Bait and Switch… Do you catch it? or Do they catch you?
Here is a heads up. When I write these articles, I name the good guys. I name the promotion sites eNovel Authors At Work has vetted, curated, like and use in our promotions, large and small. I figure you can read between the lines and pass up the bad guys. That said, in this article I’m naming names because some promoters do lie, cheat, flimflam and scam indie authors. I am gloriously sick of it.
This happened two weeks ago. A promoter tried to sell me the equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge. Here’s the caveat: It is NOT illegal to ask for money. People do it all the time in IndieGogo. It is called crowdfunding. Here is a site that just popped up in connection with the site I’m telling you about: GnomeFunding. No Alexa Rank. No Links. No nothing. It is scary. No mention of laws and rules. Nope. All right… moving on…
Here is the email that popped up in my mail box:
“Hi, I thought your author members may be interested in a new program our bookstore is launching for indies. Here is the tiny
URL http://bit.ly/1IgC0xZ or if you prefer you may visit our website and click on the Indie 800 tab on the left side. www.dogearedpagesusedbooks.com. Thanks for helping to get word out. We’re pretty excited about this! Melanie Tighe .”
Hey, I jumped on it. Melanie Tighe offered to sell member paperback books on consignment and at a fab rate. She also said she rented booths at conventions and would sell our new books, along with a dozen other author’s books. Better and better. Send me the particulars. Next email from Melanie had a contract/pledge attached to it–for $5,000. Huh? Just write the check and she would not cash it until all $4,000,000 had been raised for a new cultural center. And: “Please do ask fans, friends and family members to each contribute $50.” Holy smokes. We are not even invited as investors. Nope. Just hand over the money so they can build a new store, with our $$$$. Dog Eared Pages is a used bookstore. Authors don’t earn five cents on books turned in used bookstores. Now the owners want to double-dip–deep. What the heck are these people thinking?
Note this: Crowdfunding falls under the Jobs Act of 2012 and SEC rules: Here is one firm rule: Crowdfunding caps an amount an issuer can raise to $1 million in any 12-month period. Oops. There’s a red flag. Here is another: An Indiegogo crowdfunder is being sued for fraud.
Darlings… I wrote back and said we would be happy to place our books in the store on consignment, but we ain’t sending $5000 for the privilege. Not a peep since. Bait and Switch? You decide. Follow the links. I hope by now you know to check the Alexa Rank on every site connected to this offer to flatten your wallet. By-the-by: Unless funds go into a protected escrow account, the check can be cashed. All one has at the moment is Melanie’s word that she won’t cash your check. My last thought on this: If a business wants to expand, go see your favorite commercial banker.
Next, here is a site that is sketchy: Bookblow.com For $29 it will: Promote Book of the Day to 350,000 readers on Twitter. Post Book of the Day on it’s Facebook page having more than 8500 likes. Lifetime listing of your book on “our site” that gets more than 50,000 visits per month. It promotes Book of the day on the top 50 promotion groups on Facebook. The only thing is: Here is Facebook’s info on Bookblow: It does not have a Facebook page: FB says: This Page is automatically generated based on what Facebook users are interested in, and not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with the topic. It is blank. There is a legitimate Book of the Day site. It is FREE, but it is NOT BookBlow. Go Here to get your title on Book of the Day. Here is what I have discovered. Scammers are using the names of established sites by adding something as simple as an extra “e” in the name of the site or burying an underline like this: _ in the name so it is almost invisible. Here is the bottom line: Scam sites web pages are live linking to legitimate sites, but it has no connection to those sites whatsoever. Buyer Beware. If Book of the Day and Bookblow are associates… They can come right here and tell us. Comments are open.
Well, above is the scary stuff. Now let me share some of the good: eNovel Authors at Work has added The Midlist to our Preferred Promoters. The Books Machine has just slipped onto our list. eBooks Habit is on our preferred list and we are excited that it now accepts books priced up to $2.99. The promo site logos and icons on eNovel and JackieWeger.com are curated and vetted and on our Preferred list. We know the site administrators and the sites are consistent producers. UPDATE: The Midlist is D.E.A.D. The owners had an agenda: build it and sell it. They did. It is gone.
Keep in mind every indie author may not have the same results as the next. Even inside eNovel, some member’s books do better than another on the same site. There could be a dozen reasons why this is so: The promo hit during a blackout in the Northeast, floods in Texas, wildfires on the West Coast or a devastating tornado flattened a township in Oklahoma. And that is just the weather in the USA…Add global events that attract the attention of our fans and readers and subscribers on the day of our promotion and we see less downloads. That does not mean one’s book is awful or the site does not consistently perform. Life events happen. We don’t blame the book or the promoter.
Here is another consideration…
A Chicklit title full of spice and humor may see 2,000 downloads on a particular site. A title in a narrower market, say gay and lesbian and full of drama and family issues, may see only 300 downloads. Both are excellent returns for a particular genre.
Our members are glad to answer any question you might have about a promotion or a promoter we know. Just ask in the comment section. If you have visited eNovel before, you know I never like to sign off without encouraging indie authors to put this gentle review plea right after THE END in your books…
Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you, [author name].
Does it work? Yes, it does. In the past two years readers have kindly posted above 13,060+ reviews on eNovel authors books on Amazon.
Here are a few promotion sites eNovel Authors at Work prefers: Booktastik Choosy Bookworm Digital Book Today eReader News Today. You can also find a fabulous promo list on Indies Unlimited by Martin Crosbie here.
@Copyright 2015 Jackie Weger