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Old 04-02-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
JulieB
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[Marketing] BookWhirl

These people just called me offering services to promote my book on the web. Thing is, the book they mentioned was a work for hire and has been out of print for a decade.

I suspect the call originated from outside of the US. There was no caller ID and the caller couldn't even pronounce my name. I thought he was looking for "Jody" because he just asked for me by my first name.

When I told him the book had been out of print for ten years he asked if I planned to bring it back into print. I explained that it wasn't my decision, that it was up to the studio who held the copyright. The caller seemed totally confused by that concept.

I finally asked who he was with, and he said bookworld.com.

ETA: Apparently it's BookWhirl.com. There are some interesting links below.

Last edited by JulieB; 04-03-2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: To reflect accurate information below.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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I'd say scam. This reeks of someone trying to get by as a legitimate service in order to get something out of you.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:42 PM   #3
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Yes, it all seemed highly suspicious. Am blogging about it now.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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Sounds like this company are scouring around for business and checking out books out of print hoping they come across an author in the process of doing a reprint.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:55 AM   #5
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Or writers who may not know any better.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:03 AM   #6
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Bookworld or Bookwhirl?

If the latter, they are aggressive phone and spam marketers based in Asia, though they claim to be US-located. See this and this.

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Old 04-03-2009, 06:16 AM   #7
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I'll bet that's it. The caller had a very heavy accent, and I did repeat "book world" back to him and he said that was it. However, he had as tough a time understanding me as I did him. If that's an example of their marketing, I think I'll pass.

Oh, wait. The web site says they're for self-published authors. Definitely a pass.

Thanks for clearing that up. I'll update my blog entry.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:31 AM   #8
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Adding link: http://www.bookwhirl.com/

And another author's run-in with them: http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_wri...-i-am-jen.html
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:02 AM   #9
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Bookwhirl - spot the fail

This is the very 1st line of their spammed pitch to me

Quote:
We are an online marketing company that offers services to authors market their book on their easiest way. I came across a copy your book through the internet and we are very much interested on it to be advertise world wide
The question is, why would anyone use this service when their command of English is -that- bad?

(They offer "a range of services" which goes up to thousands of dollars)
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #10
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They're getting past the language barrier. I received an email this morning from a very American sounding name. (Although God knows when I've heard someone use the words a pleasant day to open a letter.)

Quote:
Dear Meira,

A pleasant day.

I’m Leigh Anderson, a Marketing Specialist of Bookwhirl.com.

I came across with your book entitled, “Firefly Beach.” We are interested to promote it and we would like to help you reach out up to 5,000,000 targeted book buyers and let them know about you and your work--chances are they will run after to grab a copy of your book, look at it and, ultimately, buy it.

If you are interested, please give me a call at 1 877 207-1679 ext 304 or you may reply to this email. I’d be grateful to give you more information about this.

Hope to hear from you soon and have a nice day.

Sincerely yours,

Leigh Anderson
Thank God for Absolute Write. I got the email this morning and three minutes later, I know all about it
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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That beginning is still a little...disjointed though. They may be getting better, but that still makes me wary and hesitant.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:51 PM   #12
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I came across with your book

Bzzt! Colloquial English is "I came across your book."

entitled, “Firefly Beach.” We are interested to promote it

Bzzt! Colloquial English is "We are interested in promoting it."

and we would like to help you reach out up to 5,000,000 targeted book buyers

Bzzt! Colloquial English is "help you reach out to up to..."

and let them know about you and your work--chances are they will run after to grab a copy of your book

Bzzt! "Run after" makes no sense here in colloquial English.

As someone who's done her share of ESL teaching, I applaud people who can communicate in more than one language, but I really don't applaud people pretending to be native English speakers with very very English-language names, especially when their English doesn't have native fluency.

And the idea that someone with non-native fluency in English would be able to do a good job of promoting books written in English by and for native speakers of English...
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:52 PM   #13
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Gack! Here is a snippet about one of their featured authors, which I take it they wrote:

Quote:
Overcoming mental health problems wasn’t easy, but he did it. Now, (author's name) lives life with a great positive attitude and a look of gratifying rejuvenation. He is fulfilling his dreams and visions – and sharing them to the world.
I sure hope he didn't pay too much for that drivel. Very obviously ESL, and not good in any language.
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:27 AM   #14
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[quote=IceCreamEmpress;3584795]I came across with your book

Bzzt! Colloquial English is "I came across your book."

etc.

[quote]


I read right over all of those, lol. I can't believe it. I must have just scanned it and ran over here to the Bewares section. Hysterical.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:30 PM   #15
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I got my invite from them today. Came straight here to check them out. Jay Smith is my personal contact!
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:20 PM   #16
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Received the same email as Meira only my 'personal contact' is Hazel Vega and she is "interested to promote" a 10K short story of mine that released digitally over two years ago.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:33 AM   #17
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Got my invite a few days ago for my eBook that came out over a year ago. I didn't even need too look it up on AW to know it was a scam.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:25 PM   #18
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I used to get their emails, a week or so ago they left a poorly recorded message on my home machine.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:43 PM   #19
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Rogues

They're still at it. I got an email invite, plus (supposedly) freephone number listing, from them today for my professionally published supposedly self-published first tome. Here's hoping no-one falls for their scam.

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Old 09-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #20
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They're still at it! Left a message on my answering machine today. Too bad "Lisa" (or something like that) couldn't correctly pronounce a word in my title. Anyhow, I googled the number she left: 877-207-1679 because caller ID didn't identify the caller or business.

Looks like a lot of authors know they're scammers.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:36 AM   #21
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A few more authors shared their similar experiences here.

Bookwhirl's twitter: http://twitter.com/bookwhirl

Some of the information listed on twitter:

Name: Don Harold
Address: 867 Howard St. 1
Green Bay, WI 54303

Toll Free Number:
1(877) 207 1679
Email: donharold@bookwhirl.com
Blog: www.writersdepot.wordpress.com
Forum: www.bookwhirl.com/forum
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:47 AM   #22
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I just received a phone call from a Book Whirl representative. I couldn't quite understand her name because apparently English is not her first language, but her cell phone number is from my county. She wanted me to participate in a marketing conference via phone, and she seemed a bit flustered when I asked her questions. I asked her to give me the names of some of the authors Book Whirl represented. She had a bit of trouble doing that.

Anyhow, she directed me to the website where there's a "featured author" here. I went to the author's amazon page here.

The 72-page book, published by this, er, press, has been out since 2006 and has NO Amazon ranking, no reviews, etc. I can conclude that this poor author paid to publish and then paid big money to (allegedly) promote. And it resulted in no Amazon sales. (However, she has vanity-published several other books and some of them do have Amazon rankings.)

The Book Whirl caller wanted me to check their testimonials. I did, and wasn't impressed. The testimonials don't exactly address how well the authors' books did after paying Book Whirl to, um, help with marketing.

Speaking of which, from their tips checklist:
Quote:
Crowdsourcing. When you let your readers get involve, you don't only get
attention, but you get the opportunity to generate ideas from them. Crowdsourcing can be in many forms. Get the public involve by letting them help you out on creating a video trailer for your book. Offer appealing rewards to entice a lot of participants. You'd be surprised to see how much ideas can be generated to your advantage.
Yeah, nothing like "getting the public involve."
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:42 AM   #23
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Wow, I feel special! I got a voicemail from Book Whirl today, too. I could not understand the callers name nor the company name nor the name of the book I supposedly wrote. I could hear the phone number and reverse search brought up Book Whirl in Green Bay. I came here to search for advice and now I know not to return this call. (well, I had an inkling before I got here)
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:13 PM   #24
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This may be a daft question, but how are they getting people's phone numbers in the first place? emails I can understand, but do all you guys have your phone numbers searchable online?
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkkingston View Post
This may be a daft question, but how are they getting people's phone numbers in the first place? emails I can understand, but do all you guys have your phone numbers searchable online?
Presumably they've purchased lists of phone numbers. If you've ever filled out a warranty card and included your phone number, you're instantly on any number of lists. It's another way companies "monetize the consumer base."

Or, they could simply be auto-dialing every possible number, from (000) 000-0000 to (999) 999-9999.
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