Cash-for-coverage chick lit site threatens critic


34 Responses to “Cash-for-coverage chick lit site threatens critic”

  1. ando bobando says:

    How else would you spell goodreads?

    • “Goodreads” — it’s a proper noun.

      • ando bobando says:

        I suppose, although they don’t captialise it on their site either. I feel like Apple ruined proper names starting with capitals for everyone. :P

        • They do too capitalize it! Just not in the logo.

          • ando bobando says:

            So what’re the rules on logos, then? If they don’t use a capital in their logo then doesn’t it seem fair for anyone to drop the capital? I’m not sure how I feel about this anymore!!

          • If it’s just the logo that’s weirdly capitalized (like Goodreads), I think most people just ignore it, because that’s just a design thing. If the official name of the thing is weirdly capitalized or punctuated, (a la iTunes) it’ll get respected as long as it’s not completely stupid.

            For example, the AP, NYT and WSJ are ok with iTunes, but omit the exclamation mark in Yahoo!’s name

            Just typing that made me feel absolutely filthy and this is just a blog comment.

  2. nixiebunny says:

    I can recommend a good lawyer for that chick lit site. 

  3. angusm says:

    The more I think about it, the more I’m in favor of people sending angry messages threatening legal action on shaky grounds. If there weren’t any frivolous legal threats, then we wouldn’t get to read Ken at Popehat take them down, and the world would be a poorer place.

    • Christopher says:

      As admirable as the sentiment is I think there will always be enough people both ignorant and aggressive enough to keep Ken at Popehat busy. Intentionally choosing to join their ranks will also serve to make the world a poorer place.

  4. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    I’m of two minds on this one.

    Based on the actual response of this particular operation I’m inclined to suspect them of being worthless scammers and recommend nuking from orbit.

    However, (while I personally love and cherish a well-written scathing review) there seems nothing intrinsically problematic with publishing only good reviews. It makes your publication a ‘recommendation site’ rather than a ‘review site’; but there isn’t any obvious problem with providing recommendations-only for people who want to find something to read, rather than survey the present state of a genre or wallow in their favorite german emotion in front of a bad review.

    Similarly, if you attract a high volume of aspirants, charging for the reviewer’s time and effort hardly seems intrinsically problematic.

    That said(and as appears may have happened in this case), it isn’t rocket surgery to imagine how ‘only writing about stuff worth reading’ and ‘charging a fee for the service of consideration’ could pretty easily morph into ‘pay for a puff piece on our site!’. That wouldn’t be obviously illegal or anything; but it’d nuke the site’s credibility among people looking for books pretty quickly, hence the desire to shut up the critic, and preserve a public appearance of impartiality(that makes their shill-jobs worth buying), while still selling shill-jobs…

    • nixiebunny says:

      I don’t have a problem with paid-puff-piece sites as long as they present themselves as such.

      These folks need to work on that aspect of their operation.

    • I’m not that bothered by the reviews thing. It’s the legal threats thing. However, the lack of self-awareness concerning the reviews thing (they go on and on about how ethical it is, you know, the way one does) is kinda icky.

      • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

        Are you suggesting that purveyors of literary review services should be familiar with the implications of protesting too much?

    • Lexica says:

       But the combination of charging for the reviews plus “we only publish positive reviews” means they’re inherently ethically compromised. Suppose a writer pays them the $95 for a review but the book really is crap — are they going to refund that money? Or are they going to give it a review better than it really deserves, so they don’t have to give the writer a refund?

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       If not a band, ‘My Favourite German Emotion’ deserves to at least be an album title…

    • angie497 says:

      The problem is, they don’t have a policy of only publishing good reviews. 

      What they have is a policy of demanding money in order to get a review, and that review is guaranteed to be a good review.

      Which means that they aren’t publishing reviews, they’re selling advertising space. 

      Perhaps someone should point out to them that under FTC rules, they are required to post a statement on all such posts to indicate that the post is a paid placement.

  5. StreetEight says:

    “Goodreads for women”

    How insulting can a self-description be??

    I’ve been on Goodreads since 2009 and have never encountered a dearth of intelligent and articulate women posters there.

  6. Smart E Pantz says:

    It’s all well and good to mock CLG for behaving as the douches they are, to mock how they run their business generally, and to confidently intone that they’d lose in a court of law.  Just don’t lose sight of the fact that all CLG’d have to do is initiate a lawsuit, and then Gorman would be forced to expend real financial resources which, in the case that she does not have them, could cause her some real damage.

    • angie497 says:

      Or maybe Gorman could just have the FTC take a look at CLG’s business practices, since according to their own disclosure, they are in blatant violation of the FTC regulations regarding paid/sponsored posts.

  7. Palomino says:

    Maybe the Chicks should read their own disclosure:

    This blog is a collaborative blog written by a group of individuals. This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content may not always be identified.About Chick Lit Girls ReviewsChick Lit Girls reviews books in a honest and forthcoming manner.  Although we try to give our authors good/favorable reviews, it must be noted that we make no claim to and there is no guarentees of a positive review given by our reviewers.

    • jerwin says:

      Although we try to give our authors good/favorable reviews, it must be noted that we make no claim to and there is no guarentees of a positive review given by our reviewers.

      Furthermore, we do not proofread.

  8. Baldhead says:

    Refusing to tell an artist they’re crap is not helping them.

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