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Foreword Reviews

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Panama

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Has anyone used this service? Currently, they are promoting the Beijing Book Fair--send a book to them (fee is $215), they will display it and then if any Chinese Publishers are interested, they will forward that information to me to contact the publisher. Wondering if this is legit.
 

mrsmig

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Are you talking about this outfit? Foreward Reviews

It looks like your basic pay-to-play service provider, geared toward starry-eyed independent authors (read: self-published or published by small presses without a major marketing/publicity budget).

They promise to take your books to international book fairs (where, if someone there wants your book, they'll basically point them at you). They provide paid reviews via their Clarion service (for a whopping $495). They sponsor book awards (entries starting at $99) with dozens of categories in which you can place 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honorable Mention and then GUESS WHAT! You can order gold foil seals to slap on your books ($99 for 500, plus $10 shipping).

They no doubt provide the services they charge for. If you're asking if you'll see any return on your investment, my answer would be a resounding NO.


P.S. There's a huge subforum here at AW called Bewares, Recommendations and Background Checks that should be required reading for any author about to shell out big bucks to get their book published/promoted/reviews/entered in a contest, etc. This thread will probably get ported over there shortly. You might want to head over there and start browsing.
 
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Fuchsia Groan

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Oh my. I’ve been seeing blurbs from Foreword in a ton of book press releases, along with the Midwest Book Review. I should have known it was something like
this, but there’s a well-known Jewish newspaper (?) called Forward, and I was getting them confused. Good to know this is a different thing.
 

Krista G.

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It looks like they offer two different services, one that's more along the lines of a traditional trade review and another, Clarion Reviews, that's definitely a pay-to-play. They explain the difference here: https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/reviews/#service-foreword-review

(Full disclosure: my most recent book, EARTH TO DAD (Capstone, August 2018), was reviewed by Foreword after my publisher submitted it, and my contact in Capstone's publicity department specifically said they won't consider anything that's a pay-to-play.)
 

Fuchsia Groan

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That’s good to know! Of course, a press release won’t reveal which kind of review it was, but that’s also true of Kirkus now, with its pay-to-play option.
 

Gillhoughly

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They will "display" a book?

:roll:

Publish America did something like that. Send them money and they will bring your book to the attention of J.K. Rowling.

"We will bring your book to the attention of Harry Potter's author next week while our delegation is in her hometown, and ask her to read it and to tell us and you what she thinks."

Um, sure. She's going to sit down and read a bunch of books right then and there. Just because.

Quite the kerfuffle. Rowling's lawyers were not amused.

https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2011/08/taking-famous-names-in-vain.html

But like this ploy, a waste of a writer's money. Books are "on display" in every square meter of events like that, and no publisher is going to be seized by an irresistible urge to pick up any one of them no matter how glowing the review or how much the writer paid for it.

If you want to get the attention of overseas publishers, get an agent to shop your book to them through proper channels. Won't cost you a dime.
 
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kevinwaynewilliams

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I'll come to the defense of Foreword. Even blogged about my experience with them at IndieFab Awards:Worth The Expense? In short, they are honest about what they can do for you and what they cannot. Their contests are real, and winning them does have positive benefits. I've only used them as a placement service with the American Library Association shows, and those worked out in the end. My book is carried in libraries as far away as New Zealand.

Aside from the library editions, I can't point at individual dollars spent with Foreword and individual dollars received as sales in result, but that's true of all marketing.

As for the Beijing Book Fair, I'd pass on that, but not because of Foreword, but because I think it's a damn rare book that is going to be picked up for translation and sales in the Chinese market from a book fair.
 

veinglory

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I am curious if there is a way to attribute the library placement to that service? My books are in libraries in New Zealand too but I never used it. I just happened to look in WorldCat and there they were. I attributed it to some random librarian somehow getting to know I am a Kiwi.
 

kevinwaynewilliams

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I am curious if there is a way to attribute the library placement to that service? My books are in libraries in New Zealand too but I never used it. I just happened to look in WorldCat and there they were. I attributed it to some random librarian somehow getting to know I am a Kiwi.

I can't say. In my case, the order for the New Zealand library occurred a couple of weeks after placing in the contest, which has its awards announced at the American Library Association show. I'm pretty comfortable attributing that sale to the combination of the show and the contest. Certainly no reason to think they take interest in random horror authors from Phoenix.
 

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