Friday, September 21, 2012

Authors Diss on Harriet

Authors Diss on Harriet

All quotes have been verified, taken from the authors’ webpages, blogs, and group discussion strings.  Each quote has been confirmed to be that of an authentic, published author of books.*

“a very sloppy and inaccurate reviewer”

“all she had to do was read the back blurb, the promo material, and one or two lines of the actual book)”

“Anyone willing to point to extremely good or extremely bad reviews of their work?  Harriet Klausner doesn’t count!”

“As for WTF, well, Harriet Klausner reviewed my book.

“famous for making huge errors in her reviews.”

“Harriet Klausner annoys me because her reviews are ‘puff’ without any real insight.”

“Harriet Klausner makes all book reviewers look bad and her reviews are total crap”

“Harriet Klausner strikes again. . .  she does seem to have misremembered the spellings of the character names a tad”

“I can't profess to fully understand what was written in that review or why it sounds like it was dictated to a drunken Swede”

“I hope I never ‘get Klausnered’."

“I love that Klausner, really I do — but I often find the same thing, that she’s been um, imprecise on some of the details”

“I personally find her reprehensible

I just read her review on Barnes&, for my latest Victorian Romance, released two days ago, but and she has the plot all wrong. No way could she have read the book. I appreciate the five stars, …”

“I suggest that you do not build expectations for [*book name*] upon her final paragraph of this review”

“I think she's kind of funny.”

“I would, however, like to correct some misleading information in her review.  . . . To suggest that she doesn't is simply not true.  . . .  This oversimplification of the plot doesn't do justice to the book.  . . .  I felt the need however to correct some misinformation that could lead to moral judgements that would simply be untrue.”

“I’ve already been Klausnered.  As usual, she gets some of the details wrong (for values of “some”, that means ‘most’)”

“if she ever reviews one of my books, I'll know to hit the ignore or giggle button”

“Ignore the poor sentence construction, grammar, detours from the actual plot and so on”

“I'm not sure where the number 13 came from. Maybe the pack grew when I wasn't looking”

“I'm the author and I agree. This thing is like a google translation from another language. Wish they'd get rid of it”

“it contains major spoilers that I think will harm the experience of reading the book”

“it will be written by someone with some professional reviewing qualifications--as opposed to, for instance, Harriet Klausner.

“It’s a pretty standard Klausner review, which means spoilers, strange details that don’t completely match the book, and one or two spots where she tries too hard to be clever.”

“it’s got all the crunchy goodness you've come to expect from a Klausner review, from illogical sentences in badly translated English, to spoilers.”

“Klausner is kind of like the first robin of spring.  Her song might be a little off-key after the long winter”

“Klausner just rewords.”

“Ms. Klausner, for God's sake! I'd appreciate the 5-star rating more if I thought you'd actually read the book..”

“she called my character an exotic dancer and pretty much made it look like she was turning tricks on the side. That’s so the opposite of the storyline I’m appalled.

“She gave 5 stars to possibly the worst book I ever read -- it was virtually unreadable”

“she gave away plot twists that were intended to shock the hell out of readers.”

“she got the title of my book wrong in my last review from her.

“She just has some pathological need to be ‘famous’.”

“She posts anything up to six reviews a day.  Which would be irrelevant if her reviews were in any way insightful or even useful.”

“she reviews a, um, suspiciously high number of books every day, and–well, Google her if you’re interested. I’m just amused.”

“Sometimes her reviews are so off base I'm stunned they are posted at all”

“Sometimes she gives a lot of spoilers, and sometimes she hasn't read the same book you wrote”

“That’s lying and it’s dishonorable (*cough*HarrietKlausner*Cough*),”

“the "reviewer" didn't bother to read my story and appears to be doing a Harriet Klausner.”

“the multitude of errors in her ‘reviews’, along with the sheer number of them, made it obvious that she skimmed at best, read back cover copy at worst, and apparently confused one book for another (given the number of wildly inaccurate plot details)

“There are bad reviews and then there’s Harriet.  I’ve had several (one with a spoiler that almost made my head explode) but I’ve never had one quite this … special.”

“There’s the usual (possibly slightly incoherent) one from Harriet Klausner.”

“this review (posted on November 17) contains no new information and several huge mistakes.”

“This shouldn't happen.  This kind of ‘reviewing’ is dishonest, it devalues all reader reviews and makes a mockery of the whole process.”

“to get what I mean, all she had to do was read the back blurb, the promo material, and one or two lines of the actual book”


“What's a formic? According to, it means ‘of or pertaining to ants.’ There are no ants in my story. . . .

And all I can say is WTF????”

“When I see her reviews, I ignore them, because in my humble opinion, they are meaningless.”

“why does Amazon continue to support/acknowledge such a clearly impossible performance”

*Authors’ names and references have not been included in order to protect their right to privacy.


Beachmama said...

Embee: Harriet hasn’t got a chance when the Sherlock Holmes of review sleuths is on the case. Fantastic work!

The first criticism I saw from an author was on a comment thread where several of us had already done a hatchet job on Harriet. The book’s author came in to complain that her review had spoiled several major plot points that would completely ruin the reading experience for anyone who read what Harriet had written.

Suggestions were made that the writer contact Amazon and complain. The group-thinking being that the author’s rights had been violated and that she had more power, as a provider of materials that Amazon sells and makes a profit on, than a shill they have to pay or provide with free books. Not true. In Amazonland the paid fraud is valued above all else. She was told that the mother of all liars and purveyor of canned reviews par excellence had not ‘violated’ any of Amazon’s rules and the review would stand. Quite a wakeup call for the author and all of us expecting that fairness would trump fraud.

I wonder if a well known author of a blockbuster best seller would have been brushed off and disregarded had they made the same complaint. What skin would have fallen off Amazon’s nose had they modified the review, ask Hattie to modify it or at least to remove the spoilers or just removed the entire review themselves. One less review wouldn’t change her stats .0001%. The author would have been satisfied and Harriet would just keep on keeping on. WIN/Win right? Apparently not in the eyes of the world’s biggest bookseller.

It’s hard to not wonder at this point if Harriet Klausner is an aka for Jeff Bezoz or his under educated secretary. Maybe she’s just a back woods relative his mother begged him to carve out a living for in his empire. She seems to have a coat of Teflon on her that makes her untouchable and unstoppable.

“This shouldn't happen. This kind of ‘reviewing’ is dishonest, it devalues all reader reviews and makes a mockery of the whole process.”

This quote condenses down into one simple sentence the entire reason I’m here.

Embee said...


I can tell you that some of these authors are well published and fairly well known. Many of them, though, are just breaking into the business; so, I found it very interesting that they criticized a reviewer who could indeed help them sell their books. I found them to be refreshingly full of integrity and character.

In fact, I've made a note to put their books on my lists of authors to check out and buy at least one book from. Their comments were articulate and well written; if that's any indication of their work, chances are that they're pretty good writers.

Anonymous said...

BRILLIANT work, Embee!! I was literally laughing out loud! THANK YOU for sharing it with us! It tickled my funny bone with their Klausnering-gags! Every single syllable rings true!

Harriet's crappy review to a book is like a smog to a city.Authors don't stand a chance against Harriet and her rabid, trained Bull Dogs aka Amazon. I feel bad for these authors though. I recall the author on that particular thread. Imagine working hard on a novel for an entire year; constructing the twists and turns and shocking relevation only to have Harriet spoil it in her standard 3 paragraph summary. I would be irate.

Embee, Beachmama: let's say it was a very famous author like Stephen King, do you think Amazon would have dismissed him as brusquely?

Beachmama: If I were Jeff Bezos, I'd take proper and meticulous measure in keeping my cover under wraps. OR I'd hire a cyborg that can spell, punctuate and produce real reviews. Harriet is a Spelling Bee disaster and an author's worst nightmare!

BTW: they finally replied with their standard spiel. They didn't even ADDRESS my issue!

Hello Sara,

Thanks for taking the time to send us your comments on changing our policy regarding review moderation to uphold the integrity of the review process. I have passed your message along to the team involved with future development of our Communities features. I know they will want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

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Our voting system monitors all votes for irregularities, including voting campaigns directed at other contributing customers or a specific product. If we find a biased vote,we choose not to count it. In cases where a customer has consistently voted on a reviewer's content, we count their overall opinion once to prevent ballot stuffing.

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Malleus said...

Interesting research, Embee... Apparently more authors are unhappy with Harriet's fake reviews than I thought! Well, it's good; I'm always glad to be proven wrong that way.

PS. I fixed up the post a bit, adding a heading. No material changes though, and I think you cleaned it up yourself a bit, thanks for that. Great job!

Dona said...

I have been thinking about the author's comments that I have seen. Great to collect them.
The LAST people we want to DIS are authors! I have real respect for anyone who can write & publish a book!

Does anyone know what publishers use her "services"?
I know Harlequin does .. a lot!

buck210 said...

Found another Author complaining about Fraud Hattie, in this one, she got the title of the book wrong:

"Ms. Klausner, for God's sake! I'd appreciate the 5-star rating more if I thought you'd actually read the book. The title is "..."."