Saturday, April 28, 2018

First Round to Patrick Rothfuss, Who Knew Being a Children's Book Writer Was So Fraught with Peril

It's no secret Patrick Rothfuss and I are both from Wisconsin or that we knew each other as "kids" or that I live in Washington state where Rothfuss did his graduate studies. What's not so well known are the lengths Rothfuss and persons associated with him have gone to to try to push my fantasy novels down while propping Rothfuss's up. 

Fifteen years into this, I can hardly believe it's still going on. That every day Rothfuss Adjacent persons "work" the search engines to ensure the anti-Stanek sites and pages they created appear high in the search results on Google, Yahoo, beyond then subsequently prop up their pro-Rothfuss sites and pages. That every day these persons do similar work to push down my status while pushing up Rothfuss. As a computer expert with over 20 years as one of the world's leading technologists, it's easy enough to see this handiwork and identify the sources.

It's almost as if it's these persons' full time job--because it pretty much is and has been since at least 2007. Since Rothfuss got friends to take down the Robert Stanek wiki page and post a full ready-to-go Rothfuss wiki page on 8 May 2007. I guess when you have friends who are Wiki editors and fantasy bloggers you, your brother, your "wife", can do whatever you want to whomever you want without fear of repurcussion.

I guess if your book was a book written for adults that had special appeal to young adults (the Alex awards criteria) you'd be glad if your book wasn't one that could have possibly competed against Rothfuss in 2008. If your  book had, you might have been the one on the receiving end instead of me (or alongside me). Things with Rothfuss kind of go llike that. My first fantasy work was published in 2002--the year Rothfuss won his writers of the future award, the L Ron Hubard contest, meanwhile Rothfuss spent the next four years trying to get published while my Keeper Martin (adult) and Kingdoms and the Elves (YA versions of the same) books climbed the bestseller charts. Amazon SciFi/Fantasy Top 50, 26 weeks, Audible #1 Fiction, 12 weeks. Audible #1 Kids & YA, 20 weeks. Audible Kids & YA Top 10, 180 weeks.

That had to kind of really suck for Patrick Rothfuss (and those close to him who were eager for his success). But unlike normal people who would have focused on something positive, these folks focused on lashing out at those who were doing and achieving what Rothfuss couldn't at the time. Then instead of moving on when Rothfuss finally got his work published, they continued to lash out. Like when Rothfuss/Adjacents told friends/fans/followers in an official entry in the Rothfuss blog and then in an official entry on the Rothfuss facebook page that I was a self-published fraud and asked them to trash my books and flood my book review pages with negative reviews.

Odd considering I had been a successful, bestselling author since 1995. Odd because I had over 100 books to my credit at the time. Odder still because not only had those many, many books been read by millions but they were also published/distributed by some of the most highly regarded publishers of the day: Macmillan, Pearson, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Time Warner and others.

In the age of Trump, Rothfuss's kind of fake news might not have taken on a life of its own. But a decade ago when this kind of news came from an otherwise trusted source like Patrick Rothfuss, people listened and didn't question or bother to check the facts.

With GRRM and JK Rowling becoming  billionaires, it doesn't take a genius to figure out why so much time and effort has been spent to harm fun, family-friendly books like "Keeper Martin's Tale" and "Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches". All I can do is urge you to read the  books for yourself and decide whether they are for you. Read the books if for no other reason that certain parties have spent thousands of hours trying to get you not to.

Thanks for reading, I’m William Robert Stanek, Microsoft’s #1 author for nearly 20 years, and author of over 250 topselling books.