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Archive for the ‘Absolute Write’ Category

Cornhuckster Victoria Strauss Prose Repackaged Again: It’s Still Un-Amazing Corn (Updated: 03.22.15)

In #thewriteagenda, #victoriastrauss, A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Amazon Rankings, Amazon Sales Rankings, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, James D. MacDonald, John Steinbeck, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Michael Capobianco, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, SFWA, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on March 20, 2015 at 6:38 am

Lady [The Lady of Rhuddesmere] was my debut novel. I wrote it when I was 17; it got me an agent who found me a publisher (a journey of nearly 10 years), where a wonderful editor helped me re-write it from beginning to end, and in the process taught me more about writing than I’ve learned before or since.

– Victoria Strauss

At age 59, 42 years after writing her first debut flop, Victoria Strauss has once again repackaged her old cold suet. If she learned so much about writing “since” that time it certainly has not been anything akin to successful authorship. Or, maybe the public-reclusive Strauss just never learned to put it into practice. It’s painfully obvious that Strauss, while isolated, tweeting and blogging in her cozy Amherst, MA home, has amassed over 13,000 Twitter followers, and yet hasn’t transformed her social followers into actual book purchasers.

What has she learned? Surely, whatever she “learned” about “writing” has resulted in a very unsuccessful literary marketing effort and career that has now spanned decades. However, you “got” to give her the credit of a punch drunk fighter . . . 42 years of pushing the same old cold suet; the book-buying public is still not buying it. Nevertheless, she jumps back up, puts a new cover on it and schlepps it out again. Only Victoria Strauss would use Writer Beware™ again as a platform for self-promotion. Statistically, that strategy has failed as well.

FACT: Victoria Strauss hasn’t released a single book that has stood up on its own original merits . . . repackaging . . . new covers  . . .  new publishers . . .  doesn’t help old cold suet . . . it’s corn.

The original release of this book [The Lady of Rhuddesmere] listed on Amazon has ZERO reviews and a sales ranking over 12,000,000. No matter how you repackage it . . .  it’s still corn. Don’t judge a book by its cover? It’s still corn. Strauss has somehow come to the conclusion that forced Cornilingus on the book-buying public will eventually result in literary success.

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Victoria Strauss’ Publishing Career: A Lesson in Cornagraphy

This isn’t the first time that Strauss has attempted to repackage her old cold suet. On February 15, 2011 Phoenix Pick republished The Arm of the Stone. Its current Amazon Best Sellers Rank is 5,487,303 and there is only one review following this release. The Garden of the Stone was also reproduced by Phoenix Pick and it has performed equally as miserable. On July 28, 2011, Strauss posted on Absolute Write:

Phoenix Pick bought two of my OP novels, and re-published them earlier this year in TP and ebook format. I got a small advance. Till this new program, they’ve been a backlist publisher, working only with established authors and authors’ estates. I haven’t received my first royalty statement yet, so I don’t know how sales are going . . . . [Emphasis added.]

– Victoria Strauss

Bought? Advance? Royalties? Seriously, what publisher in their right mind would pay an advance on such poorly producing titles? This claim is as humorous as James D. Macdonald’s (the Yog’s Law dude) statement that he (and his ghost writer, Mrs. Macdonald) is paid an advance of $50 – 75,000 per title. Sorry Ms. Strauss, the math doesn’t add up and your disingenuousness is more than transparent. [Note however, Strauss was not “established” enough to have been considered previously by Phoenix Pick.]

Phoenix Pick (who?) maintains a pretty “corny” website and does not have Strauss listed as one of their “extraordinary” authors. However, the Phoenix Pick’s “extraordinary” authors do share a very common element with Victoria Strauss . . . deplorable Amazon Sales Rankings. So, let’s put this into its proper prospective. The Phoenix Pick deal was a pretty big arrangement according to Strauss. Right? They “bought” two of her novels and even purportedly paid her an advance. Right? That’s a pretty hefty vote of confidence on the part of Phoenix Pick. Right? Kind of an “extraordinary” move for a “corny” non-mainstream backlist publisher. Yet in spite of the alleged investment in Victoria Strauss, she’s not listed on their “extraordinary” list? You can only assume that the royalties have been minimal . . . if she’s earned any at all. This is quite a fall for the Strauss who was unceremoniously discharged from Harper Collins years ago.

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On February 24, 2015, Strauss, in her typical narcissistic fashion, once again using the Writer Beware (WB) platform, declared that the wonder of technology via Open Road Media (who?) would “give new life to old books,” more specifically hers. Well the technology part is right. However, why would another “corny” publisher attempt to resuscitate books that never had a life to begin with? Books that have been aborted by the book-buying public and serve no literary purpose except to the adoring flying monkeys that make sympathy purchases and indulge her narcissism. That’s her real market. Notice however, there’s no mention by Strauss of a “purchase” or an “advance” by this Open Road Media outfit. Hmm . . .  extraordinary? Obviously, another junior varsity (JV) publishing outlet.

You don’t have to burn an author’s books to destroy their cult. Just get people to stop reading them.

– The Write Agenda

 Victoria Strauss has destroyed herself. Burning her books would serve little purpose . . . no one in the general public reads them. It’s time for Strauss to allow a natural death of her old cold suet. Please! Don’t give new life to Victoria Strauss’ old books. DO NOT RESUSCITATE! Let them die their natural death and let the corn rest in peas.

Being There . . .  The Parallel

Interestingly, there’s a very unique parallel between Victoria Strauss and Peter Seller’s character, Chance, in the movie Being There. First, both are avid gardeners. Second, Chance wanders aimlessly and Strauss as an author has also wandered unsuccessfully for decades. Third, Chance’s words, often due to confusion or stating the obvious, are repeatedly misunderstood as profound; admirers find him direct and insightful, qualities which he admires. Chance’s simplistic utterances are interpreted as allegorical statements. The flying monkeys and low information readers have held Strauss in similar esteem. Fourth, Chance rises to public prominence. He becomes a media celebrity with an appearance on a television talk show and soon rises to the top of society. He remains very mysterious, as the Secret Service is unable to find any background information about him. Public opinion polls start to reflect just how much his “simple brand of wisdom” resonates with the jaded American public. Fifth, Chance likes to watch television. Strauss, who rarely makes a public appearance and is reclusive, likes and hides behind the internet. She is an avid blogger, WB commentator and voracious tweeter apparently locked up in an office in her home; no live book tours but a very aggressive internet “blog tour” schedule or cornhuckfest. Tending a garden seems to be the perfect amusement for a woman that has approached book publishing in solitude.

In the end, Chance walks off across the surface of a small lake. He pauses, dips his umbrella into the deep water under his feet as if testing its depth, turns, and then continues to walk on the water as the president states: “Life is a state of mind.”  Chance, like Strauss, has fooled and bamboozled many. The difference here? Strauss is walking on ice . . .  very very thin melting ice and she’s testing it to see if she’ll fall through.

Are sensible people trained from an early age to respond automatically to the given words and concepts of others? Is it common that we never really think out much of anything for ourselves, but are content to believe the gospel of others? The last words in the movie are, “Life is a state of mind.” To the low information readers and followers of Victoria Strauss, life is different. Comparatively, Chance doesn’t appear to have the narcissistic tendencies of Strauss.

Doing-the-same-thing_Albert-EInstein

The Pathology of a Narcissist or Just Insane?

Victoria Strauss’ history of narcissism has become rather tiring. Only a narcissist would repeatedly repackage prose and attempt to convince you that it is valuable; even though the same prose has failed for decades previously. Insane? Strauss’ strategies have turned the metaphorical phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” on its head. The reverse is true here. Strauss is attempting to get us to purchase her books when little has changed but the cover! It’s more than chutzpah, it’s an inflated ego of a highly vain person who is probably a bit self-absorbed and arrogant that would take such steps after decades of failure. It’s like she believes that she is completely superior to everyone and believes that she is more important. She may even resent others to a degree as a result. Strauss appears to have an extreme case of narcissism and may be experiencing delusions of grandeur, believing that she is the “chosen one” or that she has some incredible destiny. To the low information author and flying monkey, it is very easy to fall into the trap of looking only at the surface of Victoria Strauss, her concepts and ideas without taking the time and effort to delve deeper into them; you have to go well beyond the cover. Based on the career of Victoria Strauss, the rubbish she has actually contributed to the publishing world, since she’s republishing again, she should also consider new title names: The Lady of RhuddeSmear, Guardian of the Frills, The Way of Jizzmata duology: The Awakened Bitty & The Burning Gland.

The Lady of RhuddeSmear

Guardian of the Frills

The Way of Jizzmata duology: The Awakened Bitty & The Burning Gland

TWA, [The Write Agenda] Victoria Strauss is neither going to agree to any public appearance with you nor is she going to agree to do a YouTube video. You’ve hit the nail on the head: She’s publically shy, reclusive and will only come out of her Amherst, MA confines if, and only if, there is some sort of gratuitous award for her. And, this claim of ‘death threats’ . . . seriously? She’d commit suicide long before that. Her history of depression and long list of literary flops clearly indicates that nature will take its course; no one will notice except the flying monkey.

– Anonomous

On a deeper level, Strauss, at times has demonstrated behavior that makes her appear highly insecure and unhappy. She has often created the illusion that she is so great to convince herself, and to protect herself from a world that perhaps doesn’t always feel the same way. For example, look at the title of her posting on WB announcing her latest repackaging effort: “NEW LIFE FOR OLD BOOKS (MINE!)” Rather narcissistic? Right? Considering the purported volume of WB followers, why is there only 6 people commenting on this grandiose posting? Even more interesting, www.victoriastrauss.com, Strauss’ main site, a duplicate posting has ZERO comments. Strauss’ main site has an Alexa ranking of 1,119,285 (Google’s Alexa ranking: 1). To Strauss’ credit, although miserable, her Alexa ranking is higher than her Amazon Sales Rankings. Bottom line, there’s more people visiting Strauss’ site than purchasing her corn.

“Hell hath no fury like that of a narcissist being told the truth.”

Tom Dark

All things considered, narcissists will also exhibit some signs of the insecurity that they harbor deep down. Strauss obviously has a fear of public appearances and doesn’t do real well as a public speaker (read her WB posts in the voice of Audrey Hepburn). Her control over internet marketing, blog tours and phone interviews demonstrates how she zealously overcompensates for her perceived shortcomings. She appears to be highly sensitive to criticism, clingy in some ways and desperate for approval and love. The narcissist has one of the most fragile egos of all personality types, and so will be unlikely to cope well with rejection or criticisms. Strauss has not done well in the ego department.

The secret to dealing with Victoria Strauss is to recognize her for what she is, and to take what she says with a pinch of salt. At the same time, you must remember that she is ultimately just trying to seek your approval. Accept the point that she is in fact quite insecure. Don’t allow her to take control or to make everything she says about herself and the industry as gospel . . . do your research . . . deep research. Don’t take our word for it and look beyond the cover.

The Field of Dreams was a corn field and Victoria Strauss has attempted to reseed it again. Strauss will go to her grave thinking that her works mattered and that she contributed something to the literary world. The facts prove otherwise. It’s been corn and will always be corn. As an avid gardener, Strauss’ most notable accomplishment is that she has tended the corn field very successfully.

The Rise of The Write Agenda: Paranoia

It’s a bit ironic, I guess, but from now on anyone who posts screeds attacking Writer Beware under the name “anonymous” is doomed to be associated with the dork(s) at Write Agenda. All the more reason to come forward and post under your own real name and take responsibility for your comments.

– Michael Capobianco

We are also witnessing the demise of Writer Beware (WB) and its significance. Based on visitors commentary, the real interest and visitor engagement with WB peaked in 2007 when 447 comments were amassed by the site. Since 2011, the year that The Write Agenda launched, commentary on WB postings have significantly dropped: 417 (2011), 231 (2012), 139, and (2013) and 148 (2014). From 2005 – 2014 a total of 3275 comments were made; 324 were posted by WB administrators and Victoria Strauss has contributed the highest volume of them. Michael Capobianco, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Richard White have done little on the WB site. Their contributions to the commentary pale to those of Victoria Strauss’.

During 2011 WB averaged 5 comments per post (CPP). These averages have dramatically dropped since that time: 3 CPP (2012), 2 CPP (2013) and 2 CPP (2014). During the 10 year history only 2 posts have ever accumulated more than 100 comments. During 2011, one of these posts generated 146 comments; 35% of the entire comments for that year. One post where the commentary was nearly equal to the entire remarks made in 2005 (143), 2013 (139) and 2014 (148). A 64% drop in visitor comments clearly represents a demise in visitor engagement and the significance of Writer Beware and Victoria Strauss.

Writer Beware Drops in Alexa Rankings

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What was that highly engaged posting by WB? It was, of course, the expose’ they did on The Write Agenda. Yes, we hold the unique distinction of being the subject of the most commented on posting in the entire history of Writer Beware; quite an impressionable accomplishment. Of all the scams and postings on Writer Beware, little old The Write Agenda caught the most interest. It’s a merit badge we will wear very proudly and it’s obviously a very significant statement of our contribution and value . . . and that’s not corn.

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All things considered, Strauss has also touted herself as the scam buster that shines “a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams,” yet, as the most aggressive poster on WB, she never reported the literary scam perpetrated by the attorney of WB and the SFWA. This has resulted in the most “corny” and incongruent ignorance of WB and Victoria Strauss in its history. Do you seriously wonder why WB and Victoria Strauss have become insignificant? Aw, shucks!

 

REFERENCES

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2015ver/02/new-life-for-old-books-mine.html

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthwread.php?t=220042

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/self-promotion-on-writer-beware-its-an-everyday-Sinceoccurance/

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flying+monkeys

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/the-write-agenda-the-right-company-to-keep/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/macallister-stone-meloldi-sherman-whos-who/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/james-d-macdonald-paid-50000-75000-in-advances-sorry-we%E2%80%99re-not-biting-prove-it/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/the-write-agenda-challenges-victoria-strauss-to-a-public-debate/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/victoria-strauss-scoffs-debate-opportunity-with-the-write-agenda/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/yogs-law/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/john-steinbeck-family-defrauded-by-writer-beware-sfwa-attorney-the-2007-scam-that-writer-beware-didnt-report-why/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/blogger-gets-it-wrong-amazon-sales-rankings-are-valuable-metrics-if-benchmarked-over-time/

@victoriastrauss

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Absolute Write Cheerleader Defends The Dirt Factory

In Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, James D. MacDonald, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Melodi "Macillster Stone" Sherman, Yog's Law on July 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Absolute Write Cheerleader Defends The Dirt Factory

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, aka Hapisofi, Shreds The New Guy

In Absolute Write, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Melodi "Macillster Stone" Sherman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden on July 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, aka Hapisofi, Shreds The New Guy

COMING SOON: The Write Agenda’s Expose’ of Michael Capobianco

In A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Charles E. Petit, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Crispin, DEFAMATION, DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, Michael Capobianco, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Richard White, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, SFWA, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strauss, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Whatever, Writer, Writer Beware on March 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

COMING SOON: The Write Agenda’s Expose’ of Michael Capobianco

BTW! Why isn’t Richard White listed as a contributor on Writer Beware now???

Florida Literary Agency and Publisher Reaches Settlement on FDUTPA Litigation with Florida Attorney General

In Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Atlanta Nights, Attorney, Attorney General, Attorney Victor Cretella, Author, Author Boycott, Author Contracts, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, Cretella v. Kuzminski, Criminal History, Crispin, Crispin Dead, David L. Kuzminski, DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski, defamatory, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, Legal Issues, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Mark Coker, P.N. Elrod, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Randi Shapiro, Randy Dotinga, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Self-Published, Self-Publishing, State of Florida Inspector General, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strategic Book Group, Strategic Book Publishing, strategic book publishing and rights agency, Strauss, Subpoena, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, The Write Agenda: Top 10 Blog Posts for 2011, The Write Company to Keep, Theodore Beale, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victor Cretella, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Whatever, Writer Beware, Writer Beware & Others, Writers, Yog's Law on March 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Robert Fletcher, CEO, Successfully Overcomes Damaging Allegations and Declares that Settlement is a Victory When Dealing with any Government Agency.

“Anytime a business settles litigation with a government agency with no admission of guilt and no violation of the law, it can be considered a victory,” said Robert Fletcher, the CEO of a group of companies that have been dealing with government litigation for over six years.

“Unfortunately, most consumers believe that litigation equals guilt, but that simply isn’t true.  This suit should never have been filed,” Mr. Fletcher continued. “If the litigation had any merit, they would have pushed it harder and not taken six years to deal with it.  Furthermore, the attorney who filed against us was asked to leave her job for ethical and competency issues.  Mr. Fletcher went on to say that, “settlement was the best action for our constituents as it allows us to concentrate on the future and not continue to pour money down the legal drain hole of America’s quasi-political legal process. Most importantly, we want our authors to realize that this litigation did not include our current businesses.  The suit was only directed at older companies that had a completely different business model and had already been dissolved”.

Mr. Fletcher concluded by looking to the future. “With this settlement, our family of authors and employees can rest assured that our business principles are sound and fair.  I am extremely happy for our authors, clients, and employees who have had to deal with the uncertainties of this misguided litigation for the last six years.  We have now formally put this behind us and we feel stronger than ever.  Let’s get back to business.  We have our clients’ books to publish and sell and distribute around the world.  And we would like any potential client that turned away from us because of this issue to please reconsider joining us.”

Therefore, the witch hunt perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware and the SFWA has been discredited; the The Florida Attorney General is NOT ACTIVELY collecting complaints and information.

So, the question is, will Robert Fletcher again pursue legal action against Victoria Strauss, SFWA, Writer Beware & others?

For further reading see:

Florida Attorney General Investigated by the Florida State Inspector General – Strategic Book Publishing Prepares Countersuits.

Florida State Inspector General’s Final Report 

ABSOLUTE WRONG (WRITE) BUSTED? You decide … Need more Kool-Aid?

In A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, Atlanta Nights, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, DEFAMATION: Cretella v. Kuzminski: The Case Against Preditors & Editors David L. Kuzminski, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, John Scalzi, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Michael Capobianco, Mystery Writers of America, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Watchdog, Whatever, Writer, Writer Beware, Writer Beware & Others on December 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Those Pesky Legalities

In New York and in Washington State, it’s illegal to register a business under an assumed name unless you also register your assumed name as “doing business as” (DBA). You can review the regulations at New York’s Division of Corporations and Washington’s Business Licensing Services pages. This is important because, at the time of this writing, MacAllister Stone, owner of Absolute Write, lives in Washington State and has Absolute Write registered in New York. However, MacAllister Stone is not a real person. Her real name, Melodi Susanne Sherman, is not registered as a DBA of MacAllister Stone in either state. That makes Absolute Write, the business entity, illegal  [Emphasis added by The Write Agenda.].

I’m especially bothered by this for two reasons: I’m a fan of Writer Beware, and I don’t like that they’re unwilling to expose illegal or unethical behavior perpetrated by their friends; and it means I have to agree in part with The Write Agenda, whom I can’t stand [Emphasis added by The Write Agenda.].



Months ago, The Write Agenda (who doesn’t deserve a link; look them up if you’d like) posted about MacAllister Stone submitting a pseudonym and false address when Absolute Write was named in a lawsuit. I assumed it was a lie because TWA posted it. It was a slow day and I was curious, so I spent the afternoon poking around the Internet and public records. [Emphasis added by The Write Agenda.]. I [sic] didn’t take me long to locate a site called Forums Review, who seem to have an issue with Absolute Write as well, MacAllister Stone in particular. (In case you’re wondering, AW mods, no, I don’t have a connection with this site either. I tried to contact them through email because I didn’t want to have to create this blog, when they already had a perfectly serviceable one to which I could contribute. They never replied.) [Emphasis added by The Write Agenda.].The name Melodi Sherman was all I needed to find proof that she and MacAllister Stone are the same person. (Sorry to all those who were certain Lisa Spangenberg was MacAllister in disguise. Public records show otherwise.) It only took me two or three hours to track everything down. Why people think they can remain anonymous–to the point that they lie on legal documents!–is beyond me. [Emphasis added by The Write Agenda.].

Better Business Bureau listing for Absolute Write:

Melodi Sherman’s farrier business:

The phone numbers are the same.

Absolute Write’s address as listed in the WhoIs information visible on the Forums Reviewsite. To all the concern trolls or potential stalkers, this address is no longer her current address. It belonged to a ranch that Melodi managed, as shown below, and was sold several years ago. Don’t be asshats to the current owners, mkay?

The WhoIs information for LakeviewRanchRide.com, now defunct. Melodi is still using the username visible here, although the email address has changed.

Here’s an endurance ride from Lakeview, right before it closed. Melodi is the assistant manager and owner of the email used to register the domain.

Voter registration (public record) for Melodi, showing her birth date and old address.

One of MacAllister’s birthday celebrations on Absolute Write. Yes, the birthdays are a match.

Great. MacAllister is Melodi. Glad that’s cleared up.

I’d love to understand why Melodi thought her name was so secret that she committed perjury and fraud so she didn’t have to reveal it to anyone. I don’t plan to stalk or harass MacMelodi. Someone might, I suppose, but Lisa Spangenberg (real name) and Victoria Strauss (real name) seem to do just fine. They get pestered online, but people do that all the time even without knowing a real name.

This is speculation, but I would guess it’s because she doesn’t want to lose face in the Absolute Write community. She portrays herself as a publishing professional in order to reign over the forums. In reality, though, her only publishing credit is her thesis, a rather dense and unremarkable treatise on Stephen King.

In summary, Absolute Write and its owner, MacAllister Stone aka Melodi Sherman, are guilty of crimes the Bewares topic and Writer Beware regularly expose. Melodi has no grounds for mocking anyone on a high-profile industry forum that posts publishing advice. She’s barely qualified to edit other people’s work for money; an MFA from a state university doesn’t replace real-life experience (running a ranch and trimming horses’ hooves don’t count toward that experience). Worst of all, Melodi has committed perjury when providing false data to the New Jersey courts, and fraud when registering Absolute Write as a business entity.

I wish I hadn’t had to post this. I shouldn’t have to. Make it right, Absolute Write and Writer Beware. Or you’re as bad as the criminals you claim to oppose, and you’re hypocrites too.

FROM AN EMAIL TO THE WRITE AGENDA
Her name is Melodi Susanne Sherman. Here is the registrant information from an old webcache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:oHEBFun1MZkJ:www.ip-adress.com/whois/macallisterstone.com+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca
If you look up Melodi Sherman in the Washington State voter database, you’ll see the same address and her birthdate: http://usefulwork.com/cgi-bin/wavoterdb.cgi This is the same birthdate as MacAllister’s:http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243391
Here is a website for Melodi Sherman’s farrier business: https://sites.google.com/site/bellinghamhorses/ The phone number is the official number for Absolute Write: http://www.bbb.org/upstate-new-york/business-reviews/writers-business/absolute-write-in-lake-stevens-wa-57106104/
REFERENCES

Comments on the Death of Ann “A.C.” Crispin (Ongoing)

In 666, A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Ann Crispin DEAD, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Charlie. Petit, Crispin, Crispin Dead, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, lawsuit, lawsuits, Legal Issues, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Nancy Steinbeck, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Patrick Niclsen-Hayden, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Price Of Freedom, Preditors & Editors, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, SFWA 2013 Elections, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strauss, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, Victoria Strauss, Whatever, Writer Beware, Yog's Law on September 7, 2013 at 7:14 pm

“The idea that it’s okay to lie and smear people you don’t know doesn’t die with them.  I see from all these trolls that Victoria and company has taught them that this, and a ludicrous arrogance, is okay.  They haven’t an idea just how much damage it does to them.”

“Ann Crispin has done similarly, cancer often being the result of years of misdirected anger or feelings of martyrdom.”

“Some people make the planet a better place for having got the hell off it, eh?”

“We might wonder what Victoria Strauss was actually doing for that month ‘meeting a deadline’ for her latest claimed paint-by-numbers flotsam. I don’t follow her or any of these dishonest cretins, but I’d probably have heard if she’d said another word about it.  What was she doing?  Is she also ill?”

“One down and 1.5 to go . . . if Richard White (Who?) really counts.”

“The end of Writer Beware is on the horizon. Victoria Strauss lacks the competence as a researcher and is a literary underachiever. Why would anyone trust an author that has produced 8 novels that have flopped; she’s not a household name. Keep the pressure on The Write Agenda!”

“So, ‘A.C.’ has died. Allow me to be the first to extend my hand to her family at this difficult time…and then slowly raise my middle finger.”

“Crispin was Crispin. Crispin was Writer Beware. Victoria Strauss isn’t Ann Crispin . . .  the rest is history.”

“Strauss doesn’t have the skin (or ovaries as you say) to do justice to Writer Beware. Crispin’s death marks the death of Writer Beware too!”

“Amen The Write Agenda. Amen.”

“I never understood the Writer Beware concept. It’s not like they really accomplished anything other than regurgitating information. Posting shit on people or organizations that they have not been involved with is reprehensible. Yet, I never liked Crispin, not at all. That last thing she wrote isn’t a novel anyway, whatever it is. I don’t like it. Not at all. It suffers horribly  and it’s so narcissistic. And to me, also, it seemed so false, so calculated. Combining the plain woman with an absolutely megalomaniac egotism. I simply can’t stand it. Victoria Strauss . . . seriously?”

” Crispin’s work and and Strauss’ are evil, and they are the most unhappy beings of whom one can say that it would be better had they had never been born.”

“Crispin’s prose is a cold black suet-pudding. We can represent it as a cold suet-roll of fabulously reptilian length. Cut it at any point, it is the same thing; the same heavy, sticky, opaque mass all through and all along. Rest in Hell Bitch.”

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” – Dalai Lama

“May she live in the land of publisher’s advances beyond her wildest dreams.  Meanwhile, we still have work to do.”

“I doubt that any BIG publishing entity will take the time to eulogize Ann Crispin. May this fact serve to prove how SMALL she really was.”

“Ann Crispin spent her time fooling authors and convincing them that purchasing her books (and Victoria Strauss’) was a ‘show of support’ for the not-for-profit thing better known as Writer Beware. Fortunately, she only fooled the under-educated author and the Kool-Aid drinking minions . . . a very small group of literary putzes.”

“The Write Agenda (TWA) has done an awesome job weaving the cast of characters in the literary folly perpetuated by Ann Crispin, Victoria Strauss, James Macdonald, Macallister Stone, Lisa L. Spangenberg, Teresa Hayden, David Kuzminski, Writer Beware, Making Light, Absolute Write and Preditors & Editors. In this effort, it does appear that Yog’s Law is true. Money does flow to the author . . . especially those authors listed above. Keep following the money TWA! You’ve certainly pissed off this group and that has validated you; they are not ignoring you. Keep exposing their scams that are being perpetrated on the unknowing author.”

“To her credit, Ann Crispin was a public person and visible. Victoria Strauss, who is publically shy and painfully reclusive, hides behind Twitter and other online services and pales in comparison. If Writer Beware is going to survive it’s going to take a more publically stable individual; I’ve personally witnessed the public Strauss and it isn’t pretty. Writer Beware cannot thrive solely on the narcissistic endeavors of a reclusive hag like Victoria Strauss. Writer Beware is surely to follow the same fate as Ann Crispin . . . DEATH. Strauss will not be able to hack the challenges without Crispin and her ego would not tolerate a replacement.”

“What? Writer Beware’s & Victoria Strauss’ first post . . . FIRST POST! . . . after the death of Ann Crispin links to Twitter postings by The Write Agenda? Seriously? Rock on The Write Agenda . . . you have arrived as a worthy opponent to the reclusive one (Victoria Strauss). Strauss states:  ‘I was considering letting the blog sit silent for a week–but in light of the fools and trolls who are dreaming of Writer Beware’s demise, I’ve decided to carry on as usual. It’s what Ann would have wanted’ . . . it’s no ‘dream’ Strauss, The Write Agenda has called you out and Writer Beware will ‘sit silent’ soon! It’s a great day to be a ‘fool’ and a ‘troll’ people because Victoria Strauss could not remain silent! Strauss can’t sell any of her dreadful books . . . how will she continue to sell Writer Beware? There’s no validity here; not with the author and not with the mission she claims to advocate for. However, you can purchase her books as a sign of ‘support’ of Writer Beware. I hope the people that are reading this are now puking. You just can’t make this shit up!”

“Strauss has BIG shoes to fill and obviously The Write Agenda has become public enemy #1 to Strauss & Co. The death of Crispin is a historical benchmark and a pinnacle turning point for the future of Writer Beware. The Write Agenda has obliviously intimidated the living shit out of Victoria Strauss! Savor the moment The Write Agenda. Victoria Strauss should have ignored you . . . she didn’t. I agree with the other commentators . . . the death of Writer Beware is foreseeable, Strauss avoids facts, Strauss uses ad hominem tactics, avoids real issues (hmm like Charlie Petit?) and makes personal arguments against an opponent instead of against their argument. Strauss doesn’t have the moxey to publically represent Writer Beware in a fashion anything near to Crispin. She had to comment to save her face. Thank you The Write Agenda!!!! When a person is ‘saving face,’ they are struggling to keep their reputation and the respect of other people . . .  clearly The Write Agenda has injured Writer Beware and Victoria Strauss.”

“Hell hath no fury like one author gleefully savaging another author’s work. That’s all I can say.”

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often wanted to criticize Ann Crispin, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from other readers; and therefore I had to stop every time I began. When’s the funeral? Or, are they going to toast her remains? If not,  I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

“I couldn’t stand Crispin (I despise Strauss). Nobody will think to ask because I’m supposedly jealous; but I out-sell both of them. I’m more popular than they are, and I don’t take either of them very seriously…oh, they come on like the authors advocates, but they are just boring little middle-class girls hustling their crappy books. Crispin dead? Great! Now this group is left with Victoria Strauss: What she does is not writing, that’s typing.”

“I’ve followed Writer Beware since its inception. Conceptually, it has been a great idea and they have accomplished some great things. However, as a dues paying member of the SFWA I’ve had issues with Crispin and Strauss using the site as a marketing tool. The SFWA is a not-for-profit organization; Crispin and Strauss have, as The Write Agenda has indicated, pressured followers to purchase their books as a ‘sign of support’ for their volunteerism. BULL SHIT! This is wrong and they know it’s wrong. However, it’s not that it really matters because only a small group of worshippers have actually bought into this marketing ploy. Neither Crispin nor Strauss have become household names resulting from this activity. Crispin had her 15 minutes of fame and now her flame has burned out; Strauss, now beyond middle-age, dreams of just having a public spark. Strauss is wiped out and has little chance of redeeming herself. I agree with the post regarding the ‘public’ Victoria Strauss . . . is really is not pretty. She may be able to maintain Writer Beware as a recluse but to build credibility beyond the comfort of her home in Amherst, MA . . . it’s probably not going to happen. Crispin and Strauss both have maintained independent sites; that’s where you market your book . . . not on a not-for-profit site. I’m also very concerned about the selective ‘reporting’ of Writer Beware. For example, an attorney retained by the SFWA commits fraud and it’s swept under the table; not reported by Crispin or Strauss? The American Book Publishing story by Strauss . . . so what? A ‘police investigation’ that may have actually been fabricated by Strauss herself? The Write Agenda caught my attention when you contacted all of the police organizations in the jurisdiction and found nothing to substantiate Strauss’ claims. I’m a loyalist by nature; with personal difficulty I commend The Write Agenda for calling out Crispin and Strauss to be honest. The SFWA is beyond housecleaning; John Scalzi is a putz, Crispin & Strauss  . . . self-serving and new President Steven Gould . . . G-d help us . . . Gould truly is the rectal spawn, of former SFWA President, John Scalzi that was fertilized by author James C. Hines. I will not be renewing my SFWA membership.”

“I’ve always thought that The Write Agenda (TWA) was FOS (Full of Shit). However, I’ve honestly discovered that TWA does tell the truth. Admittedly, I’ve been a SFWA & Writer Beware fool. The ‘under-informed’ & Kool-Aid drinking flying monkey! Yes, that was (was) me. Thank you TWA for the epiphany! The wakeup call was well deserved . . . mea culpa! I have also witnessed ‘the public’ Victoria Strauss and completely agree with the other posters here. If Strauss is going to redeem Writer Beware  . . . she has to get schooled in PR (how to do public appearances) quickly. Ann Crispin is well documented on video sites like You-Tube etc; there are no videos of Strauss. TWA you have hit the nail on the head. If Writer Beware is going to survive, Strauss (and only Strauss; Richard White is a peon and has less credibility than Strauss) is going to have to step up. That is going to require her to get more factual in her “reporting” and become a more public. Personally, I don’t see that happening. Strauss has been in a comfort zone, she’s publically shy and she’ll always be in the shadow of Ann Crispin.TWA you have successfully converted this SFWA member; I’m also not renewing my SFWA membership. Well done TWA! To my SFWA (soon to be former) BUY the TWA books posted as a ‘sign of support’ for their work.”

Available on Amazon.com

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Michael Cohen Review of Absolute Write, Victoria Strauss, James D. Macdonald, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden . . . Validity Test

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Atlanta Nights, BARBARA BAUER, BARBARA BAUER LITERARY AGENCY, Bauer vs. Glatzer, C. E. Petit, Charles E. Petit, Charles Emil Petit, Crispin, David L. Kuzminski, James D. MacDonald, Jenna Glatzer, John Scalzi, John Steinbeck, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone, Making Light, Michael Cohen, Passion Blew, PASSION BLEW II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Passion Blew!: Scamming the John Steinbeck Estate: The Case Against Attorney Charles E. Petit The Former Attorney for the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Passion Blue, Preditors & Editors, Scams, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association, SFWA, SFWA 2013 Elections, Steve Gould, Steven Gould, Strauss, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, The Write Agenda, Travis Tea, Veracity Check, Victoria Strauss, Writer Beware, Writer Beware & Others, Writers on August 16, 2013 at 12:48 am

Michael Cohen Review of Absolute Write, Victoria Strauss, James D. Macdonald, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden et al . . . Validity Test.

“The harsh criticisms of Absolute Write on this site are justified, and then some. As a former member of the AW inner circle, I was present at several behind the scenes discussions with Lisa Spangenberg (alias Mac Stone), Victoria Strauss, James D. Macdonald, Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, and others. The mix was different from time to time depending on who was around and what writer or editor was being torn to pieces on the board…. (more on the following link.)

http://www.sitejabber.com/users/michaelc75

Contact us with your thoughts and comments here.

WANTED: Macallister Stone & Lisa L. Spangenberg Pictures . . . Threesomes or More!

In Absolute Write, Absolute Write Water Cooler, Lisa L. Spangenberg, MacAllister Stone on August 13, 2013 at 1:47 am

Have you had your picture taken with  Macallister Stone & Lisa L. Spangenberg together? Have you been to a conference, publishing event or social event that Macallister Stone & Lisa L. Spangenberg attended? If you have a group photo or other pictures to share please contact us here.

Related posts:

Lisa L. Spangenberg: Fact or Fiction?

Absolute Write (MacAllister Stone) . . . is it ran out of a rental storage unit? Are Authors Paying the Rent via Google Ads?

References

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/lisa-l-spangenberg-fact-or-fiction/

https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/absolute-write-macallister-stone-is-it-ran-out-of-a-rental-storage-unit-are-authors-paid-the-rent-via-google-ads/

Victoria Strauss . . . Book Sales Records Updated

In A.C., A.C. Crispin, Absolute Write, Ann "A.C." Crispin, Ann Crispin, Bauer vs. Glatzer, The Write Agenda, Untraditional Publishing, Vanity, Vanity Press, Victoria Strauss, Women's Fiction, word smith, wordsmith, Writer, Writer Beware, Writer Beware & Others, Writers on June 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Hello Friends!

It’s been awhile since we’ve looked at the Amazon Sales Rankings of “Author,” self-proclaimed “Scam Hunter,”* and unceremoniously released Harper Collins author . . . Victoria Strauss.

The Garden of the Stone

2,108,602

Passion Blue

828,911 (Our  Passion Blew II (Passion Blew II: The Case Against Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin . Writer Beware & Others is right behind Strauss’ Passion Blue. )

The Burning Land

2,041,371

Awakened City

2,165,706

The Arm of the Stone

3,362,474

Guardian of the Hills

4,804,733

Worldstone

4,631,343

Lady of Rhuddesme

9,117,230

Amazon Rankings 

Rank Copies Sold/day
1 3000
10 650
100 100
1000 13
10,000 2.2 (11 copies every 5 days)
100,000 0.2 (1 copy every 5 days)
1,000,000 0.006 (3 copies every 500 days)
2,000,000 0.0001 (1 copy every 1000 days) 

Do you really choose to get your “publishing” information from an “author” that has not proven her validity in the publishing market? Strauss may be a “hero” within the Kool-Aid drinking . . . Flying monkey community. However, in terms of mass market appeal . . . i.e., the actual  “reading” community . . .  the individuals that really “buy” books . . . not the sympathetic purchases from the Flying Monkeys . . . Strauss has been and continues to be a literary flop! Strauss has yet to show her royalty statements (like Jim Hines has) and validate her status as an author that should be taken seriously.

*Note that the scam hunting is selective . . . they (Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin, Writer Beware and the SFWA do not report the publishing scams that were perpetrated by their own attorney. See John Steinbeck Family Defrauded by Writer Beware™ & SFWA Attorney: The 2007 Scam that Writer Beware™ Didn’t Report . . . Why?