Reviews, commentary and profiles of classic, new and upcoming Christian fiction titles...
PART 1 OF 2 PARTSNormally, I'd say that Iola Goulton is entitled to her opinions, as ill-informed and wrong-headed as they are. However, almost all her points are not hers. They were plagiarized from a "drive-by" review published by a Sam Arnold on GoodReads in June of last year. That so-called "review" was written by someone who thought quotation books were meant to be read cover to cover, as a novel is. That is like criticizing Bartlett's for being a quotation book or Webster's as a dictionary. I urge readers to look at the samples posted on the "Look inside" section of Amazon. Judge for yourself. See if you agree with her, or the Midwest Book Review which called my book "an absolute must-read for anyone considering a literary career," or goodereader.com, which called the book "fun."Several other corrections also need to be made:1. The suggestion that my book is merely a book of quotes, as opposed to a book of advice, is simply not true. Yes, there are some entries that do not strictly qualify as advice. For example, one can nitpick about the jokes, even though they are based on publishing truths. I felt I more than covered myself with the subtitle: "Words of Wisdom About Writing, Getting Published, and Living the Literary Life." The book's primary focus is on the subjects aspiring writers need help with, including how to get commercially published (as well as what a writer needs to know before considering self-publishing). The book speaks to the importance of perseverance; tells how to overcome writer's block; gives free advice on how to get help with grammar; and identifies the traits that separate professional writers from the amateurs.2. I should not have to point out that the subtitle is a subtitle, and not a byline. Similarly, Iola should have known that I am the editor of the book, not its author. If a reviewer cannot master basic publishing terms she should not review books.CONTINUED IN PART TWO
CONTINUED (PART 2)3. Her comments "there is precious little actual information on writing" and the book has "no editorial commentary" are not only lifted from the drive-by review, but they are a complete misrepresentation of my book. I mean: give me a break. The book is loaded with information designed to give writers a better head start in their careers. It is the book I wish someone had given me when I first started out. The criticism about there being "no editorial commentary" does not even make sense. A quotation book is not supposed to be about its editor. For me, it was about what the hundreds of working writers, editors, and publishers, as well as the literary greats had to say about writing, publishing, and living the writer's life. 4. Finally, when a reviewer refuses to give the book's editor the teeniest, tiniest morsel of credit. and cannot find any redeeming value in a book compiled by a 30-year veteran of the book business, you know something is off. Iola simply plagiarized someone else's views, not knowing how thoughtless and incompetent those remarks were.Neither review acknowledges my resourcefulness or the cleverness in which I arranged the book. A fair-minded reviewer would have at least noted this is an extremely well-researched book compiled by an author of three other books, and that I have not only read widely and studied the different aspects of the writing/publishing biz, but actually lived the literary life.
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@William A. Gordon: I have read the review in question. Your author/editor response is vastly exaggerated and completely inappropriate.Here's a quote for you: "Finally, if you’re an author who thinks it’s peachy for folks who post negative reviews of your work to be harassed by vengeful mental infants for the dubious crime of expressing an opinion, please grow the f*** up and stop embarrassing the rest of us. Thank you." John Scalzi, http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/07/17/bad-reviews-i-can-handle-them-and-so-should-you/
Deleted previous comment so I could edit "Amazon" to "the site where the review appears."If you think Iola has plagiarized a review, the right thing to do is to contact the site where the review appears..I applaud Iola for having the courage to put your comments on her blog.Also, this helps be know that I will never read your book."Neither review acknowledges my resourcefulness or the cleverness in which I arranged the book. A fair-minded reviewer would have at least noted this is an extremely well-researched book compiled by an author of three other books, and that I have not only read widely and studied the different aspects of the writing/publishing biz, but actually lived the literary life."Nothing worse than an author telling a reviewer how to review! I would say you haven;t lived the literary life well enough if you don't realize that.
Thanks Iola for a heads up on this book. I, like you, would expect something more substantial than lists of quotations from a book titled 1001 Tips for Writers. On closer inspection I do notice "quotations selected by" above the author's name in small print which makes it's hard to read in the thumbnail on the Good Reads and Amazon site. A quick browse of the book reveals long lists of quotes. On reading Sam's review as well as your own, I am mystified by the author's outraged comments of plagiarism on your part (which as a serious charge should not be made lightly). True, you do make similar points - as do some of the other reviews - but there is not a word-for-word correspondence - and other reviewers make the same or similar points. If there is a correspondence between the reviews, it seems to me that it is because the points are valid and 1001 Quotes for Writers would be a much better and less misleading title for this book.
I always warn writers to check out the copyright date on any "How To Write" type of book as they should buy one with up to date information.. I know only too well much has changed in the publishng industry over the forty plus years since I first started devouring them. Many out of date quotes in a recently released book can be worse than none.