Authors: Tell the Truth and You will Gain Brownie Points
Guest Post by Irene Watson
Several weeks ago we received an order for a publicity/review package from an author. I quickly responded with the name and address of a reviewer and asked him to send the book and let me know when it was sent so I could track it. I didn’t get a response so a week later I followed up and this is what I received back:
I was put aback to hear that you use volunteers whom it seems are not as qualified as pros.
My response was:
I’m not understanding. What do you mean by pros?
His response was:
Hi, what I would like is a reviewer with qualifiations. For examply, someone I paid $50 who said they knew the memoir genre, did not know what “musing” is. Then turned around and suggested I have more dialogue. There were other comments that in all led me to believe she (the reviewer), was not a pro (qualified) for my review and my $50.
Well, it’s entirely up to you whether you use our service or not and who you feel is a pro. We’ve had many of the same reviewers for over 5 years and this may or may not qualify them as pros. We review books for major authors like James Patterson and our endorsements/blurbs can be found in many of the books in brick and mortar stores like B & N. We are syndicated and our reviews are used by USA Today, Chicago Sun Times and many other major outlets. All this information is on our site. As well, all of our reviews are posted on the site for you to see the writing styles of the reviewers. Pros? This is something for you to decide for yourself.
I have canceled your submission. I sincerely wish you much success with the sales of your book.
The response was:
Well sorry but when money is tight I sometimes hange my mind. But I will keep you in mind should I get back to work and want several reviews. I figure the more the merrier.
So, why didn’t this author be honest and tell me that in the first place rather than turn it around and accuse us of not having professional reviewers? And, why did he order a publicity package in the first place knowing he had no money to pay for it? It’s obvious there was no thought that when an order is placed there are many aspects involved. Not only did it take my time up but also put the reviewer in a holding pattern waiting for the book to arrive. The reviewers are on a timeline and get only the number of books they can review during a period of time. The reviewer was jeopardized by not being in line to receive another book to review.
Furthermore, if the author was honest and told me he changed his mind because money is tight I would have offered him a payment plan, or just canceled the order. I know money is tight – I happen to be effected by the economy as well. My mission is to help authors and if all the author can pay is $25 per month so be it…it works for me. But, what doesn’t work for me is being accused of something we are not. This is not how an author gains Brownie Points nor is it a mind-set of a successful author. Is this book going to be a best seller? Or, even sell the average of 350 in its lifetime that is attached to self-published books? Doubtful. Upon checking Amazon.com I found the book was published in 2010, there are no reviews posted, and to date there have been no sales. Need I say more?
Honesty does gain Brownie Points.
Irene Watson is the Managing Editor of Reader Views, where avid readers can find reviews of recently published books as well as read interviews with authors. Her team also provides author publicity and a variety of other services specific to writing and publishing books.