About Voinov vs Riptide Case

After reading this statement: Why I cannot publish Nightingale, this other one: A Statement Regarding Aleksandr Voinov, and this long, clear and well-documented post by Abigail Roux, and considering that it’s not the first time that Voinov makes more or less public his strifes with other community/business members, always taking himself the role of victim as far as I recall, it saddens me to say that I have a strong impression of to be stand before a false step -or an unthinking one- of Voinov in the best-case scenario, and an unscrupulous act in the other one, in which he has not stopped to think about the damaged inflicted to many people, non related with his very specific business dispute.

Someone might ask: Why you, a  reader, come in to hold an opinion on this issue? Well then. because Mr. Voinov wanted it to be so when he’s using us readers like projectiles in a negotiation about his dissociation from this company of whom he’s co-founder. It’s clear for me that we aren’t in front of a writer fighting as crusader for nothing more than his royalties. Moreover, I remember now a post from him about investments matters, so certainly we aren’t in front of a baby deer blinded by high beams.

I don’t know an iota about how responsibilities and faults are distributed in this dispute. And is not my business.

I’m a Riptide Publishing’s direct assiduous  purchaser; the only time that I had a problem, I wrote and they answered me without delay and satisfyingly. Besides, to this conflict I had never listened to complaints with regard to this publisher.  Therefore I plan to keep on as so far, I refuse to be used as a battering ram in a suchlike fight.

Just the same,  for the moment I haven’t modified my opinion concerning Aleksandr Voinov like an excellent writer that I plan to keep on reading to. I’m not sure, and only time will tell, if this attitude that he has taken it will end up affecting my vision and pleasure for his  books.  What’s sure is that I would not do business nor would socialize with him.

 

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How Plagiarism Hurts Me

With regard to the case of Laura Harner as plagiarist, that have recently come to light.

I waited four days, since the plagiarism was known, waiting some type of clarification from Ms. Harner, but the evidence supplied by authors and bloggers, the Harner’s attitude of removing part of “her” production from online booksellers and, above all, her thunderous silence on all this, mean than today I cannot help but to assume that allegations are true.

So, I’m acting accordingly, penalizing her releases with a 1-star-rating and a plagiaristic-authors shelf on my Goodread’s account.

  • I feel devastated and very angry as buyer/reader.
  • I feel disgusted in behalf of Becky McGraw, Opal Carew and other eventual authors that may have been victimized by Harner.
  • I feel very sad in behalf of a handful of writers that have had a personal and professional closeness with Ms. Harner, because I already have detected as suspicionesses extend toward them hastily and unfairly, without more reason that said closeness. Closeness is not complicity; I’m not specialist by no means, but I get the impression that plagiarism is such an shameful crime that is practiced lonesomely. And if I’m right, these writers would not only be pained for the impact of theft but also for abuse of their personal feelings by Harner; adding up free suspicions is nothing but cruelty.
  • I feel distressed in behalf of the whole LGBTQ writers that work honestly and whose community is tarnished, affecting their ties of trust and collaboration between them or with other communities.
  • And I feel betrayed, as part of the amplest LGBTQ authors & writers community, for the unrest and the shadow of mistrust that leaves us as outcome  Harner’s treason.

Why I Fight Self-rating on Goodreads

I want to explain the basis of my standpoint.

It seems to me that many authors assimilate legality and ethics when, clearly, they are not the same. Without  going any further on definitions and theoretical analysis and transferring this notion to our topic, I say: Yes, self-rating is available on Goodreads (so, it’s “legal”) but, is it ethical? I don’t think so.

Just like I don’t believe in the infallibility of Goodreads and its policies; Goodreads is not God. Nor authors are divine incarnations; particularly, they don’t have the gift of ubiquity: they cannot be both reader/reviewer and the author of a book, they’re either one or the other.

The 5-stars-rating that an author gives its own work will be inexorably biased, be it so much for author’s self confidence in their work as to for an interest in projecting an positive image of a book to stimulate its sales, or its diffusion if it’s a free read.. Keeping in mind that obviously the star rating is the first reference for a reader in search of opinions, is hard to see self-rating like an ingenuous or bona fide act.

Now, it could be alleged that if authors rate openly their own work, and no through sock puppets, that behavior would not be unethical.. I disagree, I think that at most we might speak about unethicalness degrees but it would continue to be unethical.

Furthermore, the author’s confidence what you’re talking about like reason for self-rating it could also be understood like a denial a priori of any negative feedback. Besides, what better display of self confidence than to accept that ponder the merits of a book is a readers’s prerogative?

I want to end up quoting author Adrian Howell, in my opinion he has synthesized the convergent reasons why an author should refrain from self-rating:

«First off, I don’t think self-rating my works are going to boost my sales in any meaningful way. Second, many readers probably do think that authors rating their own books is unethical, and I wouldn’t want to risk that image. Third and most importantly, I want an honest appraisal of my works, and rating my own books would mess with the numbers».

(source: kboards)

Impressions About a Discussion on Goodreads

With regard to more or less furious reactions and aggressive exchanges of words between people that I appreciate, and which lament, with reference to
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin and The Garçonnière by Ali MacLagan, I cannot help but wonder why has not happened exactly the same with The Last Rebellion by Lisa Henry when, basically, topic is the same, the lack of freedom of one of the protagonists under the hands of the other, in the context of some kind of systematic captivity imposed  by one dominant group over other/s -who are divested totally of their free will-, actually happened in different places, past and present.

 

It’s obvious to me that there has been stronger reactions towards what hits close to home; the scenario described in The Last Rebellion has not provoked such reactions on a vast number of GR members,  presumably because that’s an unknown or remote reality for them. That isn’t my case, The Last Rebellion hits really near to home for me, and thus I insinuated it in my brief reviewFor Such a Time‘s context also comes to be close to home for me.  I read The Last Rebellion, I have not plans to read For Such a Time or The Garçonnière.

 

Today, saddened me a lot to see very aggressive answers toward who they exposed, without derogatory words, different points of view. Besides, I would have liked to see a more consistent approach in those who they reviewed or held an opinion about The Last Rebellion and at least one of the other two stories, since the philosophical basis on why the standpoint about the topic under discussion would be mistaken and condemnable in For Such a Time or The Garçonnière, is scarcely mentioned in the case of The Last Rebellion.

 

Apropos of the aired criticism on the labeling as Romance, For Such a Time has been nominated by the RWA, The Garconniere emerges of MM Romance Group, the preponderant tag in GR for The Last Rebellion Is Romance -which leave me flabbergasted, because while Romance has a positive sense, Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t have it- and even though tags from editors have influence, each reader is the one that finishes laying the foundations of such tag. As for me, I don’t consider any of these three stories as Romance. I’m a member of MM Romance Group but I  don’t  think that  “MM Romance Reader” fits me; I see myself as a reader with wide tastes, with special interest in MM Fiction (not only MM Romance).

 

I don’t dig into the issue if there should be exercised some type of restriction or censorship, or where is the thin red line wherein stories stops being harsh stories to become apologies of crime, trivializing slavery, racism and power abuse. That’s a big and too important matter that deserve deep and wide debate.