Monday, June 3, 2013

The Cold Hard Truth: Goodreads

I have been a huge supporter of the Goodreads website. As you can see I promote the site here on my blog. The idea behind the site is one of genius. It truly brings the readers of books and authors closer together. In the past there has been nothing I could say negative about the site. That all changed here in the last two or three weeks. There is a group of what is being called "Trolls" roaming the site. They patrol the site looking for writers to railroad. I managed to go under the radar for about three years, but now I've been found.

They found me through a friend of mine. He'd written a rebuttal to Stephen King's essay Guns. My review of that piece was where I was allegedly discovered. Somewhere 2 and 2 had to be put together, but they managed to figure out exactly who I was. I don't use a pen name and my name is rather common. They found me because that is what they do. With a little research of my own I found they've been doing this for quite awhile. When I found out that they'd done this to others I posted a list. It was a list that I'd been introduced to by another friend who'd been trolled. Many of the names were accurate.

When I posted the list from the anti-bullying website the group really came after me. They wanted me to remove them from a list I hadn't put them on in the first place. I removed the list, but I kept a link to the list in my blog post. Some of them claimed to be put on there for reasons not related to books and reviews. It was strange that they found me on a book review site to tell me that. However, it could be that they were put there for bullying somewhere else. If there is someone on that list who doesn't deserve to be there I feel sorry for you. I know how it feels to be put on a list you don't belong on. Still there is nothing I can do about the list at STGRB.

What have I done? 

I have created a list of my own. This list contains people that I've seen acting out with trollish behavior. This list will not include all of them, but it will include those who've been the most ridiculous.

The List



 These six members I can personally say have used trollish behavior. There are groups and forums which they use to decide who to attack. They bait indie authors to say something about them, and then they take the high road. "You should never respond to a review," they say. It's not a review the commenter is discussing. They want to know why 10 to 15, in some cases more, have shelved their books to these ridiculous shelves.

The only reason I can figure them doing something so underhanded is out of jealousy. Not necessarily me, because I'm not out selling a couple of authors they've attacked. The stories I write only appeals to a niche  group of horror fans. I know there are going to be bad reviews based off of the content of these stories. I don't respond to these reviews. This  is not a response to a review. This a me explaining how a handful of trouble only creates more. Before you know it this thing has multiplied to the point of ruining a good website. 

Here's a link to one of the groups they operate from.

The Proof
Here Angela admits to shelving my book to demeaning shelves because she doesn't like my opinion on the Sandy Hook tragedy. She's basically saying, "I don't like you. Therefore your books are no good."

I have no doubt that the five names below Angela are her 'sock puppets.' That's a term I've learned while looking the whole thing over. It's duplicate accounts and people who will do one's dirty work. 
Here she exposes herself for who and what she really is. A first class hypocrite. 

 They're calling out people for shelving their books negatively out of revenge. What did Angela admit to doing above to my book?

Look what they're doing to someone's book. The list of names above wasn't compiled from this review of a fellow author's book, but you can see the same names doing my books in too.

There is a serious problem at the Goodreads site. The owner of this thing might want to step up soon. There are sites and countless blogs created because of the bullying on the Goodreads website. If there wasn't a serious problems these anti-bullying sites and blogs wouldn't be there. I had several good years on Goodreads. I really don't want to see the site go to hell in a hand basket. Right now it seems to be headed downhill rapidly.  


  1. Never forget John, you are not alone. We writers number in the millions. The trolls would have to spend the rest of their pathetic lives to rubbish every writer out there. Meantime, all of the nastiness they generate, leads to sales of our books by ordinary people. :)

  2. I agree with the last comment-there are more writers out there than the trolls can deal with and the more they attack, the more of us there are that will find each other. Excellent article!

  3. I wouldn't hold your breath, John. Amazon bought Goodreads a couple of months back, so there is no chance they will go troll hunting. Kindle forums and reviews are a swamp of trolls, so this is just turning into another one.

    I must admit to have been lucky by default on Goodreads, as I have been a member for a long time, but I had the misfortune to run into one of Goodreads' silly limits. I reached 5,000 connections a couple of years ago, so basically I have a dead account as it can't be added to anymore. I suppose that has kept the trolls away in droves!