Sometimes We Just Get it Wrong

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Sometimes,  We Just Get it Wrong...
But it's how we learn from and rectify our mistakes that's important.

Many, if not all of you, will remember my Soapbox post from yesterday. What I prefer to refer to as the train wreck that you just can't look away from.

Trust me, if I could go back in time and not post that gem I would. But, alas, the space-time continuum is outside my purview. That being said, I considered removing the post, but I didn't for two reasons.

  1. I do not want people to perceive my actions as tucking tail or sweeping it under the rug. It happened. I own it.
  2. As horrific an experience as it was, there was some excellent feedback within the comments that I value. Make no mistake, the trolling and baiting had me incensed. And more than once I considered locking the post from further commenting.
Before I move on, allow me to just say that some of the comments made were reprehensible. Just because we sit in front of a computer monitor instead of face to face does not mean it is acceptable to hide behind the guise of anonymity - because anything you type  into an internet site records your IP address. 

I was called a number of words I don't even use, and considering I'm from Boston and am known to have quite the potty mouth, that list is very short. Someone even thought it was justifiable to send me a message threatening me bodily harm. I committed a foul, I did not kill a loved one. So, if you were one of those trolls or pot-stirrers, any apologies made within this post or any I have made on social media do not apply to you. Because when you become abusive, you lose your audience and any point you want to make gets lost.

Now, to those that commented in a mature and adult manner, didn't comment, or have no clue what I'm talking about. I apologize. Like I said last night, I cannot force someone to believe an apology is sincere, but I can put it out there for you to accept when you're ready.

What, you ask, am I apologizing for? A few things. I'm sure I missed something, but it has been a very long day.
  • Insinuating I was speaking for all reviewers. This was wrong. I speak for myself and no one else.
  • Not having thought in terms of legalities, and if I was potentially doing something wrong by not having a disclosure policy.
  • Coming off that I, in any way, was owed anything by readers or authors. I do not feel that way.
  • Insinuating in any way that I wanted to inflate my rankings with bogus likes. While I attempted to word my original post so it did not come off that way, clearly I missed the mark. I do not want that, nor do I want others to think that way of me. My reputation and credibility has always been important to me, not just online, but in life in general.
  • Making my fellow reviewers, readers, or authors feel disrespected in any way.
After reading your comments and taking a step back from the emotion, I found many valid points within the comments. Like I said last night. The site, and myself, are a work in progress. It started out with a book and grew from there into what you see today. Sure, i perused other blogs and sites out there, but not to an extreme extent. I learned along the way and made changes as I learned. I posted my opinions on a few books I had purchased, walked away from it, and two days later my email had blown up with authors asking if I would review their books. I have always reviewed for the reader, but my interaction had always been with the authors and I wasn't aware I was heading in the wrong direction.

Until yesterday.

So, I have spent the past twenty-eight hours, with a two hour break to sleep, going through your feedback and guidance you provided and doing a lot of research. And I have made some changes. Am I done? Probably not (work in progress, remember?).

I have reverted my Review Policy to the version prior to yesterday's change, and have made a couple small tweaks. I have also added a Disclosure page (many thanks to the gentleman who was kind enough to post about the FTC guidelines, I had no idea) and policy pages regarding Comments, Privacy and Giveaways. I have also removed the laundry list of places to share.

For the poster who refused to tell me what a review circle was; after searching further I found it. And I can say in no uncertain terms have not nor would I ever be party to a review circle, or even thought people would think to participate in something like that. 

Like I said, I don't get a do-over. While this fiasco has been quite unpleasant, it has done more good than bad. I learned more in one day than in four months of poking around blindly. I don't know what I don't know. So, I have to look at this as a win (a very hard win). I'd like to continue moving things in a positive direction. Like I mentioned last night. Many of you have a lot to say. So I welcome your insight, past experiences, and ideas on how to better the site.

With the publishing of this post, I have closed commenting on the previous post and added a link to this one. I have left comments open on this post, but please read that shiny new comment policy before you comment. I will delete posts with any content I perceive as threatening, trolling, or attempting to instigate drama. Many of you had a lot to say when slapping my hand, so I encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts. You can disagree with me, you can tell me I'm not there yet and can do better (and hopefully qualify that with useful information). Just don't be rude about it.