Category: Absolute Write

Okay, well, this is old news but we thought we’d cover it anyway.  If ya’all remember our post on The Banning of Robin Sullivan, you will know that anyone who disagrees with either Mac Stone or Uncle Jimbo, especially if you state your views on indie publishing (oops!  I’m not supposed to call it that, am I?  Oh, silly me!) gets banned from the infernal snake pit called Absolute Write.  You will especially be a candidate for banning if you’re a successful independent author like Joe Konrath or — wait for it — Hugh Howey!

Here’s what happened from Hugh’s own words:


And yes, Michael Sullivan is the husband of the Robin Sullivan in our original post on the subject.

So, if you’re surfing the AW Water Cooler and you find yourself being attacked by snakes on all sides like Harrison Ford and Karen Allen in RotLA and end up getting banned for defending yourself, don’t worry!  You’re in very good company.  We now consider the banning of anyone from AW (especially a successful indie author) to be an official rite of passage.  😀

One of our blog readers asked us to share this new anti-bullying site that focuses on stopping the bullying on both Goodreads and Absolute Write.  When you get a chance, be sure to check it out:


When we said that there is something rotten at the core of GR, we were right.  To recap from our previous post, Something Rotten at the Core of GR, we told you about what happened to GR member Kathy when she and Angela had a disagreement in the then secret Asshat group.  (To read that discussion, go to Asshats Will Be Asshats).  After we published their disagreement on our site, Kathy suddenly found that her account was being tampered with by one of the moderators at GR.  That is, her reviews and messages started disappearing.  When she tried to replace them, her account was deleted altogether:


What’s more, Eve Thomas who had announced she was back on GR to promote her new book on domestic violence, suddenly found that out of nowhere, one of her blog posts had been deleted and then shortly after that, her account was completly blown away as well.

What do these two women, Kathy and Eve, have in common?  They both had run-ins with Angela.

Not only that, shortly after our publication of Something Rotten at the Core of GR, we had a wave of people contact us to let us know that when they had shelved Angela’s books as Badly Behaving Author, their accounts, too, were booted from the site (which made me almost choke on my wine when I read this blog post.  Can we say that Angie is just a tad hypocritical?  Why, yes, I think we can!).

In the comments on our last post, speculations went flying everywhere about the Goodreads staff being involved in the corruption and criminal activity.  Now, given a new piece of evidence, we know for sure that they are.  A site visitor sent us this screenshot of a comment taken from Angela’s review of Kristin Michelle Adam’s book:


For all those who don’t know what TPTB stands for, it’s “The Powers That Be”.  So, now we know that Angela is one of “The Powers That Be” on Goodreads, which means that she is either a moderator or some kind of manager.

Is this all starting to make sense now?

Now, let’s give you a little taste of what Angela is like:




As you can clearly see, she is a very angry woman.  To read more about Angela, you can go here and here.

So what is our message today?  Why are we showing you this?  Because, these are the kind of people who are running Goodreads.

We’ll say that again, this time a little more loudly:


With Angela being TPTB on GR, the site is really getting to be exactly the kind of snake pit Absolute Write has become with Macallister Stone as its owner and moderator (if any of you don’t remember our post on AW, please read The Banning of Robin Sullivan).

So, on that note, we’re going to end this post with a comment left by Karig:

Aaaaand this is why Goodreads is utterly worthless for authors: The inmates are running the asylum over there — or, at the very least, one of the inmates has access to the security office.

You’re absolutely right, Karig.  The nutters are indeed running the asylum.


An addendum.  We wanted to show you this blog post by A.H. showing her reaction to GR friends with whom she has just had a falling out.  The post is very telling about her character:


We now have her listed on our Biggest Offenders list and on our Scary Run Fast sidebar.

Whatever you do, watch out for this one!

Okay before we begin today, we want to share a couple things with you.  First, this one will crack you up.  It’s a new list the bullies made called Authors Behaving Beautifully and guess who are among the ABB on this list!  That’s right.  Looney and her good pal Elly Helcl.  You remember Elly, the one who tried to pretend she was her ex-husband to get the password to our GR & Copyright post.  When I saw this list, I about spit out my coffee all over my laptop.

So, if any of you have a few authors you want to add to this list (i.e. authors they hate, muhahaha), by all means, have at it.

Now for some sad news, we just recently found this story, I Quit, on the Passive Voice about an author who quit writing.  If you ever see this happen, either to an author you read or someone you know, please give them all the support they need to keep going.  When it comes to writing, the golden rule always applies: Never give up!

*sigh*  Sadly, we have four new bully stories.  The first one comes from an anonymous author who was targeted for being a very successful self-published author.  That’s the only crime she committed – she was self-pubbed and successful.  Go figure.


Another author we heard about is Sophie Monroe who was targeted by Coaxial and ETA:soon:


We don’t know what Sophie did to incur their wrath but it probably wasn’t much knowing the nature of these two trolls.  The link to Coaxial’s (Shoshana Bick) review is here and ETA’s, here.

The other targeted author this week was Martin Hopkins:


Here is the link to the first thread, here’s the second, and here’s his GR page.

(Note: we want to say thank to our eyes and ears out there who keep informing us of the victims.  It’s helpful.  This way we can let these people know that it’s not them; it’s the bullies.  It helps victims to know that they are not alone.  That there are others out there who have been targets like them.)

And last but not least, we heard from another person (an author this time) who was just recently banned from Absolute Write.  If you all remember our post on The Banning of Robin Sullivan, we warned people to stay away from Absolute Write.  Well, this person sends the same warning.  Her first message to us was this:


When Athena asked her about her story, she sent this:




She ended the story with her final thoughts:


She is right.  Successful writers don’t spend their time engaging in this petty shit.  They spend their time actually writing.  And stay far away from the Absolute Write Water Cooler.  The AW mods are vipers.  They’re the worst of the worst.

So, in conclusion, let this be a lesson in our continuing bully education: beware on GR, on the Amazon Fora, and on Absolute Write.  These are common online hangouts for the bullies.  Please spread the word (quietly) to those who may not know.

Who knows, you may end up saving a life.  :)

In response to popular demand, the following is a post we published on September 2, 2012, about the banning of Robin Sullivan from Absolute Write.


We’ve had several requests for a post on this subject, but we were waiting for a good example to show everyone.  “An example of what?” you ask.  An example of why it is a good idea to steer clear of Absolute Write, or at least of its water cooler.

Now, if there is any environment more toxic than GR, it’s the Absolute Write Water Cooler.  It’s a snake pit.  And not just any snake pit.  We’re talking Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of snake pit.  Why is it so bad?  Its not just because of its members.  Its moderators play a big part in it, too.  Keep reading and we’ll show you what we mean.

Now before we continue, we want to show you some Alexa reviews we found here.  All of the five star reviews are legacy reviews, because once upon a time, when AW was fresh and new, it was a good place to be, but slowly over time, it became corrupt.  Many of our readers tell us that it has to do with a certain person who took over as moderator/owner, but before we get to that, here are the most recent reviews we found:




Gosh, does this sound familiar?  Does it surprise anyone, then, that there is a HUGE overlap between AW and GR?  Not at all.

Now, to show you what we mean about this site (and what these reviews are talking about,) we’ve decided to cover the banning of Robin Sullivan for this post, which is appropriately titled, I’ve Been Banned!

Those who know Robin tell us she is a terrific lady.  She and her husband have been very successful: he as an author and she as an independent publisher.  Robin is very savvy and knowledgeable when it comes to the the publishing industry.  If you are just starting out as either a writer or a publisher, we recommend consulting her.  She is very nice to newcomers.  Her blog is here.

So what happened to her?  Well, we’ll let her tell you from her post:

I was in a conversation at Absolute Water Cooler entitled: Can I try and traditionally publish after making a kindle/e-pubbing?

The general opinion of many posting there was that you’ve shot yourself in the foot by self-publishing first as the first publication cherry had been popped and therefore the book is now “dead” as far as getting agent representation or finding another publisher.

My position was that you still can publish that work. And people are not as concerned as they once were about the first publication rights. The points I raised included:

  • As my role in acquisitions, I actually seek out self-published authors to sign with Ridan
  • Michael resold his works that were self published (and for six-figures to boot)
  • Several self-published authors from the Kindle Boards were recruited by the Trident Group for representation.
  • Noah Lukeman, a major NY publisher recruited self-publishing authors D.B. Henson and J.R. Jagger.
  • I also posted 4 recent deals on Publisher’s Marketplace for recently signed self-published works.There are actually three different posts on AW at this time on this exact subject so some of those points may have been made in other similar posts – I’ve not bothered to look back.

In any case any post by myself or Kevin McLaughlin (who had similar opinions) were dismissed indicating that there are many others on the site with years of “real” publishing experience and if they say the works are dead….they are dead. They stated over and over that this was “common knowledge” and neither produced nor were required to produce any facts or supporting documentation backing these claims.

If you read the thread, you’ll see that Robin backs up her assertions with real facts, real numbers, and real documentation (i.e. links.)  The others don’t.  They just tell them that they’re wrong because they said so.  Once she and Kevin started noticing a double standard in the discussion, what happened?  MacAllister Stone, the moderator we mentioned above, banned her with this message (Robin had the presence of mind at the time to screengrab it):


In case you couldn’t read the message, here’s a close up:


The moderator – I’ll say that again – the MODERATOR, MacAllister Stone, said:

“Just get the hell off my site. You’re relentlessly snotty, rude, and you’re a fucking bald-faced liar. I’m done with you.”

So, you see why we’re telling everyone to steer clear of this place?

Need more proof?  I know many of you don’t but we’ll give you some more, just for kicks.  In this thread, an AW member theaveng, told James MacDonald that he made a dumb comment.  Who is James MacDonald?  This guy:


Now, be aware that ol’ Jimmy Boy here is tight with Mac and the other moderators.  So, when theaveng told him he made a dumb comment, how did the moderators respond?  With this:


Hmm… *scratches chin*  So, she says:

“James D. MacDonald is a respected writer, editor, and writing teacher is part of the publishing community. He’s also part of this community, and you will respect him and the other members of this community, or you won’t be posting here.”

Hey, Peter!  Can we get a translation of that?

Peter:  Sure!  Here ya go!

“James MacDonald is a puffed-up, self-important peacock who thinks he’s God’s gift to the literary world.  You will kiss his ass or else I will ban you and call you a fucking bald-faced liar. We decide who gets respect around here and who doesn’t. That would mean James does and you do not. So bend to our will or get the hell off our site, because difference of opinions is NOT welcome in this community. Read the sign: disagreeing = disrespecting, especially when you make a valid point!”

Thanks, Peter!

So… is he really a puffed-up, self-important peacock who thinks he’s God’s gift to the literary world?  You be the judge:


Learn writing with Uncle Jim?  Uncle Jim?  Oh.  My.  God!  Jim MacDonald has told all the “newbies” he wants them to call him Uncle Jim.  This isn’t just a little bit creepy.  *shivers*

Advice to newbies, in particular, young newbies of the female persuasion: STAY AWAY from “Uncle Jim”:


This has got to be worse than “Aunty Kat.”  Listen, we’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again.  Be wary of people who talk like this.  Be wary of people who want you to call them Uncle or Aunty or who refer to themselves in the third person.  This is a sign of impending megalomania and it can’t be good.

So, Uncle Jimmy Boy, can you say megalomania?  Say it!   Go ahead.  You can do it!  You can say it!


Good boy!  We knew you could do it.

And just in case you don’t know what that means, we’ve looked it up in the dictionary for you:

Megalomania: i) obsession with the exercise of power, esp. in the domination of others, ii) delusion about one’s own power or importance (typically as a symptom of manic or paranoid disorder.)

There.  Now you understand.  😀  Good!  Moving on…

So… what does he think of us?


You all got that?  We’re bad.  We’re bad.  We know it.  We know it.  *dances*

Hey, ya’all!  *waves*  Come on over to the bad side and join us!  It’s a party!  Woohoo!

He also says that what we do isn’t good for publishing (i.e. legacy publishing.)

Is that right, Jimbo?  You want to know what else isn’t good for legacy publishing?  We’ll give you a hint.  Starts with an A.  Ends with an n.  Can you guess?  And if publishing doesn’t learn how to adapt, it will die.  We’ve learned this from a wise American attorney named Clarence Darrow:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.”

So, to wrap up, here are a few pearls from Jim MacDonald about authors and reviews of their books.


He also says:


After reading those, my coffee almost came out of my nose when I read this:


But… but… I thought you said authors shouldn’t read reviews because they’re not for them and that saying a negative review is an attack on an author is insane?

Suggestion: you may want to pull your head out of your ass, there, Jimbo.  Might help you see things a little more clearly.

And this next screenshot is totally irrelevant to the subject of this post, but we thought we’d add it in because she’s an AW member.  Also we just wanted to give everyone a good laugh:


A fucking good writer?  *snort*  In what universe?

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