The Book Fight Podcast is a web show hosted by authors Mike Ingram and Tom McAllister. It is advertised as writers talking about books - not only books they hate, but also books they love.[1]

In April of 2015, they decided to do a special bonus episode, and set up a poll to let listeners pick which book would get reviewed. Some attempted to convince Norman Boutin to get his book, Empress Theresa, on the list, saying that the hosts might give it a glowing review.[2] Norman dismissed this and insulted Book Fight with, "I don't think ABC, CBS, and NBC News are reserving top story space for the results of BookFight."[3] He likewise attacked one of the hosts, Mike Ingram, by linking to his author's page and saying: "Read his writing. Can you find anything interesting? A writer who can't write a single line that will interest anybody is a poor writer. This of course is why he has this BookFight website."[4] In the same post, Norman said that the two hosts engaged in "adolescent bullying" and that they had obviously decided ahead of time to slam the book.

Somehow, Norman Boutin's Empress Theresa did indeed make it to the list. Thanks to a campaign on social media, especially Twitter, the number of votes for Empress Theresa skyrocketed, getting over 45% of the votes. This placed it well beyond other well known books, like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (4.6%) or Fifty Shades of Grey (4.15%).[5]

However, Ingram and McAllister edited the poll, removing Empress Theresa. They explained their reason for doing so within an edit of their original blog post:

[UPDATED 4/9: the poll has been updated, eliminating one book option, not so much because it had been hijacked by a small group of people–we encourage multiple votes, and people championing a book– but because their motivation for voting for that book seemed particularly mean-spirited. Empress Theresa is off the list; the book doesn’t look great, but it’s a self-published book by an unknown writer and we have no interest in joining an extended online bullying campaign against him. We don’t think our fans would enjoy an episode devoted to that kind of meanness, and we, frankly, wouldn’t feel good about recording it.][6]

When told about his book being taken off the list, Norman replied: "Who cares! They're just obscurities like the internet trolls around here."[7] Which, of course, solidified that Ingram and McAllister had much more respect for Norman than he did for them.

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