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Thread: America Star: New Angle on Old Ploy

  1. #1
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    America Star: New Angle on Old Ploy

    A member forwarded this email; I've redacted names and titles, and marked a flagrant grammar error.

    Pretty sure the writer is not a native speaker of English.

    This is not how book marketing or promotion work.

    Hello,

    My name is [Name Redacted]. I saw that you have written [Title of Book Redacted]. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition in Boston, early January? Is costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.

    I'm giving you two ALA Exhibition promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we'll display it in Boston, or 2: we'll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the ALA event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from Boston where over 7,000 librarians are expected.

    At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on.

    All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000 authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

    Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    ó[Name Redacted]
    America Star Books Special Services, manager
    301-744-7589
    America Star Books, LLLP
    P.O. Box 151
    Frederick, MD 21705
    US

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Yowza.

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  3. #3
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
    This is not how book marketing or promotion work.
    Ridiculous but it does sound like the way AS works! I'm assuming they are now after an extra source of income to "promote" (HA) books "published" not even necessarily by them? Once the writer agrees to be on the mailing list, are they hoping you'll opt to pay to play for more promo? >At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation<


  4. #4
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Bizarre, on first glance. How can ASB profit by promoting books they don't publish?

    Whatever their angle is, if they follow their old pattern they will barrage this author with all sorts of pay-to-play promotions. We've already seen ASB rebrand themselves from a publisher to an translator, are they now trying to cash in on self-pubbers by billing themselves as a book promotion business?
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  5. #5
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    And what's weird, I haven't seen hide nor hair of them at the two BEAs I've attended. So, when they say "We attend all of the big fairs and festivals:", does that mean they exhibit or that they simply attend? After all, they don't say anything in that ad about actually setting up a booth there or how they're going to "promote" you. They lead you toward that logical conclusion but that's not what they "say".

  6. #6
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    They are actively soliciting local and online writers' groups with variations of this pitch. I saw a bunch of newer writers apply sound reasoning, and the majority decided it was a scam. Trickle down skepticism?

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  7. #7
    delicate #!&@*#! flower Perks's Avatar
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    I got this letter, too (typos and all) on October 13th. I told them not to add my email to any lists and I haven't heard anything else from them. Hope it stays that way.
    Last edited by Perks; 12-10-2015 at 05:36 PM.

  8. #8
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    In one of my children's book Authors and Illustrators group an Illustrator/Author posted the email he's just received from American Star's Special Serves Manager "Jackie". The book she named in the email is published by Albert Whitman & Co (not that she seems to know this). Of course he was already skeptical and the rest of the group was commenting and already smelling a rat. I doubt any of them would of been taken in, all of them working professionally in the industry a long, long time. They also don't routinely self publish and typically wouldn't have more then a few personal copies of their own books from their publishers around the house and certainly wouldn't go mailing them out for free. They would direct any real request/s to their publisher, as it would be up to the publisher to take care of promotion such as this. (which of course a Publisher wouldn't fall for
    I image AS foresee's an Author who would take advantage of this "deal" would also sign up and pay for their "book promotion at the lowest fees" and then perhaps take advantage of other GREAT offers that would require $24.95 here and $90 there. Once on the email list, they could bombard the Author. I guess they are either finding titles on Amazon or Goodreads and then tracking down the Authors email addresses. But I also see "Jackie" is very busy posting this copy/paste "offer" randomly on writers blogs (in their comments section) and writers Facebook pages. Targeting mostly foreign writers likely because A) they have likely never heard of PA/AS B) they would think the opportunity to be promoted/published in the US is a huge accomplishment and where the BIG money is and C) if you can't read English how would you know the translation of your book was riddled with errors?

  9. #9
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    I just got this email with a different book expo name in the opening paragraph. Yikes.

    Should I just ignore it, or reply with a firm NO? I don't want these scammers anywhere near my work.

  10. #10
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    I believe I told them No And Don't Contact Me Again.

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  11. #11
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Well I'm going to be at the LBF next week - if these jokers actually do have a stand there (which I doubt) I might go over for a little chat and see what I can find out. I can fake "earnest and clueless" pretty well
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  12. #12
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Oh, please do.

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  13. #13
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Funnily enough, they weren't there.
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  14. #14
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Remember, they didn't say they were setting up a booth there. They only said they were "attending".

  15. #15
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Poor old PA has been darfed.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW SBibb's Avatar
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    I just got a very similar email. Debating whether it would be better to ignore the email or reply back with a polite "not interested" and not to add me or my book to any email lists.
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  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW anakhouri79's Avatar
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    Received this gem in my e-mail today. They are still at it. Never mind my book came out in 2015...I politely declined their offer.

    Hello,

    We have done a recent internet search for new books, and noticed that you have written Late Summer, Early Spring.

    My name is Jackie Velnoskey. I am the director of book marketing and promotion at America Star Books. My question for you is this: may I promote the book at the Book Expo America, May 31st - June 2nd, 2017? Is costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails.

    I oversee the book promotion department at America Star Books that does nothing but offer book marketing at the lowest fees in the industry. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, as well as Book Expo America. With your permission, there we will include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the Expo. No strings attached.

    What's in it for us? Over 2,300 self-published authors decided to participate in one or more of our paid book promotion opportunities this year. That's how we earn our keep, and that's why we prefer to have authors such as you on our email list because that's how you would become aware of what our next book promotions will be. Participation is optional, always.

    Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

  18. #18
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Shennanigans's Avatar
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    I just got one of these emails. Did anyone think to check the Better Business Bureau?

    https://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland...ck-md-32010985


    While they claim in the email to be in the promotion business, the BBB lists them as a POD with 50 complaints against them.

  19. #19
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shennanigans View Post
    I just got one of these emails. Did anyone think to check the Better Business Bureau?

    https://www.bbb.org/greater-maryland...ck-md-32010985


    While they claim in the email to be in the promotion business, the BBB lists them as a POD with 50 complaints against them.
    Only 50? Perhaps they're not getting the attention they once did. The silence on this board might be an indication.

    It says 48 complaints filed, 47 not responded to. I wonder which one they did respond to? They're just up the road from me now that I'm living here. I should take a drive and see this place for myself.
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