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Respecting your fellow Book Country members
Danielle Poiesz
Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2011 5:31 PM
Hey, friends--

This morning we had to ban our first user for violation of our Community Guidelines (which you can find in the footer on any page of the site). While it was disappointing to do, it's so important to us here at Book Country that this remain a safe and supportive space for you all to interact.

So, this is just a thank you for all you've done so far to keep that positive energy running through Book Country The level of respect between users thus far has been admirable and it's all of you that make Book Country such a wonderful community.

But please, if you do see someone violating the Community Guidelines or Terms of Use and disrespecting one of your fellow members, please don't hesitate to WRITE TO US using the footer link or even use the REPORT ABUSE button. We ask that you don't confront the person yourself but instead give us a shout and let us know what you've seen so Colleen and myself can take a peek if it's something we aren't already aware of.

Thanks again for being such an integral part of Book Country!

<3 you all!


Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 3:25 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 222

This is definitely a good thing to remember, thanks for pointing this out, Danielle.

Respect is critical if we want to be able to harbor the type of environment needed for productive reviewing. Each one of us who reads and writes on this site has to dance on the edge of comfort zones as it is -- especially when we have to find a polite way to tell someone why something doesn't work.

I haven't been reviewed yet by anyone who wasn't respectful and polite, and I hope this doesn't become a problem in the future. And I hope that everyone who receives a review or comment from me feels the same way.
Amy Sterling
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 6:38 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 25

I just joined as one of the new public Beta members and am appreciating getting to know everyone and their work. After joining, I continued to read and respond to others' work because I saw so much good synergy and support. Thanks for pointing this up, Danielle. I am thinking that the majority of writers here wouldn't want to focus on problems like this, but also appreciate knowing that they don't have to accept negative, non-creative behavior for someone who is not participating in a creative way. Just one extreme negative incident could cost a writer time or enthusiasm . . . that's definitely not worth it.
Michael J Lee
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 11:41 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 9

It was the right call to make.

The individual in question clearly stepped over the line.

His behavior would have been comical if wasn't so malicious.
Ellie Isis
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 12:38 AM
Joined: 3/4/2011
Posts: 58

Wow, I feel strangely honored to have been the target of the first banned member.

Michael, it WAS pretty outrageous, and to be honest, it got little more reaction from me than some raised eyebrows and a dropped jaw from the hubby, but I've been at this awhile. I would hate to see a newer writer treated in such a fashion. Writers need time to grow those thick skins, and even when we have them, we're not bulletproof.

Thanks Danielle and Colleen for supporting us all!
Amy Sterling
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 3:03 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 25

It was that guy? LOL! I was thinking he might be happier "working on" Wikipedia . . .
Amy Sterling
Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 3:14 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 25

It sure was "that guy". I've been working with other writers via the internet since . . . well, my daughter Meredith is 18 years old now. My first online group was "Mothers of Babies Born August 1992." I'm betting "that guy" could be even younger than Meredith. I'm glad that things have evolved to the point that Colleen and Danielle acted quickly and had everything prepared in case of negative behavior that no one would want to see. In the past, and even today in other online communities that don't have the clear vision and guidelines presented here, people with these poor behaviors can sometimes go on and on. Ellie, you did beautifully. I pointed up that female authors, especially SF authors (I have seldom seen this happen to those writing things like romance or cozy mysteries - or I suppose, cookbooks or diet/fashion books), can attract negative "drive-by" attention. It's like pulling the girl's pigtails or putting gum in her hair on online steroids.
Jack Whitsel
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:54 AM
Joined: 5/7/2011
Posts: 35

Though I do not know the particulars, it's a shame Ellie had to be put through any uncomfortable circumstance. Thanks for interceding on her behalf. I'm glad those administrating this site are mindful of those who would choose to violatesuch a forum. Thank you. I look forward to contributing to this site in the near future.
Carl E Reed
Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 12:04 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 608

I don't even know what we're talking about here but I do know this: creepy is as creepy does. And there is nothing more disrespectful, boorish and intellectually bankrupt than cheap ad hominem attacks or willfully violating someone else's boundaries.

Like we used to say in the Marine Corps: respect earns respect.

And I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the talented, fair-minded and hard-working writers contributing to Book Country. It takes real guts to step into the public arena and expose your writing to the review and critique of your peers. Thus, it hurts and offends me deeply to read about behavior that is insulting, demeaning and hopelessly adolescent.

In this sense, an idiotic, vicious attack on any of us is an attack on ALL of us.

It's simply unacceptable. How sad!

But also, how reassuring to know that decisive action was promptly taken and the offender dealt with.

On Book, the adults are in charge and the lunatics will NOT be allowed to run the asylum.


Mimi Speike
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 2:57 AM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1016

I also have no idea of what was involved in the incident. I wish I knew. I'd hate to be the next to go.

I just did my first review. I tried to be both honest (most of what I had to say was opinion, of course) and supportive. I'm not sure that I succeeded.

As a result of this first experience, I am mulling over what I hope to get from a review myself, when I finally upload my story, Sly! 

Basically, I expect everyone to be brutally honest with me. I've lived with this thing for too long; I can't be objective. I need other eyes to point out the problems.

Don't anyone worry about hurting my feelings. I want to hear the worst. I already know what's terrific about it. Show me what I've got all wrong. It won't do me any good to be mislead. 

Does anyone else feel this way?

Diplomacy, I don't need it, and I don't want it. I haven't got a fragile ego. Nobody's going to make me believe that I haven't written something wonderful. And I'll be very grateful for any tips on making it even better.


Michael R Hagan
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:06 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229

Would it perhaps be a good idea to have a tag beside any review done, stating what the average grade given by the reviewer is?
I've just had my first review, being honoured to receive one star. Now if the work deserves one star, then this is constructive.... I'll know to put down my pen, get a more appropriate tool and limit my energies to more manual pursuits.
However as everybody seems to get one star from this chappy (indeed there is a webpage devoted to the venting of antagonised recipients) it as yet tells me little.
The reason for my suggestion is twofold:
Had I not checked out this fellow, I might already be discouraged (rightly or wrongly) and hide myself away in eternal shame and torment.
More importantly, this review, being the first, will certainly discourage others from investing any time reading the work in question and may therefore, be detrimental to the benefits which I, or any other unfortunates in the same position, can obtain from this site.

Also, may I place a curse on all who pass judgement on a work without ever bothering to reach page two?

I'm naming no names, but has anyone read the sequel to Hunger Games?

Michael R Hagan
Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:15 PM
Joined: 10/14/2012
Posts: 229

Oh yes, and can anyone explain why I feel the sudden need to earn a badge. I won't be able to carry it out with me to polish and show my friend...... sorry that's friends, honest!
I can't hold it, sell it, eat it, wear it or gain any social interaction from it............. but God, I want one!

want one,


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