Thanks to Anne Rice, Todd Barselow Has Made All Of You His Bitches

Yeah, I said it.

Before returning to the breakdown of the Anne Rice publicity story that isn’t and never was, I’d to share some background info on the man behind the mission, he who started the now-(in)famous petition to ban anonymity on Amazon- Todd Barselow.  His FB page proclaims him a freelance editor who’s a gushing fan of Ms. Rice, yet a little bit of diligence shows exactly how deeply embroiled he is within this whole mess.

Ya see, Todd Barselow is not only an Anne Rice fanboi, he actually has some pretty good connections within her inner circle, including Rice herself.  And he’s also a hypocrite and a liar.

The whole story is that Ms. Rice signed the petition started by some random person she didn’t know, wholly on the strength of the righteousness of his cause: to put a stop to the online bullying in Amazon forums by anonymous posters hiding behind screen names.  News outlets as prestigious as TIME Magazine and bloggers all over the world took to this story like a swarm, quick to share, re-blog and opine about the matter, largely siding with her just because.  Only one tiny thing was missing from all this buzz and bother- due diligence.  Or in other words: not a fucking shred of  journalism whatsoever.

Back in May 2013, a fellow author of his, Nathan Robinson, posted on FB about how a friend was having some difficulty getting the rights to his novel back from a vanity publisher.  Robinson openly called for people to go out and trash the book, i.e- leave a slough of fake 1-star reviews all over the place to tank it.  Todd was one of the first to jump on board and help out (the US review is gone now, but here’s screenshots of Barselow’s responses and a link to the UK review).

Todd Barselow Fake Review 1

Todd Barselow Fake Review 2

On Barselow’s Amazon profile you’ll notice an abundance of 5-star reviews.  In fact, the ONLY 1-star review on his profile was that one!  Guess Todd never met a book that he didn’t like… until he had a personal agenda against the publisher/editor (now where have we heard that before?), then it was perfectly ok for HIM to try to tank it and even say so.  But that doesn’t make him a bully- or in Rice’s language, a termite or a parasite.  From the Guardian UK article: “They’ve worked their way into the Amazon system as parasites, posting largely under pseudonyms, lecturing, bullying, seeking to discipline authors whom they see as their special prey,” Rice told the Guardian. “They’re all about power. They clearly organise, use multiple identities and brag about their ability to down vote an author’s works if the author doesn’t ‘behave’ as they dictate.”

And then this: “I hope Amazon and other book websites do eventually clean them out. They certainly don’t serve the true book buyers and readers of this world. And they are gratuitously destructive towards the creative community. They are like termites in a beautiful wooden building, there for what they can get for themselves, quite oblivious to the building’s purpose or beauty.”

The cherry on top is that Todd is actively campaigning for authors to share with him their horror stories about being bullied on Amazon (probably for a new book he’ll be working on).  See for yourself.

ScreenHunter_79 Mar. 12 23.11

Wonder if the first story he shares will be the one where he posted fake reviews?

Hey, Anne- yer lil’ buddy’s a termite, a parasite, a bully!  And you’re 100% supporting him!  But I’m guessing ya already knew at least some of this stuff, eh?

He also has no issue with reviewing books he’s worked on.  Comparing his Amazon profile with the links to the books he’s worked on shows this in short order, such as Found, Oz the Schonz and the Elephant Rebellion, The Afrikaans, Lakota Honor and more.  These are clear and utter violations of both FTC and Amazon guidelines which clearly states anyone who has as a personal/financial stake in a book they’re reviewing must declare it.  Something any author or editor would be well aware of.  Lies and deceit, y’all.  Lies and deceit.

Todd’s always been a busy man.  Back in October 2013, his personal quest to meet Ms. Rice and her son drove him to create a GoFundMe page to finance his trip from the Philippines to New Orleans.

Todd Barselow GoFundMe 1

Todd Barselow GoFundMe 2

Not long after that in November, a Reddit interview he’d done was personally linked on FB by Ms. Rice.  Note again his relationships to her assistant, Becket and another author, Greg Wilkey- another member of Rice’s FB fanpage.

Todd Barselow FB Screenshot 1

Barselow’s FB page’s latest post even focuses upon the newest release from Anne Rice’s assistant, Becket.  Here’s a screenshot.

Todd Barselow FB Screenshot

It gets really grimy when when you finally see just how cozy Becket and Barselow really are.

Here’s Becket’s FB page, and here’s his Amazon profile.

Barselow’s mother wrote a book of poetry, with a foreward by her son.  Guess who left a 5-star review for it over on that nest of vipers, Amazon?  And without ever disclosing his personal connection to the author- which is an FTC violation?  He did get thanked by Barselow for his efforts, though, along with a quick plug for Becket’s own YA series.

Becket Reviews Barselow Mom Book

Their relationship goes even further with Becket leaving reviews for books that Barselow edited.  Going back to his FB page with the book links, a quick comparison between that list and Becket’s Ammy profile shows a mutual regard for novels written by fellow Person of the Page (as Anne Rice likes to call her FB followers), the aforementioned Greg Wilkey.

Links to Books Barselow Edited

Note the first entry on the page.

In fact, I’ll bet anyone out there a DD Irish Creme coffee that none of these articles aggrandizing her supporting Barselow’s petition has any mention of these friendships and connections.  Not a one.  Why?- because they all had their heads up their asses and nobody bothered to check up on this guy.  A man who’s intimately involved with Anne Rice’s camp and helped push this suspected PR campaign for her new book along.

All I can do is repeat my previous question: so who out there is feeling played for a sucker yet?

17 Comments

  1. I’m curious to see how much ‘evidence’ of these authors being bullied and abused Mr. Barselow ends up with. Me thinks he’ll have to do a lot of selective editing, like some other sites are known for, in order to have anything usable. Or possibly they’ll be the attacks SPA’s commit against each other and love to blame readers for.

    It’s funny to me that the ‘parasites’ are almost always capable of providing ss’s and links to back up their stories while these poor abused authors just have…well, stories.

    Then again, I’ve heard more than once that ‘only bullies take ss’s’. Because they’re big meanies who are setting authors up, I suppose. They’re certainly not just diligent readers who’ve been witness to so many author meltdowns where the author later deletes all incriminating posts in order to claim they’re the aggrieved party that they know better. No, that couldn’t be it.

    I’m assuming you can see my sarcasm font, yeah? ;)

    Great post. Thanks for putting it all together.

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    1. You’re welcome, and yeah- I’ve noticed how ‘parasites’ and ‘bullies’ are the only ones who can back their statements up with evidence. Weird how it always works out that way.

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  2. You should send this to Time Magazine and anyone else who previously took their side and reported the story and see what they think of it. They might just ignore it but it would only take one to show it to the world to get the ball rolling.

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  3. wow… this information is insane! i recently exchanged with rice on her FB page regarding the whole “anti-author” tirade she’s been ranting about for months. i even called her out when she claimed ignorance about how none of her links to negative reviews ended in harassment of the reviewers. after providing her with numerous examples like the “pandora” fiasco and the “blood canticle” meltdown, she skirted around everything and didn’t address anything i talked about. she even told me i was “out of touch”. it was really bizarre and disheartening as i was a huge fan of her vampire series. however, i’m even more of a fan of protecting online anonymity. keep updating about this, it’s awesome work.

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    1. I did the same thing. In fact, I think I saw one of your comments on there before it got deleted. I’m assuming you got hit with the ban hammer on her FB. Guess what…so did I! I was a bit sad and disappointed because, like you, I have been a huge fan of hers for years. But this whole petition is just ridiculous. All she has to do is say “sign this petition to stop bullying!” and well-meaning people will go along with it, without taking a more careful look at what is going on, beyond trusting her words. The first time she posted the petition I thought it was misguided, and questioned it openly on her page, but I let it slide because who cares. When she did it again I re-engaged in the discussion, specifically pointing out the red flags, and then saw my comments, as well as the replies to them, get deleted. I can no longer comment there. I have seen the “STGRB” group before but I dismissed them as being ridiculous, thin-skinned people with too much time on their hands. When Rice brought up this petition I thought maybe she just hasn’t thought it through. Now I’m just annoyed.

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  4. John, I really appreciate what you are trying to do. But I believe it can be done without name calling and attacking of anyone. Our world is so torn up and so hostile, and whether it is on Amazon.com reviews or blogs, or comment sections of blogs there is so much anger and hatred.

    It would be so much more effective to focus on the positive things and people in our world, rather than creating drama, and attacking each other just because some facts or details, or personal opinions don’t resonate. This doesn’t make a hero of anyone. It just leads to more hostility, division and animosity.

    Look at the dialogue this blog post has created. A lot of little angry Egos comparing who is more pissed off than the other. Its unfortunate in the end, just really unfortunate…because we are all creating this world together through the words, actions and choices we make each moment. Too bad we don’t think a little more consciously about their impacts.

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    1. Oops. It looks like a sheeple has strayed from The Page.

      Yeah, you’re probably right. We should just ignore all the meanies and ugliness in the world and then it’ll all just go away. Standing up for what’s right never helps anyone. Sure, bad things could happen to innocent people, but is that really worth being mean over? Or even discussing at all.

      End sarcasm

      Good job with all that hypocrisy though. You really nailed it. First you scold the children for their name-calling and then follow it up with calling them names and some poor attempts at condescension.

      Furthermore, you have no credibility with me. :-P

      Sorry, John. Feel free to delete my post if it’s too mean. No hard feelings.

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    2. Lena, you should say all of that to Anne, since she’s the one who started and perpetuates this whole mess, especially with her support of a blog that does everything you’ve just complained about.

      And it doesn’t speak well of you to try and deflect away from their actions. They’re a pack of liars and hypocrites and need to be identified as such. Maybe you could explain how Rice making up a few stories that you liked excuses any of this.

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  5. Please keep trying. I scrolled through a lot of the
    Older reviews for Blood Canticle this morning and
    One in particular caught my eye. It was a post from
    2003-4 where the reviewer said ” my post isn’t verified
    Because I didn’t give credit card information”
    So this reviewer wants more protection and anybody should
    respect that.
    I’m beginning to think the Amazon episode with BC hurt
    Rice more than we know, and her prep for her Werewolf
    series was to study out how to recover from a declining
    readership. She’s lost money from investments in the crash
    as she posted on her FB page. She and her camp are going
    about it the wrong way.
    Personally I can’t see that her writing has improved much
    over the years; many points made by dissatisfied reviewers
    of Blood Canticle so long ago had merit in them. She’s a long
    way away from her first effort, ITWTV. How odd that her first
    novels should be her best. Keep at this.

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