Sunday, March 16, 2008
For the record here is the sum total of what I posted about Alinar:
Alinar Publishing<--its name
"So, who is Alinar Publishing and what do you do?
Alinar Publishing is a group of independent authors who have got together to sell their work on the internet and aims to provide a place where visitors can find great reads. Alinar Publishing LLP is a non profit-making publishing co-operative and services to our authors are free."<--a quote
By invitation only with the author covering some costs of production and distribution. Authors include: Eve Asbury, Gayle Eden, Angelique Emerson, Lily Graison, Felicity Heaton, F E Heaton, Jane Hill, Jude Johnson, Kallysten, Nia Little, Alexandra Marell and Candy Nicks<--accurate as far as I am aware.
I also added this comment:
I think co-ops are an interesting idea. My feelings is they should be open about their nature--which this one is. I would also think they might be wise to invest in an independent editor able not only to proofread but suggest a work is not good enough.<--hardly pit bull attack material, I think
I received this anonymous comment (excerpted below with my responses attached). It make me wonder whether any change of tack is required. For example a more rapid and summary deletion of any posts containing personal insults to moderate the tone, but not I must add the content, of anonymous comments.
I am comfortable with reasonably robiust debate but think some comments go a little far into name-calling. I am also, however, either working or traveling for fairy extended periods each week and so might require some assistance to carry out any really effective moderation of 'real time' comments and I would hope to avoid holding comments for moderation as it really disrupts the conversational quality good comment-threads have. I believe allowing anonymous comments is important to permit people to speak freely. I also want to keep the tone honest and analytical but civil (and okay, sometimes a bit funny).
"Give an idiot a keyboard to hide behind, and they suddenly grow a backbone the size of their ego. They transform into an expert on everyone and everything, so much so that they do not even need any proof to support their statements. Why? Because they know there are people out their even more idiotic than them, who will believe anything they read as the gospel."
Give a person a blog and they will humbly proffer their opinions so that any potential audience can make of it what they will.
"I try to avoid blogs not controlled by someone I know and trust to be responsible, which is most likely why I'd never even heard of this little slander-fest corner of the world here."
If it was may intent to do anyone harm (which it is not) I must note this would be the inaugural festival of libel, not slander. Beers $5 each, form an orderly queue please, no glass bottles allowed in the arena but tomatoes are okay.
"However, at the urging of a friend, I read this particular blog entry, and felt compelled to respond... mostly out of disgust at the thought there are people who give this place any shred of credibility.
I have been a fan of Gayle Eden's since before most had ever heard of her, and in turn have been a long-standing customer of Alinar Publishing. The innuendo and outright lies published in this blog are downright appalling, and ooze of nothing more than pettiness and jealousy.
I have never heard of Eden Gayle. Feel free to point out specific factual statements that are in error and I will correct them. If there was any innuendo it might be on the side of the one inferring not the one putatively implying.
"Although I have never once received a book I was dissatisfied with, the open communication and customer service at Alinar is second to none. I have purchased books from well-known high-end publishing houses that were edited by so-called "professionals" which looked like they were edited by my four-year-old. If anyone has gotten a book from Alinar they were dissatisfied with due to editing and made no attempt to contact them about it, you really have no right to go around bashing them. Errors will happen in any business as long as their are humans. Customer service is what separates the good from the bad."
So why does this principal not applied to a blog. I don't recall receiving any direct contact questioning the objective quality (e.g. accuracy) of my post and allowing me to correct it. However as it happens I think many things separate the good from the bad, including making fewer mistakes in the first place, especially when providing a product on a professional basis. As it happens Alinar's representative responded with an open invitation for people to converse with her. She was probably not thrilled with the comments but her response to me and the blog readers was highly professional and not emotional or disproportionate. I didn't manage to talk her into sending a review copy of my choice so that I might comment directly on quality issues--but not everyone gives away free books to any weird blogger who asks for one, so perhaps that is beside the point.
"And while I don't know why anyone using two different pen names to separate different styles of books they write is even questioned as being dishonest, Ms. Eden and the other authors are very open, both at Alinar, and on their individual websites, about who they are. Anyone who has a problem with this method of authorship and claims ignorance or a feeling of being misled is just looking for something to complain about, because they obviously made no attempt whatsoever to find out anything about the author(s) in question."
Readers are generally not investigative in their approach to purchasing, but wish to take things at face value. Like the writer and editor who have different names being different people. This seems a reasonable and sincere complaint from a reader to me. Not exactly a matter of national security, but if a reader bought the book I think they also purchased the right to discuss any aspect of the product with anyone they want to.
"Whoever runs this blog, and a couple of people who have posted on it, should really consider hanging up their blogger hobby until they grow up and attain some semblance of personal responsibility. Messing with people's careers and livelihood because you have no life and nothing better to do than get your jollies off slandering and making uninformed ignorant comments is juvenile, and clearly shows you lack any of the moral fiber or responsibility to contribute and participate in public discussion."
I confess freely to being juvenile, but I deny having the ability to mess with anyone's livelihood. I also invite anyone to read my post on Alinar and find anything with that apparent intent. I would hasten to correct anything unreasonable or inaccurate. But what I did is look at their website and say what I thought. It seems to me that I am best placed to accurately report the content of my own thoughts. Even if my impression proved to be in error, they were what they were.
All I can suggest is that the issue of what is acceptable in comments should be raised. But I doubt I would see being critical or negative about a company's actual practises and their products on sale would ever be a problem here. I might concede that increased civility in the comments to blog posts would be a worthy goal for all parties to pursue.