The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Addendum To The Mystery Author Post

Posted by BigWords on August 27, 2009

Now I have a name to go with despicable behavior – Robert Stanek, you have been named and shamed – I’m going to spend a little time ripping the dumbass into little pieces. I’m highly amused that an author in this day and age would think, even for a moment, that trying to pull the wool over the heads of geeks who practically live on the fuckin’ internet would work. It’s short-sighted and almost comical. This is the era of instant communication worldwide, and hiding under assumed identities is not the way you attract readers to a book.

The World Of Robert Stanek, his website, claims he is best known for his Ruin Mist novels. Hmmm… I missed that ruinous mess. I’m guessing that a lot of people wouldn’t have heard of the books either, seeing as how I had to go hunting for information on the guy. David Louis Edelman’s excellent blog – has a great post with photographic evidence that Stanek is less than honorable in his marketing and relentless self-promotion. There is a reason Photoshop is considered an art, and missing legs out of a photograph is a dead giveaway.

Unless, of course, the subject of the picture really doesn’t have legs…

What I was most surprised about, when looking for this guy online, was the fact that there is a forum dedicated to his self-published pap. C’mon, admit it… It’s all your own identities ‘chatting’ to each other, ain’t it? There can’t really be that many (okay, so not that many) people enamoured of the novels. I find it impossible that anyone would be conned into believing his work ranks anywhere near the real masters of the genre.

While I was looking through Edelman’s post, I pondered the list he included of ‘rules’ for ethical self-promotion. This is the condensed version:

  1. Tell no lies.
  2. Make no patently misleading statements.
  3. Avoid glaring sins of omission.
  4. You have no obligation to point out the negative.
  5. Don’t impose an unnecessary burden.
  6. No means no.
  7. Respect the competition.
  8. Keep your promotional activities above board.
  9. When in doubt, abide by general community standards.
  10. Don’t pretend your book is all-important.

That is some very good advice right there, though I will take rules two-through-four head-on in a moment. Everything else is now – as far as I am concerned – the Rules For Authors To Live By. With, p’rhaps a bit of lee-way on #7. I’m not going to say that Dan Brown is a credible author even if everyone else suddenly decides he is, even if I don’t consider myself in any way, shape or form ‘competition’ to him. Just sayin’.

Now, about those troublesome rules 2-4. I’m partial to rubbishing my own work. I’ll say that some of my writing is the most awful shit you’ll ever read, and actually has the ability to make your brain explode in your skull. Some of it is so fucking atrocious it will make your eyes melt, your soul crack and… Well… You get the picture. It’s not to discourage you from reading, it’s simply to prevent expectations from rising too high.

Misleading? No. I’m sure somebody, somewhere, will find my description of the stories to be highly accurate, so I don’t see my self-doubt as misleading. As for sins of omission, I would rather use the bad reviews in full rather than trying to pass them off as ass-licking from strangers. There’s nothing worse than sycophantic praise from another author on a book, but sometimes (in a very few cases) it is warranted. Stevie-boy was right when he said that Clive Barker was the future of horror.

I’m gonna rail against rule 4 bit, because the assumption is that any hypothetical author of a book will want to ignore the negative. This is really surprising, because I would rather have a venomous, hate-filled review claiming I am a shitty hack from a mainstream reviewer than a glowing review from a guy nobody has heard of. That is, of course, just me. Did I derail my own post…? Damn.

Back to topic.

Stanek has, it turns out, written “How To…” books, and I’m sure that my opinion of those types of publications have become ingrained in readers of this blog by now. If you can do it, you do it. If you can’t, then you teach. Not a failsafe way of separating geniuses from morons, but the old adage works 85% of the time just fine.

Best Fantasy Books Blog has an interesting review, and if you pop over there for a look, remember that the review is not endorsed by one of Stanek’s sock-puppets. It’s a refreshingly honest piece of writing, and I’m glad I didn’t have to read one of the books so a real review could appear. I may buy one of the titles if I can find it cheap – in a 20p bucket of second hand books maybe. Then again, I would have to read the fucking thing, wouldn’t I?

In case you missed the link in dlanod’s answer to the previous post Ansible has covered lame attempts at self-publicizing by Stanek.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
News And Interviews From Fantasy Literature
Reddit has a thread about the guy, and there’s no denying Stanek LIED to potential readers on Amazon.

Right, that about covers this debacle. Now I’m waiting on lame legal threats from a Hotmail account… I’m waiting… Still waiting… My e-mail’s listed HERE if you need a clue…


2 Responses to “Addendum To The Mystery Author Post”

  1. Whew, if I get under someone’s collar like that, then I would consider it a good day as an author. LOL

  2. bigwords88 said

    Just to make clear my piss and vinegar reaction to Stanek, and to keep this post from turning into an endless succession of attacks on one person, I’m clearing up why he should be known to authors and readers alike.

    First, he has abused the system of ratings for personal gain. This is beyond immoral, and drags every rating on Amazon (and other sites) into question. He has manipulated images to make him appear to be a more successful author than he is, and he has lied to his audience.

    Secondly, there is no hint whatsoever that he has shown any remorse at his actions. I’ll let someone slide if they display the contrition which public humiliation bestows, but there is nothing to indicate his wrongdoing.

    I’m pissed off at people thinking they can do whatever they like to their audience and have no fallout. This post was part of the fallout, as is the links to other folks who have a tad more restraint than I do.

    There’s no reason to believe he is alone in his actions, so if any other authors want to follow his lead, I will willingly tear their little worlds apart as well. This is a warning for people to show respect for the audience who puts food on their table…

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