Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Random Thoughts about Review sites--veinglory

A few review sites are looking for reviewers, presumably after the holiday season 'fade out'. Two Lips is looking for reviewers and editors, and mention that they also run Topaz Promotions. Which answers one question. Who is behind the most annoying promotion company I know of--well, between them and Promo Crystal, sorry Crystal--just my feelings as a loop and forum user. I hadn't put Topaz and Twolips together before (in the library with the candlestick, I think).

Now, admittedly I have this thing about publishers or review sites having profit-making author services. My logic is this. A company providing books or reviews should be oriented to readers. Therefore they should be adept at selling things... to readers. Not to authors.

One of Topaz's services is "Send out new release emails to no less than 50 eloops and monitors the loop for responses." This includes sending 7 promo messages to the same loop on the same day (I only checked back as far as Jan 3, I suspect it is sometimes more) including some duplicate posts and not responding questions I asked on the loop. Sometimes, I must say, less would be more. Yes I am in the process of amending the group rules to spell this out, subject to a member vote-slash-sanity check (sometimes I am irritated by thing just because I am easily irritated, so I have to check). And perhaps I should have addressed this privately but as they are meant to monitor the loop I would think discussing them by name on the loop might have sufficed....

Secondary thought: Twolip is currently running third in the preds and eds poll. Who votes most on that. Readers... authors? Someone out there clearly does like them, they represent some good authors. Shrug. What would I know. After all blogging isn't about being right. About half my opinions would embarrass a crack-addled hamster. The other half are of my opinions rock. Sad thing is I have no reliable way of telling which is which other than just throwing it out there.

Possibly I am just to snarky and overly biased by this company's previous attempt to sell expedited reviews as recommended by review-for-profit expert Kathy Burns-Millyard (as spelled out in the article how to start a profitable book review business). From which I quote (my emphasis):

"Over time, possibly just a few months but definitely within a year if you really work at it, you’ll have more reviews than you can handle. At that point, you should consider paying other writers to create the reviews. Many beginning writers will work for free, so you could farm out your “standard” reviews to them with just the promise of a free book. If you want to also farm out the expedited reviews - you will need to farm this out at some point, can you imagine getting 100 expedited review orders each week? ;) In any case, you could offer other starting writers $10-$20 pay per review plus the free book, and you’ll still have writers beating down the door. Eventually you could hire a “managing editor” and let all the writing be done by others… while you’re off in an exotic land somewhere without a worry in the world."

Writers write reviews for free or 10-20% of the fee being charged, providing reviews for writers and profit for business people. Where, I wonder again, are the readers? Because even if one doesn't pay, a review site should provide a return on the investment--a copy of your book, which is not worthless.


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veinglory said...

Well, it beats trying to write for a living....

Anonymous said...

I always wonder if the authors they represent know their promo reps are spamming/annoying people.

Your loop isn't the only place they've worn out their welcome.

Anonymous said...

As a reader, I don't find things like that very useful. The bit you quoted just makes it seem like nobody has to read the book, just stick in a few glowing hyperboles, give it 5 stars or hearts or lips or whatever and voila! Review. Which tells me nothing about whether I'd, y'know, like the book. And the constant promo messages are why I stick to small discussion loops meant specifically for readers.

Stacia said...

They don't just spam the loops. They do it on days other authors have expressly booked for promo chats, which means not only are they spammers, they're rude spammers.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I hate that, frankly. I try VERY hard not to be one of those "I'm just here to promote my new release". I have three loops I visit all the time and not just to promote. It irritates me when someone just swings by to announce a new release on Romance Divas. I don't do that at someone else's home either.
I think it turns readers off too. They don't like blogs that are all promo. Why would they like forum/group posters that are all promo?