Thank you for asking me to review your book, but …

Occasionally, an e-mail arrives in my overcrowded inbox—like one did today—from an author asking me to review a book, and 99.9 percent of the time I say no. Then I offer advice on where to seek reviews from what I have learned since I launched my first title in December 2007.

Does that mean I don’t read books?  Of course I read books. I have exactly sixteen very patient tree-books waiting on my bedside table. Some have been waiting to be read for months. I also have four audio books (on CDs) waiting for me to review. These days, I read more books with my ears than my eyes.

Hint—ask avid readers for reviews who don’t write books. The odds of hearing a yes might be better.

The reason why I don’t accept 99.9 percent of books authors ask me to review is due to the fact that I’m usually spending fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM working on my next book, or promoting the books I’ve already published. For instance, it’s Sunday and I’ve been at it since before 6:00 this morning. I did take a break to walk two miles and eat. I’m eating now as I write this and it’s almost 4:00 PM.

I even force myself to get out of my chair and walk to the bathroom when the call comes, and Monday through Friday, I spend an hour a day exercising with weights and aerobics—something I get out of the way as early as possible.

Here’s some of the advice I offer:

I understand the hunger for reviews, so I suggest starting out with a Library Thing Giveaway in addition to hiring an internet publicist—my publicist is Teddy Rose—for a few hundred dollars to arrange a book blog tour that might generate a few more reviews that appear on Amazon and on blogs that review the book.

You might even want to attempt a Goodreads Giveaway, but be warned, there are trolls who are members of Goodreads dedicated to trashing books—that they never read—with rotten reviews and 1-star ratings, and that even happens on Amazon. Trolls are mean, sneaky, mentally ill people addicted to anonymously hurting others, and standing up to them just motivates the trolls to be meaner. Consider these trolls to be the Ebola virus of the internet. If you question why there are such people on the earth, think about Hitler, Stalin, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

You may not know this, but last year when I decided to stand up to a flock of Goodreads trolls who attacked me and my work, one of them predicted my career as an author was over—more than seven thousand copies of my work has been sold since that flame war.

Once a book has garnered enough positive reviews to be considered, I suggest submitting to sites such as BookBub or eReaderNews Today and then, if they accept the book for a paid e-mail blast advertisement—you have to offer it for sale at a reduced price or for free—be aware that not everyone who reads a book will review it, but a few might.

For instance, My Splendid Concubine had an e-mail blast from BookBub earlier this month, and the book has already garnered two, great 5-star reviews from verified purchases and one review from a troll that wasn’t a verified purchase—most trolls are too cheap to even pay 99 cents for a book they plan to trash. Since this June’s BookBub blast, as of this morning, Concubine has sold more than 3,000 copies.

There’s also eBookBooster to announce a book that is going on sale. Click the link and discover for yourself what eBookBooster offers and what it costs, and never forget that there are no guarantees for anything you do as an author to promote your work.

The truth is that for most authors, it takes time, patience and persistence to attract readers, reviews and build an audience. Because there’s a lot of competition from other authors, that means readers and sites like BookBub get to reject books and even ignore them if they aren’t interested.

There’s also another reputable site I know of to submit a book for a possible review, but even The Midwest Book Review only accepts about a third of the books sent to them. For instance, Midwest reviewed my first book, My Splendid Concubine, but didn’t review my second book, Running with the Enemy.

Midwest will not tell you that they haven’t accepted your book for a review or the reason why. What happens when a book is not reviewed by Midwest is that you will never hear from them. If they review the book, they will contact you and send you a copy of the review.

Also, be aware that Amazon will not allow sites like Midwest to post reader reviews. That doesn’t mean Midwest sells fake reviews, but it does mean that Amazon has a policy not to allow any review that was paid for to be posted on their site as a reader review.

Midwest reviews are free for paperbacks but not for e-books. Because Midwest charges a fee for e-books submitted to be reviewed, that disqualifies all Midwest reviews from being posted on Amazon as reader reviews even though they are reader reviews. Here’s my disclaimer—I have never paid Midwest for a review, because I have always submitted paperback copies to them.

Does that mean reviews that Amazon will not allow to be posted on their site can’t appear on the Amazon page of your book?

Unless Amazon changes their policies and rules, any reviews that Amazon rejects as a reader review may be posted through Amazon Author Central. To see what I mean, I suggest you visit the Amazon pages for My Splendid Concubine and Running with the Enemy.  Scroll down and read each Book Description and/or the Editorial Reviews section, where the awards and some pull quotes from reviews are posted. These appear before the reader reviews.

These are legitimate awards and reviews that come from reputable sources. The literary contests charged entry fees for juried literary contests that offer no guarantee that a book will earn an award. In fact, I have been told by the book festival organizers that less than five percent of submissions earn awards.

In addition, next time someone tells you that it’s wrong to pay a fee to enter a literary contest, consider this: The National Book Award that is announced in the national media annually, charges an entry fee of $135 for each title submitted, and the Pulitzer Prize charges authors/publishers a $50 entry fee and again charges to attend the award ceremony where an author, who is a finalist, might not win. The National Book Award and the Pulitzer are considered by the media to be two of the most prestigious literary awards in the United States and possibly the world.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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

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Ginmar: alleged Cyber Bully, Troll and Stalker? Part 3/4

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Why do I think is Ginmar allegedly stalking me? Pay Attention to the dates!

The following list establishes Ginmar’s state of mind and offers evidence that she has allegedly been stalking me on Amazon and Goodreads making reckless and false speech that libels and defames me and my work.

1. Ginmar says: “Some authors have been having temper tantrums over bad reviews and now they’re stalking reviewers.” (July 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM) Note: this comment was made on another site and to other people—not me. I’m using it to establish an alleged mindset for Ginmar.

2. Ginmar says to me: “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)

3. Ginmar says: “So you approve of stalking and harassing critics.” (February 28, 2013 at 8:08:47)

4. Ginmar says: “Bottom line is, people have every right to review and comment on your books and the way you stalk people. I’d hate to be you uf the person you harassed at her job was as litigious as you are.” (March 27, 2013)

5. Ginmar says: “Those are reviews you buy. The Midwest Book Review is either a paid review service or some other kind of scam. Either way…” (March 6, 2013, 4:00:02 PM PST)

6. Ginmar says: “You deleted your post. MWBR is a review mill that gives all books five stars. As for the rest.. you deleted so I no longer have the list. Deleting is not going to bring your rep back after calling that person’s job over a sarcastic comment” (March 27, 2013 at 5:54:04 PM PDT)

7. Ginmar says: “If you comment at Lloyd’s blog, be aware he doesn’t like disagreement. He tracked one person’s IP and called her job.” (March 27, 2013 at 9:43:10 AM PDT)

8. Ginmar says: “Oh, for pete’s sake. Number one, learn to sarcasm, dude, seriously, you’re embarrassing yourself. Also, stop using ‘terrorist’. Somebody who criticizes your books and the way you freakishly exaggerate whatever’s going on is not a terrorist.They are somebody who has an opinion. YOU stalked somebody to their job based on your….I have no idea what to call what’s wrong with you.It’s not criminal to be sarcastic to a guy who’s apparently competing for the world’s biggest whinyass tittybaby.You claim you used to be a Marine? Were you like this then? Because, yeah, dude, you sure aren’t like any of the Marines I knew once upon a time—and the ones I still know.Oh and it won’t reach court. No decent lawyer would take such a case and if by some once-in-a-zillion chances it arrived in court, you’d be laughed out and assessed costs and fines. Once the judge sees the way you exaggerate other peoples’ words and actions, you’d be the one being judged–and fined to within an inch of your life.” (March 27, 2013 at 1:55:18 PM PDT)

9. Ginmar says: “It’s called free speech. If you put your work out there, you get reviews. And you know what’s SHOCKING?! People might watch and vote without commenting. People might decide to——-I know this is horrifying—— join in conversations they find here and there. Like it or not, but CALLING SOMEONE’S JOB because you didn’t like their sarcasm is not justified, acceptible, or reasonable.As for how I found this review…..you don’t know how the internet works, do you?You might also look up “libel.” If you actually do have a lawyer, they’re just screwing with you.Also…..”We shall see?” Really? You sound like Dr. Evil when you say overwroughtbstuff like that.Bottom line is, people have every right to review and comment on your books and the way you stalk people. I’d hate to be you uf the person you harassed at her job was as litigious as you are. (March 27, 2013 at 4:55:40 PM PDT)

10. Ginmar says: Nobody’s ever going to go to your website again, now that people know you track IPs and call peoples’ jobs. You don’t have a dictionary, do you? And I hope nobody’s stupid enough to go to your website, because then you’ll try and TRACK YOUR IP AND CALL YOUR BOSS. What kibd of Marine were you? I can’t imagine jarheads tolerating a guy who rubs to mommy every time somebody calls him on his whining. (March 30, 2013 at 12:14:14 PM PDT)

11. Ginmar says: “’DON’T GO to his website. HE TRACKS IPS and tries to get people fired.” (March 30, 2013 at 12:16:51 PM PDT)

12. Ginmar has rated my novel, Running with the Enemy” with 1-star on Goodreads and has allegedly not bought or read a copy of this book.

13. Found on Ginmar’s Goodreads page with a photo of the cover of one of my novels: “Author now trying to erase his campaign of butthurt from the internet, wherein he attacked every negative review he ever got, and deckared that people who did NOT visit his website were bullies. But if you go to his website, he tracks your IP and calls your boss to try and get you fired.” (Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:38 AM)

Note: I have never attacked every negative review of my work. Anyone that wants to find out, may do so.  In fact, many of my comments are not attacks at all. Read them and find out for yourself. Number 13 is another example of Ginmar’s reckless and false speech that allegedly libels and defames me as an author and an individual.

I also have no problems with civil disagreements, but when people hiding behind anonymous cyber names call you a snob,a narcissist, bloviated, too stupid to get into 1st grade, a stalker—and that’s only part of it—then using an IP Lookup to discover where one of the most abusive anonymous alleged cyber bully’s might live, the context of that phone call changes. And I never attempted to get anyone fired. 

In addition, an IP Lookup only has about an 80% chance of getting within 25 miles of an actual location.

I want Ginmar to stop!

Continued on April 3, 2013 in Ginmar: alleged Cyber Bully, Troll and Stalker? Part 4 or return to 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

______________

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

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

In Defense of Authors Perceived as Behaving Badly – Part 2/3

The Guardian published a piece on How not to handle bad reviews, and quoted science fiction author Isaac Asimov who said authors fall into two groups: “Those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.”

Then Dog Star Media says, of fighting negative reviews online, that, “There are harsh rules in opinion-making. One bad review can really hurt you. There is no way to fight opinion with opinion.  The only safe answer for control is to be positive all the time, frequently and in great volume. … If the conversation is going on and you are not part of it, it is more than likely that you will be painted inaccurately.  By being part of the conversation, you can keep it accurate and begin to control the conversation by putting a greater emphasis on your opinion. … There is a saying about the basics of Public Relations. It goes like this: You can fight fact with fact but you cannot fight opinion with opinion.”

But before an author can fight opinions with facts that support the quality of his or her work, he or she must go out and find facts from reputable sources—not from anonymous reviewers, friends or family.

With review space in the traditional media shrinking, where does an author find reputable sources that do not charge to review?

The Midwest Book Review is one but Midwest reviews less than a third of the books submitted to them.  The other option is to find Blogs that review books and do not charge a dollar price to do it. I suggest finding Blogs with an Alexa ranking in the top 1%—or near it, but Blogs that review books must also earn a credible reputation, which is why I suggest only submitting to Blogs that are ranked in the top 1% by Alexa.

But how do you come up with that one percent?

Royal Pingdom.com reported December 2011 that there were 555 million Websites; 800+ million users on Facebook; 39 million Tumbler Blogs; 70 million WordPress Blogs and that there were 2.4 billion social networking accounts worldwide.

To come up with a 1% number, I use the total number of Websites, which means a Book Review Blog should have an Alexa ranking of at least 5.5 million or lower. I also look for the number of people that subscribe to that Blog as members and/or followers.

For two examples:

Peeking Between the Pages had a 1.7 million Alexa traffic rank when I checked with 384 sites linked in and 1,363 members in addition to 253 followers. The Review Policy says, “Due to the overwhelming number of requests I do get I am selective about what I pick to read and review. I will only choose to review those books which I feel I will have an interest in.”

Another Blog that reviews books is So Many Precious Books, So Little Time and it had a 4.9 million Alexa ranking with 305 sites linked in. This Book Blog has 708 members and 127 followers. The review policy says, “… I am not able to accept all review requests as I get so many. I am not able to reply to all requests …”

In addition, I also submit my work to the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Yes, it costs money to enter this contest but all entrants will receive a brief commentary from the judges that is similar to a review—that is as long as Writer’s Digest keeps this policy.

I have posted two judges’ commentaries on my Websites and you may see them by clicking on the following links.

My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart

Everyone has an opinion and that opinion should be treated with respect, but that does not mean an author has to lie down and take a beating when there is evidence from reputable sources such as The Midwest Book Review, a Writer’s Digest Judge, or Book Blogs like Peeking Between the Pages and So Many Precious Books, So Little Time that may offer a positive review building an author’s credibility to counter negative reviews.

Continued on January 22, 2013 in Part 3 of In Defense of Authors Perceived as Behaving Badly or return to Part 1

_______________________

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!”

Authors Finding Readers – Part 4/4

How does an author build an Internet platform to attract readers to his or her work?

Here’s how I did it and it seems to have worked for my first three novels:

I launched iLookChina.net (my first proper Blog after taking three workshops on the subject), the platform for my first-three historical-fiction novels set in 19th century China. Instead of writing about the writing process and my angst as a writer, as I have discovered many authors do with his or her Blog/s, I focused on topics about China and the Chinese.

Does that make sense?

Here are the results:

I launched iLook China.net near the end of January 2010. Since launching the Blog, I have posted more than 1,500 articles about China and the Chinese.

However, my first novel, My Splendid Concubine was released December 2007.

Sales in 2008 = 221 copies.

Sales in 2009 = 341 copies.

After I launched a Blog to support the novels, sales for 2010 = 2,375 copies (a 696% increase in sales over 2009 when I did not have a proper platform Blog).

Sales in 2011 = 4,641 copies.

So far, sales in 2012 have reached more than 2,700.

As of 6:10 PST on August 19, 2012, iLookChina.net had 285,272 all-time views that I’m sure have contributed to almost 10,000 book sales.

What do these numbers say? Answer: It is crucial for an author to identify the interests of his or her potential readers before building and branding a proper Internet platform.

For example, if an author publishes a cookbook, he or she should consider a Blog about food.

There is more to building an author Internet Platform than just launching a Blog. For example, in 2008, I was a guest on 31 radio talk shows (only one was a Blog radio station) and I have linked from my Website to a few of the reviews that were converted to podcasts.

Recently, actually this morning (as I worked on this series of posts), I read a piece by David Vinjamuri for Forbes.com called Publishing Is Broken, We’re Drowning in Indie Books – And That’s a Good Thing.  It’s a long piece but worth reading for anyone that wants to learn about the current state of publishing. Near the end of Vinjamuri’s six-page on-line article, he says that Indie books must get reviewed, and from the start back in 2008, getting reviews was one of my goals.

I do not pay for reviews, but I have been on three Internet book tours of my work and I paid publicists to organize these Blog tours, which generated maybe 50 – 60 reviews. Most were positive. A few were not. I also submitted my work to literary contests and lost more than I earned some recognition in.

The most valuable reviews came from Writer’s Digest judges (my work has had two); The Midwest Book Review (three); City Weekend Magazine in China; and Historical Novels Review Online—all reputable, established media sources linked to traditional publishing, and this is the quality of reviews/recognition for Indie work that Vinjamuri says Indie authors need to prove credibility equal to that of traditionally published authors.

In addition, I belong to Authors Den, write reviews for Amazon Vine, LL Book Review, leave comments on other Blogs for posts that interest me (the posts I leave comments on have to really interest me—if they do not, I don’t leave a comment).

I belong to other on-line social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Historical Fiction eBooks, and the Independent Authors Guild to name a few where I spend time commenting in chats, etc.

One fact for sure: there is NO guarantee that anything an author does will attract a sizable reading audience.  In fact, there is no guarantee that the Blog/Internet platform I’m building for my next novel, Running with the Enemy, will succeed in finding readers interested in that story.

Unless an author belongs to the rarified A-list of the most successful authors that have sold hundreds of thousands or millions of books, each book an author publishes is another venture into the unknown. For example, one of the most successful Indie authors is Amanda Hocking, and it took her about nine years of hard work building her platform before she graduated to the A-list that most authors will never join.

In conclusion, I want to share a few more depressing thoughts—According to Mental Floss, Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix, in the United States:

1. One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

2. Forty-Two percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

3. Eighty percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

4. Seventy percent of U.S., adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.

5. Fifty-seven percent of new books are not read to completion.

Then, according to a 98-page, 2007-study by the National Endowment for the Arts, reading is declining as an activity among teenagers.

1. Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers.

2. The percentage of 17-year-olds who read nothing at all for pleasure has doubled over a 20-year period.

3. For age 9, fifty-four percent read for fun almost every day; for age 13, thirty percent read for fun almost every day but by age 17, only 22% do.

4. The percentage of college graduate that read literature was 82% in 1982 down to 67% by 2002, and 65% of college freshman read for pleasure for less than an hour per week or not at all.

5. Literary readers are more than twice (43%) as likely as non-readers (16%) to do volunteer or do charity work.

6. Deficient readers are far more likely than skilled readers to be high school dropouts. Half of American’s Below-Basic readers failed to complete high school—a percentage gain of 5 points since 1992.

Now, do you understand why writers and authors have to promote to find his or her readers?

Return to Authors Finding Readers – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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

The NEED to Edit – Part 5/6

Even though my editing process did not discover every mistake, my manuscripts were clean enough to be awarded the Editor’s Choice Award (4% of books published by iUniverse earned this award); the Publisher’s Choice Award (1%), and the highest score for grammar from two Writer’s Digest judges.

In addition, both of my first novels were reviewed by the Midwest Book Review that has a policy to reject books that do not measure up to industry standards.

Although my novels will not earn praise from most ARGs, editing the work myself, I saved thousands of dollars because I did not hire a freelance editor. In fact, if you read The Business of Editing: Killing Me Softly by Rich Adin, you would have discovered that hiring a freelance editor is not a guarantee that your work will be edited to the level of perfection demanded by most ARGs.

Instead, my first two novels were edited by me first, then by two English teachers followed by two authors that I worked with in a writing critique group (a total of five sets of eyes). Each of these individuals and the two editing programs I used found errors I missed with my flawed mortal eyes.

Remember, humans are not perfect, but most ARGs ignore this fact.

In addition, after all of that editing my novels went through, the work was still not ARG perfect because in 2011, a neighbor, who is not an ARG, read a copy of The Concubine Saga and found twelve mistakes in the 250,000 word manuscript. A few of those mistakes were an “I” that should have been a “me”; an “or” that should have been an “of”, and an “English” that should have said “England”.

However, to most devoted ARGs, errors of that sort are unacceptable and will claim the work is riddled with mistakes.

After final revisions to the plot, I edit the manuscript three times using only my eyes and brain, which are subject to imperfection since I have dyslexia. During this step in the editing process, I use Google as a fact and spell checker (for words I suspected might be spelled wrong). Google is the best spell checker I have used. To use Google, copy and paste the word from your manuscript into Google search. If wrong, Google will call up the correct spelling of the word almost every time. I also use Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips, on-line dictionaries, and an on-line Thesaurus.

You may also want to check out Dr. Grammar at the University of Northern Iowa.

My next step in the editing process uses Serenity Software’s Editing program (highly recommended but it will force you to work) that discovers many mistakes I missed with my eyes. Last, I edit with Microsoft Word’s spelling-grammar editor that may find something at this stage of the editing process but usually doesn’t. Only then do I enlist help from others to edit the manuscript. Even after all that, there will still be a few mistakes, which is why I’m planning to hire a freelance editor for a final edit of my next novel after I finish editing using the process I have described.

I also have a shelf full of resource books (I just counted fourteen) such as The Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference, and I use them all—some more than others.

As Amanda Hocking said in Part 3, editing is “exhausting”. The reason is because most authors do not work exclusively out of the left side of the brain.

Indeed, most authors do not have the editing skills of the legendary editor Maxwell Perkins, who was the editor of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe.

Instead, most authors may have editing skills closer to that of Thomas Wolfe who wrote longhand without the use of punctuation in addition to other mistakes that his editor, Perkins, fixed as he edited Wolfe’s work.

If you are interested in Perkins’ life, I recommend Max Perkins Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, who won the National Book Award for this work in 1978. I highly recommend the book and found it to be a fascinating biography of an amazing editor. I read it in the early 80s while working toward an MFA.

Today, without Max Perkins to edit his work, Thomas Wolfe (1900 – 1938), the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and the author of Look Homeward, Angel, may have become an indie, self-published author bashed and criticized by that elite one percent that makes up the ARGs.

Continued August 11, 2012 in The NEED to Edit – Part 6 or return to Part 4

View this Six-Part Series as a Single Page

Note: My Blog posts do not go through the exhaustive editing process my novels do.

_______________________

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!”

The NEED to Edit – Part 4/6

The ideal audience for all authors is made up mostly of avid readers.

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy in the US (1992 – 2003) says 13% or 28 million adult Americans are proficient (can perform complex and challenging literacy activities) at the quantitative literacy level while 95 million are intermediate (can perform moderately challenging literacy activates), 63 million basic (can perform simple and everyday literacy activates) and 30 million are below basic (no more than the most simple and concrete literacy skills).

My literacy level is proficient but not perfect when it comes to editing. In other words, I am not an ARG.

Of the 123 million adult Americans that read at basic or above, few are experts at editing but many read books. A high literacy level does not equal a high editing level. It just means you have a higher vocabulary and understand what you are reading at a higher level.

In fact, my experience as an English teacher taught me that of the 29 million adult Americans that are proficient, only 2.8 million belong to the top echelon of editing literacy—the rare anal-retentive grammarian (ARG) with a photographic memory and instant recall that has memorized all 532 pages in the fourth course of Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition textbook.

Therefore, to be criticized viciously by one of the few ARGs (less than one percent of the adult population) is meaningless. What an indie, self-published author must strive for is to write at an editing literacy level that is adequate for the other 121 million readers that will not recognize many of the mistakes that an ARG will criticize.

In fact, here is a profile of the reading audience authors should cultivate. Sixty-two million Americans are considered “avid” readers who are “disproportionately buying books.” Source: Bookweb.org

Therefore, among avid readers, ARGs may make up at most only 4.5% of that segment of the population. Of course, it is up to the author which audience he or she wants to impress:

A. sixty-two million (39 million are female) avid readers (subtract for ARGs)

B. the 2.8 million ARGs (being an ARG does not mean one is also an avid reader)

C. adult Americans that read below basic literacy level

For an example of one ARG, in 2008, after my work earned Editor’s and Publisher’s Choice with iUniverse, was reviewed by the Midwest Book Review and earned a 5 out of 5 for grammar from a Writer’s Digest judge, I submitted my novel to a UK review Blog that counted mistakes as part of the review. The reviewer would stop reading once she found about a dozen mistakes (of any kind) and then write a scathing review.

I mistakenly believed I had a chance to earn a positive review from this Blogger, so I submitted my work but she failed it. After my work failed, I discovered that every book, except one, reviewed on this site had failed and the one that had less than a dozen mistakes was criticized for its plot, characterization and theme.

Not one self-published indie author reviewed by this one UK Blogger received a glowing review. The ARG bias was obvious.

Since the publication of my first novel in December 2007, I have given this topic a lot of thought, and I have concluded that an author does not have to satisfy the ARGs.

What an author must do is meet the traditional industry standards for editing as it is obvious that my work did.

This means that there cannot be so many mistakes that it distracts the average “avid” reader.

It is obvious that an ARG has a much higher standard than the traditional publishing industry (newspapers, magazines and publishers) does. A biased ARG may scream bloody murder for editing perfection in his or her one-star reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, but he or she is not going to find that perfection easily even among traditionally published books.

However, every indie self-published author, no matter what his or her editing skill level, may find editing tools to improve the work before it appears in the market place—even without hiring a skilled freelance editor.

To not take advantage of those tools and avoid editing is a serious mistake.

Continued August 10, 2012 in The NEED to Edit – Part 5 or return to Part 3

View this Six-Part Series as a Single Page

Note: My Blog posts do not go through the exhaustive editing process my novels do.

_______________________

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!”

Ginmar: alleged Cyber Bully, Troll and Stalker? (Viewed as Single Page)

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 a local county assistant 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)


Document Everything!

My Response: Would it surprise you to discover that there is an entry fee for the two most prestigious literary awards in the United States: it’s $50.00 for the The Pulitzer Prizes, and it’s $135.00 for the National Book Awards? If you don’t believe me, click the links and read the evidence for yourself.

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, and 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

I have also 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 juried. 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.

Ginmar has accused me of stalking more than one person in her alleged reckless and false speech, and I want Ginmar to stop.

To set the record straight, I have not stalked anyone, and I have not at any time wanted (or asked) to get anyone fired from his or her job—ever!

If someone ended up fired because I made a phone call in an attempt to identify an anonymous person who was allegedly stalking and bullying me, it would only be because he or she may have committed a crime or violated workplace rules.

For the details of that one-time incident, I suggest clicking on the following link and reading my side of this issue instead of the reckless and false accusations that are being spread across the Internet.

Found Guilty because of Reckless and False Speech

Before my third point, I want to make it clear that there is a difference between investigative journalism and stalking. A journalist researches an issue/topic and gathers facts and then writes about it for publication.  And I am a journalist.  My BA is in journalism, and I taught an award winning journalism class for several years that was recognized regionally, nationally and internationally.

Extra! Nogales newspaper a five-time winner: Scroll earns top honors in country

To discover the difference between a journalist and a stalker, the following definition may help: Criminal activity consisting of the repeated following and harassing of another person.

Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. For example, sending flowers, writing love notes, and waiting for someone outside her place of work are actions that, on their own, are not criminal. When these actions are coupled with an intent to instill fear or injury, however, they may constitute a pattern of behavior that is illegal.

The motivations for stalking are many. They include the desire for contact and control, obsession, jealousy, and anger and stem from the real or imagined relationship between the victim and the stalker. The stalker may feel intense attraction or extreme hatred. Many stalkers stop their activity when confronted by police intervention, but some do not. The more troublesome stalker may exhibit a personality disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive behavior, which leads him to devote an inordinate amount of time to writing notes and letters to the intended target, tracking the victim’s movements, or traveling in an attempt to achieve an encounter.

Why do I think Ginmar is allegedly stalking me? Pay attention to the dates!

The following list may establish Ginmar’s state of mind and offer evidence that she has allegedly been stalking me on Amazon and Goodreads while making reckless and false speech that may libel and defame me and my work.

  1. Ginmar says: “Some authors have been having temper tantrums over bad reviews and now they’re stalking reviewers.” (July 11, 2012 at 7:43 PM) Note: this comment was made on another site and to other people—not me. I’m using it to establish an alleged mindset for Ginmar.
  2. Ginmar says to me: “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)
  3. Ginmar says: “So you approve of stalking and harassing critics.” (February 28, 2013 at 8:08:47)
  4. Ginmar says: “Bottom line is, people have every right to review and comment on your books and the way you stalk people. I’d hate to be you uf the person you harassed at her job was as litigious as you are.” (March 27, 2013)
  5. Ginmar says: “Those are reviews you buy. The Midwest Book Review is either a paid review service or some other kind of scam. Either way…” (March 6, 2013, 4:00:02 PM PST)
  6. Ginmar says: “You deleted your post. MWBR is a review mill that gives all books five stars. As for the rest.. you deleted so I no longer have the list. Deleting is not going to bring your rep back after calling that person’s job over a sarcastic comment” (March 27, 2013 at 5:54:04 PM PDT)
  7. Ginmar says: “If you comment at Lloyd’s blog, be aware he doesn’t like disagreement. He tracked one person’s IP and called her job.” (March 27, 2013 at 9:43:10 AM PDT)
  8. Ginmar says: “Oh, for pete’s sake. Number one, learn to sarcasm, dude, seriously, you’re embarrassing yourself. Also, stop using ‘terrorist’. Somebody who criticizes your books and the way you freakishly exaggerate whatever’s going on is not a terrorist.They are somebody who has an opinion. YOU stalked somebody to their job based on your….I have no idea what to call what’s wrong with you.It’s not criminal to be sarcastic to a guy who’s apparently competing for the world’s biggest whinyass tittybaby.You claim you used to be a Marine? Were you like this then? Because, yeah, dude, you sure aren’t like any of the Marines I knew once upon a time—and the ones I still know.Oh and it won’t reach court. No decent lawyer would take such a case and if by some once-in-a-zillion chances it arrived in court, you’d be laughed out and assessed costs and fines. Once the judge sees the way you exaggerate other peoples’ words and actions, you’d be the one being judged–and fined to within an inch of your life.” (March 27, 2013 at 1:55:18 PM PDT)
  9. Ginmar says: “It’s called free speech. If you put your work out there, you get reviews. And you know what’s SHOCKING?! People might watch and vote without commenting. People might decide to——-I know this is horrifying—— join in conversations they find here and there. Like it or not, but CALLING SOMEONE’S JOB because you didn’t like their sarcasm is not justified, acceptible, or reasonable.As for how I found this review…..you don’t know how the internet works, do you?You might also look up “libel.” If you actually do have a lawyer, they’re just screwing with you.Also…..”We shall see?” Really? You sound like Dr. Evil when you say overwroughtbstuff like that.Bottom line is, people have every right to review and comment on your books and the way you stalk people. I’d hate to be you uf the person you harassed at her job was as litigious as you are. (March 27, 2013 at 4:55:40 PM PDT)
  10. Ginmar says: Nobody’s ever going to go to your website again, now that people know you track IPs and call peoples’ jobs.
    You don’t have a dictionary, do you? And I hope nobody’s stupid enough to go to your website, because then you’ll try and TRACK YOUR IP AND CALL YOUR BOSS.
    What kibd of Marine were you? I can’t imagine jarheads tolerating a guy who rubs to mommy every time somebody calls him on his whining. (March 30, 2013 at 12:14:14 PM PDT)
  11. Ginmar says: “’DON’T GO to his website. HE TRACKS IPS and tries to get people fired.” (March 30, 2013 at 12:16:51 PM PDT)
  12. Ginmar has rated my novel, Running with the Enemy” with 1-star on Goodreads and has allegedly not bought or read a copy of this book.
  13. Found on Ginmar’s Goodreads page with a photo of the cover of one of my novels: “Author now trying to erase his campaign of butthurt from the internet, wherein he attacked every negative review he ever got, and deckared that people who did NOT visit his website were bullies. But if you go to his website, he tracks your IP and calls your boss to try and get you fired.” (Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:38 AM)

Note: I have never attacked every negative review of my work. Anyone that wants to find out, may do so.  In fact, many of my comments are not attacks at all. Read them and find out for yourself. Number 13 is another example of Ginmar’s reckless and false speech that allegedly libels and defames me as an author and an individual.

I also have no problems with civil disagreements, but when people hiding behind anonymous cyber names call you a snob,a narcissist, bloviated, too stupid to get into 1st grade, a stalker—and that’s only part of it—then using an IP Lookup to discover where one of the most abusive anonymous alleged cyber bully’s might live, the context of that phone call changes. And I never attempted to get anyone fired. 

In addition, an IP Lookup only has about an 80% chance of getting within 25 miles of an actual location.

I want Ginmar to stop!

What does Ginmar and others say about her?

1. Ginmar says: interests: “Cutting through bullshit and refusing to make nice with cowardly assholes.”  about me: “I swear a lot. I don’t have tact. And I don’t have patience for assholes, of whom I’ve encountered rather a lot lately. I especially don’t like passive aggressive people. Don’t expect tact. Hell, don’t even hope for it.” Source: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6804123-ginmar

2. A comment about Ginmar: “More Steve Irwin wank: Ginmar is not sorry: Well, it had to happen. Ginmar weighs in on Steve Irwin’s death. And again, a few minutes later. Discussion, disagreement, and trolling ensue, along with yet another demonstration of ginmar’s mad debate skillz. Mainly, I’m impressed by her ability to deconstruct any situation to make it into an example of patriarchy in action.” Source: http://www.journalfen.net/community/otf_wank/466962.html?thread=29182226

3. Some of you may know that I’ve gotten involved in some pretty long and heated discussions about female sexual dysfunction over in ginmar‘s journal. She has since locked the original post, saying that people were misreading her, but I’ve obtained a copy of it from Friday noon, several hours before access was restricted. I will post it in its complete and unedited form below (so there can be no charges of selective editing), behind a cut-tag, so people can judge it for themselves. Source: http://cheshyre.livejournal.com/29224.html

4. Ginmar says: “Certain Goodreads members are not harassing authors. Some authors have been having temper tantrums over bad reviews and now they’re stalking reviewers. Get your facts straight, because all you’re doing now is making excuses for these people.“You’re defending these people. You’re entitled to your own opinion—-but not to have it treated as a fact. And what you present is not the facts.” (July 22, 2012 at 7:43 PM)  Source: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6804123-ginmar

5. “Well, this is definitely a first. We have a typical response from Ginmar and it’s about the standard response one could expect from an obsessive, dysfunctional, female supremacist, a feminist. I have had the displeasure of trying to point Ginmar in the right direction over the past decade or so, all without the appropriate affect, unfortunately..

“Ginmar is one of those human beings who refuses to look at any issue and compare the pros and cons. As far as she is concerned, she has her opinion, everyone else is either a liar, some type of sycophant to some radical theory or doctrine or they are just way too stupid to see her point of view because of their  inability to reason coherently.

“Sound familiar Ginmar. You accuse people of doing exactly of what you do yourself.”

6. “Number four on the list explains her conditions and her medication including her suicide attempts. Those confession vindicate the article previously posted right here. Ginmar claims to have served in the forces and from the look of it it may well be the case but we only have her word for it (and she does have an ability to tell stories). I am loathed to believe anything she says or states and the reasons are that she has an intense hate of all men, generalises like all radical, male hating, feminists do and refuses to accept any other facts otherwise or maybe she just enjoys it..

“Meanwhile, I have had a gut full of this obnoxious female and prefer to just ignore it but the challenge was there and here is her information(some of it) and the original demand stands.”

7. “As I expected, I received an abusive email from Ginmar which was to rude and obnoxious to post here. This is the standard response we can expect from feminists, as we continue to expose their hate doctrine.” (Posted January 22, 2012)

 Source for numbers 5, 6, and 7: http://whatmenthinkofwomen.blogspot.com/2012/01/ginmar-and-her-version-of-reality.html

8. Yohan says: “No idea, for sure Ginmar is delivering her men-hating statements already since about 8 years or longer – I noticed her the first time, when she was writing hateful comments against men married with a foreign wife at Ampersands, long before VAWA-IMBRA in 2005, she was somehow connected to this Tahirih Justice Center.

“At that time she was doing something for Russian female immigrants, I do not recall any statement from her about Iraq or army at that time.

“Her comments were never ‘normal’ and full of hate and scorn. – I think, Ampersands banned her around 2003 from his feminist blog.

“Maybe she was in the US-army, but for sure not always in combat in Iraq, more likely most of the time somewhere in USA in a military related office, doing some social services for immigrants as a volunteer in a women’s shelter during her time off. Something like that …

“For the first time I noticed Ginmar on the internet when she was writing hate-comments against a marriage-introduction company for Russian women which had its office in Australia. I think it was 2003” (January 25, 2012)

9. Christian J says: “Unknown is ofcourse Ginmar as we can read. Too cowardly to include it’s real name.

“Ginmar, you have now achieved a warning level. Even I who would generally allow just about any any level of abuse thru ,have reached saturation level. Unlike feminists site’s, we do actually allow commentary but I do beleive that your level of abuse is way past what I woud have thrown into the bin. I wanted people to see what type of lunatic you really are and here you have done exactly that..

“Excellent, well done..

“Continue with the abuse level and I will kick your worthless arse to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

“Last warning” (January 25, 2012)

10. Ginmar says: “Apparently I’m the Alpha Femibitch, which tells me that:

  1. Christ, your standards are pathetic if you think I’m too feminist;
  2. Where’s my back pay, bitchez?

“Seriously, why do some assholes always accuse some women and doing this? And by ‘assholes’ I mean ‘other alleged feminists’ because their feminism seems awfully directed at sucking up to men. The whole ‘fe’ prefix is important. It’s not like men don’t have the whole fucking world at their disposal. …[Note: there is a lot more to this journal entry]

“But anyway, if I’m the Alpha Feminist, I want my back pay.”

Source: http://ginmar.livejournal.com/profile

Once again, I want Ginmar to stop!

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

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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