Ginmar: alleged Cyber Bully, Troll and Stalker? Part 1/4

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This is my response due to Ginmar’s alleged reckless and false speech that may have libeled and defamed me mostly on Amazon.com but also on Goodreads, and I want Ginmar to stop. Another reason I’m writing this series of posts on-line is because I want everyone to know what is happening. I also plan to send a link to the local county district attorney.

Ginmar says: “It’s quite an accomplishment to boast of winning book contests that one pays to enter. It’s like bragging about charming a lady of the evening onto her back. (February 24, 2013 at 9:22:33 AM PST)

My response: There are only a few literary contests that do not charge a fee, and the competition is stiff.  The more prestigious the award, the tougher the competition and the higher the odds are of placing.

Writers Views.com lists seventeen literary contests that do not charge a fee. When something is free, more people will enter and the odds of placing are that much higher.

The odds of placing are like buying a lottery ticket and most of the poets and authors that enter contests that are free or come with an entrance fee do not win or place.


Document Everything!

Poets & Writers Magazine lists many reputable contests that charge fees and for decades I have paid the fees and entered some of those contests often not placing.

In addition, the literary contests that I have placed in are not listed on Winning Writers list of Contests and Agencies to Avoid. Source: Winning Writers.com

In fact, I have entered Writer’s Digest Magazine’s contests several times and the fee is $100 each time.  I have never placed but with that $100 fee comes a judge’s detailed commentary and score that authors may quote from for promotional purposes—that is if the judge says anything nice about the book. There is no guarantee.

What counts is not the fee but if the contest is juries. There is nothing wrong with a literary contest that charges a fee that goes toward the costs of running the contest and a cash prize for the grand prize winners.

Everyone does not have a foundation or grant to pay the costs or running a literary contest. Writer Beware says, “Is the contest free? If so, you probably have nothing to lose by entering–though be sure to read the fine print. If you’re a poet, be aware that a “free” contest is one of the major warning signs of a vanity anthology scheme.

“Is there an entry fee? Contrary to popular belief, an entry fee does not indicate a questionable contest. Many legitimate contests charge a fee to cover processing expenses (which sometimes include an honorarium to readers) and to fund the prize.” Source: Writer Beware ® Blogs!

Why do poets and authors enter contests?  Answer: to establish the fact that what he or she writes may be worth reading.

When poets and authors place in a reputable, unbiased literary contest, why do they publicist it?  Answer: Because if they don’t, who will? Published authors and poets are responsible to promote his or her work.

Continued on April 1, 2013 in Ginmar: alleged Cyber Bully, Troll and Stalker? Part 2

To discover more on this issue visit:

Dealing with Internet Bullies

The Internet is not a Safe Haven for being Anonymous and Behaving Badly

Taking it Global: Online Freedom of Speech versus the 6th Amendment

Is this an example of Defamation?—not protected by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Who’s behaving badly? A culture of arrogance

Found Guilty because of Reckless and False Speech – based on true events

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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How to Rate the Reliability-Odds of an Amazon Book Reviewer

How reliable are Amazon book reviewers?

Because most are anonymous and some are Trolls with a goal to only spew negative reviews—because Trolls are Internet bullies—finding an answer to this question may not seem possible.

However, while reading the reviews of another author’s first novel, I thought, there must be a way to rate the reliability of Amazon reviewers and I conducted an experiment that I think works. With no computer program to do the work for me, it took time to gather the data—all easily available on Amazon—and use a hand-held calculator to compute the odds.

I focused on one Amazon review of a book I have never read. In fact, I have never read any of Mirella Sichirollo Patzer’s novels, and she has published five. Before today, I was unaware of this author or her work.

Patzer’s first novel was The Blighted Troth: A Novel of New France, and the Amazon reviewer that I focused on wrote the only one-star review of the 19 reviews for this novel. There was no two-star review. There were 6 five-star; 9 four-star, and 3 three-star reviews. The average of those 19 reviews was 4 of 5 stars—a good average.

I have to thank Kindlefan (an anonymous name for this Amazon reviewer), because he or she inadvertently gave me the idea for this post. Click here to see Kindlefan’s profile on Amazon.

My dad was a gambler. He loved to play the horses and knew how to compute the odds in his favor long before there were computers.  In fact, one time, my dad picked eight winners out of eight races at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. Then later in life, I became a card counter in Vegas and tried that out for a few years before giving it up. I discovered that it was hard work with long hours, and it was not stress free.

What I did was handicap—as my dad taught me—the odds of Kindlefan being a reliable reviewer for the tastes of the average reading public. To do that, I focused on only his or her one and two-star reviews and compared them to the four and five-star reviews of fifteen of the thirty-five books reviewed by this one anonymous Amazon reviewer.

Kindlefan’s reviews:

  • 10 one-star
  • 5 two-star
  • 7 three-star
  • 4 four-star
  • 9 five-star

Of course, it would be impossible to rate someone with only a few reviews on Amazon. In fact, alleged Trolls often only leave one/two poor reviews and then never review again, and I think that these reviewers cannot be considered reliable. In addition, anyone that only leaves mostly one/two star reviews cannot be trusted, but Kindlefan’s balance between 1 and 5 star reviews reveals an alleged non-biased reader expressing his or her own opinions.

Of the fifteen books that Kindlefan rated with one-or-two stars, there were a total of 421 reviews spread between 1, 2, 4 and 5-star reviews. Sixty were 1 or 2 star reviews and three-hundred-and-sixty-one (361) were 4 or 5 star reviews. I did not count the three-star reviews.

With that said, Kindlefan’s reliability rating as a reviewer compared with average reading tastes earned a 14% rating out of 100% (once I crunched the numbers). On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, Kindlefan scored a 1.4—pretty low.

That doesn’t mean Kindlefan’s reviews are invalid but that they only apply to a small minority of the reading audience telling us that his or her reading tastes do not match the average reader. We also learn that “The Blighted Troth” would probably appeal to 84% of readers that enjoy this genre.

If a reader still has doubts, there is always the free Amazon preview of a book to read first. If a reader likes what he or she sees, then he or she may buy the book—or not.

In fact, maybe Amazon might consider using a similar method to automatically rate a reviewer’s reliability as an average reader. If Amazon averages the reviews of an author’s work, why not rate the reliability of reviewers based on his or her reviews compared to reviews for the same books reviewed?

Amazon provides links to all the information needed to rate an Amazon book reviewer. Each reviewer has a link to all of his or her reviews and each review has a link to the books reviewed where it is easy to discover how many reviews there were for each book as I did. If you try this and have trouble finding the links, leave me a comment and I’ll see if I can help.

Discover Authors Finding Readers

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”