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The Bully and The Honest Business Woman

Blogging can be a dangerous thing, when someone decides to attack you unfairly. I'm not the first to endure this kind of treatment and I won't be the last. I do have to ask, however - why me?

I'm not going to go into the details because I refuse to give the bully any more attention than he's already received, on my behalf. Here's the outline: I have a Print-on-demand publishing business. Anyone who's read more than a few posts here knows that. I am customer-centric, and my goal is to change the nature of publishing as we know it. NO ONE has ever become a client without knowing my business model, what I charge, and what I can and cannot do. EVERYONE who works with me knows my high standards and my work ethic. I DO NOT make millions on the back of unsuspecting writers desperate to be in print.

You would think I did all of those things if you listened to this bully who has spent the last week attacking me and my company. He shall remain nameless because -- he deserves to be nameless.

Here's the thing - the content posted in a collective blog I write for, that drove him to such a frenzy of accusation and name calling, was a series of truths I wanted to share with the world, about how POD works. About how MY POD company works. Not ALL POD companies. I did cite stats to show that self-publishing, using POD, is a respectable way to publish. I did say that bookstores like B&N won't stock our books...because we don't take returns (almost 40% of the books in the traditional publishing world become remainders - or returns). And, I did say authors have to participate in marketing, if they want to be successful.

The attack disputing everything I wrote was unfounded and mean. It was libelous and misleading. I was so taken aback at the anger, I did not know how to respond. But, a number of good friends, colleagues, and authors, responded for me. It was heartening to see the defense of my integrity - though this bully then proceeded to take each of them to task.

So, here we are, days later. He's been asked, by someone I do not know but who saw through his maliciousness and called him on it, why he chose to pick on the one person in the group who likely had (has) little resources to take him on, one on one. (It turns out his beef was with the site, as much as with me. But, I was his whipping girl.) Easier to pick on the woman, some said. Easier not to confront the men - who could cut him down to size.

Indeed. Easier to pick on the woman. Such is the way not only the blogosphere works, but often the way life works. There are no pictures and no links in this post - because I refuse to acknowledge him any longer. I am an honest business woman. Would that he could be an honest business man and admit that while he does not approve of my business model, he has no basis in calling me names and insisting I do not do the things I've said I do. (He maintains that if an author cannot be picked up by a 'real' publisher, then the author's writing must be crap; which shows that he isn't merely attacking POD, he's insulting all self-published authors.)

But, shouting is more his style. (No, he didn't cap everything he wrote, but he did bold the 'serious parts' and color them red, creating the angry vision of someone with veins protruding from his neck, dripping spittle from the corners of his mouth; all the while hiding behind big, black sunglasses...the way bullies do.)


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Jen, writer

Does he really think that it's going to be easier to pick on a woman? He should have thought twice before choosing your blog. It's silly to think that women are weaker and I'm sure he's getting all that he deserves. While it would be nice to give him the same rude treatment, there is really no use. People like him might just thrive more on the attention.

Leah Maclean

The thing to focus on here Yvone is all the wonderful support that you received and rightly deserved. I can only hope that this bully's "shouting" is drowned out by the warm and genuine applause that so many more people give to you. You are a generous, honest and warm business woman and deserve nothing but the same in return.

I only hope that you have seen the last of him and you can now turn your face towards the sun.

Yvonne DiVita

Styleosophy, wow...thanks! I think Mary and Dorothy have it right. He's taken up too much of my time and his elitist attitude is going to go down with him - Web 2.0 will take care of that!


I agree with Mary...that's the dark side of blogging. I just had someone call me down about a series of blog posts that this person swears is the same name as their trademarked series. At first, I thought, I'm not going to let her bully me. Then, I got to's not worth the hassle and renamed it.

The thing is, we are powerful, Yvonne. You know it and I know it. And a lot of people want to get you to their level of not knowing what in the hell they are doing when they decide to post a war online. A lot of people feel powerful behind a computer screen and this guy is probably some geeky dwarf who still calls him mama every night. I'm really enjoying your blog...found it on a blog search just now...going to post your link on my blog if that's okay with you.

Hang in Erma Bombeck once said, "Everything will pass." ERrr...I think I just screwed the hell out of that phrase but you know what I mean. ;o)


You are still one of my favorite 'invisible mentors'. This just adds icing to the cake the way you have taken a stance against this uninformed bully.

Yvonne DiVita

Indeed, Mary. I'm working on it. :-)

Mary Schmidt

Well, that's the dark side of blogging. Having read his post (and commented) it's clear to me he's working out some anger issues that have little to do with you personally. You just happened to be (he thought) an easy target. And, he did get a lot of traffic to his blog.

As for women being the easy target - I invite the man to come see me (and as I noted in my comments to his post - would he say what he did to your face? I'm sure not.) Further, in looking at his Technorati stats (which granted are kinda dicey) he's not all that popular. His post about you got a lot of comments and bumped up his google juice. Also, he does like to pick fights as I found in other blog posts.

Best is to ignore him - and if he comes here, kill him with kindness. Angry, petty people who are desperate for attention just don't know what to do with that!

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