Need Advice about Book Adaptation

I recently completed a script for one of my self-published books. I sent it through some screening processes, and after following some recommended changes I began getting good feedback on it with promising results. I began to enter it into some contests and am doing research on how to query it off to people. Then a nightmare hit me... on my books on Amazon someone started a smear campaign defaming my character using "reviews" to leave slanderous comments about me. In one day alone, twenty 1 star reviews popped up on one of my books with horrific lies about me. On another book, I went from a 4.8 star rating to a 2 star rating. I've sent mass emails out to everyone and anyone, but Amazon's wheels are painfully slow in dealing with this.

So, my question for you folks is how do I handle my script that is a book adaptation while this is going on with my books on Amazon? Should I take off this part on the title page - "Based on my novel.... "? Should, or can I even, use a pen name on my scripts so while I'm sending out to contests and other people in the industry they don't connect me to the defamation occurring on Amazon?
 

robotkubo

Member
Maybe just wait until Amazon deals with these fake reviews? I wouldn't take the "Based on novel" part out. and I'm not entirely sure since I'm not actually in the industry, but I have heard of people submitting scripts under pen names.
 
Thank you for feedback. I've thought about waiting, but I don't know how long it will take for Amazon to deal with this and now that it's happened I'm worried for more. I can't imagine where this came from, if it's a sort of hack or spam or what, but it's vicious and very slanderous. So, I'm trying now to be proactive.

People have told me that's why I should have used a pen name for my books. That way if you ever make someone angry that can't find your product and slander you on it. But I was optimistic - "I don't have any enemies. What could people do?"

While this nightmare goes on with my books, I don't want my script linked to it. But it's a full adaptation of one of my novels and I don't know how it works - if I can separate the two when marketing my script.
 

robotkubo

Member
Thank you for feedback. I've thought about waiting, but I don't know how long it will take for Amazon to deal with this and now that it's happened I'm worried for more. I can't imagine where this came from, if it's a sort of hack or spam or what, but it's vicious and very slanderous. So, I'm trying now to be proactive.

People have told me that's why I should have used a pen name for my books. That way if you ever make someone angry that can't find your product and slander you on it. But I was optimistic - "I don't have any enemies. What could people do?"

While this nightmare goes on with my books, I don't want my script linked to it. But it's a full adaptation of one of my novels and I don't know how it works - if I can separate the two when marketing my script.
I've heard from many people that Amazon does have a problem with bots leaving bad reviews but if they are a bot and not just some random guy you made upset. doesn't it say on the review if they own the product or not? I mean if someone is just constantly buying your book to leave a bad review, I can't see that lasting.
 
I've heard from many people that Amazon does have a problem with bots leaving bad reviews but if they are a bot and not just some random guy you made upset. doesn't it say on the review if they own the product or not? I mean if someone is just constantly buying your book to leave a bad review, I can't see that lasting.
None of those reviews are "verified purchases" and some don't even reference the book, it's just a slanderous comment about me. I'm a college instructor and maybe I made a student quite angry for not changing a grade, I don't know who I could have made this upset. I can't imagine these "reviews" would stay but it's been 3 days and they aren't gone and more fake ones pop up.

Now I'm trying to save my script from the same slander. I want to have a fair chance at having my script looked at without people in the industry seeing this unknown writer has a smear campaign on him and then pass over my script.

One professional who read my script weeks ago gave me feedback saying that doing a book adaptation is hard, but if you do it right it'll play out in your favor because there's a book that holds detail and more answers to the story is played out on the screen and people will want to know it. So, I felt great about it... now with this slander on my books not so much.
 

robotkubo

Member
None of those reviews are "verified purchases" and some don't even reference the book, it's just a slanderous comment about me. I'm a college instructor and maybe I made a student quite angry for not changing a grade, I don't know who I could have made this upset. I can't imagine these "reviews" would stay but it's been 3 days and they aren't gone and more fake ones pop up.

Now I'm trying to save my script from the same slander. I want to have a fair chance at having my script looked at without people in the industry seeing this unknown writer has a smear campaign on him and then pass over my script.

One professional who read my script weeks ago gave me feedback saying that doing a book adaptation is hard, but if you do it right it'll play out in your favor because there's a book that holds detail and more answers to the story is played out on the screen and people will want to know it. So, I felt great about it... now with this slander on my books not so much.
I'm not sure what these "reviews" are saying, but if they are a direct personal attack and don't even have to do with the book amazon will 100% remove them. https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201929730

especially since they aren't verified purchases, how long is hard to tell. I can't really help anymore then that. It really sucks but I'm sure a producer would look past it. Goodluck! :thumbsup:
 
Something similar happened to a friend. Someone enlisted others to leave terrible comments about her. She notified Amazon. It took a while, but they were eventually removed.
 

jax_rox

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Sorry to hear about your review situation. As for your script I don’t think it affects it at all. Your script will be judged on the quality of it, not the quality of the book. You could write a fantastic script based on a terrible book, or a terrible script based on a great book.

If you’re meaning you want to pitch the project and use the Amazon reviews of the book in your pitch (perhaps as a ‘built-in fan base’ type pitch) then I’d wait for the reviews to be removed.
 
Do whatever you can to get Amazon to remove these reviews, but don't worry too much about the effect on your reputation. It's common knowledge now that most Amazon ratings aren't worth anything - apart from paid-for fake reviews and those generated by bots, Amazon themselves are guilty of bundling reviews together for items that have only the vaguest connection to each other.
 
You might want to look at other listings in your category to see if anyone else is receiving the same treatment, then look at listings that do not. It may be that someone who stands to profit by defaming others is behind the attacks.

It might be possible that the worse your (false) notoriety, the more sales you will get. You might want to contribute to the calumny.

Considering that event I would use a nom-de-plume. You can also change the name of the book and relist it in another venue or change your marketing method.

I have never gone that route. I would write the script directly as the main work, send it to at least one critique service, then market it.
 
Thanks everyone for your feedback and support! Around May, Amazon finally removed a good portion of them but only the ones that slandered my character. They kept the remaining 1 star reviews that trashed the book, even making claims I needed an editor which an editor is listed in the book so I felt bad for him that he got dragged into it. Since all this happened I played around with noting the script is a book adaption versus leaving it off and I noticed when I sent my script out to places noting it was a book adaption, my eBook sales went up. Perhaps they ignored the reviews and wanted to see the book vs. the script for themselves.

One of the bad things about Amazon is the self published author doesn't have control of their product. Meaning you can't just take your product off the market and then it disappears from the site. You can take it off the "market" on your end but 3rd party people will claim they have your item and so Amazon keeps it all posted. When I first began writing, I was such an amateur about things. I didn't use an editor and just got excited I wrote a book and posted it on Amazon. People gave their valid constructive criticism on it. I only had it listed for about 6 months before I took it off the market so I could revamp everything and go about it as a more professional writer. For 5 years that book has remained on Amazon even though I have it off the market. Some of the people who trashed the book for the screenplay I've done also went to that old book from 5 years ago and claimed they read that as well and it was just as horrible. But there isn't a chance they read that book because it isn't available.

I wish I would have used a pen name from the get-go.
 

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