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Thread: [Promotion] Books Butterfly

  1. #1
    VPXV 4EVA LBlankenship's Avatar
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    [Promotion] Books Butterfly

    There didn't seem to be a thread for this service, so I'll be the first to ask. Has anyone worked with Books Butterfly?

    Their site is fairly craptastic but I found it through Booksends (which has proven to be a decent promoter for me in the past) so that makes me skeptical enough to ask if anyone's tried them or even heard of them.

    Available at all major e-retailers H&R published by Dreamspinner Press

    Writing blog: Notes from the Jovian frontier Twitter: LBlankenship_sf
    Creative Services for self-publishers: covers, ebook formatting, and more

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Treehouseman's Avatar
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    Over on the kboards Weiter's Cafe a few people have tried BB. Not stunningly huge stuff, but for $50 they seem to garner at least a couple hundred ebook downloads via their subscribers. Hardly Bookbub, but a lot cheaper.
    Writin' Urban Explorin' and other stuff.


  3. #3
    exiled Brit
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    This thread on KDP forum is worth viewing:
    https://kdp.amazon.com/community/thr...art=0&tstart=0

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Books Butterfly promo

    Hello,
    I did not see a thread here regarding Books Butterfly (similar to BookBub and BookGorilla) so I thought I would post my experience.
    I bought the Platinum 100 ad package for $170. My credit card was charged and after one week of them ignoring my emails about when and where my ad would be place (I know my ad has not been placed because there had not been an increase in sales*), I had to file a dispute with my credit card company to get my money refunded.

    *I placed a $5 ad with another promo company and I sold 27 books in one day so I know my novel is worth purchasing.

    Maybe others have had better luck with Books Butterfly, but in my opinion, I would avoid them at all costs.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Clarification from Books Butterfly

    Quote Originally Posted by mlred View Post
    Hello,
    I did not see a thread here regarding Books Butterfly (similar to BookBub and BookGorilla) so I thought I would post my experience.
    I bought the Platinum 100 ad package for $170. My credit card was charged and after one week of them ignoring my emails about when and where my ad would be place (I know my ad has not been placed because there had not been an increase in sales*), I had to file a dispute with my credit card company to get my money refunded.

    *I placed a $5 ad with another promo company and I sold 27 books in one day so I know my novel is worth purchasing.

    Maybe others have had better luck with Books Butterfly, but in my opinion, I would avoid them at all costs.
    ******************************************
    Hi M.

    We have very few disputes or chargebacks so I'm pretty sure I know exactly which author you are. Actually, there's no other chargeback in all of Feb so we know for sure. Here's what happened and hopefully that reassures you there was no bad intent from our part

    A) You purchased a package on Feb 3rd

    Please Note that you did not specify any dates. Which means you were OK with us assigning dates. You also did not email us any date request or email us asking to set any urgent dates.
    Here:

    Email: [Redacted for Privacy Reasons]
    Slot: Paid Platinum 100
    Date:
    Date End:
    Book: [Redacted]
    Tag:
    Referrer Domain: http://booksbutterfly.com/

    B) A confirmation email was automatically sent to you. This is sent from our server so this is FIRST SENDER. It is sent as soon as you purchase.

    B2) After you do the purchase you are taken to a Payment Success Page. Another indicator that payment has been received and everything is fine. Did you not get this page either?

    ****************

    C) On Feb 6th you emailed saying you did not get an email.
    I have absolutely no idea why the confirmation email did not reach you

    D) On Feb 7th you wrote in again that you received no email and that you were worried

    E) We emailed you on 9th from one email account.

    Here is forwarded email on Feb 9th. This is SECOND SENDER

    From: Abhishek Singh <abhiNGB@outlook.com>
    Sent: February 9, 2017 2:38 AM
    To: m
    Subject: Re: Sight Lines ad

    Hi M

    We received your payment.
    thanks for writing in. Yes, we can run your book. We'll email you dates and terms within a few days
    thanks
    Abhi (Books Butterfly)

    ****************************

    F) On 11th we scheduled book and emailed you dates. This is 2nd email from SECOND SENDER

    Here:

    From: Abhishek Singh <abhiNGB@outlook.com>
    Sent: February 11, 2017 1:01 PM
    To: m
    Subject: Re: Sight Lines ad

    Hi M

    We've scheduled this for Mar 1st to 7th. Sales Mar 1st to 8th. In Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo stores. My invoicing team will email you terms within a few days. Just wanted to give you a heads up that dates are set


    thanks

    Abhi (Books Butterfly)

    ***********************************

    G) later that day the scheduling team emailed you terms. This is THIRD SENDER. AT this point you have been emailed from three separate emails and emailed 4 times

    Here:

    From: "Books Butterfly I Final Fantasy LLC" <booksbutterfly88@outlook.com>
    To: m
    Sent: February 11 2017 11:59 AM
    Subject: Paid Platinum 100 Slot Request

    Hi M

    thanks for writing in. Yes, we can run your book.

    ETC
    ETC
    ETC


    ******************************************

    H) When I checked Paypal after not hearing from you for a few days there was a chargeback. There is option for disputing a chargeback, which we did not do. We just assumed you had changed your mind and instead of asking us for refund, for some reason you had done dispute instead

    Important: We did not contest your chargeback which would have held back your money for up to 60 days. We assumed you wanted to cancel and approved the chargeback. Which is a $25 charge to us. You could have emailed or done a Paypal claim which costs us nothing

    ************************************************** *****

    I) I've not received ANY response to any of your emails. Yesterday I found this forum thread at AbsoluteWrite where you are implying we tried to steal your money or something. And unfairly recommending other authors to stay away

    J) I can understand that if you bought a slot on Feb 3rd and if the confirmation email for some strange reason didn't reach you, that you might panic. However, you had the option to

    Email Us
    Start a Claim on Paypal

    or some other less extreme measure

    K) I'd politely request that you consider the situation

    You didn't specify any dates or tell us it was urgent. You left dates completely blank
    You're saying you never got the confirmation email. That can happen. However, after payment there is confirmation of payment success. Which is indicator enough that we have received payment.
    6th and 7th you emailed us
    We responded 9th and by 11th scheduled your book and emailed you

    Some time in between you started dispute

    3rd is Friday

    4th, 5th are Sat, Sun

    By 8th (just 3 working days, and just 5 days in) you are on the forum claiming we stole your money.

    You didn't even give us a chance to set up things.

    L) Now I'd request you to kindly remove this post or update it to correctly reflect the situation. We get a lot of slot requests. Sometimes it takes a few days to respond. When an author doesn't specify dates AT ALL, like you did by leaving dates blank - Those slot requests are treated with less urgency.
    Within 3 working days of submitting your slot request you had started a paypal dispute and started writing forum posts claiming we stole your money

    Is that fair?

    This is defamation and slander and it's not right.
    You are claiming

    - a week, when it's 3 working days
    - no responses to your emails. It takes a few days
    - that we tried to steal your money. The promotion was scheduled for Mar 1st to 8th. You did chargeback sometime around Feb 8th
    - recommend authors to stay away. You left the date fields completely empty which implies complete flexibility on dates. I can understand if you had either set Feb 5th, 6th or asked for urgent dates. You bought the slot on Feb 3rd with dates completely blank which we took as a signal that you have flexibility and it's not urgent

    Please update your forum post or remove it. You're being very unfair. Yes, the delay on our part was bad. We get a lot of slot requests. You didn't select any dates so we made a bad assumption that you would be flexible on dates and not miding waiting a bit.




  6. #6
    Mushroom Polenth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    Within 3 working days of submitting your slot request you had started a paypal dispute and started writing forum posts claiming we stole your money

    Is that fair?

    This is defamation and slander and it's not right.
    You are claiming

    - a week, when it's 3 working days
    - no responses to your emails. It takes a few days
    - that we tried to steal your money. The promotion was scheduled for Mar 1st to 8th. You did chargeback sometime around Feb 8th
    - recommend authors to stay away. You left the date fields completely empty which implies complete flexibility on dates. I can understand if you had either set Feb 5th, 6th or asked for urgent dates. You bought the slot on Feb 3rd with dates completely blank which we took as a signal that you have flexibility and it's not urgent

    Please update your forum post or remove it. You're being very unfair. Yes, the delay on our part was bad. We get a lot of slot requests. You didn't select any dates so we made a bad assumption that you would be flexible on dates and not miding waiting a bit.​
    I'd suggest reconsidering how you're handling public relations for your company. One situation where emails go missing is understandable, as it could be down to a spam filter. However, you went beyond that by accusing the person posting it of "defamation and slander". That means you don't believe it was a misunderstanding or the emails didn't get through. You think they're purposefully lying about what happening. Which made me curious what the KDP forums were saying, and there I can see you've threatened to take an author to court over their comments. Your reaction has done far more harm than the initial comments.

    If you're struggling to understand why, consider for a moment if I was looking into services. What happens if it doesn't work out? Before this, the worst case scenario was that there wouldn't be many sales. Now, the worst case is you'll try to take me to court. The former might be worth the risk if I had money to spare. The latter is not worth it.
    Last edited by Polenth; 03-02-2017 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Spelling
    * Polenth *

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  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Same here. The *moment* I see legal threats from a business, I lose my interest in that company.

    Thanks for the update and clarification.

    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at iCraft

  8. #8
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thank you for the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Same here. The *moment* I see legal threats from a business, I lose my interest in that company.

    Thanks for the update and clarification.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yes, I can see how what I wrote can be misinterpreted. We don't mean it a bad way. However, in some cases the only thing that works is pointing out that you can't do defamation and slander. A small subset of authors believe in disproportionate punishment

    our fault was -

    that our confirmation email got caught by her spam filter
    that our emails sent on 9th and scheduling email sent on 11th were too late for her
    that we were slow to respond

    The punishment she has decided on us for that is

    tell everyone to avoid us at all costs
    portray it as us being a scam company that tried to steal her money
    have a post out on a forum since Feb 8th claiming all these things

    You tell me - is that right?
    You tell me - we've emailed her 9th and then 11th twice. She still hasn't responded or updated this forum post. Should we just wait around hoping at some point she forgives us for our tardiness, and stops claiming we are a scam?

    *****************

    When an author does this it puts us in a very difficult situation

    Our options are

    1) Say nothing. Let all other authors think we tried to steal the author's money

    2) Be very polite. Hope this author who hasn't responded to our emails in 3 weeks responds

    3) Be polite AND ALSO point out that what she's doing amounts to defamation and slander, because it does

    4) Find some way to be absolute masters in communication and motivate the author to update her post with the truth while also not bringing in any legal action. Unfortunately, we don't know how to do that. For 3 weeks everyone who reaches this post thinks

    Books Butterfly tried to steal her money
    She had to do a credit card chargeback to get her money back

    Truth is that she never emailed us asking for a refund and she never did a paypal claim or anything. She just emailed on 6th and 7th asking for when we'd run. We replied 9th. But (unknown to us) on 8th she had already started this thread and done credit card chargeback

    Emails on 9th and 11th and she hasn't updated post. It's pretty harsh that if you're upset a company didn't set dates for you for 3 working days, that you respond by claiming they tried to steal your money and to avoid them at all costs

    The truth is

    - The author got payment confirmation screen after paying. Immediately
    - Paypal sends confirmation of payment too. Again, that's immediate
    - We send email. That's immediate
    ANd we emailed her from 3 different email addresses after 3 working days

    Despite all of that she hasn't modified her forum comment in 3 weeks, nor has she replied to us

    So from a legal perspective we have to point out that this is defamation and slander.

    It's last resort for us.

    *********************

    You tell me, what is worse

    Option A: Let this author's post stay here and everyone who finds this post thinks we tried to steal her money

    Option B: Be polite and show the truth and also Make it clear that we won't stand for false accusations and lies.

    Please look at what she's written, which are all incorrect and lies i.e.

    A) My credit card was charged and after one week of them ignoring my emails about when and where my ad would be place (I know my ad has not been placed because there had not been an increase in sales*), I had to file a dispute with my credit card company to get my money refunded.
    B) Maybe others have had better luck with Books Butterfly, but in my opinion, I would avoid them at all costs.

    That's VERY extreme when she got 4 emails from 3 different email addresses from us in 3rd to 11th (she bought the slot 3rd)


    ***********************

    Perhaps one of the authors here can post an example of a forum post that you would consider

    A) REspectful fo authors, which would be ideal

    B) Would actually work to get this author to update her post with the truth

    I'll gladly update my post to that and see if that works

    We've been polite in all our communications with her - as you can see in emails I've posted. We are just saying 'what you are doing is defamation and slander'. Because that's the only way some people actually get motivated. If you have some other message that you think will work I'm glad to use that

    It's very unfair
    We took 3.5 business days to confirm - because immediate email got sent to spam folder
    Important: She had NOT set any dates and had not indicated it was urgent or that she had any particular date in mind. She didn't specify dates and she didn't email us that she expected response immediately or she would do a chargeback. Payment confirmation page and payment confirmation email (which she perhaps did not get) both specify that it takes 1 to 3 business days and that she should email us if it's urgent
    And the author decided to claim we tried to steal her money and that other authors should avoid us at all costs

    If you want to not work with us because we are protecting ourselves from defamation and slander, that's fine. However, what you have to consider is that the alternative is far worse - to let an author keep claiming lies and paint us as some sort of supervillians
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-03-2017 at 01:48 PM. Reason: Updating: Author had not specified dates.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The whole 'moment I see legal threats from a business I lose my interest in that company'

    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    Same here. The *moment* I see legal threats from a business, I lose my interest in that company.

    Thanks for the update and clarification.
    Also, just to be super clear

    Which do you think is better - for authors who want to work with us, and for us as a business that helps 200+ indie authors help 5 Million+ Readers every day


    A) Have authors think we're a scam and will try to steal their money
    AND LOSE ALL AUTHORS who read this forum thread

    OR

    B) have some portion of authors think - they should not have said it is defamation and slander. That's accurate but it conveys a legal aspect.


    I respect your right to state your INTERPRETATION

    However, most authors respect the fact that we stand up for what is right. And for the truth
    We have as much of a right to protect our reputation as an author does to protect their reputation

    ******************
    And with all due respect you are greatly exaggerating the worst case

    That worst case only applies if

    A) you don't specify dates, but then expect dates to be set within 3 or 4 working dates
    B) your spam filter somehow catches 4 emails sent from 3 different email addresses (including one from Paypal)
    C) You start a forum thread claiming we tried to steal your money
    D) Even after getting emails specifying dates we would run your promotion you don't edit or update your thread, or reply to us

    It would have been easy for us to dispute the chargeback and lock up the author's money for 60 days. Please keep in mind that from our end we emailed her all the details and promotion dates. Instead we agreed to the chargeback immediately - thinking perhaps she changed her mind. Our only mistake was tardiness due to having lots of slot requests. This is very disproportionate punishment. And now she's put us in a situation where no matter what we write there's always going to be some author who misinterprets it as 'worse case is that we say you did defamation and slander'

    ***********

    Ideal for us is that we keep focused on our core competency - helping hundreds of authors EVERY DAY reach 5 million readers EVERY DAY

    This sort of stuff gets in the way of that. Obviously my communication is going to be imperfect. I'm only good at connecting readers with authors. I didn't specialize in how to convince people who have made a wrong assumption and decided to share it with the world

    We only found this now, after 3 weeks

    PLEASE let us get back to our specialization of helping you and authors like you to reach readers

  10. #10
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post

    When an author does this it puts us in a very difficult situation

    Our options are

    1) Say nothing. Let all other authors think we tried to steal the author's money

    2) Be very polite. Hope this author who hasn't responded to our emails in 3 weeks responds

    3) Be polite AND ALSO point out that what she's doing amounts to defamation and slander, because it does
    The correct answer was number 2....

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW akaria's Avatar
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    For what it's worth I never touched this service because of the whole guarantee sales/downloads bit. KU means nothing because I release wide. Also, they might have 100k subscribers, but how many of those are in my genre? BookBub works because you see right there before you buy the promo that X genre has Y subscribers and the average downloads/sales is Z. With BooksButterfly I have no idea how their subscriber list breaks down. The clumsy interface is another turn off.

    Mired is not the first to run into communication complications with Books Butterfly. The company is discussed a lot on KBoards. While results from a promo service can be varied, I expect communication with the business to be pretty standard and with this company that's not the case.
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polenth View Post
    I'd suggest reconsidering how you're handling public relations for your company.
    Polenth is wise. And agree completely with their response.

    After the Kboards response this company went on my "nope" list because that kind of public, lengthy response using certain terminology that has a specific legal meaning is not professional in my opinion. That it happened here as well just backs that decision up.

    [br]M.H. Lee | Blog for Writers




  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW akaria's Avatar
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    Today they were on KB again defending/explaining themselves with multiple walls of text. Maybe that time would be better spent improving the business. I don't think they got the memo that you can't please everyone and responding to every complaint makes you look paranoid and obsessed.
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  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    thanks for the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by akaria View Post
    Today they were on KB again defending/explaining themselves with multiple walls of text. Maybe that time would be better spent improving the business. I don't think they got the memo that you can't please everyone and responding to every complaint makes you look paranoid and obsessed.

    Thanks for the feedback. We have a new client success team now and they are approaching things from a very different angle which should hopefully lead to better outcomes for the small percentage of authors who miss getting good results and/or get upset

    I'll just post some facts

    1) Only 1.5% to 2% of book promotion packages involve a Paypal dispute. I'm compiling exact figure so we can post it on our website
    2) Less than 1% of authors do chargebacks. Many of those are for authors who had our email reach their spam folder and thought we were not responding. That's not something in our hands. We email confirmation of payment from one address, paypal sends confirmation, then we schedule dates using another email. So 3 different email addresses. If somehow everything misses then it's a technical issue with the person's email provider


    97.5% to 98% of authors are happy

    for us, we have to make sure that the 97.5% of authors from prospective new authors with whom we'll build a good working relationship, don't mistakenly start thinking we are a scam. We are painfully honest. We are one of only two book promotion companies that offer a guarantee and thereby you get prorated refund in store credit if your book misses (only 7% of $0.99 books and free books miss)

    That's all. We just don't want a few authors to wrongly convince a lot of authors of something that is the exact opposite of the truth - if your book misses (and 93% don't miss) we'll run it again to get you the missing $0.99 book sales and free book downloads

    We understand it's a frustrating time for everyone as the market is changing and things are very dynamic. IN that environment some books miss. Attacking a promotion site that is just helping you reach readers, that isn't a solution. You have a double layer of protection with Paypal and credit card. Only 1.5% to 2% of authors ever need to use a Paypal dispute and less than 1% do chargeback

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Details on Disputes and Chargebacks

    Quote Originally Posted by mlred View Post
    Hello,
    I did not see a thread here regarding Books Butterfly (similar to BookBub and BookGorilla) so I thought I would post my experience.
    I bought the Platinum 100 ad package for $170. My credit card was charged and after one week of them ignoring my emails about when and where my ad would be place (I know my ad has not been placed because there had not been an increase in sales*), I had to file a dispute with my credit card company to get my money refunded.

    *I placed a $5 ad with another promo company and I sold 27 books in one day so I know my novel is worth purchasing.

    Maybe others have had better luck with Books Butterfly, but in my opinion, I would avoid them at all costs.

    *************

    We're sorry this author had to go through the pain of all 4 emails sent to her missing her inbox and thinking her money had been lost

    Just wanted to add some clarifications for her and for authors in general

    A) Our chargeback rate is 0.259%. Only 1 out of every 385 authors who does a book promotion with us has to do a credit card chargeback
    B) our Paypal dispute and claims rate is 2.48%. Only 1 out of every 40 authors who does a book promotion with us has to do a Paypal dispute or claim. Over 50% of those disputes are resolved amicably and the rest are settled by Paypal

    Anecdotal evidence can be very different from the reality of real figures. I myself was surprised to see such a low chargeback rate and was also surprised that dispute rate was 2.48% (we thought 1.5% to 2%). Ideally we'd like to bring it under 1%. Now we have a new team to respond faster. Our team has to grow to match demand from authors and every 6 months or so we have to catch up and that sometimes causes issues like the one above. We mean no harm.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Update: This is for the last 6 Months. Sept 20th, 2016 to Mar 4th, 2017.

  17. #17
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    What's making people doubt the efficacy of your company isn't a few bad reviews here and there. Everyone has those. We're authors. Trust me, we know.

    It's that your first response to a bad review is to drop legal threats in public with a very defensive tone, as if that one review has mortally wounded your business prospects. It hasn't. It's a minor bump in the road and instead of simply correcting course, you slammed on the brakes and sent the whole thing into a skid.

    When authors do this, we call it the Author's Big Mistake. Say we've written a deeply moving book about a contemplative man who very much likes Earl Grey tea. And some person leaves a one-star Amazon review saying all tea drinkers are stupid, and if you do drink tea the only one to go with are those new-fangled herbals, and therefore our characterization is terrible and the plot makes no sense and we're obviously terrible writers who should never sell a book again.

    How lovely. For more examples, consult the Amazon page of pretty much every major author ever.

    All have some one-star reviews. They very likely also have a handful of five-star reviews and, even more importantly, a good sampling of three- and four-star reviews as well that tell me people with a sense of nuance have read and reviewed this thing. In so far as I, Prospective Reader, look at Amazon reviews at all, I don't worry about that one-star or the five-star reviews. Especially if it's incoherent. After all, I am a proud drinker of Earl Grey tea and have no time for the opinions of someone who only drinks herbal. I, Prospective Reader, am capable of forming my own opinions.

    But. If the author goes and writes a long, flame-grilled post in response to that one-star review claiming that, not only is Earl Grey tea morally and spiritually superior but also that, obviously, any review or reader that questions my position or the wisdom of my book is questioning the very merits of hot stimuli, bergamot, and the British Empire... then that makes I, Prospective Reader, a little queasy. After all, what reaction could I expect if I were to leave a review? Is this author someone I really respect? Should I maybe just go and read the Amazon best-selling 19 Lessons on Tea instead?

    The Author's Big Mistake is the mistaken belief that we can please everyone. It's a failure to understand that there is not one readership, but many. It's an inability to put aside our own ego and recognize that readers--our customers--have a right to their own opinions and, having paid us already, a right to air those grievances, legitimate or otherwise. It's the mistake of thinking that, somehow, one bad review will affect future sales more than a massive meltdown. It is a response from ego, not from sense.

    And it applies to business, too.

    If you're not ready to deal with irate customers professionally, you are not ready to be in business. I work in start-ups and small-biz--I know of what I speak here. All of those reasons for the Author's Big Mistake come down to not understanding that this is a business. They're mistakes of strategy. Of putting ourselves ahead of the customer.

    So really, it's not that you need to hire a Client Success Team, Books Butterfly, so much as you need to understand how your own business works.

    You can't please everyone. There is more than one readership and more than one group of possible customers. They have a right to comment on your service--and doing so isn't defamation or libel. One bad review won't torpedo your business but squealing your brakes through the residential zone in the middle of the night will.

    Thing is, if you've done a proper business plan and some basic business strategy, you'd know this already. You'd have a plan in place for dealing--professionally--with those customers who need your help and you'd know which cases need to be addressed and which can be left to disappear into the cyber-ether.

    If you've hired someone to do this for you, that's great. Learning is part of this. But learning takes time, and requires being humble about what you don't know that you don't know, and I've seen none of that humility in your actions thus far. Meaning while it was pretty obvious to me that what happened to mlred was probably a miscommunication, your responses mean I have pretty much zero faith in your business model, the efficacy of your service, or your long-term viability as a prospective promoter for my potential work--all because you've shown no ability to learn from mistakes.

    Businesses that don't learn from mistakes, like authors who don't learn from theirs, fail.

    And just to be clear: I'd rather not see that happen. Authors need more promoters. Promoters need more authors. The world needs more books, dammit, especially right now. We all make mistakes. Nothing wrong with admitting that, taking a breath, and learning from it.

    For instance, I'm pretty sure writing this post while I have a splitting migraine was a mistake. I expect the tea I am brewing will help me learn from that.

    For the TL;DR version of this post, basically, re-read Polenth's.

    *heads off to brew tea*

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Authors' Big Mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by VeryBigBeard View Post
    What's making people doubt the efficacy of your company isn't a few bad reviews here and there. Everyone has those. We're authors. Trust me, we know.

    It's that your first response to a bad review is to drop legal threats in public with a very defensive tone, as if that one review has mortally wounded your business prospects. It hasn't. It's a minor bump in the road and instead of simply correcting course, you slammed on the brakes and sent the whole thing into a skid.

    When authors do this, we call it the Author's Big Mistake. Say we've written a deeply moving book about a contemplative man who very much likes Earl Grey tea. And some person leaves a one-star Amazon review saying all tea drinkers are stupid, and if you do drink tea the only one to go with are those new-fangled herbals, and therefore our characterization is terrible and the plot makes no sense and we're obviously terrible writers who should never sell a book again.

    How lovely. For more examples, consult the Amazon page of pretty much every major author ever.

    All have some one-star reviews. They very likely also have a handful of five-star reviews and, even more importantly, a good sampling of three- and four-star reviews as well that tell me people with a sense of nuance have read and reviewed this thing. In so far as I, Prospective Reader, look at Amazon reviews at all, I don't worry about that one-star or the five-star reviews. Especially if it's incoherent. After all, I am a proud drinker of Earl Grey tea and have no time for the opinions of someone who only drinks herbal. I, Prospective Reader, am capable of forming my own opinions.

    But. If the author goes and writes a long, flame-grilled post in response to that one-star review claiming that, not only is Earl Grey tea morally and spiritually superior but also that, obviously, any review or reader that questions my position or the wisdom of my book is questioning the very merits of hot stimuli, bergamot, and the British Empire... then that makes I, Prospective Reader, a little queasy. After all, what reaction could I expect if I were to leave a review? Is this author someone I really respect? Should I maybe just go and read the Amazon best-selling 19 Lessons on Tea instead?

    The Author's Big Mistake is the mistaken belief that we can please everyone. It's a failure to understand that there is not one readership, but many. It's an inability to put aside our own ego and recognize that readers--our customers--have a right to their own opinions and, having paid us already, a right to air those grievances, legitimate or otherwise. It's the mistake of thinking that, somehow, one bad review will affect future sales more than a massive meltdown. It is a response from ego, not from sense.

    And it applies to business, too.

    If you're not ready to deal with irate customers professionally, you are not ready to be in business. I work in start-ups and small-biz--I know of what I speak here. All of those reasons for the Author's Big Mistake come down to not understanding that this is a business. They're mistakes of strategy. Of putting ourselves ahead of the customer.

    So really, it's not that you need to hire a Client Success Team, Books Butterfly, so much as you need to understand how your own business works.

    You can't please everyone. There is more than one readership and more than one group of possible customers. They have a right to comment on your service--and doing so isn't defamation or libel. One bad review won't torpedo your business but squealing your brakes through the residential zone in the middle of the night will.

    Thing is, if you've done a proper business plan and some basic business strategy, you'd know this already. You'd have a plan in place for dealing--professionally--with those customers who need your help and you'd know which cases need to be addressed and which can be left to disappear into the cyber-ether.

    If you've hired someone to do this for you, that's great. Learning is part of this. But learning takes time, and requires being humble about what you don't know that you don't know, and I've seen none of that humility in your actions thus far. Meaning while it was pretty obvious to me that what happened to mlred was probably a miscommunication, your responses mean I have pretty much zero faith in your business model, the efficacy of your service, or your long-term viability as a prospective promoter for my potential work--all because you've shown no ability to learn from mistakes.

    Businesses that don't learn from mistakes, like authors who don't learn from theirs, fail.

    And just to be clear: I'd rather not see that happen. Authors need more promoters. Promoters need more authors. The world needs more books, dammit, especially right now. We all make mistakes. Nothing wrong with admitting that, taking a breath, and learning from it.

    For instance, I'm pretty sure writing this post while I have a splitting migraine was a mistake. I expect the tea I am brewing will help me learn from that.

    For the TL;DR version of this post, basically, re-read Polenth's.

    *heads off to brew tea*


    Firstly, thanks for telling me about Author's Big Mistake

    Secondly, I respect what you have written. That doesn't mean it's the one absolute truth

    Thirdly, in YOUR opinion we have made a mistake. I respect your opinion and I disagree, which is my right.

    ******************************* [Redacted some stuff which wasn't really contributing to the conversation positively]
    ********************
    Last edited by BooksButterfly; 03-07-2017 at 03:17 PM.

  19. #19
    I got it covered Undercover's Avatar
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    BooksButterfly, you're just sinking your own ship. You're defensive towards VeryBigBeard's post, rambling on other things that aren't necessary. The whole thing about your assuming a customer of yours came here, and accusing them of being the one AND explaining all that publicly was a huge mistake on your part. Things like this shouldn't be discussed online. Because now, anyone with smarts and that will check this thread will know to stay far away from your business. The only way you're helping authors here is to do just that, stay away, I'm not good to work with.
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  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Undercover View Post
    BooksButterfly, you're just sinking your own ship. You're defensive towards VeryBigBeard's post, rambling on other things that aren't necessary. The whole thing about your assuming a customer of yours came here, and accusing them of being the one AND explaining all that publicly was a huge mistake on your part. Things like this shouldn't be discussed online. Because now, anyone with smarts and that will check this thread will know to stay far away from your business. The only way you're helping authors here is to do just that, stay away, I'm not good to work with.
    Perhaps it's time for BooksButterfly to take a cue from Elsa.

  21. #21
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    KINGLET: Coming in August 2017 from Fiery Seas Publishing
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  22. #22
    Now with more stubble VeryBigBeard's Avatar
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    Just to be absolutely clear, because I wrote my previous with certain stylistic tics (i.e., I have never met a running metaphor I didn't like):

    No offense is meant on a personal level. This is about business, books, and the business of books. I would not make, and don't believe I have made, any comment about gender, ethnicity, or character.

  23. #23
    Making Einstein cry since 1994 Maggie Maxwell's Avatar
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    Here's the thing, Butterfly: There are three ways to handle a bad review:

    1) Ignore it. This is the best option for writers. People won't like our books. That's fine. Some people, those bad reviews will turn them off. Others will get it anyway. Maybe I'll lose a few sales, but hopefully, if I've presented a good product, it won't matter that much. If I have 95 good reviews and 5 bad ones, oh well. I can't expect everyone to like it.

    2) Customer service. Have you never seen bad reviews on Amazon where the seller has responded? Most times, they'll say, "We apologize for your inconvenience/unhappiness. [One sentence about what might have gone wrong, item getting lost in the mail, miscommunication, etc). Please contact us so we can try to make things right." This is the proper way for a business to handle it. No blame, no "it wasn't OUR fault!", just straight up good customer service. Maybe they'll work things out, maybe they won't, but as a business, they put forth the face of trying to make things right. "The customer is always right" may be a BS phrase, but when it comes to how a business looks to outsiders who may want to use them, acting like its true may be their saving grace. It says, "If something goes wrong with my service, they'll be willing to work with me." And that's what businesses need to portray.

    3) Come to your own defense. This is what VeryBigBeard is recommending against, because if you are selling something, it is YOUR BIG MISTAKE. Are you allowed to defend yourself? Absolutely. No one's stopping you. And we're allowed to draw conclusions from that. Conclusions like, "If I use this service and something goes wrong, and I leave a review to say I'm disappointed, they're going to threaten me with lawsuits, blame me for the mistakes, and treat me like I'm a bad person in public." Am I going to use their service? GOD no. No way. Doesn't matter if they're the only group in the world who does what they do, I'm going to avoid them like the plague. Based on the way you've behaved on here, I would never consider using your services, because I have no interest in being treated the way you've treated mlred. You could have said, "We apologize. On rare occasions, our emails go to spam filters, and the contract we received didn't specify which date you'd like, so we selected the first available. If you'd like to try again, we'd be happy to work with you." Whether mlred did or not, it would have explained the situation, made your company look like you're trying to give good customer service, and would have at least saved your face in the eyes of many potential customers you could have had from here. But you didn't. You chose to throw your defenses up and make threats and demand they remove the discussion of their unhappiness. If something goes wrong and we say so, in a place where people are meant to discuss this sort of thing, then that's how you'll treat us too. We don't want that, so we're going to take Books Butterfly off our "potential business partners" lists. You're allowed to defend yourself, and we're allowed to decide to never use your business because of your unbusinesslike conduct.
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  24. #24
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    B) If someone accuses you of being a scam and stealing people's money - you are under no obligation to be polite to them
    Right, you aren't under any obligation to be polite to them. But... I strongly suggest that you be polite to them anyway. Unfailingly polite. Always. There is no down-side whatever to being polite.

    Let those 98% satisfied customers prove by their satisfaction that you're running a good company.

  25. #25
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BooksButterfly View Post
    If someone accuses you of being misogynist without any evidence of it - then you are under no obligation to pretend it's true or that you have to apologize for it
    Neither are you under any obligation to respond.

    When my first romance was released, I got a review calling me a sexist and a pervert. I wasn't happy about that, so I snarked about it offline to a few friends and ignored it otherwise. The novel continued to sell and no one ever mentioned the review.

    The one thing about reviews we can control is our response to them, and often, this response determines whether a review becomes notorious or obscure. I'd prefer any negative reviews of my work be obscure.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 03-06-2017 at 12:00 AM.
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