howettSome self-publishing authors just have way-too-thin skin. Melville House Publishing’s “Moby Lives” blog and Salon Magazine report on Amazon self-publishing writer Jacqueline Howett who took offense to an otherwise positive review calling into question her spelling and grammar talents—to the tune of inciting and taking part in a 400-post flamewar, which eventually led to a rash of readers posting one-star reviews of the book in question.

It doesn’t seem to be very professional behavior—but on the other hand, it’s resulted in her book getting blogged about in a number of high-profile sites, and undoubtedly many people who would otherwise never have heard of it buying the book. So perhaps there really is no such thing as bad publicity after all?


  1. i read those posts and i think that if anyone who read her comments and visited her website still proceeded to purchase her book, they are a relative of hers. neither or website or comments made her actual book any more attractive for reading purposes. that’s just my $0.02.

  2. Punishing an author for being sensitive and not reading her book because she doesn’t know how to handle criticism is as irrational as her own behaviour.
    We don’t know her. We don’t know her personality or personal issues. Who knows what her background may be.
    I would never deny myself listening to music or viewing a painting or reading a book because the creator was odd, badly behaved or a murderer or whatever. I couldn’t care less.

  3. While she probably sold a few books to people who didn’t bother to check out the preview, they won’t be buying her next ones. Her syntax is almost unreadable, her grammar’s mediocre, and she falls prey to all the grade-school errors like your/you’re mixups and not putting any punctuation in dialogue. (Because they’re talking fast! I don’t need to put a comma after the character’s name; there’s no pause in the speech!)

    She might have gotten a brief rush of purchases, but they won’t last. And since she’s removed the preview option on Smashwords, she’ll get even less attention in the future. Someone did point out that if she lowered the book prices to $.99, she’d probably get another flurry of buyers, and they’d be less likely to complain. But her ego isn’t likely to go for that.

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