Monday, March 28, 2011

The Case of Jacqueline Howett, AKA What Not to Do if you're an Author

If you haven't heard, we've got a new author out there who is incapable of receiving a negative review. Her name? Jacqueline Howett.

Big Al's Books and Pals did a review of her book The Greek Seaman & it wasn't that bad of a review. The reviewer found the overall concept of the book good but noted that there were just so many errors (grammatical & spelling) that you'll end up getting drawn out of the story. Overall this really wasn't that bad of a review.

Yet Howett decided that it wasn't right & took to the reviewer's boards, berating them for not downloading the updated copy. (The reviewer said they did.) Howett's responses got increasingly hostile, culminating with her simply saying "Fuck you" repeatedly to any naysayers.

Even Candace Sams, the infamous author of Electra Galaxy's Interstellar Feller never resorted to profanity. Perhaps this is due to her posting on Amazon, a site notorious for censoring words, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on this.

The thread isn't open to new posts but it's still interesting to see the posts, if only as a "what not to do" checklist. So here's the list of what not to do:

1) If you don't like the review, don't go on the blog & berate the reviewer, saying it's their fault they didn't like it because they didn't get the "right" copy.

2) Don't say that you'll only stick to the positive reviews & then post those reviews in an attempt to prove the reviewer wrong.

3) Don't repeatedly go back to post more harassing comments on the review, calling the reviewer a liar & trying to insinuate that they're a nobody & not really qualified to review your book.

4) If you're going to defend your book against grammatical & spelling errors, at least proofread your own comments.

5) Don't use profanity. Especially don't post the same profanity in response to several different people.

6) Don't insist that they remove the review because it "isn't done from the right copy", especially when the reviewer says that they did read the right copy.

7) Don't accuse the reviewer of using sockpuppets to post, especially when your comments are now being blogged, tweeted, & chatted about on the internet at large.

8) And above all else, DO NOT try to defend your behavior by saying that you see nothing wrong with it.

In the end Howett might get a temporary boost of sales from this but the infamy will last forever. Odds are that many of the new purchases will mention the reasons for buying it & that's not a good thing.

(For the original review, go here.)


  1. Wow - I just read the review of Howett's book and the accompanying comments. Howett has several screws loose and if she can't take a bad review, then she shouldn't be publishing.

  2. I have to agree, especially about the cursing. I know it's hard to read negative feedback & it's tempting to lash out, but this was just incredibly unprofessional of her.

    I've noticed that there's now a lot of 1-2 star reviews of her book on amazon. (sighs) The backlash from her comments has already started.