I tried to re-open the Dear Author forum,
but am having technical difficulties. Instead, I’ll sticky this post for a week. I got the forum working but I had to start anew. I’ve had some inquiries about what people can do to in response to Amazon’s treatment of Reba Belle. The following is just a timeline followed by a list of contacts.
August 11, 2007: Reba Belle writes a three star review of In Her Bed by Deborah Anne MacGillivray in which she says “There it is, the voice of dissent. Sorry. I really wanted to like this book. I read book #1–twice.”
August 13, 2007, Deborah MacGillivray (hereinafter “DAM”) lectures Reba Bella about Reba’s opinion. DAM subsequently deletes the review, but it is viewable via Google Cache and saved by blogger, Karen Scott.
August 12-24, 2007, Reba Belle is subjected to abusive comments by DAM’s friends and fellow authors.
August 21, 2007, DAM writes to her Highland Press author group to “vote down this bitch please” and that
Well, thanks to XXXXXX our PI , we now have her name, her husband’s
name, her chidrens’ names, her grannies and great grannies name. Her
address phone number and email
lol – quite interesting.
August 21, 2007, Leanne Grant posts to the thread Read any BAD books lately on Amazon. This comment was deleted by I have it in hard copy.
I see you didn’t go ride your horse and chill. Stop attack authors,
especially the one you cannot recall or Amazon is going to shut you
down. You are dearly attacking someone whith Is against the forum N~S.
You clearly have a “problem”.
Whoa –Reba, you took down on your ‘horsa for sale ads” that have
your phone and address showing. Too late tot What next the family
tree page? You forgot the xxxx family he…XXX [Initials of Reba Belle removed]
August 2007- ? Reba Belle contacts Amazon over 50 times to report negative behavior of DAM and the constant removal of her three star review.
April 7, 2008 – Jane posts warnings about Highland Press from email tips she received. Evidence emerges that a group of authors manipulating Amazon reviews of books both by organizing campaigns of “clickies” to boost the rating of certain five-star reviews and reporting lower-star reviews as abusive. Another Highland Press author provides a copy of the previously mentioned email in which DAM allegedly brags about obtaining personal information of Reba Belle.
April __, 2008 Reba Belle responds by posting several copies of her posts on the Amazon board.
April 14, 2008 – Amazon deletes all of Reba Belle’s comments from the Amazon boards. It places her account in “bad standing.” She cannot post at Amazon nor can she upload reviews. She can, however, order products.
April 17, 2008 – Reba Belle finally receives an update from Amazon customer service indicating that her account will remain in bad standing and that maybe sometime in the future, she might be granted the privilege of posting again so long as she never brings this topic up.
April 17, 2008 – Dear Author sponsors an iPetition to have Reba’s rights restored and to ban DAM. (Please note that if you do digitally sign the petition that you do not have to donate any money. When that screen comes up, click away).
Other readers want to know what more they can do. I have compiled a list of email addresses provided by different commenters. Please add your own thoughts in the comments section.
You can write an email to email@example.com. This is the email address for Amazon’s Executive Customer Service Department.
The president of Deborah Anne MacGillivray’s publishing house is Steven Zacharius firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another reader posted a list “of mainstream media contacts if anyone wants to forward this story on to any of them. Lots of email addresses in there. There might not be tons of interest in little old nobody MacGillivray, but the whole Amazon voting/ratings fraud angle, with this as just one instance, might spark some interest.”
77 W. 66 St., New York, NY 10023
General e-mail: email@example.com
524 W. 57 St., New York, NY 10019
email for CBS news programs:
CBS Evening News: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Early Show: email@example.com
David Letterman: firstname.lastname@example.org
One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Fox News Channel
1211 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 301-3000
Fax: (212) 301-4229
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: email@example.com
NBC News Today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dateline NBC: email@example.com
One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Phone: (201) 583-5000
Fax: (201) 583-5453
1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Public Radio
635 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Web site: http://www.npr.org
Associated Press (AP),
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10020
251 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
Time & Life Building
New York, NY 10020
235 Pinelawn Rd.
Melville, NY 11747
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
The New York Post
1000 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22229
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20071
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, PA 19101
The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 2378
Boston, MA 02107
e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Boston Herald
One Herald Square
Boston, MA 02106
401 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
435 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Cleveland Plain Dealer
1801 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Dallas Morning News
P.O. Box 655237
Dallas, TX 75265
615 Lafayette Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, CA 90053
San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco Examiner
110 Fifth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
DAM also held a fundraising charity for deceased author Dawn Thompson. Some people are inquiring about the legitimacy of the fundraiser. DS provided some details as to how to go about finding out more information regarding this fundraiser:
Something quick about the charitable lottery.
DAM was in Kentucky- Here is the url to the Kentucky Office that oversees charitable gaming:
Leeann Burroughs and presumably Highland Press is in Florida. Here is the url to Florida laws.
This will get you to the complaint form for Florida:
Note that the statute finds that failure to comply with all of Florida statues regarding charitable gaming is a deceptive trade practice.
Dawn Thompson was in New York.
Here is New York’s Rules:
and here is an address of the overseeing authority:
New York Charitable Gaming
New York State Racing and Wagering Board
1 Watervliet Avenue Extension, Suite 2
Albany, NY 12206
Phone: (518) 453-8460
Here is where you can file a complaint.
The thing to remember is that the only people actually defrauded are the ones who sent money or the ones to whom the money was supposed to go. They are the ones with the standing to complain.