New from Kindle Publisherers: E-Blackmail for your Reviewing Needs!

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We here at Kindle Publisherers are excited and thrilled and excited to offer our select clientele a new service for their anti-promotional needs: E-Blackmail!

Now we all know the one thing that both traditionally-published and independently-published authors agree upon:  Reviews are hard to get! And good reviews are even harder to get! But bad reviews, heck, you can shake a stick and they come a-runnin’.

For only $19.99, Kindle Publisherers, using our super-secret Amazon account, Publishererus, will leave you a glowing five-star review! Our talented and semi-literate reviewers will even read your book’s entire description so folks won’t be able to tell it’s a paid review. You’ll get a full TWENTY (20) word review! That’s less than a dollar a word! You can’t beat that! Not without the possibility of a long stay in prison, anyway.

For our special, special customers, those people we feel should be a part of the Kindle Publisherers Family, we have an even better deal. When we notice your book on Amazon, we’ll send you our special offer: $19.99 or our talented and on-parole reviewers will leave you a review. We’re not saying it’ll be a five-star, but it might. Just send up the $19.99, and you’ll find out.

And don’t worry if you don’t have the money in your advertising budget! We’ll send you another e-mail the next day! We know we want you as one of our wonderful customers! And for $29.99, we’ll make sure you get a good review on your book. We won’t forget you! We’ll continue to email you every day for a week until you finally pay up! Remember, if you pay on day 7, the cost of our valued service goes up to the incredibly cheap sum of $499.99! Think of all the return-on-investment you’ll get with a review for that kind of money!

Much like the telephone company, even if you don’t pay, we’ll still make you part of our cherished family. We’ll have Marco, who just got out of San Quentin after spending ten years in for a crime he didn’t commit, write a glowing and radiant review. He listens to a lot of death metal and Carole King, so he’s a bit on the depressed side, and sometimes it shows in his work. But don’t worry: On Amazon, you can’t actually leave a review with NO stars, so embrace that star with the love it deserves!

So remember: If you get an email from the Kindle Publisherers E-Blackmail Service, now you know that it’s your key to a golden pathway to literary success! A map to a golden doorway of pride!

Just send us the money! Or not! We’ll do the rest!

Kirkus Reviews: A Disparity Apparent

IU-Kirkus02After the recent discussion with Karen Schechner, representative of the illustrious Kirkus Reviews, I decided to see if I could find out what the real facts are about them, since they claim to be used as some sort of standard by the publishing industry. Continue reading

Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part III

razor wireTo refresh everyone’s memory, in Part I, I spoke briefly about Paul Drakar’s idea that top ranked Amazon reviewers were the new Gatekeepers of publishing, and his strategy for enlisting their help to promote our books. In Part II, I investigated whether these top ranked reviewers really did influence sales – apparently they do. Now it’s time to look at Drakar’s strategy in detail.

In a nutshell, the strategy is a six-step process that involves a great deal of research, and more than a smidgeon of chutzpah. I’ve provided a bare-bones summary of the steps below, however I recommend reading Drakar’s entire article as it contains a great deal of useful information. Continue reading

Pitching to the New Gatekeepers, Part 1

gateNot that long ago, K.P. Ambroziak wrote a guest post for Indies Unlimited entitled, ‘A New Gatekeeper Rising’. That post triggered an interesting discussion about reviews and gatekeepers, however it was the author’s comments about review numbers that really caught my attention. Apparently, BookBub will not accept books for [paid] promotion unless they have a certain number of reviews – i.e. have a track record of popularity with readers.

As Indies, we all know the importance of getting a goodly number of reviews for our books; nothing looks so unloved, and unread, as a book with only a few reviews, or, -shock horror- no reviews at all. Like it or not, Amazon has conditioned us to see reviews as ad hoc indicators of popularity, and being herd animals, we associate popularity with quality.

Whether popularity really does work that way is a moot question, and not one I’m brave enough to tackle here. Nonetheless, I think we can all accept that, as a marketing strategy, popularity begets sales. After all, Amazon doesn’t publish all those best-seller lists for nothing. Each list is a bright, shiny life-raft for customers drowning in the sheer volume of ‘things’ on offer at Amazon.

For us Indies, getting onto one of those life-rafts is tantamount to being given the keys to marketing heaven.

The question then is, how do we squirm our way out of the sea, and onto a life-raft? Is BookBub right? Are reviews the answer? Continue reading

NetGalley – A Writer’s Point of View

Until a few months ago, I’d never even heard of NetGalley. But when one of my author friends mentioned it, I soon figured out it was huge.

Basically NetGalley is a place where readers, librarians, book buyers and reviewers can go to download free copies of e-books. The way it works is, authors and publishers pay a fee to list their books. Members of NetGalley then look at the site and request the titles that interest them. These requests are either approved or denied by the authors/publishers. If the request is approved, the requester gets a free, digital copy (either epub or mobi file from what I understand) of the book in exchange for an honest review. If you want a better explanation, you can check out How It Works on NetGalley.

Sounds like a fantastic system that’s advantageous for all parties, right?

My answer to that would be yes and no. Continue reading