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[Reviewer] BookPleasures.com

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

ngoldman

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As Editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, bookpleasures.com, I am apalled when I learn that some authors have been shafted by "fake" book reviewers. These reviewers are only interested in receiving a complimentary book and unfortunately very rarely write a review.

As the old cliché goes- let the buyer beware. Before agreeing to have your book reviewed, make sure you know something about the reviewer and where the review will be posted. Insist that you have samples of previous reviews. Also, check and see the genre that are reviewed and if it is a site like bookpleasures.com, check out who are the reviewers.

I receive hundreds of requests for reviews every month and I tell the individual requesting the review not to send out any books until he or she hears from myself or one of my reviewers.

Regards
Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com:)
book_normanPhoto.jpg
 

Speed

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Seems to me Norm's making a legitimate point. We don't have any reason to believe his site isn't on the up-and-up. I'd take his post as a field report: "Beware, here's yet another scam being run on writers."

Hopeful writers are increasingly whipping themselves into frenzies of self-promotion. Do you doubt that some of them have been imprudent with their review copies? I think Norm's warning could be quite useful to them.
 

veinglory

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Norm makes a good point but even as a supporter of bookpleasures I don't see how this post reqired a link to that site (other than perhaps in the sig line).
 
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Scrawler

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Well, this is good to know. I didn't realize I'd have to pay someone to review my book. I figured with my 20+ years in public relations and advertising, I'd be able to do some of this legwork myself. Something to think about!
 

ngoldman

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In reply to the individual who wanted to know what pubishers or media outlets use my reviews.

My reviews have been used in authors' media kits who have published with the major and small pubishing houses. In addition, my reviews have appeared as publicity material in BookPage (America's Book Review) where you can pick up a copy in your local library.

Moreover, many well-known authors (not self-published) have either quoted from my reviews, used a part of the review as as blurb or linked to the review from their web site.

I also am a contributor to the Canadian Book Review Annual, where many of my reviews have appeared over the years.

As for a link to my site, I notice this discussion board does permit the link-what is wrong with linking to a site that reviews books? From the many requests I receive for reviews, I would believe that there seems to be a lack of good reviewers.

Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com
 

Lauri B

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Norm,
Good luck to you and your site. However, in the book trade, the only reviews that "count" are those from daily papers (and even there there's a hierarchy) national magazines, and trade publications such as Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus, KLIATT, etc. Website reviews are nice for getting the word out to readers who spend time on the web, but don't do a thing for booksellers or legitimacy in the industry.

Which is not to clobber you on the head, but merely to point out to other people reading this forum that in general, online book reviews don't do a ton for your book. So send out those review copies with both eyes open.
 

Uncarved

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I get review copies all the time to review. I post them up on my website simply for a bit of added exposure for the writer. I'm in a network of sites and we get about 3 million PVs a month, so its on my site, as well as on some of the other sites in the network as we share links. Some of the Sister 6 publishers send me review copies. And I don't charge a dime for it, express or otherwise. My review may not mean much, but the companies that send me the books and the authors seem to be pleased thus far.
 

Lauri B

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tinasamuels said:
I get review copies all the time to review. I post them up on my website simply for a bit of added exposure for the writer. I'm in a network of sites and we get about 3 million PVs a month, so its on my site, as well as on some of the other sites in the network as we share links. Some of the Sister 6 publishers send me review copies. And I don't charge a dime for it, express or otherwise. My review may not mean much, but the companies that send me the books and the authors seem to be pleased thus far.

Exactly my point--it's great added exposure, but it's not going to lend the legitimacy to a book that would result from having a review in Publisher's Weekly or The Christian Science Monitor or a well-respected publication in their genre or field. I think online book reviews are terrific for author recognition, but people should never, never pay for reviews. And my point wasn't to belittle online reviewers, just to point out how the book trade (book buyers, reps, distributors, etc.) tend to view reviews and publicity in general.
 
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I write bogus reviews occasionally. Not for free books. I dont like the authors, personally. I dont even bother to read their books. A waste of time. I wouldnt want their books in my library. I just make it up.
 

Lauri B

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Why? why would you bother to do it, and why would you bother to come on the boards and talk about it?
 

Jamesaritchie

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ngoldman said:
As Editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, bookpleasures.com, I am apalled when I learn that some authors have been shafted by "fake" book reviewers. These reviewers are only interested in receiving a complimentary book and unfortunately very rarely write a review.

As the old cliché goes- let the buyer beware. Before agreeing to have your book reviewed, make sure you know something about the reviewer and where the review will be posted. Insist that you have samples of previous reviews. Also, check and see the genre that are reviewed and if it is a site like bookpleasures.com, check out who are the reviewers.

I receive hundreds of requests for reviews every month and I tell the individual requesting the review not to send out any books until he or she hears from myself or one of my reviewers.

Regards
Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com:)
book_normanPhoto.jpg

Authros usually don't have to provide books for reviewing. Most legitimate reviewers receive books form the publisher, not the writer.
 

ngoldman

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Please note that the express review that I offer is for a review to be effectuated within 15 business days. In addition, there are added features that-yes-help the author sell his book. However, Bookpleasures.com is not restricted to express reviews and for the most part our reviews do not fall within this category.

It should also be pointed out that an express review does not guarantee a favorable review. Its primary purpose is to meet a need where a publisher, publicist or author is looking for a quick review where he or she will not have to wait 3-6 months for a review. There are a variety of reasons why express reviews are requested such as putting together a media kit, blurbs, etc


What many authors fail to realize is that if you wish to sell your book you have to seek out the most effective marketing plan. Books do not sell by themselves. I have interviewed some well-known authors who often repeat the same advice- it is up to you to do the marketing and leg work.

As for print reviews-yes if you can have a New York Times review-great! How many authors are honored to have such a review? Moreover, unfortunately print media has cut back on the number of reviews that are published.

How effective are Internet reviews? Just yesterday I received an email from an author who attributed a good percentage of his sales of his book to a review I did last year. He is now on his second edition of the book. This was not the only email I had received stating the same finding.
However, Internet reviews are only one aspect of your marketing plan and cannot be relied on entirely.

Other parts include using Amazon to your most effective advantage, such as using the "plog" they provide and if you had an interview, mention this in the product section. There are press notice services on the Internet to use, wherein you publicize your reviews, etc etc. Remember, you are not only in the business of writing but also in selling your book, unless you only wrote the book for yourself.

Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com
 

ngoldman

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As for the legitimacy-I guess Random House believes the reviews posted on bookpleasures.com has a place in the literary world.

I receive every week requests from Random House publicists to review some of their books. In addition, my mailman is continuously delivering Random House books to my home, even though I insist that they first send me an email before sending out a book.

In addition, I receive requests from well-known scholars, scientists, authors, etc to review their books. I guess they likewise believe in the usefullness of Bookpleasures' reviews.


Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com
 
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People need to be aware of what really goes on in the publishing world. I trash a few authors and these same authors get their moms and friends to write favorable reviews. It's not amazing that I do it, it's amazing you think it's out of the ordinary.
 

Lauri B

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Sounds like it's working for both you and them, then. Best of luck in your business.
 

Christine N.

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In defense of Norm, I do know of at least three review sites, for YA and/or children's books, that are also on the lists of reviewers for big houses like S&S, Penguin, Random House, and send them review copies of all upcoming books. All three sites get a good deal of traffic, and are becoming more popular among authors and readers.

Not that that changes anything - of course you want to send your books to PW, Kirkus, Booklist, ForeWord... but the odds of getting a review in those pubs are low. Everyone wants a review in those pubs, few get them.

It doesn't hurt, IMO, to have a backup. Plumps up the media kit and makes your website look good. :)
 

Lauri B

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Mayor, cross-posted with you. My comment was to Norm. I can't imagine why you'd waste your time writing fake reviews, but whatever floats your boat.
 

rekirts

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Remember, you are not only in the business of writing but also in selling your book, unless you only wrote the book for yourself.
But...but...but...I thought I only had to 'sell' my book to a publisher and they market it to the public while I go home and write another book--because I'm--you know--a writer, not a salesperson. :Shrug:
 

ngoldman

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I love your comments Rekirts! Unfortunately, as many of you all know, this is not exactly how it works. It would be wonderful if authors did not have to self-promote!

Norm, Editor Bookpleasures.com
 

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