, they feel it is their duty to tear apart any and all other books who did, always providing they get their claws on a free copy of course!

What do you learn from this? If you wish to be left alone by today’s trolls, don’t give your book away!!!

These days more and more of these loathsome individuals no longer bother to hide behind pseudonyms. Preferring instead to hide in plain sight on various writing sites on Facebook. One of my more recent books has been targeted by two of these individuals – one here in the UK. The other a writer of my acquaintance in the Eastern Mediterranean…

I can only surmise that because of their own inadequacies, people like that see those of us who enjoy some modicum of success as the enemy. They dare not attack their agent, editor or publisher for fear of retaliation, so they vent their spleen by attacking someone they’re not – the successful writer.

Here are a few verbatim examples of typical troll reviews. I have deliberately left out the title and author of each book, to focus your attention entirely on the sheer vindictiveness of the troll involved.

~~~

“The author has based a character on a teenage girl he is obsessed with. He has used her real name without her permission. If that wasn’t bad enough, the quotes in the spoiler tag below show how absolutely disgusting the whole thing is. The only other notable thing is how poor the writing is; the author doesn’t even seem to know the meaning of some of the words he uses. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing. This book makes me sick.”

“Perhaps one of THE worst books in the history of literature…..this history or any other! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Any egyptian national would be offended by this book and any person of average or above intellect (clearly not the author) would be offended by this book. Even within the realms of fantasy this “work” would NOT be considered worthy or considered at all. Perhaps it should come with a clearly stated warning that readers beware of impending rubbish upon purchase? Have i already said I WANT MY MONEY BACK!? And while we are doing that please can i have all reference of this book cleansed from my memory? I will even put thought to financial contribution to the author never self-publishing any future “works” as clearly this would benefit mankind’s future.

“My expectations kept drooping as I read the book until I could stand it no more. I felt like I was reading a narrative put together by a 7 year old without the pleasure of a 7 year old’s breathless enthusiasm. What a waste of time!”

“The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.”

“i find myself struggling to like authors who come up with those strange surnames as well as other worlds.don’t claim to be any better at tho.this bunch of aliens were real sob’s do they get their comupance(sp)?read it & you will find out even if some of the protaganists don’t quite measure up more water could have solved the problems handily”

“This has gotta be the worst book I’ve purchased from Kindle – even at 99c it’s way overpriced. Meandering storylines that just peter out and the ending is pathetic. Best advice I can give you is DON’T!

You will note the dead give away when it comes to Trolls, in particular those domiciled in the United States – Anger coupled with bad spelling…

~~~

Blaming others for their own failings does nothing to endear trolls to the hard working writers they positively hate. Since being banned from what they thought were sanctuaries for their like – Amazon and Goodreads, as I said earlier, the odd one or two have moved to various book groups on Facebook. Hopefully FB will throw them out as well…

😉

Is it just me…

scan-troll

Is it just me or have the rest of you noticed the disturbing increase in the number of thoroughly nasty individuals appearing on all social media sites lately?

If like myself you have the effrontary to raise your head above the parapet, by that I mean, advertise the fact that you are an active writer, by advertising your work or even supplying the link to blog posts like this one on any social media site, inevitably you will be attacked by someone who simply loves to hate. Sounds completely crazy I know, but we’re not talking about normal people here, instead I refer to the totally unhinged, common or garden, lesser spotted internet troll.

These days as a writer you fully expect it to happen sooner or later whenever a book you have written is published, especially by those who make it their personal business to pounce and attack from the shadows on major book sites such as Amazon or Goodreads.

Bizarrely, if you are not being publically derided by people like them, it usually means that your book isn’t being bought. Once the trolls find you, never ever enter into dialogue with any of them, no matter how sorely tempted you are. Just ignore the crettins! The thing to remember with trolls is that were you to physically confront them in the street, they would soon slink away, because without exception they are all cowards.

Occasionally one seemingly normal individual will appear, wanting to befriend you by employing the ruse that you share internet friends in common on a major social media site like Facebook. Normally those I keep in constant contact with on a daily basis, apart from my close personal friends and my distant cousins, are fellow writers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been forced to ‘unfriend’ a non writer, the minute they show their true colours by making the mistake of either attacking me, or far worse in my eyes, attacking one of my writing colleagues. I had to unfriend someone recently, when the person concerned turned on me totally out of the blue while we were ‘chatting’. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have absolutely no time whatsoever for nasty individuals like that.

Recently a few cretins, (sadly one of their number is known to me) have begun attacking a lovely lady and fellow writer I’m proud to call my friend on Facebook. As a successful writer, I feel it is incumbent upon me to stand up for her and all of my fellow writers when they are being publically attacked on social media, even though many of my colleagues won’t, for fear of being targeted themselves.

So my message to all of you is to be extremely wary when someone wants to befriend you from now on. This is the latest tactic being employed by the Internet Troll – first befriend, then destroy!!! If you are the least bit unsure about it, either decline the request, or failing that, ask the friends you supposedly share in common about them first. If they are the least bit concerned, don’t befriend the individual. Better safe than sorry. It’s that simple. In the past I’ve always tended to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who wants to add me to their number of internet friends. No more!

Meantime, I invite you all to voice your views on the subject by leaving a comment below this post.

😉

Blurring the line

troll_2

In the last several weeks, article after article, blog post after blog post has appeared on the internet about the whole nasty phenomena that is the internet troll. Articles have appeared from various correspondents taking differing points of view. When it comes right down to it, I am equally to blame. All sides of the argument which is rapidly descending into an often foulmouthed  war of words are being presented to you the reader.

From where I sit on the side of the  writer, I will continue to defend them to the hilt, even the odd one or two who act like the trolls they say they despise.

A post by M.T Dismuke today  on his blog Expresso for Authors ( See link below) took a refreshingly different approach. Instead of taking sides he rebuked both the Trolls and the management of Goodreads plus the small percentage of contributing authors,  who in their own way are equally as bad as the trolls themselves when it comes to irrational outbursts. While attacking the trolls, the writers in question are blurring the line between good and evil by adopting the same tactics as the trolls i.e using abusive language.

Grow up people, for goodness sake! Let’s all be adult in our approach to the troll situation. Its the writers who must hold the high moral ground here. If we are to turn this whole sad situation around for the ordinary contributing writer then in this context there can be no room for gutter talk. That is the province of the troll. Let it stay there…

http://xpresso-for-authors.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/social-anarchy-goodreads.html?spref=fb

The Number One Literary Hazard Today

Internet-Troll

No one likes to become the target of negative criticism.

In a recent article about the forms of literary criticism a writer can expect to encounter these days, its author described the most unsavoury element, the internet troll, perfectly.

Here is what he said:

“There are two types of negative criticisms you will get. The worst are the trolls, the angry, the jealous and the unskilled. They tend to be easy to spot because they will offer nothing of substance, no intelligent commentary. Insults may be tossed out, pointless comments that are lacking any substance about what was written. It happens. It will continue to happen.”

Over the last few years, more and more of these sick individuals have surfaced. The above aptly describes what awaits anyone, be they a new writer, or in the case of an established one who through necessity or frustration with their publisher, parted company with them to become an independent author, or Indie. Whether or not there is any truth to the rumour currently circulating within the writing community that a lot of the troll attacks are actively condoned by publishers, some major online book sites and a few disgruntled establishment authors, whose books are no longer selling, the fact remains that the troll attacks have quadrupled in the last two years.

I grant you that in a lot of cases, constructive criticism of many of the new books published independently today is fully justified. You will find that they are chock full of glaring errors, such as incorrect spelling, poor grammar, and as often happens with quite a few, no editing whatsoever.  Despite all of this, it does not justify the merciless attacks meted out by the more cretinous type of troll. Until the use of avatars and pseudonyms on the internet is outlawed once and for all, the world of literature will not become a troll-free zone. While both forms of anonymity still remain, these cowards will continue to lurk in the more unsavoury corners of the Internet, waiting to pounce on their next victim.

Were I to offer any advice to a new writer today, it would simply be this – under no circumstances ever participate in any form of free giveaway of your book, no matter how much you are encouraged to do so. Why – because that is when you will come to the notice of the trolls. They never ever pay for a book like any normal human being, preferring instead to get a copy for free.

While a lot of media attention is drawn to the vicious troll attacks against vulnerable young people on social media sites these days, I would argue that the often vulgar and downright abusive attacks delivered by the faceless cowards within the shadows of the literary world are equally as harmful. As yet I have not heard of a writer being driven to commit suicide, but sooner or later it must happen. Writers are like anyone else when it comes to being hurt by what the trolls say. Not all are level headed or adult enough to simply shrug it off.

You have been warned…

Internet Trolls – what is their problem?

internet-troll

As far as I can make out, all internet trolls are failed writers with an enormous chip on their shoulders, who have never actually managed to produce a publishable book. Because of their anger at being rejected due to their own literary inadequacies, they see those of us who enjoy some modicum of success as the enemy. They cannot attack the agent, editor or publisher who rejected them for fear of retaliation in the form of a law suit, so they vent their spleen by attacking the easiest target – the Indie writer. Just take the time to look at the average one star review written by any one of them and it is obvious why they failed.

Here are a few verbatim examples of the typical kind of one star review. Every one of them is poorly written. I have deliberately left out the title of each book, to focus your attention entirely on the sheer vindictiveness, appalling spelling and grammar used.

***

“The author has based a character on a teenage girl he is obsessed with. He has used her real name without her permission. If that wasn’t bad enough, the quotes in the spoiler tag below show how absolutely disgusting the whole thing is. The only other notable thing is how poor the writing is; the author doesn’t even seem to know the meaning of some of the words he uses. It would be funny if it wasn’t so disturbing. This book makes me sick.”

“Perhaps one of THE worst books in the history of literature…..this history or any other! I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Any egyptian national would be offended by this book and any person of average or above intellect (clearly not the author) would be offended by this book. Even within the realms of fantasy this “work” would NOT be considered worthy or considered at all. Perhaps it should come with a clearly stated warning that readers beware of impending rubbish upon purchase? Have i already said I WANT MY MONEY BACK!? And while we are doing that please can i have all reference of this book cleansed from my memory? I will even put thought to financial contribution to the author never self-publishing any future “works” as clearly this would benefit mankind’s future.

“My expectations kept drooping as I read the book until I could stand it no more. I felt like I was reading a narrative put together by a 7 year old without the pleasure of a 7 year old’s breathless enthusiasm. What a waste of time!”

“The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.”

“i find myself struggling to like authors who come up with those strange surnames as well as other worlds.don’t claim to be any better at tho.this bunch of aliens were real sob’s do they get their comupance(sp)?read it & you will find out even if some of the protaganists don’t quite measure up more water could have solved the problems handily”

“This has gotta be the worst book I’ve purchased from Kindle – even at 99c it’s way overpriced. Meandering storylines that just peter out and the ending is pathetic. Best advice I can give you is DON’T!!”

***

Even when you take into account the differences in spelling between English speaking nations which a lot of trolls constantly bleat about, is it any wonder that they are failed writers when you read the above examples?

I think not…

Are Internet Trolls Really a Threat?

Internet-Troll

As recent events have unfolded, I have begun to wonder how much of a threat or hindrance to the Indie writer the troll really is. I firmly believe that their pathological blind hatred of any Indie writer, be they a first timer or one who enjoys moderate success with their books, actually works to the writer’s advantage.

Far from deterring readers from buying an Indie’s book by employing their misguided campaigns designed to discredit and end a writer’s career, and by writing their often absurd so-called reviews, in fact all they achieve is the exact opposite. When the potential reader comes across a one star review in the midst of four and five star reviews, it heightens their curiosity. Often it is all the hesitant reader needs to convince them to buy, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

In Goodreads for example, one particular troll has created a hate list of books entitled When Hell Freezes Over, driven by her insane desire to do harm to one particular writer. The list is populated not only by that writer’s work but the books of all his fellow writers who he counts as friends.

Here is the link to that particular list:-  http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/when-hell-freezes-over

This is not the only list, there are many of them both on Goodreads and on other internet book sites and outlets.

So, are Trolls really a threat to the Indie writer? I think not. If anything we should be thanking them for making readers who otherwise may not have come across a specific book aware of its existence.

This is a list of known Trolls on Amazon:-

Amanda Welling

Amazing Grace

Anna Karenina

angela longstaffe

Bruins Gal

Carla

Cathyr

Coaxial Creature

Cphe

Curmudgeon

Charlene

Dog Lover

ETA: soon

G

Ginmar

Gunspurs

Hamstead

HJ Leonard

H.Stewart

In2Books

Iola

John Green

K.L. Clark

Kathryn

KarlynP

Kelli

Mahala

Marcus Pailing

Mayhem

Michael McKinney

Misfit

Miss M

Nana Janet

Ness

Nospin

Old Rocker

Pete Morin

peachbird76

Rachel

Scamp

ScottBooks

Sires

Strawberry

Teacher Mommy

Tansy Gold

TheInQuisition

Twinny

Note that like all cowards they hide behind pseudonyms. If you come across a one star review written by one of them on Amazon, you will find that by clicking on their ‘name’ you see exactly where Amazon places them in its ‘Top Reviewer Ranking’. Not one of them rates as a genuine top reviewer. Most reside in the system’s doldrums with a ranking of two million or more.

Will they ever wake up to the fact that their campaign of hatred actually favours the Indie writer – probably not? The average Internet Troll left their brain at the door when they entered their bedroom to continue their often vitriolic attacks. So I would like to thank them for actively promoting my books on Amazon and Goodreads via their hate lists and their one star reviews. How many of them are still operating is anyone’s guess!

What each and every one of them forgets is that their actions constitute a criminal act under US Federal and State law. The same applies to their cousins in the United Kingdom…

Ever Wondered Why Writers No Longer Rely on Reviews?

Glob_Cover

“The story dosent really pull the reader in. The writing is ment for a very young reader. The story line is rather boring.”

I offer this genuine internet review for the book shown above, obviously written by someone who cannot spell to save themselves, as a classic example of today’s trend in internet troll reviews.

Fortunately most genuine readers simply ignore them.

While their numbers are low, the major internet book distributors seriously need to look at their current rules and regulations regarding who can and cannot submit a review. Unfortunately, one major internet book distributor allows these people freedom to vent their bile.

Why?

Reviews like this can be found on most books pages on one particular major book distributor’s internet site. Is it any wonder that many writers today can no longer rely on the whole review process anymore, let alone bother to read them for the purposes of feedback?

There was a time not that long ago when writers relied on genuine professional reviewers who were connected with the publishing game to sell their product. Unfortunately these days the trend is now for a book to judged by its cover and by nonprofessional reviewers, instead of its content. There is also another ridiculous internet practice currently in vogue – the phenomenon of ‘liking’ a book.

If you think the above only applies to ‘Indies’ you need to think again. Many well established writers working through one or other of the major publishing houses are also being targeted by trolls through internet book distributing sites.

In some instances, many of the so-called reviews are anything but. In recent months I have heard from other writers of many instances where when challenged, the ‘reviewer’ freely admits that they haven’t actually read the book in question!

These people need to be made aware that because they currently have the freedom to post a review, an internet book distributor’s site is not just another social interaction site like Facebook or Twitter. Its purpose is simply to offer books for sale…