What? Victoria Strauss relying on source material to prove facts? In a June 7, 2011 posting (Police Investigate Historical Pages Publishing Company), Victoria Strauss quotes heavily from the Burlington Free Press and the Manchester Journal. The police investigation, by the Hinesburg Community Police, has in fact actually led to scheduled court appearance for Peter Campbell-Copp of Manchester and his company Historical Pages. In a June 3, 2011 posting (Clark, Mendelson, and [sic] Scott: New Name for a Fee-Charging Agency) Victoria Strauss stated that: “Everything that follows is supported by extensive documentation in Writer Beware‘s possession.”
We do applaud Victoria Strauss for pointing to reliable news sources regarding the June 7, 2011 posting. Generally, mainstream reporting is deemed to be one of the most reliable for statements of fact. Obviously, in this instance, no one would contest that an actual police investigation did occur. Regarding Victoria Strauss’ June 3, 2011 posting, one has to consider the weight given to her purported “extensive documentation.” (For an example of “extensive documentation” click here.) Victoria Strauss, to be considered as a respectable “watchdog,” should adhere to the common admonition for a writer: “Show, don’t tell.” In other words, show your evidence and let people experience it rather having to solely trust you on your words alone; especially after your reporting and reputation has been challenged. We do not contest the focus, or topic, of the June 3, 2011 posting. (So, “flying monkeys,” stay on topic.) However, we do challenge and question her use of “extensive documentation.” In the event that her “extensive documentation” is something akin to the types of postings commonly found on the Writer Beware, Absolute Write, or other industry sites, it’s very likely from questionable sources and unreliable. Seriously, if it was such valuable research, led to the truth and proved facts . . . would you not show it?
Comparative speaking, why does Victoria Strauss suddenly appear to be fostering the use of source material to report publishing industry news? In the American Book Publishing report she merely claimed that: “American Book Publishing has been the focus of at least one police investigation.” There were no newspaper articles and there was not any “extensive documentation” utilized by Victoria Strauss to prove this claim. Just her words and reputation. Why is there a selective use of source material by Victoria Strauss? Why prove it effectively in the June 7, 2011 posting but not in the American Book Publishing report? The Write Agenda, through “extensive documentation,” has in fact proven that this claim by Victoria Strauss is false (click here). For more information on Victoria Strauss and her possible motives against American Book Publishing, click here. Obviously, the reputation and integrity of Victoria Strauss’ reporting has been seriously called into question.
In conclusion, Victoria Strauss has remained silent regarding the findings and challenges to her credibility raised by The Write Agenda. Normally, most people and companies will respond quickly with a response when reputations are challenged. However, she has basically stuck her head in the sand hoping that our findings, i.e. that American Book Publishing was never the subject of a “police investigation,” will simply pass.
Victoria Strauss will continue to be a blemish on the “watchdog” community until she can either: 1) admit or deny that her actions against American Book Publishing were in retaliation to her attempt to get on the payroll of American Book Publishing; 2) admit or deny that these postings were the result of her following up on a threat to post a false report; and/or 3) admit or deny the veracity of the statements made against American Book Publishing. Until this can happen, Victoria Strauss will no longer be considered an effective “watchdog.” In fact, the lies and disingenuousness have reduced Victoria Strauss to a “weinerdog” that deserves a kennel at Anthony Weiner’s “House of Deceit.”
It’s simple, the publishing community (authors, agents, publishers, etc.) needs to rise up and force and compel Victoria Strauss to take responsibility for her claims against American Book Publishing. This is your call to action. Write to Victoria Strauss. Write to her publishers. Write to the officers of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Post the link to this article on your websites and blogs. If Victoria Strauss continues to remain silent, she will leave 1000′s of authors speculating about her credibility as a “watchdog.” Victoria Strauss’ silence and selective use of research material leads a reasonable person to conclude that Victoria Strauss is a liar with a hidden agenda. As a result, she has damaged her own reputation.
Donoghue, Mike. “Hinesburg Police Uncover Alleged Publishing Fraud | Burlington Free Press | Burlingtonfreepress.com.” Burlington Free Press | Burlington News, Community, Entertainment, Yellow Pages and Classifieds. Serving Burlington, Vermont | Burlingtonfreepress.com. 07 June 2011. Web. 08 June 2011. <http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110607/NEWS02/110606026/Hinesburg-police-uncover-alleged-publishing-fraud>.
Strauss, Victoria. “Police Investigate Historical Pages Publishing Company.” Writer Beware™ Blogs! 07 June 2011. Web. 08 June 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/06/police-investigate-historical-pages.html>.
Strauss, Victoria. “Clark, Mendelson, and Scott: New Name for a Fee-Charging Agency.” Writer Beware™ Blogs! 03 June 2011. Web. 08 June 2011. <http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/06/clark-mendelson-and-scott-new-name-for.html>.
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