Part Eight: A Very Stanek 2012


Overall, Robert Stanek was pretty quiet in the year 2012. There were a few updates here and there, but really, the only notable thing that happened was that Amazon deleted all of Robert Stanek’s reviews.

Which, come to think of it, was actually rather notable. Why would a company like just delete every single one of Robert Stanek’s reviews for all of his books (books written as William Stanek escaped the purge)? Why would any company do that? After all, reviews help sell books, and Stanek’s books had a lot of positive reviews, therefore it would logically seem to be in a company’s best interest to keep those reviews there. Obviously, if Amazon sells Stanek’s books, they get a cut of the profits. So why would they delete all of Stanek’s reviews?

Really, the only reason I could think of is if they had some sort of incontrovertible evidence that maybe  Robert Stanek had written almost all of the 5-star reviews himself – and decided to delete all of his reviews.



At least now Robert doesn’t have to live with the ignominy of having the most helpful review on his book being a 1-star review warning people against all the good reviews on Amazon. Which, for a beloved best-selling author with hundreds of thousands of fans, must be quite embarrassing.  Although perhaps not quite as embarassing as having a permanent spam warning on his page on LibraryThing.

Although Stanek really doesn’t seem to have much of a problem embarrassing himself in public. In September 2012, Stanek decided to endear himself to thousands of people by politely responding to someone mentioned him.


Aside from being unable to spell the word “fuck”, Stanek seems to be laboring under the delusion that Victoria Strauss is the author of this website. While flattering, this is not the case.

Or maybe he believes that Victoria Strauss and Josh Vogt write this site together in their spare time, along with the league of evil shadows who decided at some point to dedicate hundreds of hours and thousands of fake sockpuppet accounts to torment Stanek all across the internets.

He also spent some time promoting himself on Facebook:

Okay. So apparently his book has spent 14 consecutive weeks as the #1 Fiction bestseller on Or does he mean it’s currently the #1 Fiction bestseller on Audible? Well, two minutes of research tells us it’s not currently on Audible’s bestseller list. Complicating matters is the fact that Audible doesn’t actually have a Fiction bestseller list. They have a bestseller list which I just linked to, which combines both nonfiction and fiction. I guess if you go over to the Fiction section and choose to sort it by bestselling, that’s sort of a list, but not really. Nor do I see anything by Robert Stanek in the top twenty entries.

Stanek also claims that his books have spent 182 weeks of Audible’s Top 10 Kids & Young Adult. This is pretty amazing because Audible doesn’t have a Top 10 Kids & Young Adult List. I mean, they do have a Kids list, and also a Teen list, although Stanek’s books don’t appear on either. It almost feels like he’s making up random shit for his books to appear on that don’t actually exist so they’re impossible for anyone to verify. Although I’m certain that a fine, upstanding gentleman such as Robert Stanek would never stoop to such levels.


  29 Responses to “Part Eight: A Very Stanek 2012”

  1. Glad to see the guy’s still going. Has he discovered Conjugal Felicity and your wonderful breakdown of his shenanigans, by chance?

  2. Ah, Stanek. You never fail to entertain.
    At this point, he’s just like a cornered animal, trying to squirm away from the truth by alternating rage and self-pity. It’s kind of sad, really, as his fictional empire’s falling down around him. Maybe he feels like Napoleon, exiled on Elba, except Elba is his desk and the water separating him from freedom is the fact that everybody knows he’s a talentless hack.

  3. Stanek had absolutely no idea who he was dealing with when he took on Strauss, did he? She runs Writer Beware, which is a pretty prominent site in author education and one of the best places to hear about incredibly shady publishing channels. I’m sure she could squash Stanek like a bug, but the damage Stanek does is mostly limited to readers who get suckered into buying his books, not authors. No writer with a half a brain would look at Stanek’s methods of operation and thing “gee golly, I bet this guy sells a lot of books with these tricks, I’ve got to try these techniques myself”.

  4. The great thing about this latest explosion is that, had he just ignored the comment Strauss made, it would have been completely forgotten a few tweets later. By chucking his poorly-spelled hissyfit, a whole host of new people have been introduced to the bewildering insanity that is Robert Stanek’s career. He really is his own worst enemy.

  5. You really have to hand it to the guy: his balls are the finest brazen ones that self-delusion can afford. Where others might eventually cry off the game and start again, he doubles down. Always. That exchange on September 4 was classic Stanek: whine, deflect, play the victim, rinse, repeat. And all for what? I’d be surprised if he’s ever made more than three figures on his “Ruin Mist” scam in any given month. It seems to be recognition he wants most. Hence the made-up reviews, fans, websites, blogs, interviews, awards, translations, and on and on. The energy he’s devoted to this house of cards is astonishing. As is his evident surprise that anyone would object. “Success” seems to be his god, success at any cost.

    He’s obviously very uncomfortable with himself at some level. Note how many of his pictures show him with hands clasped awkwardly in front of his genitals, as if he were afraid he might have forgotten to do up his zipper. People who read body language will know what that signifies.

    In poking around the web for obscure Stanek stuff, I stumbled across him on something that calls itself the “Military Writers Society of America”, where he has his own forlorn little page. He just recently joined – in fact, the page was last updated on September 6, two days after his classless performance on Twitter.

    There’s even one of those hand-clasping pictures, typically (for him) a family snapshot next to a Christmas tree. I’ve never seen a professional-looking headshot of him, or anything else that would indicate familiarity with customary promotion standards. Just cheesy color snaps with cluttered backgrounds or a vintage car or something extraneous like that. One wonders what his fellow military writers will make of him if they investigate his Google record a bit.

    Most hilarious is when you start to see how he uses the same made-up stuff over and over again. His first-person interviews morph into third-person biographies, and back, and you can find one of them (where he talks about, so help me, the “old schoolhouse” of his childhood, and, no, really, Bible camp!) used multiple times, each with a different so-called interviewer asking the supposed questions. Even an indefatigable fraud like Stanek has only limited time and energy, it seems, and one cliché-ridden text must be made to serve many masters. Examples:

    (to cite just a few)

    Also striking is the way he seems to have no authentic voice, aside from these moments when he bursts out with the misspelled f-bomb. (That “misspelling” is instructive in its own right: people like Stanek often seem to think that dodging the curse by writing “fuk” instead of “fuck” somehow makes them less crass. He does the same thing when he writes “a-hole” instead of “asshole”. What an asshole.) What I mean by that is, you get the sense he’s always reaching for what he thinks people want to hear. Showy patriotism, trite sentimentality about military service, family values, his upbringing, etc., all point to a man who has very little of interest on his mind, or, more likely, one whose mind won’t bear scrutiny. I think he’s afraid of his own thoughts, and censors himself accordingly. This is death to a writer, of course. It’s only when he finds himself under attack that his real persona comes to the fore, and then we see a seething mass of resentment, insecurity, evasion, deflection, recrimination, and general butthurt. It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s car-wreck fascinating. I look forward to watching this reality show for years to come.

  6. Addendum: In his maunderings about Bible camp, he mentions how it taught him “important lessons about values, morals, truth, and friendship.” Then, a few paragraphs further on, he talks again about being a “best-selling” author. Lesson learned, Robert? Ha.

  7. Seriously, you have a knack for finding the most belligerantly insane/deluded/otherwise entertaining authors and/or texts. Bravo to you for your diligence in keeping abreast of such shennanigans.

  8. The Stanek Effect is the literay equivalent of the Streisand effect. It’s like he lives in opposite world where attracting negative attention like a black hole somehow will benefit him. Or maybe he is trying to be some hardcore take-no-shit author, not like them other pansy ass fantasy writers.

    Or roid rage.

  9. I’m pretty sure he just flips out and goes into a psychotic rage whenever he reads negative stuff about himself. He does seem to genuinely believe that the criticism and “lies meant to harm” are just coming from a small band of haters and their sockpuppets, so in his mind he’s perfectly justified in hurling abuse and vitriol and misspelled swear words at these people destroying his writing career.

  10. On your final point, it does seem as if there’s very little he actually enjoys or is interested in. He clearly isn’t very well read (look at the way he repeatedly trots out Rowling and Tolkien as comparisons, as if they’re the only Fantasy authors he’s really familiar with), his writing shows depressingly little enjoyment or interest in the craft, and if you look at stuff like his Twitter page and blogs, there’s almost no discussion or sharing of random things he’s a fan of or takes an interest in (ironically, one of the most ways to build up a following). He strikes me as one of the most boring and humorless people alive.

  11. Critical thinking skills are not things this man has in any capacity. I honestly have to wonder how he looks at himself, and says that he’s proud of what he’s doing. With all of the effort he’s put in to lying, he may as well have just edited his book properly, queried an agent, and then did whatever came next. He and Jon David (Self published author of Diary of a Lonely Demon) should become middle age frustrated rage buddies.

  12. The most interesting fact about Stanek’s facebook page is that he has one fan. Himself. Ouch. I wouldn’t fan my own page. I would quietly discontinue the endeavour and retreat into the limbo of obscurity, rather than becoming a laughing stock. Geez.

  13. this article about Stanek is spot-on and funny:

  14. Stanek actually has over 70,000 facebook fans now. You can buy face-book likes and twitter followers (if you are pathetic like Stanek), so that is what he probably did (since no one comments on his posts or write on his wall). Compare this to someone with real Faceobok fans: Patrick Rofhfuss – who has less likes, but much more REAL activity.

  15. Is that really Robert Stanek being rude, or someone posing as him?

  16. Yes, it’s him. He’s linked to it on his website.

  17. He’s got a new blog, Go Indie, and the two latest entries are… something else.

    Basically, he (shockingly) got into a another argument with someone who left a negative review of one of his books, and did the whole “you’re harassing children” thing again, and then ranted about it in length on his blog. For reasons I can’t quite fathom, he’s also included direct transcripts and screens of the emails. The disconnect between his interpretation of the exchange and what is actually being said is a little scary. Amusingly, there are also some rather poor attempts to cover up certain charming things Stanek said to the reviewer (I’ve already saved everything just in case he decides to alter some of it)

  18. wow – Stanek has some serious mental issues. He sent me the exact same message that he sent to Tyson, threatening me to take down my 1 star (but rather fair) review of one of his books on Good Reads. I couldn’t believe that he called my review a personal attack and that I was threatening children. Unlike Tyson I didn’t respond, but reported him instead to the Good Reads staff and they replied to me saying they will look into it.

    I’m hoping they ban him from Good Reads and remove all his books and reviews (many that I know are now fake and written by him, thanks to this series of articles).

    At least Amazon finally did the right thing and removed most of fake reviews last year.

  19. I love his tweet where he was listing countries and he wrote: ‘Great Britain, Scotland..’, even though Great Britain includes Scotland…

  20. I just spent a couple hours reading through all the Stanek madness here, and I find myself very in-line with the author of these articles–bizarrely interested, hahah. It definitely provided interesting entertainment and although I’d never heard of his books before, I’ll remember to steer clear. Especially since he evidently had the audacity to just republish the exact same books with different covers/titles and call them “adult”. orz; The stupidity of some people really knows no limits.

  21. I left a question on his FB, asking how come I can’t get his stuff where I live, even tho we have a huge chain of bookstores that stock primarily American books, even really obscure ones, but his are just not there. Waitin’ on the answer…

  22. Wow. I just read this series of articles (which were amazingly done, truly!) and I usually prefer to lurk, but I just HAD to know if anyone had read and/or responded to his May of 2013 posts on Go Indie. Especially this one from three days ago:

    He truly personifies contradiction.

  23. I love that most of the comments on his posts are by him. He does the same on his facebook when his 175,000 “fans” that he bought can’t be bothered to respond to the random scenic photographs he posts (most of which are probably not taken by him – he just takes them from other websites).

  24. I wrote on his FB asking why couldn’t I purchase his books anywhere in major bookstores and he just went “Iunno lots of ppl got them lolz try harder”.
    What a joke.

  25. Heh, they have one of those for Gloria Tesch too.

  26. Yeah, that should tip anyone off. If his books were really so popular they couldn’t be kept on the shelves, bookstores would be ordering tons of ’em.

  27. Having been one of Stanek’s earlier critics and targets (first wrote about him in April 2003), I’ve reached the conclusion that a lot of the online mayhem does not come directly from him. Rather, it’s from his paid assistants, possibly combined with a “street team” of fans rewarded with swag, and other indie authors who have formed “review circles” to promote each other’s books. It would be out of character for him personally to use profanity. Also, the limit for words he can consistently spell correctly is six letters not four. The “street team” idea has become quite popular in indie-author circles later, with some authors openly recruiting members on GoodReads and elsewhere. (BTW, I doubt Stanek uses the term himself, but I’m equally sure that he has applied the concept for years.) The review-circle phenomenon is a bit trickier ethically. As something of a writer myself, with an expectation that I’ll publish both text and computer code on my own some day, I think it’s absolutely fantastic that writers try to support each other any way they can. Sharing ideas, criticism, small favors, etc. are all wonderful. I have no problem with people who do those things also reviewing each others’ books – so long as the reviews are honest and of books they’ve actually read, and a disclaimer about the relationship wouldn’t hurt. Unfortunately, the current trend seems to be of less scrupulous authors like Stanek or Carufel banding together – or even setting up whole websites – for practically no other purpose but to review-bomb on each other’s behalf.

    Robert, since I know your paranoid searching for mentions of yourself will lead you here: you’re not fooling anyone. Maybe delegating this dirty work to others allows you to say “I didn’t do it” and tell yourself you’re not lying. The rest of us all know you promote and condone such behavior in your name and for your benefit, so *you are still responsible for it*. In particular you are responsible for the people who were cheated out of their hard-earned money which they spent on misrepresented books (including both fake reviews and old books sold with new titles), and for the damage to your fellow authors when your minions submit negative reviews recommending your work instead. It is not credible that someone who likes to portray himself as a highly moral teacher and mentor to young people would adopt such a “laissez faire” attitude toward the kind of attacks that have been perpetrated against me and others on your behalf. You are an awful author and a worse person.

  28. I think you’re overthinking it.