The Lies of Lauren Howard: Your Mileage May Vary Regarding Reality on Goodreads

Reality just ain’t what it used to be, is it?  Especially on the Internet.

They say it’s all a matter of perception, that it’s what you make it.  Einstein claimed it’s an illusion, albeit a persistent one.  Philip Dick snarked that even when you stop believing in it, it doesn’t go away.   Well, here’s an effort to rearrange reality worthy of Dr. Who or Thanos .

Once again, another shitstorm arises when a po’ widdle awefur decides to market their newly-minted bouncing baby book on Goodreads… yet doesn’t bother to read the site’s rules on how to go about it.  So when things inevitably go south, it’s none of their fault they didn’t know what they were doing- they just didn’t, you know, bother to learn the rules first.  And then lied through their teeth about it all to boot.

Kinda sure at least some of you know what I’m referring to.  Lauren (Pippa) Howard sent out some ARCs of her soon-to-be-released book to a few select GR readers.  Lauren gets literally two “low” reviews, a 2-star and a 1-star- on GR here and here (2-stars= liked it, btw) and goes ballistic because she knows they don’t even have a copy of the book (see previous statement).  Even though she’s deleted her OP, you’ll get the gist of it.  These ratings prompted some immediate venom from a couple of her “friends”.

Hand in a Blender 1

Kayla Go Hang Yourself You Dirty Piece Of Shit

Oddly enough, she didn’t seem to have any problem with this nor the avalanche of 5-star reviews/ratings from people who haven’t read the book despite rating/reading the book when you didn’t have a copy was what she’d been complaining about.  To be fair, she’s not the first to do this; it seems to be a staple of SPA behavior right before they go off the rails.

75FiveStars

What people constantly seem to keep forgetting about GR is that it’s a READER networking site.  Period.  Not saying it’s perfect- far, far, far from it- but that’s their purpose: for READERS to discuss books.  In most any way, shape or form they like.  It’s nothing more sinister than you asking someone in a bookstore about a book and them telling you what they think of it- good, bad, ugly or if they’d even want to read it in the first place and why.  That’s what the ratings and shelves are for, even if the book ain’t out yet- to gauge people’s interest in it.  How that’s so difficult to understand, I’ve no idea.

Lauren claims that the shelves used by two GR members led her to conclude that she was being threatened.  Here’s the screenshot of them.  Don’t know about you, but while they’re not the most tasteful remarks I’m not noticing a threat against anyone here.

Offending Shelves in Question

Here’s the screenshot where Lauren flat out states she’d been threatened.  Cue violins and white knights on Arab chargers.

Lauren Falsely Claims She Was Threatened

But then once the rules are explained to her, she quips that it’s all to blame on a bout of PMS.  Yep, she went there.

Lauren Blames It All On PMS

What’s really disturbing about all this is in the rush to defend Lauren, no one bothered to perform any diligence.  At all.  Not a single, solitary person championing her cause ever bothered to ask to see links to the offending posts.  Everyone and their sister, including blogsites like DailyDot, Salon.com, and yes- Stop the Goodreads Bullies (duh!)- took it all at face value that Lauren was being told she should be “raped, sodomized and murdered” without asking to see a shred of evidence of itThis is wholly due to Lauren herself spreading the lies around (see post #34).  In fact, when asked if they’d seen proof, some went so far as to delete all comments.  But that didn’t stop others like this GR supporter or Anne Allen from declaring that they had seen evidence of it.

Anne Allen Supports Lauren

Meanwhile, Lauren was all over Twitter with her dying swan routine, about how she’d been bullied and threatened.

Twitter Sodomizing Claim

And here’s her Twitlonger attempt at spin doctoring.

Lauren Lies on Twitlonger

Now all this becomes really puzzling because just yesterday Lauren (sorta) apologized on her Tumblr blog- before she deleted her account- admitting the threats never happened but she never lied about it (she just made statements based on things that never happened) and for good measure throws DailyDot and Salon.com under the bus for supporting her.  Here’s the screenshot (thanks to Reyna’s Mom for the retorts).

Lauren Writes- Hopefully Clearing Stuff Up with Comments

Existential Question of the Day: if you post an apology and then delete it, have you even apologized?

This despite, again, her Twitter feed where she openly admits to being at least partly to blame and not knowing the  rules on GR.

Lauren Admits It's Her Fault on Twitter

Twitter Lauren Accepts Blame 1

Here’s another equally salient take on the whole thing at .38 Calibre Reviews.  The only certainty in all this is that Lauren’s story keeps changing… which simply means she’s a liar.

While Lauren is a problem- mostly for herself and her supporters- she’s just another symptom of the self-publishing disease known as Speshul Snoflakiness.  Which also means she’ll ultimately fade into the background where she belongs, soon to be replaced by another dumbass and we’ll be right back at it again.  What really bothers me about all this is the frightening, truly appalling lack of any type of responsibility from those supporting her and not just those on GR.  I’m not normally a vindictive person, but I really do hope those fools at DailyDot and Salon get their asses handed to them over this.  Both sites’ll probably try to pass it off as Op-Ed pieces, contracted from bloggers and outside of any types of journalistic standards.  And that’s the problem- because both pieces read like thinly-veiled attacks against GR.  Why?  What’s all the venom and rage directed at this site about?  And why be so eager to talk about this issue without looking into it first?  Why the rush to take a stand when you don’t even have a leg to stand on- ya really hate GR that much?  And how soon before it’s gonna happen all over again?

So here’s some free advice, make of it what you will.  Next time someone comes to you crying about how this new awefur (usually themselves) is being abused/threatened/harassed on Teh Internetz/Amazon/Goodreads and you need to take a stand and come help protect them from Teh Bullies… respond with these simple words:

“Got any links?  Got any screenshots?”

Then watch the expressions on their faces when they realize they’ll have to actually justify their behavior.  Cuz reality’s a bitch.

ETA: please read the followup post “Addendum” for a bit more exploration of a few things.

Special thanks to- ETA: Soon, The Holy Terror, Issendai, Mahala, TinaNicole, Derrick, Reyna’s Mom, Barbara*Lindt Ninja* and all the peeps at BBA for their assistance.

24 thoughts on “The Lies of Lauren Howard: Your Mileage May Vary Regarding Reality on Goodreads

  1. I am just so disgusted that one little self absorbed twit can lie so much, do so much damage, and then pout about being called on it. Why can’t we all just move on? Because we are still trying to clean up her mess.

    Like

  2. There’s enough bad behavior on Goodreads to go around, regardless of one 22-year-old who overreacted. Expletive-laden name calling and trashing a book one hasn’t read (I’ve seen both) shouldn’t be allowed by GR management.

    Like

    1. And what does any of that have to do with a 22 year old woman manufacturing a steady stream of malicious, bald-faced lies unless you’re trying to deflect from that? How does trashing a book you haven’t read equate to threatening sexual assault or murder? And if she was genuinely sorry for the drama, why delete her apology? The real question is why are you so determined to cover up for this person?

      Like

      1. She did it for attention, which is the same reason why you continue to kick someone who is already on the ground. Clicks and hits trump compassion and truth alike. As you wrote, the disease of self-publishing. When is your fantasy series coming out?

        Like

  3. Well, that was enlightening. I saw this on stopthegrbullies (I’m on their list of amazon fora trolls for associating with BBA) and found it odd that they didn’t have screen shots of any of the actual threats.

    Like

  4. Thanks for writing this, you made some really good points. As a self-published writer I know there’s a learning curve involved, it’s a brave new world, but with so many detractors looking for reasons to knock us, stories like this fill me with dismay.

    I made the same assumption, I didn’t check for evidence, I immediately extended my sympathy. That should be an okay, human thing to do without worrying you’re making a mistake. I think this whole thing is partly a learning curve issue and it just got complicated and heated very fast and with the involvement of social media, snowballed . I also blame the full moon it does funny things to people.

    Like

  5. One has to wonder why and how this story got so much attention when this is only a bunch of trolls being rude to fledgling writer. There are far worse cases of abuse as well as stalking, bullying, harassment, defamation and libel. These people who attacked Lauren stalked me and seven of my friends from the Amazon forums to Badreads and shit-listed all my and their books and 1-starred them. The only way they could have discovered my relationship with those writers is by cyber-stalking. I complained to badreads and they banned me for complaining about poor reviews, a lie. Not one of the trolls have read a word I wrote. I complained about the personal attacks. These same trolls posted my home address online on Aug. 10. My story is not unique, they have abused and bullied hundreds of authors, readers, and reviewers over the last three years that I know of.
    So again I have to wonder why this story? Was it to debunk and marginalize complaints of troll attacks by choosing a flimsy story of only verbal abuse they knew would fall apart? Was it to reinforce the lies that all troll attacks are nothing more than disgruntled authors whining about poor reviews? The real cases of author abuse with verified evidence of criminal activity can’t get brought to light.

    Like

    1. (One has to wonder why and how this story got so much attention when this is only a bunch of trolls being rude to fledgling writer.)

      No one was really rude to her- more like snarky- and only after she asked a question, got an answer she didn’t care for and started flinging accusations behind it.

      (There are far worse cases of abuse as well as stalking, bullying, harassment, defamation and libel.)

      Yes, there are. So why don’t you ask Salon, DailyDot, STGRB, et al, that question since they’re the ones who went around trumpeting it?

      (These people who attacked Lauren stalked me and seven of my friends from the Amazon forums to Badreads and shit-listed all my and their books and 1-starred them.)

      Again- no one attacked Lauren; she lied about being attacked. How you’re so determined to ignore this irrefutable fact is the real question here. And I’ve seen your posts on Amazon and other sites; the only one drawing attention to anyone/anything associated with you is you, beginning with your ‘1-star protest review’ that even your cohorts didn’t agree with. Take the hint.

      (I complained to badreads and they banned me for complaining about poor reviews, a lie.)

      Yes, it is a lie. You were banned for harassing other members. And as a matter of course, any author with a lick of sense will tell you to leave reviews/reviewers alone. Especially on sites whose business model is built upon them. Somehow I’m guessing you didn’t have any problems with GR before any of that.

      (Not one of the trolls have read a word I wrote. I complained about the personal attacks. These same trolls posted my home address online on Aug. 10. My story is not unique, they have abused and bullied hundreds of authors, readers, and reviewers over the last three years that I know of.)

      So you’re issue is that the “trolls” linked to a news article about municipal court decisions in your area- a matter of public record, btw- regarding your drug convictions. As I’ve seen they immediately redacted your personal info from the post, but since the decision is public record, anyone can access it- just by reading the news article. So what’s the problem?

      (So again I have to wonder why this story?)

      So again, ask the people who spread it and spearheaded it. While you’re at it, you should ask Lauren why she told so many lies. Or are you suggesting that her lies should stand unchallenged and she should be allowed just to go her merry way?

      (Was it to debunk and marginalize complaints of troll attacks by choosing a flimsy story of only verbal abuse they knew would fall apart? Was it to reinforce the lies that all troll attacks are nothing more than disgruntled authors whining about poor reviews?)

      You seem to have trouble acknowledging that there is no story here- other than Lauren’s complete bullshit. You can’t marginalize something that never happened, so why do you and others keep insisting that it did? I suppose whatever your reasons are you’re so invested in believing Lauren that you now can’t believe she screwed you all over- or didn’t you notice how she also told Salon and DailyDot to go shove it? And all they did was put themselves on the line to support her.

      As I’ve mentioned this looks more like a campaign against GR than anything, but your biggest bullet turned out to be a dud. What it does is rightly call into question all the rest who’ve cried “bully”, “hater” and “troll” just because they didn’t like what was said- how many more false claims similar to this are floating out there?

      If anything good comes of this, it’ll be that not as many will be so quick to grab pitchforks next time; they’ll want to see some evidence first. Looks like going forward some standard of proof will be applied, and that’s what’s going to cause those who keep crying wolf problems.

      (The real cases of author abuse with verified evidence of criminal activity can’t get brought to light.)

      Why not? If they’ve got verified evidence, what’s the problem? Salon and co. seem damned eager to snatch them up. That makes no sense whatsoever… unless it depends upon other definitions of “verified”, “evidence” and “criminal activity” than we’re used to.

      Like

  6. Man, I don’t understand some new authors nowadays. Like, why must they attack reviewers when they get a bad review on their book? I mean, it sucks, but they should already have that mindset that there are going to be people that like the book, where as there will be people that DON’T like it. Wanting to be an author myself, I understand that reality and I forbid myself from attacking members on Goodreads, because Goodreads is a wonderful site to explore on and to meet new people that like books, as well. Plus, first impressions are last impressions, and when you show yourself acting like that, it comes off as sudden and really immature. Thus, it jeopardizes the potential popularity of your book.

    Like

  7. As a member of GR, a reader and a self-pubbed author I find it personally disturbing to see any author respond to the ratings or comments on their books. I find it totally unprofessional and I personally view self rating as incredibly tacky. This author dug her own hole and jumped right in as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps she’ll not only learn the rules of engagement but of basic authorial decency.

    Like

  8. I think there is a childish sense of entitlement that is ruining some writers ability to handle the reality of life as an artist. They’ve worked hard and in the past, that has always been enough to win approval.

    Now they have written a book and expect the same positive response they get from friends and family and when it isn’t forthcoming they feel cheated.

    Worse, they feel bullied and that others must be jealous to critisize anything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. Calling them on their crap only reinforces their feelings of persecution and their efforts to be heard and understood will only increase. It’s a vicious cycle.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s