Is Absolute Write a Valuable Writer Resource or a Pretender With An Advertising Agenda?

Type "absolute write complaints" in Google and see the article, "Haters Gonna Hate" by Victoria Strauss to get the other side of this ongoing debate regarding the validity and cyberbully nature of Absolute Write. The writers associated with this blog would like to thank Victoria Strauss for battling the troll so bravely and also for advertising our blog and the many other websites calling out the owners and mods at AW for their behavior.

Publishing Experts James D. Macdonald and Debra Doyle
Does it all center around the meaning of the word "valuable"? Below is the advertising claim of Absolute Write as related by AW's foremost champion and spokesperson, Victoria Strauss--who utilizes AW as her main source of advertising for her fantasy series. This passage is taken from her "Haters Gonna Hate" post (recommend reading the comment thread to the end) on her blog:
The truth: AW is a valuable resource, one of the largest and most active writers' forums on the Internet. (As of this writing, it boasts nearly 60,000 members, over 8 million posts, and anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 users active at any given time--scroll down to the bottom of AW to see these statistics.) At AW, you can discuss every aspect of craft and genre, learn about the ins and outs of publishing and self-publishing, share your work-in-progress, get your query letter critiqued, connect with beta readers and writing buddies, commiserate about rejection and rejoice about success, and participate in discussions about culture, music, art, politics, and just about anything else you want to talk about. AW members include writers at every stage of their careers--from just thinking about publishing to multi-published--along with a wide variety of publishing industry experts and professionals: literary agents, publishers, editors, illustrators, designers, and more.
Our response to the above "truth" as follows. btw, something to consider: how does an amateur writer know whether they are receiving good advice or not? If a phony doctor puts on a lab coat and tells a naive patient to take a valueless vitamin supplement, the patient will do what he or she is told.


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  1. Victoria's ConscienceMay 13, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    FYI, you probably know this but Strauss is still pretending all negative criticism of Absolute Write is the work of one person. She reminds me of Fidel Castro in this regard. The Tariq Aziz comparison is accurate also. She pushes her own books on there so much she can't risk the place getting trashed. If they lose, so does she. I'm not the first to point this out.

    1. Like many have said, she has everything to lose if AW folds or loses credibility.

  2. Oh even if you were to go the route the board condones (trade publishing), even then more often I see the board "calling out"--a well known term in social media, well known authors that aren't even members of the board to use as part of the dirt factory to encourage their fan base to boycott authors who happens to politically disagree with them.

    Even if it were a valuable writers resource, because more often there are posts like "AWers who went onto to make a living from their writing", or trashing Stephen King, Lemony Snicket, Orson Scott Card, among others. Let's not forget how politically diverse this group is. I find it highly ironic that they don't want authors trashing AW, and yet apparently trashing and slandering "public figures" is perfectly OK.

    Like it or not, AW is a public figure. Especially egregious them being a group of vile and vicious authors, who do far more damage to peoples reputation than Stephen King ever has in apparently trashing Twilight.

  3. Does an amateur writer know whether they are getting good advice or not? Of course not.