• We’re running on a new server at a new host with a new forum software called XenForo. Some things are different. Some things may not work as expected. I am working on it as fast as I can. Please be patient. Please read this post.
  • I'm going to be working on the forums for a while. Things may be wonky. I may turn the forums off without notice. Consider this a bit of a public beta test as we figure out the new software and make adjustments. But you've been much missed, and we can't wait to see you again!

Orangeberry Book Tours

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

LisaLRegan

Registered
Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Website
www.lisaregan.com
I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with Orangeberry. I'm particularly interested in whether or not they delivered book reviews that were scheduled during a tour.
 

pandorapoikilos

Registered
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi Everyone.

Pandora from Orangeberry Book Tours. To address Lisa's question, if reviews are posted, they are. As we mention in the starter kit (sent to authors after sign up, before the tour) some of these reviews take awhile as the book is discussed by book club members.

Additionally, our testimonial page is http://blog.orangeberrypromo.com/testimonials/

Reviews already posted by Book Club Members / Blog Hosts.
Quality Reads on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/15138510-bob-eliza-richardson

Mommy Adventures on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5433105-ravina-andrea-kurian

Kindle Nook Books on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/15138038-emily-cardwell

eInk Reviews on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/15137786-kenny-lovelace

This is only a fraction of blog hosts, we have at least 200 and not all of them host one book tour.
 

NewKidOldKid

diplomat
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
0
I'm in the middle of an Orangeberry blog tour right now. I was supposed to get a review on August 14th and one on the 16th. They didn't happen. Instead, both of those blogs published a pre-written interview/guest post (stuff I had to write when I booked the tour).

One of the main reasons I bought the tour is that I wanted blog reviews, but so far, nothing. I'm supposed to get reviews today and tomorrow (it's one post/review per day, always different blogs). We'll see what happens.
 

pandorapoikilos

Registered
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I'm in the middle of an Orangeberry blog tour right now. I was supposed to get a review on August 14th and one on the 16th. They didn't happen. Instead, both of those blogs published a pre-written interview/guest post (stuff I had to write when I booked the tour).

One of the main reasons I bought the tour is that I wanted blog reviews, but so far, nothing. I'm supposed to get reviews today and tomorrow (it's one post/review per day, always different blogs). We'll see what happens.

Hi Diana. Please refer to your starter kit. Item #6 (also as appended below). All reviews will be posted by the end of the tour if it does not appear on the date of the tour.

- We teamed up with Quality Reads UK in December 2012 .... These reviews take more time than usual because they prefer to discuss the book with their area groups. Reviews will usually be posted by the end of the tour if it does not appear on the specified date. Their website is http://www.qualityreadsuk.com/

Do contact me via email info AT orangeberrybooktours DOT if you have any other concerns.

All my best,
Pandora
 

NewKidOldKid

diplomat
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
831
Reaction score
0
I didn't mean this to become about my tour or complaints, but I just wanted to say I wasn't referring to the Quality Reads UK review. Other blogs on my list are listed as "August 14th - Interview and book review," for example. However, they only posted an interview on that day, no review. Same thing happened on the 16th. I do understand the UK one is sort of a book club and it might take longer.
 

pandorapoikilos

Registered
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I didn't mean this to become about my tour or complaints, but I just wanted to say I wasn't referring to the Quality Reads UK review. Other blogs on my list are listed as "August 14th - Interview and book review," for example. However, they only posted an interview on that day, no review. Same thing happened on the 16th. I do understand the UK one is sort of a book club and it might take longer.

I understand that, Diana. But majority of the bloggers from your tour belong to the Quality Reads Book Club. i.e. Jim from the Reading and Vicky from Author's Friend.
 

LisaLRegan

Registered
Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Website
www.lisaregan.com
Clarification

I should say that by my question, I did not mean in any way to imply that I've been dissatisfied with Orangeberry. I was merely wondering how long the reviews took since the only other clients I am friendly with started their tours around the same time I did so they are in the same boat I am in--just wondering how long it takes. I think I did ask Pandora directly about this and as I recall the response was that because of the UK Quality Reads wanting to read books together and discuss before posting reviews, there was no way to give a date certain. Obviously no one can control other peoples' reading speeds!

I just thought perhaps other authors who completed their tours could give me a ballpark as to how long their reviews took to come in.

I've been very happy with the exposure Orangeberry has given my book. I have no complaints. I would recommend them to other writers and in fact, I have recommended them to other writers.
 

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
0
Orangeberry is book promotion as RPG. It will waste your time, money, and energy. It will not help promote your books. It will not make people remember your name.

Being mentioned on weblogs is not a book tour. It's also not an effective way to promote books.

Being mentioned and reviewed on unspecified weblogs is a completely meaningless promise. Good blogs do exist. People read them voluntarily, and listen to their advice. Almost none of them will take money to mention you or review your book. While I can hypothesize that some might do it -- everyone needs to eat -- they certainly won't do it for the paltry sums Orangeberry budgets. The rest won't do it at all. The ones that take ads will just tell you to buy an ad. And an important point: none of them will promise to say something predictable about you. If a popular blogger decides your book is ridiculous, and they figure they can get a zillion hits for a funny entry mocking it, you are toast.

Blogs that can guarantee predictable reactions to your book have no readers.

$50 won't buy 25 original blog entries about your book.
$55 won't buy an editorial assessment plus comments.
$100 won't buy a professional proofread.
$130 won't buy 20-25 plausible reviews by people who've actually read your book.
$200 won't buy three months of a postage-stamp-size ad on a reasonably popular book-related blog.

So what are you buying? Heaven only knows.

And one more thing: there aren't fifty book-related blogs out there that are worth your advertising dollar. (Always check the click-through rates.)

Orangeberry: not recommended in the slightest.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
It does occur to me that the whole point of a "blog tour" is to have appearances on a sequence of blogs, closely together, on specified days, each linking to the next.

If you are not getting that, you are not getting a blog tour.
 

LisaLRegan

Registered
Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Location
Philadelphia, PA
Website
www.lisaregan.com
Follow Up

Well I definitely got a tour. Can't speak for other people. There are plenty of book bloggers out there to approach for free. But the follow-through rate is deplorable. Approach 40, 3 will agree to read and review your book on their blog. Out of the 3 who agree to do it, only 1 will actually do it. It's a lot of time and energy wasted not to mention free copies of your book. Why do all that when a blog tour company can line up possible review stops for you for a small fee? No, not all blog hosts will post reviews and not all of the reviews that are posted will be stellar, but if you get a handful of good ones, it helps. Also whenever you ask someone--anyone--to review your book you run the risk of being publicly humiliated if they don't like it. It's all part of the business.

What I can say is that my sales have improved significantly since the beginning of my Orangeberry tour even without the reviews thus far and I have nothing else to attribute that to other than the tour, so for me personally, it actually was well worth the money spent, especially since I've made it back times three and still going.

Actually having the reviews come in later extends the exposure--so instead of getting only 30 days, I'll get a lot more time out of the tour as the reviews begin to trickle in.

This is just my experience though, as I said, I cannot speak for others. Based on the sales driven in from the tour, I'd use OB again. But hey, to each his or her own.
 
Last edited:

Katrina S. Forest

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
2,050
Reaction score
0
Website
katrinasforest.com
Well I definitely got a tour. Can't speak for other people. There are plenty of book bloggers out there to approach for free. But the follow-through rate is deplorable. Approach 40, 3 will agree to read and review your book on their blog. Out of the 3 who agree to do it, only 1 will actually do it.

It makes complete sense that bloggers (especially popular ones) would often say no. Lots of people are asking them to read lots of books. They can only do so much. It also makes sense that someone might agree to review with all the best of intentions and simply have an unexpectedly crazy schedule that forces them to withdraw. It's life. It happens.

Why do all that when a blog tour company can line up possible review stops for you for a small fee?

I think the point being made is that the fee is so small, it's questionable what blogs will devote their time to reading and reviewing for that price. It's possible to get lucky, I suppose, especially if you land a review in a blog that's quickly gaining popularity.

What I can say is that my sales have improved significantly since the beginning of my Orangeberry tour even without the reviews thus far and I have nothing else to attribute that to other than the tour, so for me personally, it actually was well worth the money spent, especially since I've made it back times three and still going.

This is very useful information, and congrats on your extra sales. :)

Actually having the reviews come in later extends the exposure--so instead of getting only 30 days, I'll get a lot more time out of the tour as the reviews begin to trickle in.

Kind of hard to say if it helps or hinders, I think. You have no way of knowing if a shorter tour (with the reviews coming more frequently) would've given you less sales or more.
 

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
0
I've been looking into Orangeberry and its kin. It's been very interesting. Looks like selling "virtual book tours" or "promotional book tours" is a hot new development in the useless book promotion industry. We may need a separate thread about this on the Bewares Board.

In my opinion, the people who run Orangeberry have a background in spammy online marketing, not bookselling or public relations.

They own or are very, very closely affiliated with a site called Quality Reads UK Book Club. Here's something amusing: you can find further sites that are very, very closely affiliated with Quality Reads UK Book Club by googling on "overflowing sinks and laundry baskets," because they all duplicate the same cheesy little personal article about how they got into book blogging. These sites include Book Blog Promo and Book Review Depot. My Writing Stage (subtitled "A stage in the world books, writing & publishing") appears to also belong in this constellation, though it doesn't use the laundry basket article.

So how does Orangeberry guarantee precisely timed mentions and reviews, in over fifty blogs, of their clients' books? Simple: they've ginned up fifty-plus fake book blogs, and have enlisted a couple of other book blogs that are willing to service their clients on request. The Orangeberry/QRUKBC list:

http://authors-friend.blogspot.com/
http://bitsnbobsbooks.blogspot.com/
http://blog.kybunnies.com
http://blogaliciousauthors.blogspot.com/
http://book-connisseur.com/
http://bookconnisseur.blogspot.com/
http://booklovers-dream.blogspot.com/
http://bookprofessor.blogspot.com/
http://booksane.blogspot.com/
http://booksbooks-morebooks.blogspot.com/
http://booksontherange.blogspot.com/
http://brainyreads.blogspot.com/
http://cityofbookreviews.blogspot.com/
http://creating-imaginations.blogspot.com/
http://dreamingpages.blogspot.com/
http://einkreviews.blogspot.com/
http://everythingforbooks.blogspot.com/
http://frommindtomind.blogspot.com/
http://frompages2pages.blogspot.com/
http://gentlemanreads.blogspot.com/
http://highclassbooks.blogspot.com/
http://imaginationinbooks.blogspot.com/
http://journeythrubooks.blogspot.com/
http://justmyopinionbookreviews.blogspot.com/
http://kindle-nookbooks.blogspot.com/
http://lifealteringreads.blogspot.com/
http://living4-books.blogspot.com/
http://lonelyheartreviews.blogspot.com/
http://meuandbooks.blogspot.com/
http://mylifein-books.blogspot.com/
http://myloveforbooks.blogspot.com/
http://myreadingproblem.blogspot.com/
http://needtostopreading.blogspot.com/
http://nobodyimportantreviews.blogspot.com/
http://non-stopreads.blogspot.com/
http://pagestochapterstocovers.blogspot.com/
http://pageturningbooks.blogspot.com/
http://pastimewithbooks.blogspot.com/
http://pawsonbooks.blogspot.com/
http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/
http://readingawaylife.blogspot.com/
http://readingdreamlife.blogspot.com/
http://readingmyaddiction.blogspot.com/
http://thenextbigbookthing.blogspot.com/
http://thereadingcat.blogspot.com/
http://topofshelfbooks.blogspot.com/
http://topomorning.blogspot.com/
http://ukbookclub.blogspot.com/
http://ukqualtiyreads.com/
http://unbiasedbooks.blogspot.com/
http://unendingtbrpile.blogspot.com/
http://upinsmokereviews.blogspot.com/
http://working4books.blogspot.com/
http://www.aspiringbook.com/
http://www.farmgirlbook.com/
http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com/

The visual designs vary a bit, but their content is practically identical, and no one ever posts comments to them. Most of their inbound links are from Orangeberry sites. All of them have lots of advertising for the same books.

The QRUKBC site has a page on which they list the names of their member bloggers. Bear in mind that this is the same list of weblogs that Orangeberry uses. Every blog on that list is owned and operated by one blogger, and every one of those bloggers has a standard first name and last name: no middle names, no titles or honorifics, no co-editors, et cetera. (Anyone who's dealt with spammers will already be snickering.) I googled on all the names that had irregular features, like Rayburn Barker, JoAnn Haneys, and Kevin Fords, and found no mentions of them that weren't on sites associated with Orangeberry/QRUKBC. That is: they're fake. They don't exist. They're the autogenerated proprietors of autogenerated weblogs.

No one reads those weblogs. They have no effect on your book sales. Money spent on them is wasted.

Note: www.ravinaandreakurian.com and http://blog.kybunnies.com are the non-identical sites on that list. I think they joined up and converted, rather than being ginned up with the rest of the batch.

Orangeberry isn't the only company selling useless virtual tours. Google on "author tours" + virtual or book blast or street team or cover reveal if you want to see more.
 
Last edited:

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
0
Well I definitely got a tour. Can't speak for other people. There are plenty of book bloggers out there to approach for free. But the follow-through rate is deplorable. Approach 40, 3 will agree to read and review your book on their blog. Out of the 3 who agree to do it, only 1 will actually do it. It's a lot of time and energy wasted not to mention free copies of your book.
Yes. It's time and energy and copies wasted. So is Orangeberry.
Why do all that when a blog tour company can line up possible review stops for you for a small fee?
Can we please stop talking about this in terms of metaphoric book tours? These aren't book tours. Nobody's going anywhere.

The answer to your question is that if you solicit reviews yourself, you might get reviewed by a site people actually read.
No, not all blog hosts will post reviews and not all of the reviews that are posted will be stellar, but if you get a handful of good ones, it helps. Also whenever you ask someone--anyone--to review your book you run the risk of being publicly humiliated if they don't like it. It's all part of the business.
If you aren't risking a bad review, you aren't being reviewed.
What I can say is that my sales have improved significantly since the beginning of my Orangeberry tour even without the reviews thus far and I have nothing else to attribute that to other than the tour, so for me personally, it actually was well worth the money spent, especially since I've made it back times three and still going.
I'm glad your sales went up, but it had nothing to do with Orangeberry.
Actually having the reviews come in later extends the exposure--so instead of getting only 30 days, I'll get a lot more time out of the tour as the reviews begin to trickle in.

This is just my experience though, as I said, I cannot speak for others. Based on the sales driven in from the tour, I'd use OB again. But hey, to each his or her own.
Permission to speak bluntly? Anybody can be fooled by scammers once; but if you use them again, you'll just be fooling yourself.
 
Last edited:

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
Every blog on that list is owned and operated by one blogger, and every one of those bloggers has a standard first name and last name: no middle names, no titles or honorifics, no co-editors, et cetera. (Anyone who's dealt with spammers will already be snickering.) I googled on all the names that had irregular features, like Rayburn Barker, JoAnn Haneys, and Kevin Fords, and found no mentions of them that weren't on sites associated with Orangeberry/QRUKBC. That is: they're fake.

I tried the experiment with Ginger Harwthrone. You'd think that maybe the name was a typo for Hawthorne, but it's spelled thus on Twitter, G+, and Goodreads. And ... Ginger has no existence that isn't associated with this book blog. No one reports going to lunch with her, she didn't show her pet at a local cat show, she hasn't participated in a Walk For Life, she isn't listed in a graduating class ... there's nothing.

Nor does she reveal anything about herself in, say, the first post on her blog. (The first post is, incidentally, labeled as an "Orangeberry Book Tours" book. Checking that review, I find that it's repeated word-for-word on multiple blogs. Surely some other blogger was able to form a different opinion, or even the same opinion, in different words?

Her blog posts are carbon copies of the contents of several others that I spot-checked from Hapi's list. Alas, I am left wondering whether the "Quality Reads UK Book Club" actually exists in any meaningful way.
 

Old Hack

Such a nasty woman
Super Moderator
Absolute Sage
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Messages
22,454
Reaction score
0
Location
In chaos
What I can say is that my sales have improved significantly since the beginning of my Orangeberry tour even without the reviews thus far and I have nothing else to attribute that to other than the tour

Lisa, could you share with us an indication of your sales before and after the Orangeberry tour?
 

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
0
I tried the experiment with Ginger Harwthrone. You'd think that maybe the name was a typo for Hawthorne, but it's spelled thus on Twitter, G+, and Goodreads. And ... Ginger has no existence that isn't associated with this book blog. No one reports going to lunch with her, she didn't show her pet at a local cat show, she hasn't participated in a Walk For Life, she isn't listed in a graduating class ... there's nothing.
Yup. The names I checked were all like that: near-zero footprint on Google, identical assortments of accounts. It's impossible. Like any other group of writers, real bloggers are natural noise emitters, and no two of them make the same noise.
Nor does she reveal anything about herself in, say, the first post on her blog. (The first post is, incidentally, labeled as an "Orangeberry Book Tours" book. Checking that review, I find that it's repeated word-for-word on multiple blogs. Surely some other blogger was able to form a different opinion, or even the same opinion, in different words?
Again, impossible. Even if two writers managed to have exactly the same reaction to a book, they'd express it in different words.
Her blog posts are carbon copies of the contents of several others that I spot-checked from Hapi's list.
You'd have the same results no matter how many you checked. I assume that Orangeberry/QRUKBC's owners are using software that automatically propagates content to blogs on their list. With the exception of Ravina Andrea Kurian's perfunctory mommy blog and the Kentucky Bunny site, they all share the same content.

Funny detail: some of the site designs have cute dummy links to nonexistent other sections of that blog. I assume they're there to disguise the poverty of the content.

The phrase that keeps coming to mind is "untouched by human hands." Online sucker-marketing software has gotten quite good at generating plausible-looking fake sites, and propagating fake content to fill them. Orangeberry/QRUKBC's "book blogs" are the great-grandchildren of those bare, syntactically challenged, single-topic fake weblogs of yore that were designed to scoop up a constant trickle of Google AdWords revenue.
Alas, I am left wondering whether the "Quality Reads UK Book Club" actually exists in any meaningful way.
No. The club is fake from top to bottom. The biggest evidence that there might be a human being behind it who's separate from the human being behind Orangeberry is that the site design for QRUKBC is so much worse than Orangeberry's. Whether these human beings are named Pandora Poikilos, Ravina Andrea Kurian, or something else entirely, is anybody's guess.
 

HapiSofi

Hagiographically Advantaged
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
2,093
Reaction score
0
Thanks, Torgo. I've added an entry about virtual author tours to the Not-a-FAQ. Main point: while there are weblogs that can genuinely boost your sales, that's not where VATs will get you mentioned.

(VAT: it's like YADS, only different.)

I think the important question now is how other VAT-marketers do business. I don't have time just now to do a lot more hunting and dissecting, but I'll stand on the sidelines and cheer for anyone else who wants to have a go at it.

A minor but interesting question: How many of the self-publishing/self-promotion mavens out there have mentioned VATs approvingly?
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
As a blogger I have been approached by various tour organizers, so some clearly do bother to get "real" blogs involved.
 

James D. Macdonald

Your Genial Uncle
Absolute Sage
VPX
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
25,582
Reaction score
0
Location
New Hampshire
Website
madhousemanor.wordpress.com
As a blogger I have been approached by various tour organizers, so some clearly do bother to get "real" blogs involved.

The existence of vanity presses doesn't disprove the the reality of legitimate publishers.

Whether they're worth it ... is another question which I don't think we should address in this thread.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Staff member
Moderator
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,673
Reaction score
0
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
The existence of vanity presses doesn't disprove the the reality of legitimate publishers.

Whether they're worth it ... is another question which I don't think we should address in this thread.

I was just clarifying that VAT =/= fake blogs. So any discussion of worth that does occur should deal with both scenarios. The discussion has already occurred to some extent and is here for people to see. So my 2c = FWIW, yes, I think I have had value from VATs (not paid for, not with fake blogs).
 

aliceshortcake

Wilde about Oscar
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
0
Location
Oop North
Isn't the internet marvellous?

*stands up and applauds the detective work*