Harrogate / tossergate

Posted by on July 23rd, 2012

I got back from the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival yesterday. It was – as always – a brilliant weekend, so huge thanks and congratulations to the team organising it all behind the scenes, and especially to Mark Billingham, this year’s programming chair.

As usual, there was a fantastic friendly atmosphere. Catching up with old friends and meeting lots of lovely new people is as much a part of the festival experience as the excellent panels. Aside from that, I was there for two specific things: the announcement of the award on the Thursday evening, and the panel “Wanted for Murder: the Ebook” on Friday afternoon. Denise Mina won the award (and although I would have loved to win, it was very well-deserved and I was genuinely pleased for her). As to the latter … well you may have already heard. If not, this gives some indication of how heated it got. Stephen Leather has also posted his own feelings, which you can read here, and to which we will return shortly.

My impressions? The crowd reaction wasn’t quite as obvious from the stage as it must have been on the floor, but it certainly became more so as time went on. I was aware we were all knocking heads a little, but to be honest it was fairly hard for me to get a word in edgeways. At the time, it was slightly frustrating that the questions kept going to Stephen, but in hindsight it’s clear enough why. Nobody else on the panel could have argued against him quite as effectively as he managed himself.

Some specific points, with reference to Stephen’s blog post.

“Mark (Billingham) came over to me in the green room before the panel and had a quiet word with me. Basically there is a danger of the panels turning into a luvvie love-fest and he wanted me to take a view and be a tad confrontational if at all possible. He wanted the panel to be the talking point of the festival.  I’m never one to duck a good argument so I said I’d go for it.”

Well, this sounds suspiciously like someone ducking a good argument. Unless Stephen is claiming he does not hold the views he expressed on stage, and was stating them purely for effect, as per request, the point is an irrelevant one. Since he restates and expands upon a number of those views in his post, we can assume he does, and so whatever Mark said is beside the point.

“What surprised me was how the audience seemed so set against cheap eBooks.  Rather than taking my view that books are best sold at a price that readers find attractive, the general feeling of the audience seemed to be that books were already – as one man said – ‘cheap as chips’ while Norwegians had to pay £40 for one of Jo Nesbo’s books. When I explained that I had sold half a million eBooks last year, most of them for less than a quid, I was surprised to hear a few boos and hisses rather than the applause that I had expected.”

He can be as surprised as he wants, but yes, that did seem to be the general reaction. There were a great many readers there, so perhaps it seems counter-intuitive – Stephen presumably expects readers to want books as cheaply as possible – but then these were readers enthusiastic enough about crime writing to come and attend a festival. While there is certainly a legitimate discussion to be had around pricing (although loss leaders, lower prices for higher volumes, etc are neither rocket science in principle nor dependable in practice), the audience that day was far more likely to be affected by the bookseller Patrick Neale’s observation that customers in his shop these days will haggle over the cost of a book before purchasing a pack of postcards at a higher price than Stephen quoting his CV at them.

You might say he’s right though. The audience did feel books were best sold at a price they found attractive, and it’s just that their tastes were different from his.

In short, that and many of the points hinged on the concept of value. Stephen tended to concentrate on the money flowing towards him – the numbers shifted; the total money his work made – but another angle to consider is the value of the reading experience itself. The notion that ‘reading a novel shouldn’t cost less than buying a cup of coffee’ might well be romantic, but it is also intuitive, and not to be dismissed lightly. Similarly, people don’t like to picture bookshops and libraries disappearing. I think that Stephen, whatever the merits of his argument, found himself at odds with the audience, and that is not their fault.

Speaking of which:

“I’m used to being surrounded by people half my age but at Harrogate I felt like the young whippersnapper. The audience was predominantly female and elderly and they are of an age that still believes that books should be paid for.”

This is slightly ironic, considering he was sitting next to me and I was often disagreeing with him, but that’s by the by. Just to note that I find this a completely baffling analysis of the Harrogate demographic, and can only presume he had a very different festival experience from me.

“Mark (Lawson) turned to the conversation around to the cost of books and how much went to the publisher, and asked Ursula to justify why the publisher’s took the lion’s share … I tried to explain that with eBooks, an author with a large fan base can use fans to edit and proof-read.  Everyone seemed to think that meant I thought writers could do away with editors, and of course that’s not the case. But not every writer needs a hard edit, some writers need little more than proof-reading and fact-checking and that can be done through fans.”

As anyone who was present will know, this is a distinctly rose-tinted version of what was said. I think Stephen found himself trapped here, actually, and let an off-the-cuff comment fly, but that is a matter between the man and his publisher. By this point, it didn’t feel like he was being deliberately confrontational so much as continually putting his foot in his mouth and coming across badly. You could say the same thing about his use of ‘HMD’ in the reply to the article linked to above, or his patronising reference to fellow panellist Ursula Mackenzie as a “silly girl”. Or from his blogpost, this, about an agent tweeting him:

“I did think of tweeting to ask her if it was eBooks or salads that she was most afraid of, but I’m too much of a gentlemen.”

Leaving aside the fact that if you’re going to insult someone unnecessarily then it pays to at least be funny, the accidental use of the plural “gentlemen” there might cause anyone who was present to raise an amused eyebrow. Because nowhere in Stephen’s blogpost does he mention the moment on the panel that really caused the audience to gasp: his casual and unashamed admission that he uses sock puppet accounts to promote his work – creating fake online personas to engage with him, each other and other readers to build buzz and spread the word about his books. When I asked him if his readers knew these accounts were fake, he said no. He seemed totally oblivious that any of this might prove controversial, but it was what most people were talking about afterwards.

All in all, the panel felt surreal. It was a strange experience, as I certainly didn’t dislike Stephen – he was very amiable, with a lot of time for his fans at the signing – and I agreed with him on certain issues, such as DRM. The comment on piracy that prompted the “Tosser!” shout was badly worded and ill-advised, especially given the atmosphere, but I do understand the point he was attempting to make. Unfortunately, it came at the end of what had basically been a car crash of an event for him.

As a final note, I’ll return briefly to the comments I made earlier about value, and the different perspectives on it. Stephen seemed to concentrate on value in purely financial terms, and with his use of words like “punters” and “units” it was occasionally easy to forget we were talking about books at all. I’m sure he doesn’t really think like this, but it came across at times as though his readership was some kind of bovine factory farm that needed to be milked in the most efficient manner possible. At a festival full of passionate readers, the response to that was always going to be chilly. It is a business, of course – but to many writers, readers and publishers, books do mean considerably more than that. Conspicuous by its absence in the discussion was any passion whatsoever for storytelling and reading, even though it was precisely that passion that had brought the audience there in the first place.

What to do, though? The issues are so nuanced that in a live debate I imagine we’re always going to end up with more heat than light. But I also imagine these debates will happen more and more. If they’re anything like last Friday’s, then at least they’ll be enormously entertaining.

Anyway. Thanks to everyone who came to that – and, once again, to everyone at the festival. Great weekend. Let’s do it again next year, eh? Yes? Cool!

This entry was posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 4:29 pm and is filed under General, Rant, Stephen Leather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

45 Responses to “Harrogate / tossergate”

  1. David Hewson Says:

    Admitting to being a sock puppet means you are in breach of Amazon’s own guidelines which ban ‘Sentiments by or on behalf of a person, company or web site with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product (including reviews by authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the products)’
    It means lots else besides of course but I’m sure I don’t need to spell that out.

  2. Mike Cane Says:

    >>>is casual and unashamed admission that he uses sock puppet accounts to promote his work

    Oh god. MOAR fraud. Really, why do I continue to be surprised by this? I don’t know, maybe I’m just stupid and still expect merit or something like it (even low prices!) to win.

  3. Janet O'Kane Says:

    I’ve been hoping you’d feel able to post about that panel, Steve, so thank you for giving us your take on it.
    The hostility SL rapidly engendered in such an amiable audience was astonishing and something I’d never before experienced at a festival I’ve attended since its inception – or indeed any other.

  4. TOPcrime2012 | Cath Staincliffe Says:

    [...] buzz.  Other people have written eloquently about it – you can read a good account from Steve Mosby, also coverage on the welovethisbook website and from the controversial author at the heart of the [...]

  5. Sorted for ebooks and whizz | Pains, trains, and inkstains Says:

    [...] As you may have seen, one of the panels at Harrogate turned into a fascinating and controversial debate on the subject. Personally I thought this was great, as panels can sometimes be a little staid, though the discussion did become muddied with the question of self-publishing, which people sometimes forget is a different debate altogether. My thoughts are more about the actual issue of ebooks versus print books. My view: there is no issue. End of.  Both are reading, both are good for authors. Either way it goes towards my royalty payments. (You can read about the panel here http://www.theleftroom.co.uk/?p=1716) [...]

  6. Theakstons Crime Writing Festival 2012 – Wanted For Murder: The ebook #TOPcrime2012 « It's a crime! (Or a mystery…) Says:

    [...] can find more on this from Steve Mosby and at We Love This Book, as well as from Leather who has also written his own event post mortem [...]

  7. Stephen Leather Says:

    Just to be clear, you were the one who mentioned sock puppets! Do I always use my real name on forums? No, and neither do 90 per cent of posters. Sometimes is easier to talk to readers using just a name like Constant Reader or Bored Of Birmingham. Nothing wrong with that. I know of several successful writers who do the same. Personally I’d be happier if everyone who posted on a forum used their real name – it would get rid of the trolls. But it doesn’t do so pen names are just fine. I review books on Amazon under my own name (so you can relax, David Hewson) but there is nothing that says I have to. Was it a car crash? I thought it was good fun and I had 2,000+ visitors to my blog on Sunday. Did I put my foot in my mouth? Pretty much all the feedback I’m getting is supportive, but then I guess you are experiencing the same.

    I could see you were getting a bit upset that Mark Lawson was directing most of the questions at me, but there was a reason for that. Conflict makes good TV, which is where he’s from. Anyway, thanks for the mention, all publicity is good publicity and all that. I had a look at your eBook rankings. Bloody hell, your publisher is doing you no favours! Pity because you’ve a lot going for you and with the right advice you could be selling tens of thousands a month instead of a few hundred….

  8. Luca Says:

    Stephen…

    You stated you have had conversations on forums with yourself. Using different ids. To promote your books.

    You said that.

    Do your readers know you do this?

  9. stevemosby Says:

    The Left Room will shortly be closing. I’m a broken man.

  10. Gordon Harries Says:

    Stephen,

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that you’d be “happier if everyone who posted on a forum used their real name – it would get rid of the trolls.” And then admit that you use fake names to generate publicity and do so by suggesting that there’s nothing wrong with this because up to 90 % of posters do the same. (is that statistic in anyway verifiable? Or are we just making up percentages here?)

    Mark Lawson is the primary presenter of Front Row, the radio 4 arts show and his one TV presenting gig (that I’m aware of) is a one on one interview show that lasts for an hour. Neither experience is a hotbed of conflict.

    In point of fact, the only person interested in conflict here appears to be you. Why else whould you come to a fellow author’s webpage. Suggest that his problems with what happened were do to his being ignored by the moderator and slight his eBook rankings?

  11. Stephen Leather Says:

    Get a grip, Gordon. Steve made his comments, I have the right to reply, surely? If you want to pick a fight with me, come over to my blog and do it there rather than clutter this discussion. Luca, yes, I often talk to myself. It’s very enlightening. And again, if you want to talk to me it’s a bit rude to use Steve’s blog. Oh, I forget to say last time that despite what Steve says I’m almost certain that I didn’t say ‘punter’. It’s really not in my vocabulary and never has been. I can’t remember saying it. Ditto units. Readers are my lifeblood and I would never refer to my readers as punters. Books are my life and I don’t think I would ever refer to them as units. Maybe if I was discussing royalties because then it’s a technical term. But most definitely I write books for readers to read, end of. Okay, I’m done. If anyone wants to chat about eBooks then I’m always on Facebook or you can email me direct. :-)

  12. Angela Says:

    Stephen- alas you did use the word punter. Definitely.

  13. The ebook pricing debate gets heated in the U.K. | Ebooks on Crack Says:

    [...] naive agent of the Department of Justice to end up in the line of fire. Author Steve Mosby reports back from the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, held this past weekend, where [...]

  14. Alison Gray Says:

    These things stood out for me:

    Fear of change, new technologies and loss of control. Almost the very first thing said was ‘Yes Ebooks are an obstacle.’ Why? Would it ever have been said when paperbacks came into being?
    Personal responsibility in reader and accountability in writer. Readers must be discerning and make their own minds up about someone’s writing. Writers must not misrepresent themselves.
    Protection of rights – marketing is a necessary evil but piracy is always wrong.

  15. Wither and Where? | Write Edit Seek Literary Agent Says:

    [...] Meantime, if you want spicier fare, then do check out the Billingham In Tosser-gate Shock incident at Harrogate here or here. [...]

  16. iucounu Says:

    Stephen, if you’ve shown up under a pseudonym online to promote your books, or reviewed your own books on Amazon, say, then that’s sleazy and possibly even illegal. Are you able to confirm that wasn’t what you meant?

    I entirely support your right to have anonymous conversations online, but if you have an interest, you have to declare it.

  17. Ramsey Campbell Says:

    “Do I always use my real name on forums? No, and neither do 90 per cent of posters. Sometimes is easier to talk to readers using just a name like Constant Reader or Bored Of Birmingham. Nothing wrong with that. I know of several successful writers who do the same.”

    Why, and why? I don’t see the need myself.

  18. Arlene Says:

    Thank you for this piece, very fair and balanced.

  19. stevemosby Says:

    Cheers for the comments everyone.

    Ramsey – yes, it is mysterious, isn’t it? In what circumstances would it be easier to talk to readers while pretending to be someone else?

    The obvious answer (via Jeremy Duns) would be something like this – although since I’m 100% sure that’s not what Stephen means it will probably remain baffling.

  20. Sandra Ruttan Says:

    It’s not necessarily what you say on a panel – it’s how you say it. Stephen may have added a little edge or tone or sass to his comments in light of being asked to amp it up. I’m not defending his marketing choices but I really am shocked by how people were acting at this panel.

    In my opinion, authors heckling other authors from the audience is uncalled for. If the people on that panel had been darlings of our genre, there would be post after post lashing into people for being so rude. This topic could have been a venue for a thought-provoking panel that covered a lot of ground on all sides and made people think. Instead, it made people irate. And so it goes on online.

    I held off making my first book available through Kindle for a long time because of reservations about how e-publishing was giving rise to the self-publishing of a lot of garbage. Now, SC had been previously published, so it wasn’t strictly a self-publishing effort. That book made more money last year than my next two books combined did from the NY publisher who signed them. It isn’t just about money, though; it’s about readers. The book has reached more people through this venue than it did previously in hardcover.

    I’ve started reading more straight-to-kindle books by “independents” as well as e-books by authors who’ve previously had traditional publishing contracts. In the end, I conclude that some are very well written and worthy reads, and some are not my cuppa, and some are pure crap I give up on early in.

    However, a lot of ARCs still flow through our doors here, and from what’s being traditionally published, I also find a lot of books very well written, and worthy reads, others not my cuppa, and others that are pure crap that leave me wondering what the hell the editor was thinking and how the book got a deal.

    Quality is quality, no matter who publishes it. To assume that because a book didn’t get a traditional deal – at a time when the industry has been pounded, when money is tighter than ever, when fewer books are getting contracts and editors are able to take fewer chances with less commercial books – it is simply because it’s not good is the height of arrogance.

    I’d bet the people suggesting so haven’t read even a half dozen ‘independent’ publications in the last year to base an opinion on. Sure, there was The Greek Seaman debacle. But there are other books that have been very favorably reviewed that were released as e-books – pretty well every title Snubnose has, for example, and then there’s Black Heath. And on the traditional side, all I need to say to anyone who suggests traditional publishing is the sole gatekeeper of quality writing is 50 Shades of Gray. That was picked up and published, not because it was stellar writing (because the writing is pretty clearly crap) but because it could sell, period.

  21. stevemosby Says:

    Sandra –

    Thanks for that. I think those comments are fair, although I would disagree on some points.

    Away from a proper computer, I’ll just say that I’ve actually written very little here about my feelings and opinions on the issues raised. (And nobody there disparaged self-publishing on a quality level). The fact remains that Stephen received a strong reaction from the audience that day, and this post is my attempt to explain why that might have been, based on my impressions of the things he said and the ways he said them. He has his own explanations for his reception – for example, that the crowd was predominantly elderly and female – and while I completely disagree, that’s fine. If I was irate, it would be much more obvious.

  22. Miashin Says:

    Did the admittance to sockpuppeting come before or after he talked of his e-book sales? I can understand why the audience would boo his profits if he had already admitted to gaming the system?

  23. Ramsey Campbell Says:

    “And on the traditional side, all I need to say to anyone who suggests traditional publishing is the sole gatekeeper of quality writing is 50 Shades of Gray. That was picked up and published, not because it was stellar writing (because the writing is pretty clearly crap) but because it could sell, period.”

    Forgive me – I’ve reread this several times. Is it meant ironically? A piece of writing that is “pretty clearly crap” disproves that “traditional publishing is the sole gatekeeper of quality writing”? How?

  24. Ursula Mackenzie Says:

    In the interests of accuracy, I would like to point out that I did not make the comment about Stephen writing for 5p a day, it was shouted out by a member of the audience.

  25. stevemosby Says:

    Ursula – thanks for that. I hadn’t mentioned this before, as it seemed a minor point and others seemed convinced, but I was fairly sure that it was Mark Lawson who said it, and obviously as a joke.

  26. stevemosby Says:

    Miashin – no the sock puppet comments came close to the end. To the point that I was going to ask if he used them to leave reviews too, but didn’t get the chance. As he’s indicated here, the answer would have been no.

  27. Sandra Ruttan Says:

    Sorry Steve, to clarify, I don’t think you’re irate. You were on the panel, and certainly your take and view is relevant to the ongoing discussion, but all you need to do is look at the volume of posts, and some are quite critical and borderline attacks. I didn’t go look up any posts about Harrogate until the fall-out from this panel found its way onto my radar screen, and then I did a little looking and found out just how many posts were about this panel.

    For whatever happened there, the sad reality is that to those who weren’t present, the volume of online commentary, and nature of most of it, has made it look ugly and it’s the first time I’ve ever been truly glad, even grateful, that I wasn’t at Harrogate. Since it’s long been my favorite of all the festivals or conventions, it may feel worse to me than it does to others – sort of like the death of something I really valued. You can generate controversy and lively debate without generating animosity, and a good moderator can guide the topic that way.

    What absolutely baffles me is… never mind. I’m going to keep it to myself, other than to say it seems to me like Stephen was set up to be attacked, and I find that possibility shameful.

  28. Mike Cane Says:

    @Stephen Leather: Is this one of your sock puppet Twitter accounts?
    https://twitter.com/firstparagraph

  29. stevemosby Says:

    Sandra –

    I understand where you’re coming from. Yes, I’ve certainly seen a lot of the commentary. But it would be a shame if you fell out of love with Harrogate as a result. So just a few quick-ish points:

    1. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of near-riot from some of the coverage, but things get exaggerated. I’d say it was more of a very lively panel with a good atmosphere in the crowd. Aside from the “tosser” shout (which I actually didn’t hear), nobody insulted anyone, nobody lost their temper, nobody shouted and screamed. Although there was a lot of disagreement, it was mostly passionate rather than outright hostile. There were laughs and groans and intakes of breath from the crowd. The reports have focused heavily on Mark and Laura’s contributions, but these came in the “questions and comments” period at the end, after both of them had waited for the mic and their turn to speak, just as other audience members did. People had strong feelings. If you’d been there, you would have had too. But I think most people came out thinking “that was really good” rather than “Jesus, how uncomfortable and terrible”.

    2. Stephen did get the worst of it, yes. But I don’t believe for one second he was set up to be attacked. He came out (and was actually very calm in his manner) and said the things he said. He believes those things. There is absolutely no reason to feel sorry for him. As he says above, he thought it was good. I suspect, if he was entirely honest, he would rather not have insulted his publisher, but that was where his own argument led him. And I imagine, whatever he says, he’s kicking himself over the sock puppet admission. (If he’s not, he really should be – and I suspect will be). But at no point did I sense him acting up; in fact, he was far more restrained than I’ve read him being in the past.

    3. The discussion was slightly loaded, but how can you avoid it? This was a discussion about Ebooks, not self-publishing. So they had authors who were nominally pro- and anti-, a bookseller, an agent, and a publisher. Five is already a crowded stage. Those are all voices that merited inclusion. I think that if the four of us had been perceived as picking on Stephen, the crowd would have been with him. The fact they weren’t might tell you something.

    4. And yeah, like I said, heat without much light in terms of the issues. But it’s tough to make work live, and congratulations to the panel you saw that did. The problem is that a lot of this stuff is very dry. It’s far more useful to have discussions like this, I’d say, than expect a live audience to take in the jargon and maths behind the agency and the wholesale models, as an example.

  30. stevemosby Says:

    I would also add – and it annoyed me immensely, so I make no apologies for doing so – that Stephen is not necessarily a man who judges the context in which he says things very well:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2A2NVGYKOP40F/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B006SMHFTI&nodeID=341677031&store=digital-text#wasThisHelpful

  31. Ramsey Campbell Says:

    That’s a remarkably restrained way of describing his behaviour there!

  32. Ramsey Campbell Says:

    I’m not sure if this comment of Mr Leather’s on Amazon (on 25 January 2012) is relevant to the larger discussion: “Most self-published eBooks read like they’ve been written by amateurs.”

  33. stevemosby Says:

    Ramsey – yes, it’s fair to say that I’m being very restrained. :-)

  34. Molly Seddon Says:

    With an apparently unfriendly audience of 600 strong, plus links from other blogs with opposing opinions, strangely no one has posted any negative comments on Stephen Leather’s Harrogate blog post. Not one. And who said censorship was dead?

  35. Heated Debate at The Harrowgate Crime Writing Festival — Speakeasy Says:

    [...] around Stephen Leather, the other author on the panel, Stephen Mosby’s post, has expresses his own frustration with the experience. Chief among them were the inability to get a word in edgewise, the tendency for questions to be [...]

  36. Social media scamsters | Freeex Blog Says:

    [...] Author Steve Mosby’s blog, in which he discusses Stephen Leather’s statements about using Intern… Article source: http://www.salon.com/2012/08/09/social_media_scamsters/ community, social, social network [...]

  37. Difficult Listening Says:

    I see that the Wikipedia page for Stephen Leather was protected by admins last night. It seems that editor “Sagacious Phil”, along with several IP addresses in Bangkok, have been repeatedly deleting the brief mention of Harrogate / tossergate from his article: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stephen_Leather&action=history. Phil hasn’t made many edits since joining Wikipedia, but this month has suddenly started taking a keen interest in the Stephen Leather article. He makes an impassioned plea for “a balanced view” at the talk page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Stephen_Leather.

  38. A brief glimpse into publishing’s dark side | David Hewson•com Says:

    [...] revealed the sock puppet nonsense (to those of us who weren’t at Harrogate) in a very measured blog post here. Jeremy then set about some serious and dedicated sleuthing. Most of the results you will find on [...]

  39. “How I sold one million e-books…” revisited | Pegasus Pulp Says:

    [...] to have used sockpuppets to review his own books (which is also frowned upon). Steve Mosby has more here, here and [...]

  40. Faked Amazon Reviews Article on Forbes | Amazon Associates Training Says:

    [...] promote his own books. This admission of sockpuppetry shocked the writing community and has been covered well by fellow panellist Steve [...]

  41. Self Publishing, Lies, and Fake Amazon Reviews | Best Fantasy Books Blog Says:

    [...] that a number of them likely have paid for or written fake reviews.  In fact, here’s one successful mystery author who openly admitted to using fake sock puppet accounts to publish fake…. And when it comes down it, it’s hard to resist the lure of cold hard cash in exchange for [...]

  42. Hit ‘em where it hurts | Reactions to Reading Says:

    [...] not going into details here but you can read a Telegraph (UK) article or this blog post or this one to learn that among the admitted culprits are Stephen Leather, R.J. Ellory and [...]

  43. The sock puppet letter: sorting myth from fact | David Hewson•com Says:

    [...] Leather kicked off this whole thing by admitting he used sock puppets at Harrogate in July. Here is Steve Mosby writing about it on July [...]

  44. This ain’t no witch hunt | Pegasus Pulp Says:

    [...] they’re all talking about. The closest this affair has come to an actual witchhunt was when Stephen Leather was booed by the audience at the crime writing festival in Harrogate and that was less because of his sockpuppeting practices (though he revealed them in the course of [...]

  45. http://tinyurl.com/chriwade05998 Says:

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