Surviving a Bad Book – The Swords of the Sultan!

coverThe Swords of the Sultan! by J. Erik Booker

1 Star

Book 1 of The Elysian Dynasty






I like to put up these SaBB posts if the book is not only bad, in some shape, way or form but also has an interesting story to go along with it.  This book performs admirably on all accounts.

First off, it is the epitome of indie trash.  If you read my original review, I didn’t really hate on it, just pointed out what I couldn’t stomach and considered it a waste of time. A one star book on Goodreads, no big deal, right? Hahahaahahahahahahaa.

Attack of the Rabid Fan Girl

A fan of the author, who had written a 5star review, came over to my review and started lambasting me for what I had written.  Mind you, I hadn’t gone over to her review or had any interaction with her or the author. This was someone sticking their nose into my review and trying to roast me. I was fast approaching maximum fed up’ness with Goodreads at the time and was fully invested (very unwisely I’m afraid to say) in the Authors Behaving Badly Group. I just let loose on that stupid woman and told her exactly what I thought.

Then the author got involved. Now, let me be clear. I fully respect the members of our Armed Services. They have put their lives on the line so that I can go to work every day and not have to worry if some yahoo is going to blow up a school bus full of children. They’ve also gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to being taken care of for what they’ve gone through.  So when the author told me, once again on my review that the other person was insulting me in, that I was insulting her and that he, as a Marine, was calling me out, anywhere, any time, well, this is kind of what I pictured in my mind:




I reported him to GR, took some screenshots and then deleted all the comments.  I mean, how was I even supposed to take what he said seriously? The whole situation was just ludicrous. Here I am, writing a review for a book and suddenly a “Marine” wants to have fisticuffs with me? Five years later and I couldn’t even remember the name of the book or the author when I went looking for this. Obviously, I was terrified out of my mind by the brutish thug 😉



Thus, another piece of the puzzle that is Bookstooge is revealed. And you wonder why I’m so bitter about indies sometimes. Only unadulterated determination and pure stubborn cussedness has kept me going in the face of such odds.



bookstooge (Custom)




27 thoughts on “Surviving a Bad Book – The Swords of the Sultan!

    1. BBA was a group dedicated to protecting other Goodreads members who had been interacted with, usually against their will, by authors or rabid fans of an author, on a review they had written for said book. It also tended to go just beyond GR and into the whole social media.

      At its core, it was a good idea. A group of people who had been burned by authors in one form or another seeking mutual sympathy and providing comfort and strength to those who had just been burned. It ended up devolving into a group who went around and 1starred any book that a member complained about the author. Usually with links to the offending behavior. I say devolve because I ended up spending more time being “outraged” and angry and upset than actually reading any other books. Even my wife noticed. So it was a good thing when I left GR in ’13.

      When I left, the group had gone “private” due to the vague rules instituted by and only randomly followed through by the GR staff.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am no longer on GR. I was on there from ’09 until ’13 when they started silently censoring everyone. I’ve gone back a couple of times and always end up leaving after a couple of months because some review or other of mine gets hidden, or banned or whatever. I now use Librarything as my online library. Not much interaction there, but that is what WordPress is all about for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wowwwww that whole story is just insane- but I’ve heard this kind of thing happens way too often so it also doesn’t surprise me (I is why I try not to get involved in anything on GR, just use it as a place to keep track of numbers of books and whatnot) But yeah, the randomer never should’ve commented angrily on your review and the author *never* should have basically threatened you for disagreeing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, my four years at GR gave me a large supply of stories for the years to come. It’s also where and when that I learned that a large group is almost always bad news in the long run. Man, I wish I hadn’t had to learn some lessons 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah that’s a shame that your experience was so negative on there, but I get why. It’s the same with a lot of these “social” sites (I especially hear negative things about twitter) it kind of helps that I’m useless at working social media sites and don’t especially like them/want to spend time on them, cos it’s really easy to fall down a rabbithole of misery on there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I shake my head, and then begin to wonder: is that author still writing? is that reviewer still around? Probably not, because without a constant stream of (reader, as opposed to friend) reviews (honest, based on the reader’s opinion), things fall away. Fast.
    I hope you never have to go through anything like that again. I hope no one ever has to go through that again.
    For crying out loud, if these people want drama, they should read more (and learn from it).
    My opinion only, but as a reader and a writer, I need reviewers to feel comfortable being forthright and honest. It’s what I do, and what I expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 I won’t have to go through that again, but mainly because now “I” have control of my reviews and the comments on my wordpress instead of some social site. Deleting and blocking do wonders here 🙂 Heck, I wrote a scathing review a couple of years ago and had the author come piss on it and some of his followers. I just enabled comment moderation and deleted all his fan comments without reading them. It did wonders for my peace of mind and blood pressure.

      Honest and forthright. That is one of the reasons I won’t read books by people I know, even online. I would have a hard time separating the person from the book and the writer might have a hard time separating my review from me. It is much easier to write a review when I know nothing about the author 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL where do you find these books and authors? And why does it seem like the worse an indie book is, the more crazy and rabid their shills are?

    And yeah, I heard about the big blowup with Authors Behaving Badly. On paper, it was a great idea. Authors who are bullies and harassers should be made to know they can’t get away with it. But then afterwards it just got out of hand and became a witch hunt, where every time a reviewer got their feelings even a tiny little bit hurt by some innocuous contact with the author would unleash their buddies on the author’s book and trash them with 1 star reviews :\

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know to be honest. I know I can have strong opinions sometimes, but on a site like GR, there are a LOT more people with a lot stronger opinions. Maybe I was just a magnet? I do think part of it is GR actively seeking out authors to be a paying base for the site. When Otis sold out to Amazon (even though I LIKE amazon), it was no longer a site just for reviewers.


  4. People at large – and not just authors – should have a thicker skin and be prepared for the simple fact that not everybody will agree with them, or praise their work, and so on. Publishing a book does indeed expose one to both praise and critique, and an author should accept them both in stride: menacing a reviewer because of a negative comment only reveals, from my point of view, only lack of maturity and self-criticism.
    Having a strong opinion should not paint a target on a reviewer’s back, IMHO, but we do indeed live in a crazy world…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen!
      That is actually one of the reasons I don’t allow my posts to be easily reblogged or anything like that. I don’t have a thick skin. But I’m also mature enough to realize that and to take measures so I don’t end up lashing out violently like Mr. Booker did.

      Crazy world indeed. Sometimes people need to just chill out and be willingly ignorant. Don’t read reviews of your book, etc. If an author “has” to know, have someone else read the reviews and filter them for goodness sake 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What I find even more strange is the fact that *readers* can be much more vocal than authors. If I can – up to a certain point – understand where author rage can come from, I can’t see where reader rage does.
        I’ve seen books I love treated badly, or read negative reviews on them, but never felt the need to take my Valyrian steel sword 😀 to the poster… It does indeed take all kinds!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I suspect it has to do with readers not being confident enough in their own taste so a negative review is taken as a personal attack against them. Or, they’re just grade A jackasses. Take your pick 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow haha, I am not even sure where to start with this one. The fact that a grown adult could behave like that, let alone while representing their work is baffling. I do admit I had a giggle at your recollection of events and you handled it the same as I probably would have.

    I may have benefited from Authors Behaving Badly at some point had I know they existed! I did have a harrowing encounter that led to over 10 unsolicited emails (in fact I directly asked them to stop) and some choice words before I had to actually contact their publisher. Needless to say, it ended after that thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, BBA was a good idea at its core. Sadly, just like most other good ideas, it got railroaded.

      Thankfully, I’ve never had things move into private emails. I don’t know what I’d do then. At least you had a publisher to contact. Some of these indies have no one but themselves and that’s where the problems start 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It doesn’t really surprise me, to be honest! Happens wayyyy too often, that indie authors get offended (or their family members).

    Although I would have loved to witness your ‘conversation’ with Mister Marine author^^

    Talking about goodreads.. I am not a fan of their layout at all. I tried to be active there, but I have to admit, that I don’t like it. I use it to keep track of the books I read and I like the challenge function it has.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sort of ridiculous that he pulled out the “marine” card on you. As much as I have respect for everything they might do for their country, it doesn’t mean they can wave it around to.. what? Put themselves in a supposingly higher status or some twisted shit that gives them the right to say what they want? Best thing he could’ve done is not say anything or tell the other chick that there are better ways to react to something they don’t agree. Like… ignore?…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, ignoring was probably their best option. And that is what I just didn’t understand: Why the lady fan came over to my review?

      I’ve learned to just ignore people online (or block them here on wp so they can’t comment). Without fuel, most fires die down REAL quick 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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