Thursday, August 30, 2012

Carroll's Journal 44 (The Conversation)

I finally made that call to that publisher, the one I mentioned who emailed me while I was on my little vacation trip. She and I had a very interesting conversation. I already knew somewhat in advance (through email) what we were going to pretty much talk about so I asked her if I could put her on speaker phone and record it, in so that I could post our conversation blog. Obviously, she wished to remain anonymous, and I completely agreed. Anyhow, here is the conversation.

Her: Thank you so much for calling, Carroll. I have so many questions for you, I don’t know where to start.

Me: No problem. No problem at all. What can I do for you?

Her: First let me say that I am sorry about what happened to you. It has caused a lot of us publishers and authors a great deal of concern.

Me: How so?

Her: You were a very popular author on Goodreads, and very active considering the short time you were a member there. You had quite the following of friends and fans, and your group grew to over 400 members. I have seen other author groups, mostly those Q & A groups, who were lucky if they had 100 members in them

Me: Yeah, I did have a lot of friends, didn’t I?

Her: Yes you did. I always enjoyed coming online and checking out your group and seeing what you were up to. The thing that set you apart, in my eyes, and in many other publishers eyes who knew of you on Goodreads, was that you also write songs. But for me, I couldn’t believe the amount of poetry you posted. It was unbelievable. In fact, the day I discovered you were banned, my first thought was of your poetry. All the time and work it took for you to post it and then in one swoop, gone. All of it was gone.

Me: Yeah, it boggled my mind for a few minutes too. (Laughter)

Her: Well, this is why I wanted to talk to you. Why did Patrick do that so quickly? I first thought that you must have done something extremely awful for him to just go in there in wipe out everything that you contributed.

Me: I don’t know why he did that. You would have to ask him. Don’t hold your breath for an answer though, I don’t think he even knows why he did it. I think he is just a weak person that was swayed by the mob. Maybe intimidated.

Her: I read your journal, did an insider really tell you that it might have been because he thought you were a part of STGRB?

Me: From what I can gather.

Her: Was what you said in your journal true? You really don’t have any affiliations with them at all?

Me: Nope. None. Never did.

Her: Didn’t he question you about it before he banned you?

Me: Nope. He never contacted me at all at any point.

Her: So he just banned you for basically no reason?

Me: That’s about the best I can come up with. Why?

Her: That is very concerning. Not just for me on behalf of our authors, but for other publishers I have been talking to about your situation, and their authors. We all share the same concerns. If it could happen to you then it could happen to any of our authors too. Let me ask you this, have you ever paid for advertisement or anything on Goodreads?

Me: No. I thought about it going into this year. It was something my then manager and I discussed often. I think he was all for it, but I was holding out some reservations.

Her: Why? What were your reservations?

Me: About the fact that after a lot of research, I discovered that goodreads treats authors like second class citizens, except for when it came to the money. Oh, they will take your money. This is what bothered me. Why would I want to invest my money into a website for advertisement or an author profile upgrade that treats me like a second class citizen? If you look closely, you will see, that website is all about the reader 100 percent, yet it’s the publishers and authors who pay for advertisements and author upgrades and such, and it is those people who actually keep that website going. It’s a little counter-productive if you ask me.

Her: That’s exactly my concerns too. And other publishers, and our authors. That we invest into the Goodreads website like that, time and money, but what’s to say that what happened to you won’t happen to our authors? Then everything we invested our time and money into could just be wiped out in a moment without warning, notice or inquiry.

Me: Exactly.

Her: I was there that day when all of this broke out, watching and reading all those posts. I was close to horrified. I kept thinking, Goodreads will step in and stop these people. But they never did.

Me: I covered that in my last journal. Which is why I question the credibility of a website that doesn’t enforce their TOS, and endorses bullies.

Her: I read that. That’s the irony of why I contacted you. Me and other publishers have been talking behind the scenes about how easy it was for you to be removed and none of us think you did anything to deserve it. It causes us to start thinking about our authors who are members of that website and how easy could it happen to them.

Me: Evidently, pretty easy.

Her: This all started because of that girl? Because I know your blog post had nothing to do with the onslaught you received. Most of the comments made that day circled around you and that girl.

Me: My thoughts as well. Apparently, my personal life is of great concern to everybody.

Her: So she was the person behind the attack on you?

Me: Oh yes, she organized the whole thing.

Her: I know her. I am in her group. I would have never believed she would be capable of something like that. And there lies my fear for my authors. I have already advised them to try and avoid any contact with her, and her friends. Obviously, the people she is associated with are the people who attacked you, and I don’t want my authors getting involved with people like that. The other publishers I have spoken with have advised their authors the same thing. Following this story as best I can and following your blog posts, I have long figured out that she is bad news.

Me: Go figure, right?

Her: Which kind of leads me to another point of interest. Do you think it could be possible for you to tell me the whole story behind everything? I really want to be able to educate my authors in hopes they don’t find themselves being targeted by this girl or these people. What set her off? Things like that. In your last journal you mentioned that you were thinking about posting the whole story. Are you really going to do that? Have you decided yet?

Me: I haven’t decided yet. My lawyer and I are still discussing my options.

Her: So a lawsuit is still a possibility?

Me: Yeah, but the thing is, it will cost me a lot of money to go after Goodreads, Patrick Brown and a few select others in court, and no matter how air tight you think your case might be, it is still a 50/50 shot that you win. That goes for anything in life just about. You never know how a jury or judge will see things. I am trying to decide if the risk is worth the reward.

Her: I see. Well listen, do you think it is possible that you could send me that story regardless of whether or not you post it on your blog? I would really like to learn about the hows and whys this happened to you. I would like to pass that information along to my authors and to my publisher friends and their authors.

Me: Kind of like a learning tool?

Her: Yes. I think it would be very helpful.

Me: Sure. I don’t see why not. It would be nice to have something good come from this mess.

Her: I would appreciate it. And if it’s not too much trouble, I already put together a list of people who involved themselves in this situation from your recent post, The List 2. I have seen those fake ratings and reviews. I have passed it around to my authors and other publishers on Goodreads and their authors of people our authors should avoid. Everyone who has posted a negative rating or review or comment are on that list. I was wondering when you were going to get around to talking about that on your blog. The more people we can name, the more people our authors can avoid to better prevent them from getting caught up in something like this. Since it doesn’t seem like that Patrick or Goodreads have our authors best interests in mind, we have to kind of fend for them, you know?

Me: My sentiments exactly. And you are right, if anybody wants to know who to avoid on Goodreads or wants to know who the bullies are, all they have to do is go to my book reviews and there you will find them. They left a pretty big trail. Or you could go to a group on Goodreads called “Authors behaving Badly“ and check out the members. That might give you a good idea also. Maybe they should rename it “The Bullies of Goodeads“.(Laughter) You want names of blogs with that as well?

Her: Sure. That would be fantastic. Thank you. Thank you very much. I heard of that group. Maybe send me a link?

Me: No problem. Like I said, maybe something good can come from all of this after all. It’s a private group, but I’m pretty sure if you send a request and mention how much you hate me, they would probably accept you. (Laughter)

Her: That’s too bad. Now you can’t see what they are saying about you.

Me: Oh, I know what they’re saying. I have a few spies in the house. I have screen shots. Plenty of screen shots.

Her: Really? Do you plan on posting them anytime soon?

Me: Eventually. Maybe. It seems that these people are all about proof and evidence. Instead of accusing them of stuff, I will just post what they are doing and let the facts speak for themselves about who the real bullies are. (Laughter)

Her: You are sneaky, aren’t you?

Me: Pretty much. When I have to be. I get everybody to look at my right hand while I do things with my left. I think it’ll be an interesting post once I am ready to post it.

Her: When do you think that will be?

Me: Haven’t decided yet.

Her: The thing I notice is that you only post what these people post on other sites, blogs and what not, then they get really angry with you about it. I don’t get it.

Me: It’s a conundrum, isn’t it?

Her: I still can’t believe that Patrick just deleted all those poems you posted without at least getting a hold of you first and getting your side. I can’t believe he let those people attack you like that and none of them got banned.

Me: Well, like somebody once said in a comment on one of my blog posts, the man is a minimum wage internet babysitter, how professional did you expect him to be? (Laughter)

Her: (Laughter) Oh my God, I saw that comment. That was hilarious. Still, it throws a deep concern into many authors and publishers that Godreads would allow such a thing to occur and then ban an author like that for no reason other than personal. It also throws up a red flag about investing into advertisements and everything. I really saw an ugly side of Goodreads, and many of its members through your experience and I am not the only one. There are a lot of publishers on Goodreads, and editors and authors who saw what happened to you and they fear that they could be targeted next by these people.

Me: I have an easy solution to that.

Her: You do? What?

Me: Kiss their asses. (Laughter) That’s what they want you to do and if you don’t, then they target you. So, just kiss their asses if you can live with yourself about it.

Her: You didn’t kiss their ass.

Me: And you saw what happened, right? But you do have a real concern there. They did say I was the flavor of the week and that next month I would be forgotten and they would move on to the next author. So … yeah, I would say you and all your authors have a real deep concern.

Her: I read that too. That was what actually got me to thinking and to start communicating with other publishers about the situation. Thanks for talking with me. I really appreciate it. And thanks for when you send me that story and that list. I hope it’s not putting you out too much.

Me: Not at all. It might be a few weeks or so, but I will try and get it to you as soon as I can. I’ll even send you some screen shots of their group and stuff. In return, do I have your permission to post this conversation on my blog?

Her: Just don’t use any names. I saw how those people went after your friend on her blog, and how Goodreads and Patrick Brown punished anybody who tried to defend you.

Me: Not a problem. I won’t mention any names. Not that it would make a difference for them. They just hate for the sake of hate. They seem to think it’s okay for them to trash authors and or their books, but when authors speak out against them, they get all bitchy and bully. Not that I approve of authors getting upset over unfavorable reviews, I have always maintained that readers have every right to their opinion. But what I did had absolutely nothing to do with reviews, it was about a small select of individuals who broke their promise to me. I guess they can’t handle the truth about themselves. Or being “reviewed” unfavorably in return. They can dish it out, but they just can’t take it. For some reason, they think when they come to you and offer their service in exchange for your work for free that if they don’t own up to their end of the deal that it’s not stealing.

Her: But that is stealing. That's what stealing means.

Me: You know that. I know that. My five year old nephew knows that. Anybody with half a brain knows that. Unfortunately, they don’t know that. It’s kind of like a shop-lifter who steals a pack of gum. When they get caught they are like, “That’s not stealing, it’s just gum.” (Laughter) No, dumb-ass, it’s stealing. Then they hate you for calling them on it.

Her: They do seem to have plenty of hate in them, I‘ll give them that. Thanks again, Carroll. Maybe we can talk later sometime? Keep emailing?

Me: Sure. And here I thought you were going to offer me a deal or something to publish my books. (Laughter)

Her: I read already where you enjoy being Indie too much.

Me: I do like being Indie, that’s for sure.

er: Yeah, that’s what I thought. I told you I follow your blog. You might be surprised at how many publishers follow you. I talk to a few a week sometimes and your name almost always comes up. You have a lot of supporters. More than what you might think.

Me: That’s good to know. Thanks.

Her: Okay, well, I’ll let you go now. Thanks again for everything.

Me: No problem. Take care. Maybe we’ll talk again soon.

Her: Sounds good. Goodbye.

Me: Goodbye.


You know, I just got done watching one of my favorite movies today. It’s called, “A League Of Their Own”. Everybody knows it’s a story about the first women’s professional baseball league, but it’s also a story about friendship and lasting fond memories. I see it as a story about time. How time passes more quickly than we think. With that passing of time, comes what we leave behind as human beings. What we leave for the next generation, and what we teach them. Thinking about that - and this situation - I ask myself, “What are we teaching the young?” - Apparently, we are teaching them that it’s okay to bully online. That it’s okay to put ourselves into other people’s business. Or to harass them. Or to try and stomp out somebody’s dream. Somebody we don’t even know and has done nothing to us. To be honest, I am astounded by how many people there are that are so full of hate, jealousy and resentment. It absolutely amazes me. I mean, these people are just consumed by hatred. It really does boggle the mind.

There only about five people who should have a problem with my “List” of bad bloggers (And that's the people who were on it). Everybody else who has chosen to involve themselves have chosen to teach our younger people how to bully and how to hate. How to try and silence someone when we don’t agree with their opinion. People will do this online because it is easier to do than if it had to be done in real life or face to face. This is the world that was created with the invention of the internet. A safe haven for bullies and haters to get away with saying and doing things under the guise of mostly, the famous “anon”. The internet has created many keyboard ‘tough’ guys and gals. Courage comes now days in the form of a key stroke.

But I don’t just lay blame on these people. It makes it easier to do these (and say these) horrible things to others (of whom we do not know) when people in charge (Patrick Brown and the rest of the GR staff) allows it. Endorses it. This episode has cheapened the value of Goodreads and its members. And I hold Patrick responsible for that. The bottom line is still the same, nobody wins. Not even the young people of whom it is our responsibility as adults to teach properly on how to handle situations. Everyone who has made the decision to throw themselves into this mess has taught their children how to hate. That is the saddest result of all.

If someone is always trying to find the worst in you, it's because they can't find the best in themselves.

*** To the person who earlier in my comment section, issued a "final warning" - Get a life. A non-keyboard, internet life. Find something constructive to do with your time. Do something that will make mom and dad proud of you. I bet they haven't been proud of you since that time you rode the little yellow bus all by yourself for the first time. Oh, and try and refrain yourself from stalking me. I know I am lovable, but you need to get a grip on reality. You and I - it's not gonna happen. I know you hate to love me and love to hate me, but you really should think about getting outside once in a while. Breathe in some fresh air. You know, stuff like that. Think about it anyway. Maybe give it a try. And if you're not going to listen to my advice then at elast when you comment, do so under your real name. Stop neing a coward. For a bunch of bullies, you sure are cowards about it. ***


  1. This is all just way too comical to me. Did you honestly expect any of us to think this wasn't some fabricated wet-dream conversation you had with yourself? rofl You are so fucking pitiful, dude. I honestly feel bad for you, and am no longer angry.

    1. No more pitiful than you hiding behind ANON when you comment. I am glad you are no longer angry, but why were you angry with me in the first place? The only people who should be (or have a right to be) angry with me are the people on the original list.

      So, which one are you? Jude again?

      Better yet, why are you even following my blog if you don't like me? LOL Talk about people with issues, you need some help there yourself. "Doctor, I hate this guy but I can't stay away from his blog. It's so amazing. Help me doc, help me."

  2. Why not heed your own advice, sir?

    Why can you keep going on about what happened earlier this summer but no one else can? If you don't want people attacking you don't give them reasom to. It really is that simple. Everyone should let it go. You included, because you're far from innocent in this matter. No one is blame free.

    1. Because they are not letting it go. Don't give them reason? They keep on leaving me comments on my blog. (I just don't post them because they are mean and left under "anon") So I figure if they aren't going to leave me alone then I will write stuff for them. You know, give them a reason to come to my blog and cry and whine. (Although, there is a pretty good chance that most of it is coming from Jude. She still stalks me.)

      Most of their comments are them complaining about my old posts and that I should take them down. Well, they should take theirs down too. All of it. But they haven't. So I decided to post their "fake ratings and reviews" on my blog just to remind everyone that these people did not read my work. And that they are liars. They are bullies. You know, all of that good stuff. LOL And since they won't stop coming to my blog, I may as well write something for them to enjoy. And they do enjoy me giving them some attention. And I don't mind much either. Maybe when (if) they stop coming to my blog, I will stop trying to entertain them. LOL

      And I never said I was innocent. I made my post about the list and I stand by it. We could debate all day about if that was the right thing or wrong, then again we could debate Watergate scandal too. However, I never stalked or harassed or bullied anyone. Big diff.

      Thanks for the comment.

  3. You know they say syntax is as good as a thumbprint - and it's amazing that you and you mystery editor speak in exactly the same manner.

    And is it normal for real life conversations to contain so much exposition?

    It's almost like you are trying to prove something.....

    1. Yeah, it's called using words.

      I think what you are referring to is the manner in which people type. The reason it might read so close is because I wrote the whole thing in my typing style.

      However, if you're such an expert then why do you hide behind "Anon"? ... Oh, wait, then everyone will know it's you, right Jude? ... Gotcha.

      You lose.

  4. Instead of adding what I said earlier, just post this.

    Anyway, the gist is this-

    Absolutewrite has a thing about self pubbed writers and now you are on the hit list there. There are flying monkeys and minions out there checking each of your followers, looking into who might this unknown publisher be, etc. I think they've seriously got a strange obsession with you and now you have been targeted by the almighty ones of the site. A member called Shaldna seriously stated they were going through each profile of each follower of your blog. Another stated they thought you were disturbed individual to go to all this trouble. I believe they are disturbed for going through the trouble of looking into you. You are a writer. A writer who has not gone onto AW and not started a fight with them, but they are stalking you. Seriously, spit the KoolAid out people! Carroll is not the enemy! Get over him and go write. He's not harassing you, unless you were one of those on the list who he named as not reading his book. I don't know Carroll, but I know how these bullies on AW act and they start out by smack talking, then they start "investigations" and before long your book will have about ten one star reviews and you'll have to shut down your site. That's what they want, I guess. They want you to stop talking and they can say "We really showed him, we told him to get off the net and now he's packed up and gone home." They have no compassion, only hatred for anyone who challenges their ideals or the ideals of the almighty ones who run that site.

    1. Yeah, I have already gotten that much from them. I know they want me to shut everything down, but I won't. O also know they hate self-published authors. (Just reading their posts on their site and one can discover that real quick)

      They can investigate whomever they wish. They will just be wasting their time. There are many people who follow me without "following" me. Many people understand their obsession with me. I am actually quite flattered. As for the one stars, they already did that, as it turns out, a great deal many people know these people are "whacked out" and still buy my books. In fact, my sales have gone up because of them. (I guess I should be kind of grateful)

      As for their hatred, way ahead of you. LOL That was clearly obvious from day one. As for the stalking, again, feeling a little flattered here. LOL They call me a narcissist then turn around and feed me their attention. LOL I guess they are not wrapped too tight. Haha

      I appreciate your insightfulness of them. Any comment you wish not for me to post, feel free to let me know.

      As for the hit list - I will use the words of Steven Seagal in his first on screen role as Nicolo Toscani in the hit film, "Above The Law" - when told he is on the bad guys hit list at number 6 (I think) he replies, "Number six? I want to be number one." To which his fellow FBI officer friend responds, "The day is still young." LOL I love that movie!

  5. Here are some very interesting comments being made by them on their site. (Curiosoty got the better of me and since I saw their link appearing on my blog traffic, I couldn't restrain myself.) LOL

    Wisteria Vine said - " It seems like our good friend Carroll is writing more fiction, this time on his blog. Either that, or he has created some imaginary friends - and this time they're publishers clamoring for his work."

    Good one, Vine, except you don't know how to read. Nobody was "clamoring" over my work. I see you are in the business of embellishing.

    Then Kricket responds - "This gave my husband and I a good laugh. I'm tempted to do a line by line commentary but I'm not sure if that would be ok here."

    This is good to know, Kricket, that you have a husband. I guess now we know where some of the future bullies of the world will come from. Oh please, do the line by line commentary. LOL

    Then Zal makes a respnse - "But yeah....God, that entry's so hilarious. There are so many clues that makes it obvious that Bryant's talking to himself, but my most favorite one is the fact that the mysterious publisher is impressed with Carroll not only being a writer....but also a singer, holy shit!! I mean, I could be wrong, but I really doubt that writing a couple of mediocre songs on the side of an even more mediocre writing career on Goodreads would "set him apart" from the other authors."

    First of all Zal, my "medicore" career is a lot better than your "no" career. LOL I have always said that I am not in this for the money, but for the joy of writing. So if mediocre is all I attain, then great! (Mostly because I don't have to work anymore anyway so, it doesn't really matter.)

    Secondly - I have to direct you to my earlier comment, nowhere does it state in my post that anyone was impressed. Perhaps implied, but to no fault of my own. That's just the way the conversation traveled.

    And - it is obvious that you do not know of the skill it takes to write a "couple" of mediocre songs. (If by a couple, you mean 20 - and counting) Which from the last time I checked dear, is 20 more songs than you have (or ever will) write. Go me! LOL

    And lastly, I have no affiliation with the Goodreads site. Proving once again the kniowledge you and your bully friends lack.

    Maybe I will pop in again someday on them. They are great for a giggle. LOL

  6. Now Stacia Kane responded with this: "I have to wonder at a publisher or editor who is impressed by 400 Goodreads friends/followers."

    Again, a small example of how mis-information starts. First, I am not a GR member. And secondly, the girl did not want to talk about my work, but rather expresses concern about who their authors should avoid. (The people who attacked and still are attacking me) There was no mention of this publisher or editor or whatever you want to call her, where she showed the slightest interest in my work. The conversation was mostly directed to the area of these people (bullies) that she wanted her authors to not have any contact with.

    See what I'm dealing with here? LOL See how they simply make things up out of the blue? LOL I mean, seriously, learn how to understand what you read. Haha Geesh. SMH

  7. If anyone gets a chance, go to this website. They are shutting down because of bullies.

    Shaldna of AW says: That's so sad. I completely get what she is saying, that life is too short and too precious to subject yourself to bullying when you don't have to. But at the same time I am so angry that the only way for a blogger to avoid bullies to take themselves out of the equation. The bullies are still winning."

    Yes Shaldna, it is sad. And yes, you and your friends (The bullies) are winning.

  8. Honestly, they can't stop bullying you long enough to realize their own actions resemble what they preach against. What happened to RESPECT YOUR FELLOW WRITER?

    That seems to go out the window when they get a twist in their panties and start in on someone. Why don't they stop?

    Carroll isn't a scammer, he isn't with PA, he's self published. Get over it and go back to writing. You are right about them however, most of those people on the site are unpublished and follow the likes of McDonald in hopes that the silly fights and bullying they do will result in higher marks with the mods.

    Did you know you will receive tons of rep points there for bullying? The more you insult to their liking, the more the mods will hand you rep points.

    1. I don't know what to think about that. I honestly don't. Too bad I won't have much time for them once football kicks off next week. That and looking to buy a house this fall/winter. I don't know who McDonald is, but I like their Big Macs and fries. LOL Oh wait, wrong McDonald? (Sorry Ronald) LOL

  9. I saw a few comments by "Unknown" - didn't even read them. Not worth my time. No name equals no read, no post, no care. LOL

  10. I want to the posters from AW that just because you say you are not being a bully does not mean you are not a bully just the same. Not only that, but you at AW must realize that the more comments you make insulting him there, the more obvious response would be to dissect what you say as you have done there. Tit for tat. Remember this, you are in a group of people who condone your misguided notions and actually encourage it. Funny how you Carroll didn't even go to their site and they are worked up.

    Just as in a clique of snobby cheerleading girls would do, the leader doesn't like the mousy girl so the followers don't either. The leader calls her names, the followers agree. The leader picks on her and says she is nothing, the followers support the leader. Now suppose the leader says it once, then agrees and cheers when each follower takes a whack at the mousy girl. The followers will keep doing it until the leader finds a new target and then they will divert their attentions to the new target.

    They are bullies, although they don't say they want to kill the mousy girl or do anything to her, they are bullies and now they are no better than the leader of their group. Just as in AbsoluteWrite, the moderators target someone and the followers agree and become bullies to said target. They will go onto a website and send nasty comments to intentionally inflict emotional hurt onto another and they will not see it as bullying because their leader has agreed with them.

    I feel these followers from AW are misguided and no longer think for themselves because the mob mentality has taken over. They can't see that all the nasty comments they make on AbsoluteWrite makes them appear as sheep, following the leader who wants to down what he doesn't like. They are strangely unemotional, just like that school girl leader, who thinks her words are just silly fun and cause no harm.

    These grown up people who profess to want a career in writing are acting like school yard bullies because they can't stop and say to theirself, "Maybe I shouldn't be doing this, maybe acting like a child on this site is not right and I should get back to writing."

    I'm appalled by their insensative behavior, their constant barage of childish antics, and I do believe you Carroll, I do believe they are behind these anonymous posts that are so vile you mentioned before. These grown people are no better than 8 year old school yard bullies and they have the audacity to get on a public forum for all to see and witness and express vile, ugly statements about people they don't even know.

    Appalled as I am, it doesn't change the fact that their website (once rated highly) is going down hill so fast they can't put on the breaks. The owner has run it into the ground and now it is full of misinformation by unpublished and mediocre midlist writers. That's right people, go on and follow them and suck up to the moderators and act as if you think they are godly. Take a good hard look at the people you worship. How many are published by the big six there? How many moderators are even published? Like I said before on here, no self-respecting author is a member.


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