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Thread: Orangeberry Book Tours

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  1. #10
    Hagiographically Advantaged AW Moderator HapiSofi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    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:

    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: and 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 by HapiSofi; 09-23-2013 at 05:35 PM.
    Winner of the Best Drycleaner on the Block Award.

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