Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To Act or Not to Act That Was the Question

I got a one star review on Amazon which was quite a shock especially after I read it. Here it is:

"Unfortunately, the readers of this book may believe Karen Maslow has diligently researched the history of the quilts contained in her book. As the family historian of one of the families who once possessed one of the quilts referenced in Maslow's book I have to disagree. Ms. Maslow references several on line postings I made about the family of the quilter, but never once contacted me. My email address is still associated with the posts so there is no excuse for the lack of contact. I am also in contact with the individual referenced who inherited the quilt Ms. Maslow writes about. Ms. Maslow never contacted the individual who is the former owner of the quilt.

Instead Ms. Maslow references a very distant relative who has no direct knowledge of the family and who has never corresponded with the individuals involved. The distant relative appears to have made up her own story about the family and its quilt. Ms. Maslow needs to do her own research and her own fact checking or the very least contact direct descendants and not depend upon distant relations who come up with a story to satisfy their own romantic views.

I bet our family's quilt is not the only one that has not been fact checked.

I urge Ms. Maslow not to perpetuate the myths contained in her book and to fact check every one of her stories with family members who know more about the individuals involved than a very distant relative, who is not a direct descendant. At the very least this should be done so that myths do not replace facts."

I consulted a couple of friends who advised me to "just let it go" and "these kind of things happen." Well, I tried to let it go. I knew there was a risk if I contacted the person, but the review bothered me on some many levels. First, the reviewer didn't even have my name correct. Next I wasn't convinced the person had actually read the book. I never referenced the reviewer's online postings about the quilt in my book nor could I find any.  In reality, I had debunked the story being told about the quilt in my book even though the present owner worried that I would upset family members. I do believe strongly we are all served when romanticized stories are replaced with facts and have dedicated my life to that end. I am thankful the reviewer used her real name because I was able to track her down and decided to call her because I was truly perplexed by her review. She was "shocked" that I had reached out to her. We had a pleasant conversations and she removed the bad review while on the phone. During our conversation, I was able to confirm that she had never read my book or the essay she was referencing in her review. She simply assumed because I had not talked with her, I had simply retold what was on the web about the quilt.  I never got an apology, but, then again, I wasn't expecting one either. I am glad I went with my gut and reached out to the reviewer. And once again, I am amazed at what people do and how having a dialogue can change everything.

9 comments:

  1. Karen...It is so great that you made the contact, imho, and that you were able to diffuse an unpleasant situation. It interests me that the woman's comments of a negative nature did not need to be vetted by the folks at Amazon. Loose tongues get published without substantive support for their words, not a good thin.
    I smiled a huge smile as I read your steps to clear the air and was proud to be your friend!
    Namaste,
    Kristin

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  2. Kristin, As always you are so kind. P;ease know that I value you as a person too. I have learned that we all want to be valued and heard so this is how I approached this situation. Hugs, Karen

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  3. Good for you! I know how hard that must have been but it's something that would have bothered you forever. Glad the resolution was positive!

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    1. Kathy, You know me well. LOL Hugs, Karen

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  4. I am shocked by people every day. But this one sure takes the cake.. I am so glad that you were able to reach her and that her comments were removed. To write something that effects one's integrity with out even reading a book is beyond comprehension.
    Your book is wonderful, and knowing you,lots of research went into it.. Your book should have all wonderful Stars, keep shining, Hugs, vivian

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    1. I wish I weren't shocked by people every day. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs, Karen

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  5. Karen - I am always surprised at what lengths people will go to hurt another person. I can't help to wonder how unhappy this person must be. Your strength to work through it all is admirable. I can't wait until the library notifies me that it is my turn to check out your book.

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    1. Diane, I think you definitely hit the nail on the head. She is unhappy. But also she wants to be heard. I think she also does not understand that the person who wrote the "romantic story" meant no harm. Hugs, Karen

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  6. Congratulations! Resolution can be quite tricky. And what a good role model you are for how we should all respond to this kind of situation. I'm proud of you!

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Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.