Absolute Write Down and Out?

Not yet. But by any measure, the worth of Absolute Write is lessening. Matter of fact, it has plummeted. Traffic is at an all time low and the long drop shows no sign of slowing down. We've noted the reasons for this. We've examined the iPredator phenomenon and read testimony of the victims. We've reviewed the banners of questionable advertisers and other forms of trash advertising. We've called out major bullies and proved beyond any doubt that bad writer advice is rampant on the AW forums. We've demonstrated that the horse farm owners of Absolute Write have no qualifications for running a hands-on website for writers.

Though we think the value grossly overestimated, a website estimates Absolute Write to be worth a purchase value of just over $95,000 (make sure and click the update link). According to a poster on Michael M's blog, the site was previously worth over a million buckaroos (!!!!) at some point in 2013 or 2014. We think this number was also grossly overestimated, however, the clear fact remains: Absolute Write is going down, steadily dropping in value and in traffic, and therefore, in the ability to bully and misinform writers, particularly naive writers.

And the owners have no one to thank but themselves for this circumstance.

As soon as the AW forum website was sold to Melodi "Macallister" Sherman and Lisa Spangenberg, the future was set in Stone. Cyberbully bloodbaths and acts of ongoing misinformation reached epidemic levels. Never before had the writer community online seen such a virulent form of moderator and mob abuse. The victim count mounted. All manner of writers, presses, and agents and organizations fell under the AW ax policy of shoot first and ask no questions. The banning of long time members skyrocketed for the minor offense of daring to disagree with the new owners or their favorites. Websites, forums and blogs critical of Absolute Write began to appear on the web. The owners, and apologists like Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware fame, not only denied any form of abuse whatsoever, but actually invented the absurd story that all of the "haters" were just one person.

There is so much evidence of all the above on this blog, and so much more around the web, that only a demented fool or AW advertiser can deny the reality. All of us pray for the day when Absolute Write is once again sold, hopefully to someone good and fair, like the original owner Jenna Glatzner.

One more time... We miss you Jenna.

Down, over and out.

Beware Absolute Write Trashing of Agent Eric Ruben

Eric Ruben is a fantastic agent! He is deeply knowledgeable, personable, and extremely business-oriented. It’s a pleasure to have him as an agent and I recommend him fully.
          - Anne Elizabeth, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Sourcebook’s Navy SEAL romance series and the Pulse of Power graphic novel series.


The Pop-up Sock Puppets of One Brilliance

Another gem from the axe-grinding paradise of Absolute Write.

Literary Agent Eric Ruben
We are asked to believe that four anonymous entities (who suspiciously sound like the same person) who joined Absolute Write one day after another and only for the ostensible purpose of trashing Eric Ruben are telling the unquestioned truth when "they" allege that an agent as professional as Ruben broke every rule of professionalism and behaved out of character like a foolish child, even to the point of becoming violent. We are asked to believe absurdities such as, "He spends a lot of time tweeting from Whole Foods." We are further asked to believe that "these" anonymous axe-grinders were able to initiate not one but uncounted intimate private conversations with Eric's clients who, of course, also trashed Eric to them. We are asked to believe these posters in question are all different people when they talk the same, make identical unsubstantiated allegations, weasel word the same, and even disgorge the transparently disingenuous claim that they don't wish to "badmouth" Eric before proceeding to do just that with great vigor and while pretending to be objective.

The curious thing about all this is that it eerily resembles the pop-up trashing of Curiosity Quills noted in our SAD TRUTH OF HATE post. In other words, an anonymous entity pops up from nowhere on the Absolute Write forum under the noses of the owners and mods and begins severely trashing their victim without being questioned or doubted in the least. A real pattern here. We see it everywhere on AW, and in each case, the mods, owners and members retreat from any reasonable standard of fairness while the victim is decimated. And how many times have we seen them all join in to support the bashing!

Moving on.


Look at Them
The first anonymous trasher of Eric calls herself SavvySharky, who kicks off with: "I don't want to bad mouth him..." Then proceeds to do precisely that, and remorselessly. So this Savvy Sharky (whoever she is) is disingenuous at minimum. Our trust level of this anonymous hater is sliding.

And a few unsupported claims and weasel wording:

"I finally had a few uncomfortable conversations with his clients to get a sense of what I was experiencing was the norm and it seemed it was. Other clients weren't happy with where he was subbing, or how little they knew about where he was subbing, and even raised some questions about his professionalism--which I can't speak to personally."

You can't, Sharky honey? Oh, and why not? You're speaking to everything else! And btw, what clients? It "seemed"? What does that really mean? Amazing that people she has never met will immediately open up and share their personal business with this Sharky. We find this really hard to believe. Hmmm, could it be she is quite simply lying? Can we suspect an anonymous entity who just joined the forum that very month only for the purpose of trashing Eric Ruben just might be making false and  misleading allegations? Is it possible? I suppose it's good for her to hide under the blanket of Absolute Write rather than risk a lawsuit for libel.

But wait.

Only a day later another anonymous entity suddenly joins AW and with yet another pseudo-clever name: DewTheWriteThing. Among other unsubstantiated allegations, she says, "Most of us (some who have left, others who are still hanging on) have been too afraid to say anything..." So who left? Who is still hanging on? Why not tell us? And why are they living in fear? Where is Eric's rep for destroying former or current clients? His other clients said he's a really nice guy.


And finally, here comes "Brilliance" who says, "Look, guys. I'm not trying to badmouth anyone." But just before that, she said of Eric Ruben: "Things got worse when I started to actually voice my doubts. He got very defensive and volatile. Eventually, I couldn't even disagree with him without him melting down. I reached out to some fellow writers who were dealing with him, and sure enough, everyone was having problems; bad communication, unsatisfactory submissions, and more than one told me they'd found out he lied about where he'd sent their work."

Wait a minute. She sounds suspiciously like that SavvySharky person, doesn't she? And she rarely posted on AW, but appears after several years to trash Eric. Could it be... Could it be that she is also SavvySharky and DewTheWriteThing? They do sound much like, do they not? They even "reached out" to others who were "dealing with him" and "everyone was having problems." Gosh, doesn't that sound just like old Sharky? Here we go again. Who are all these writers they both keep finding? How did she contact them? Where did she find them? No details. And again, why would these people spill their guts to someone they don't know? It's just amazing how Sharky and Brilliance synch so perfectly with tactics and wording. Not out to badmouth, eh?

Overall, this trashing of Eric Ruben's rep is quite clearly the work of one vengeful, unprincipled person. It was set up and orchestrated. We couldn't be more certain, and for the record, we have no horse in this race. We've never met Eric Ruben, but when we found this unfair and vicious trashing of a reputable agent, we couldn't help but call attention to the sleazy behavior.

No fair minded writer forum would ever allow this, much less never question the parade of negative allegations. Where were the mods? The owners? Why allow this agent specifically to get trashed? And why does this pop-up trashing closely resemble other pop-up trashings of various other victims as we've seen above?

Could it be these trashers are owners or mods on Absolute Write who have an axe to grind?

Absolute Write - Beware The Advertising (Freeditorial)

Some beware analysis of the banner ads running on the top of Absolute Write, background check, and recommendations. First one "Freeditorial"? Yes, that's it, right above 48HrBooks.Com. Who would name a real publishing house, even a self-publisher, something like this? It whiffs of scam, it does, and the whole thing is almost comical. But there is nothing comical about the promises it makes to new writers:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?299129-Freeditorial-Publishing-is-now-open-for-submissions (links open in new browser window)

As anyone can see, even a few denizens of the Absolute Write Beware lynch mob question the validity of Freeditorial, but the thread suddenly stops for no reason. Could it be because the AW owner, Macallister "Melodi" Stone, decided to accept their offer of paid advertisement back in 2014? How else to explain the usual pages of trashing and mockery aimed at the staff of new small presses, for example, but an abandonment of slaughter house approach regarding an organization of nobody that actually claims to be a valid publishing house while:
  • failing to show the face or bio of one single staff member or editor of the "publishing house"
  • failing to answer any and all legitmate questions about its operations (see links above and below)
  • indicating on the About Page that it is owned by a corporation called Inv and B Corp that does not even have its own website but lists itself in Business Finder as a travel and tourism business
  • offering as enticement the assertion that they paid an untraceable (and perhaps nonexistent) Spanish author who wrote an untraceable book $85,0000 (btw, it's not even found on the Freeditorial website much less anywhere else)
  • demonstrating no editorial screen whatsoever in making choices for who is "published" by Freeditorial.
Moving on to another writer forum where the Freeditorials are marketing their biz:


And here we have several reasonable questions on Young Writers Online ignored by the anonymous spokesperson from Freeditorial:

"Is there some way I can see the bios of some of the people responsible for my book, should I submit? Who's behind acquisitions? Copyediting? Technical editing? What experience do they have? I understand that maybe there are too many people to list them all, but why not highlight a few of the heads, so that I can be sure the person responsible for editing my book isn't also splitting their time between translating public domain novels for your library?

Not answered! More as follows:



And one of their stock claims posted on several online writer forums as enticement to sign with them:

"For example on our most recent additions under Recommended Books on our homepage, there is the book titled “The record”, for which Freeditorial paid a European writer “Victor Saltero” $85,000. Another recent deal, is a short novel for which the was paid over 5,000$. You will see this novel soon under Recommended Books."

From the Wikipedia article, the only real source of anything about this so-called author (https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%ADctor_Saltero):

"Victor Saltero Cárdenes is the pseudonym under which a series of novels in the Spanish publishing house published Imser century between 2006 and 2008. The publisher no longer exists. His true identity is unknown... From 2011 his writings are published by the American publisher Freeditorial."

As for the second "novel" we don't even get a name.

Is Freeditorial simply using these tactics to entice as many writers as possible to their website in order to increase readership for the purpose of selling advertising? And why is Absolute Write yet again revealing an enormous hunger for absolute hypocrisy?


Absolute Write Web Traffic Plummets and Thanks For The Continued Support in Fighting the Good Fight

Hi everyone! Hugs and kisses to you guys! We want to take the opportunity to thank all who have contributed to this blog. We are sorry we could not print all your stories about cyberbullying on Absolute Write. We do our best with the time we have. We feel we have contributed to the overall presence of valid criticism of AW, and to a limited extent, justice has been served on the owners and moderators of one of the worst adult cyberbully forums and bad advice sites on the Internet. To this day these same owners and moderators remain totally unrepentant while spreading the lie to advertisers and whoever will listen that the many dozens of critical websites pointing directly to specific incidents of abuse, bullying, and debilitating advice is all the work of one troll (see the "Haters Gonna Hate" post on Google wherein Victoria faces off with the troll in question like a true Fox News pro).

One of our successes has been to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Absolute Write is invested monetarily in maintaining the presence of "Beware" links on Google that more often than not lead directly to instances of the cyberbullying we reveal and discuss at length on this blog. The business model of AW depends on this. They won't go back and fix the many wrongs visited on people because that will pull the plug on the cash flow. If that sounds unbelievable, examine the irrefutable evidence on this blog of their intent and their victims. Conflict = Cash. The website nurtures a predatory culture and uses it to pay the owner's mortgage in Washington State where she runs an unlicensed horse boarding facility.

Strange? Yes. In spades. Like my daddy told  me, never trust a hypocrite much less someone who spends most of their life being critical of everyone but themselves.

Below is a graph of another writer website for comparison purposes over the same period.