CHECK YOUR FACTS! A Warning for Authors

I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but hopeful (and sometimes desperate) authors should be warned when there is someone out there that will try to take advantage of them or promise them things that they don’t deliver. There are enough scams and half-assers out there, but when someone can stop someone else from making a big mistake, this is exactly what should be done.

I want to talk to you about seriousreading.com and the bullshit I just dealt with. Maybe, once you see for yourselves what it is they *actually* deliver, you can avoid making the DUMB mistake I did.

On Feburary 19, I came across a suggested post on FB. I wish I had taken a screenshot of it so I could relay their pitch word-for-word, but you will just have to go onto their FB and read for yourself because they have blocked me. Basically, it offered review and promotion services for $49. You pay the fee, they have “one of their reviewers” take on your book. If they feel the book is something other people would want to read, and meets standards of grammar and so on (I assume that’s what they meant) they publish a review of your book on their site, and then promise to “promote” the book on their site and Facebook page. If they don’t feel it meets their standards, they will not review it and will refund your money.

Yeah, I can hear you cringe all the way over here.

Let me just say that I am one of those “too good to be true”, paranoid, always looking for the other shoe to drop sort of people. I shy away from anything fee-related, even well-known, established, and reputable book promotion sites. When I read through the THOUSANDS of comments, I noticed a trend of positivity. Should be a good thing, right? However, I was concerned about the lack of even ONE person saying “Nah, this place is a scam” or that one person that is always there lurking in the comments saying that they were ripped off (whether legitimate or not, there is always one person like this in EVERY company.) After a little callous back and forth between myself and the admin of the page, regarding this very issue, I figured whatever. $50 isn’t too much and if they refund it then what’s the harm?

On Feb 19th, I made my payment. I received quick confirmation of receipt and shortly after that I was asked for the info on my book. Shortly after I sent that in, they sent me an email asking for me to complete and author interview at my earliest convenience and send in a picture. Sounds good.

At some point in my researching the FB page, I saw the admin answer another potential customer regarding how they would receive their books for review. They were told that they would either purchase the ebook, or would acquire it from a lender. Since I had no knowledge of my book being a part of a lender, I figured that they would be purchasing it and so I watched my sales reports (which were SADLY dismal so it would have been easy to spot the sale, lol. I mean I was looking for them to PROMOTE my book for a reason: I just don’t have the time myself) hoping to see one sale pop up so I could gauge how long til I would have an answer whether I was accepted or rejected. After two weeks-one day shy of two weeks, actually-I got antsy.

Below are screenshots of our interaction.

I know you started reading that last juicy tidbit, but let’s back up just a smidge here. So, after I thanked them again (I realize at times I am bitchy, but c’mon you don’t mess with someone’s money and I felt like I was being chastised for a very LEGITIMATE concern) and that was that for a few hours. Oh, but then I saw my review had been posted. Oh boy, time for the worry to be erased, right? WRONG.

seriousread6seriousreead7

Okay so, I know it’s hard but let’s just ignoreΒ the incredibly obvious lack of knowing how to string two sentences together. Let’s even ignore the fact that this is not a review… it’s pretty much just a synopsis. The site promised to “read and publish a review” of your book. I already had a synopsis, thank you, and mine actually pertained to my book and made sense. Theirs, as you can read above, was barely coherent. I am also 95% certain they did not receive a copy “from their lender” as they told me in PM, but instead just went to my Amazon account and created some half-assed thing out of the collective reviews there. Most pointedly, the fact that they called one of my characters a “younger sister”. A legitimate reviewer on Amazon made this same mistake in her review and I went back through the book to make sure I hadn’t goofed. Between that and how fast I was suddenly reviewed after complaining, I can guarantee they did NOT read the book.

But that’s not even the worst of it!

No, they created an “about the author” at the very start of their “review” and suddenly I found myself to have “travelled to various territories” and was a “survivor of a series of murders” and also ended up having a dead uncle. Um… WHAT?! No, I am sorry, as interesting as that would have made me, none of that is the case. When I brought this up, though, I had the blame shifted onto MYSELF.

So, let’s make something clear. There are two authors. Melissa A. Graham- me, author of Deny the Moon. There is also Melissa Graham- not me, author of traveling books. Below is her Amazon bio for ONE of her books.

seriousread11.png

Now, that explained the traveling around the globe thing but I have YET to come across anything on this author about being the survivor of murder. So I googled the quoted phrase he gave me and you can imagine my surprise when my Createspace page is at the top of the list. I click it and read the author bio and about die.

About the author:
To get down to the nitty-gritty of it, I am a young mother of four, insanely in love and married to my best friend, and looking for my purpose in the world. I work, I keep a not-so-tidy house, I raise kids, and I do every mundane thing that every other person in the world does. The only difference between me and 80% of the population is while I am driving to the store, cooking at work, throwing in yet ANOTHER load of laundry, and even sitting down watching T.V., I am also traveling to uncharted territories, trying to survive a mysterious string of murders following my rich uncle’s passing, being whisked off my feet by a penniless Puerto Rican painter, and concocting diabolical schemes for world domination. Granted, the last few activities are going on in my twisted little brain but it is happening whether I wish it to or not. At any given time, I have dozens of characters, stories, places, and even arguments whirling around in my brain. My goal is to get those creations out of my head (I need some quiet every once in a while!) and into the hands of avid readers everywhere. One day, I will be a known author. Even if it’s only in another one of my stories.

Okay so I can concede to the fact that those words were on my bio… but COME ON. Really? It’s incredibly obvious that I was not being literal. I meant IN MY HEAD. And this clown used it as a dead-serious about the author intro to me- I still use the term loosely- review? A “review” he admitted he uses a template for every single person, and that, after looking at the review and then reading the reviews on Deny the Moon’s Amazon account, you can tell he just pieced something together from those?

So, no, he does not “read and publish reviews” on books as promised. He copies from already written reviews and bios. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what you are giving this guy $49 for.

Do yourself a favor, and save the money. Do a little research (unlike dumb ol’ me) and find a legitimate book promo site. And do other wet-behind-the-ears authors a favor and make sure everyone knows what is it seriousreading.com REALLY does for your money.

If I have to say something good about this place I will say this… at least they refunded me my money promptly.

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36 comments on “CHECK YOUR FACTS! A Warning for Authors

  1. Pingback: CHECK YOUR FACTS! A Warning for Authors – Kawanee's Korner

  2. That is a horror story. Thanks very much for sharing it. Hopefully it will save other people from this scam.

    I can’t believe that he can’t distinguish what’s in your head from reality. It’s perfectly clear to me and anyone else who has a couple of brain cells!

    • A horror story and also scam because a piece of the author bio we copied from the author page turned out to be incorrect and instead of the author politely mentioning this started calling us names and we rejected to work with her? Please see the entire story before coming to conclusions.

      Thank you,
      Peter

      • YOU rejected to work with ME? Ha! Again, see above screen captures where *I* demand you remove the crap from your site, not the other way around. You really are deluded.

      • Removing the review from our website was our decision not yours after seeing the kind of attitude we have to deal with. You cannot demand us to remove anything from our page.

        You can receive your refund, which we did.

  3. Hello, this is Peter from SeriousReading.

    I would like to mention that we promoted hundreds of authors in 2016 alone (2 months) and this was the first time we received a complain. Unfortunately..it happens when authors can’t or don’t want to understand some facts.

    In short:
    -The author was disappointed that the author bio used on her review was inaccurate. This is the bio listed even right now on Amazon, on the author book page, not on a third party website, or another author page. Right now if you open the Amazon book page for the author book and scroll down to the “About the author” you will find that info. If it’s inaccurate, please have it fixed, after all that’s what all readers will see about you. Instead of pointing to us politely that that info is inaccurate the author called us names, quoting we wrote “a shit ton of lies”. I see the parts where we are being called names and all sorts been conveniently removed from the private conversation posted without our consent.

    -The author has a problem that she wasn’t informed before with the structure of the review. Everyone is free to check all the reviews on our platform, they all share the same template: bio about the author, review introduction about the book, editor opinion about the book. Nothing more, nothing less, the author been able to see that before ordering as she contacted us prior to placing an order with us.

    -The author expected an essay, expected us to present the entire story of the book. That’s not going to happen on our platform. What would be the point for a reader to buy the book if he gets the full story? Would you watch a movie if you know how it ended? No. Same goes for books. The authors however seems to believe that’s the proper way of attracting a reader.

    -We showcase the book in a way that will entice a reader to purchase it. Our interest is to drive sales to the author. That’s how us, as a business earn, as an Amazon affiliate. The $49 fee is a small fraction of our earnings. It’s the book sales we refer that interest us, so it’s clear that is in our interest to help authors. The author doesn’t gets it.

    -The author doesn’t believe we bought her books. We have invoices as proof.

    -Over the 2 weeks period the author was very impatient, calling us names and all sorts, mentioning to us on several occasions that she’s afraid of online scams and so on. I believe this attitude is what ruined a good collaboration between us.

    Sincerely,
    Peter
    SeriousReading.com

    • You might find it surprising that I Approved this comment for full viewing for all my readers to see. I do so for the sake of TRANSPARENCY, a word this company might do well to look up and utilize.

      Everyone who has read this blog had seen the screen caps, and I most certainly can provide more of our PM conversations if needed. Where was this name calling aside from me, quite literally, voicing my concern about being ripped off to YOU (not to your customers asi could have done to start).

      Sadly, I cannot provide shots of my various comments on your fb page (one of which was me clarifying to another customer that your company DOES NOT publish the books then selves, simply a review of it. Something you made sure to not clarify to her when asked, therefore allowing her to pay for something she believed was a service that you really didn’t offer. When I clarified this you responded with something asking the lines of “well we’ve stated this fact multiple times in these comments”. NO, sir. You do not get to hide behind conversations with other people when confronted for a particular person whom you were not up front with. You mentioned several times that people should personal message you with questions because you can’t possibly keep up with the hundreds of comments posted. Yet you expect someone to do just that for info YOU should be providing no matter how many times it’s asked.

      Oh and why can’t I go back and provide screen shots, you ask? Because when *I* demanded you remove my “review” and refund my money you immediately blocked me. Therefore all of those comments are now gone. You heard something negative about your services and you removed evidence of my complaint with haste.

      So you want to boast that hundreds of customers have used your services and you’ve never had a complaint til now? That is easy to claim when you have proven yourself to block and remove any said complaints. Of COURSE it would appear you have a perfect record of that’s how you handle things, something my gut wad trying to tell me at the beginning of all this.

      And yet you STILL don’t see where YOU made a mistake in the author bio. Everyone who has read the bio you are speaking of WHICH I MYSELF POSTED IN THIS BLOG FOR THEM TO READ can comprehend that I was not being literal. In fact it ACTUALLY states in the very next sentence “even if it’s all in my head”. The only one unable to comprehend this concept is you. Once again, you have skimmed through the work of someone else and created a half-assed thing from it. If this is what you say is normal for your paying customers to expect you better damn well make that clear to them.

      Quite frankly, everyone reading this blog can look at what your site promises, can see the proof of what you actually deliver, and witness the rudeness to which you handle customers that voice concerns. I really don’t need to say anything else as they are all smart enough to see how it really is themselves. Good day to you, sir.

      • Mellisa, you’ve been blocked from our page after sending us several message full of injuries and I clearly pointed that to you. Both to you and the other people who you asked to contact us later with messages.

        Regarding the author bio you mentioned we picked and understood correctly, any author would have politely mentioned us that we made a mistake, that we understood something wrong about you and your life, we would have fixed it and things would go on. Instead you selected to act immaturely and throw bad language. We would never accept such an attitude and we took appropriate measures.

        As for our Facebook comment thing you mentioned, any person who manages a FB page with 100K+ fans knows how hard and troublesome is to manage and track comments as Facebook doesn’t yet have an easier way of doing this.

        At the end of the day it’s the attitude you treated us that got everyone here. We deserve the same level of respect we treat our clients!

      • Oh NOW you are saying you borrowed it. A minute ago it was purchased. So what is it, borrowed or purchased. My my, how could ANYONE think you are dishonest.

        Also, accusing me of removing the name calling? Any one with half a brain can look at those screen grabs and see for themselves that they are undoctored. So you really are just proving my point. I think I’ll let you just keep showing everyone what type of person and business you are. You don’t need my help in that.

      • Bought, borrowed, purchased, acquired.. it’s the same thing. If you want to play with the words please do. You implied we didn’t read the book, which is incorrect.

    • Actually, I think she expected a “review,” not an “essay” on her book. A review is designed to entice the reader to read the book, by exemplifying its various exceptional qualities whilst revealing little more than the bare bones of the story.
      But then, I shouldn’t have to explain this to you; you have hundreds of “reviews” under your collective belts in the space of two months and no other “complains.”

      • Thank you, Linda.
        I wanted to point that out myself, but I am happy that someone else did. Maybe out will help him figure out that this is not just some random attack but an actual problem. He blocked another writer that approached him regarding these issues and how he handled it. Now we can effectively see why he boasts “no complaints”. He just hides them.

      • The only thing in the “review” that could be considered a review is “page turning tension.” Three words out of how many? And what does it even say? That there’s tension. Page turning is something I have literally had to do with every single book I’ve read, since I have yet to find a novel on one page. πŸ™„
        Not worth even 49 cents if you ask me.

  4. I know there’s always two sides of a story, but to me it looks like you exaggerate a bit as your attitude is way over the top. You sound like one of those authors who argue on Amazon with the reviewers who gave them 4 stars instead of 5. You’ve been unhappy for whatever reasons, they refunded your payment, end of story. How this makes them a scam?

    • As far as exaggerating, the screen caps speak for themselves. As far as a scam or not, its much like a scam because they promise one thing for your money and give you something completely different. Yes they refunded my money, as I mentioned openly but there are plenty of people that still paid for a review of their product and received a template cookie cutter synopsis instead. I just happened to not accept that, myself.

      In regards to seeming like the type of author that argues on Amazon reviews about getting 4 stars instead of 5, please feel free to go into my Amazon page and look at my reviews. There are plenty of three-star reviews on there with no arguments from me.

      Plenty of other authors that have read, shared, and reblogged this blog can see why this encounter was upsetting. That’s all I really have to say on the matter. Have a good evening!

      • Thank you for your reply.

        I wasn’t implying you are actually arguing readers on Amazon, but from reading all those screen camp you refer to, that would be my impression. It looks more like a revenge kind of post πŸ™‚

        I’m saying that because I assume you read at least 1-2 reviews from their website to know how it’s going to look before ordering, so you kind of knew what to expect.

        I personally see no problem with this kind of reviews, it’s the same “template” being used by many big names in the industry especially when dealing with recommendations. Kirkus used something similar not too long ago.

        Anyway..make sure you do your research next time and ask all of your questions before πŸ™‚

      • I can certainly understand how someone could come to that conclusion when reading just just screen caps. With the parties involved upset, there’s no way to not come off with an attitude, especially when they each feel as though they were given attitudes first by one another. There’s really no way around coming off that way, unfortunately.

        I did do some research, granted not enough. I can admit that. I read over one of the reviews and the one I read wasn’t so bad. Definitely not nearly as bad as what was provided to me. Where I made a bad call was I should have looked at MORE reviews, and probably waited to do so when I was not mobile and distracted. That was, again on me. However, if they know they are going to use a template for a review then that should have been made clear and it wasn’t. I did ask a multitude of questions on their fb page but since they blocked me those comments are deleted. I have no way to prove otherwise so I’ll have to eat that one.

        The point is what they offered and what was given did not match up, and they were not up front with the fact that they do not provide organic reviews. That should absolutely be made clear to any paying customer and when a potential customer asks for more details about their process they should not be may with rudeness for asking. We DO have a right to know how a business’s work process runs, as we are paying for it. Transparency is key. And boasting that you have absolutely zero complaints with 100k fb “fans” is a statistical improbability. Now, I see why they have no complaints. I get three star reviews on my book and I make sure those reviews are not removed because I believe someone considering purchases my goods should get the whole picture, good or bad, before making a decision. That’s how it should be and that is the purpose of this blog post. Not for revenge, but to make sure others are aware before they decide to buy.

        On one last note, I received an apology email from them a bit ago. Once I have had time to peruse and consider it, I will post another blog in regards to it for others to see.

        I hope your evening is well.

  5. Pingback: CHECK YOUR FACTS! A Warning for Authors | firefly465

  6. Melissa, I also see this so called “warning” is a little bit flawed and I would like to point out why:

    -I don’t know what you understand by review, but there is no obsolete style for a review. If you take 10 different people to review a book, each will have their own style. Same goes for services of this kind. Personally I never heard of that “organic review” which I see you’ve been referring to, I even tried to do some research but been unable to find anything about. Maybe you can clarify this.

    -There seem to be plenty of info about what and how they offer both on their page and facebook page. I’ve seen they answer all comments with spot on info. So suggesting that you are launching a warning for all authors out there because they would be hiding anything is an exaggeration.

    -I see there’s been some comments regarding the fact that they have no complains and you implied that they actually remove this comments from Facebook. While I cannot tell if they do it or not, I searched over the web and been unable to find blogs/forums from upset people who they couldn’t hide. I imagine there would be more people like you, with this kind of posts. I’ve been unable to find any.

    -You made another “nasty” remark implying again to be impossible that out of 100K fans not to have complains. It seems most of their fans are readers, so what would they complain about?

    -Looking back at the messages you exchanged, I can hardly find one where you talked on a nice tone, you were kind of harsh every time. I cannot blame them for blocking you at the end. As an author you should know better how to choose your words. If you go out with your fists up you assume the risks of being put down. I know businesses are usually supposed to keep their heads down and treat the clients as they are always right, but if a client crosses the line you cannot blame and put everything on them.

    To me this looks more like a misunderstanding: you didn’t do your research, assumed some facts you thought to be the defaults, they could have explained some things better and confirm with you first. But from this to the image this post tries to create it’s a big difference.

    -Florence

    • To clarify, by organic review I mean one that is actually a natural opinion of the book and how they felt reading it and their opinion of it. Not one starting out as a pre-made template and created using bits and pieces of other reviews. This is not what they describe as what customers are laying fifty dollars for and if this is how work then it’s not much to ask that this be made very clear to potential customers before they buy services, not after. I hope that clarifies my meaning in that respect.

      In regards to my tone, the screen caps posted were from the start of me waiting for two weeks after paying with no word whether my book was actually accepted our rejected. If you purchase something from Amazon, for example, and before you buy it you see that the shipping date is two weeks, you make your purchase and get a confirmation that your money has been given to to seller and then wait for a shipping confirmation that never comes, and the two weeks gave blown by and there is still no evidence that what you bought has even shipped, then most people would start to feel a bit upset. Now, if you would like to see the previous PMs and emails between us before this to judge how I treated them I will gladly provide them. All I can say is it’s not unheard of, or even unreasonable, for someone who feels that maybe they’ve been ripped off to be a little upset from the word go.

      When you point out the 100k fans, you make a good point (though I would hardly call me stating it a statistical improbability as “nasty”) buy then, again, they are saying they have 100k fans with no complaints. So they are boasting numbers that make no sense, of course readers would make no complaints about their author services. Still they are using those numbers to pad their success for the services they provide authors. That is irresponsible and dishonest in and of itself.

      I mentioned to another commenter last night that I received an apology email from the company around 3pm(ish) in the afternoon. Now I haven’t yet seen if I have been unblocked from their fb page, but in the email they said they had gone back and added/adjusted things to clarify their process. From what you are saying now, it sounds like have done just that and I ask happy they have done that. Many times I have said that what is needed is transparency and clarification, to step back and reevaluate their process our what they say to potential customers. If they are doing this now then it’s a step in the right direction.

      Have a good weekend!

  7. All of this because you don’t like their reviewing style? Please..

    I also browsed several of their reviews and I don’t see a problem. Not sure what you mention it’s not clear enough either.

    I’m not taking sides, maybe you were not pleased with the review, but the way you handled it was not right. If your cable television stops working you don’t pick up the phone and start with an attitude to whoever is on the other end of the line. For sure noone will rush to fix it. From the screens it looks this was your attitude right from the beginning.

    • The review style is only one problem in a multitude of issues, but this is my problem with it: if that’s the style they want to use then they are free to do so but as a business it’s their responsibility to make it clear to people buying services. Otherwise the next person not willing to lay down and be quiet over a disappointing product will start this whole shit storm all over again.

      The number one issue is that they can’t seem to get their story straight.

      In one instance they say they bought a copy of my ebook (I was watching the sales report to see when they purchased it so I would have an idea of a timeline when the services would be rendered. Funny enough, I was choosing to try and do it this way so as NOT to bother them with tons of messages asking when it will be done. When the two weeks passed and I saw no sales, yeah, I started feeling as though something was up). So they claim to have bought my book, regardless of the fact that there were no new sales, then they said they borrowed it from their lenders, of whom I have no idea since I don’t believe I’ve ever put it in a lender service, then they said on here they had proof they purchased it and then when I asked which one it was, bought or borrowed, all they said was they were the same thing. Well, we all know that isn’t true so I still have no idea which it was and probably never will. All I know is my sales reports show no purchases from the time I bought services til he posted my review.

      What I actually think happened (with the no sales fact paired with the exact pieces of the review that were found in the older organic reviews on Amazon) Is they took parts they wanted from other people’s reviews if my book, possibly skimmed through the free preview, and added whatever they concocted to their pre-made review template. But I have no way to prove this is how it was done, it s just plausible speculation and theory on my part. It’s not exactly “illegal” (for lack of a better term) to create a review this way but if that is what people are paying for, again, they should be made aware of this practice before the fact, not after.

      They also made an author bio that was egregiously misinformed. They took a few lines of my Amazon author bio, out of its context, and used it for my bio. If they had read the whole bio rather than skimmed, they would have seen that the lines they chose were not literal. Trust me, I WISH I was that interesting, lol. They said on here they did not get the author info from a third party but from Amazon directly. However, in the apology they sent they stated that they used “a premium service” that only showed them a part of the Amazon bio. Again, we are hearing contradicting things. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, really.

      As a business, they need to have some accountability, they need to be transparent, and they need to make sure they aren’t contradicting themselves. It’s not good business. However, if they do what they said they plan to do in their apology email, going forward, then I think that is a step in the right direction for them as a company.

      We will have to agree to disagree on this, I’m afraid, as I -and others- do feel that my reaction to all of this was not only warranted but understandable.

      Have a good weekend.

      • Nothing of this would have happened if you inquired if they provide the kind of review you mention to be looking for. It’s a review..and there’s tens of reviewing styles, so why would you assume that they will create the same exact one you are looking for? Not sure how they are supposed to describe it besides having people read their past reviews which you mentioned to be doing. You might have been trigger happy and ordered before getting a better look, but during the 2 weeks you said you waited I’m positive you did your fair share of inspection.

        I kind of see a pattern of just blaming on them but not really noticing your own mistakes. Not saying they don’t have their fair share of things they could have done better, but if you want to be transparent then acknowledge your own mistakes as well for this to become an educative post. There’s tons of people all over the web saying Goodreads or Kirkus is bad or a scam..doesn’t makes it true. It’s just people upset because something, for some reason, didn’t work well and it’s usually both parties fault.

        In all honesty the review was not that bad as you made it look or how you encouraged that commenter saying only 3 words were good. Maybe they used some bits from here and there, but not sure why that would be a bad thing..after all the info is the same and reviews basically say the same thing no matter who and how writes them. You rarely get to see a review saying something new, something that wasn’t pointed by another reviewer. Also from what I can tell they use the review to promote it to their readers, used with their style, so..if that works and makes you sales why is it a problem? I would understand to complain later if you got no sales as a result..but not before.

        They messed that bio thing but could have been a genuine mistake..one that you keep on pointing as if done on purpose.nFor example, if I open your goodreads page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10145263.Melissa_A_Graham and read your bio without clicking the “read more” link, I will make the same mistake they did as just the first part is visible. I wonder how many readers would actually click that read more link and not see just the first part and have the same idea about you.

        I see others have pointed about the attitude you had on the messages and while you may feel you’d be entitled to have it, I’m against it. But that’s just me.

        Best,
        Alex

      • -sigh-

        I just sat here typing out a reply on my phone for the last hour only to have it vanish when I get a text. Alas, technology hates me. I am not spending another half hour on this post again (when I really should be packing for my move, yikes!) so please allow me to sum up and do not mistake my brevity for hostility.

        -Did not “encourage” the commenter to say there were only three good words. not sure how you drew that particular conclusion but she came up with that on her own I assure you.

        -there is a difference between a review and a synopsis. Had I paid for a synopsis, then what I received ( no matter how grammatically difficult it was to read by me and MANY others) would have been expected. An honest review should be someone reading the book and writing what they lived/hated, and their opinions on the writing/story. If they were not going to do this and instead piece together other reviews, this should be made clear. Period. No author goes in expecting to read a review that was already given. So if this is how they operate (and there’s no rule saying they aren’t allowed to do so) then they should be making sure their PAYING customer is aware of this fact first. Nothing will change my (or others who agree with me) opinion on this subject.

        -I have mentioned MULTIPLE times, even in comments, where *i* went wrong or made mistakes so please do not do me the disservice of insinuating otherwise. I said before, a few times, that I should have gone into a proper computer and looked beyond that single review I checked out BEFORE issuing for service. As I said, and not for the first time, that is on me.

        I can also go into why I didn’t continue checking into it within those two weeks but my absence from the internet stems from a few personal issues that I do not feel I have to make public to justify myself. It would have no bearing on anyone’s option anyway so why bother.

        It’s apparent we are going to just have to agree to disagree and that’s totally fine. This blog was made for the sole purpose of allowing other writers to see that, unlike what they claim, it ISN’T all sunshine and roses and can provide something for them to read, assess, and make an educated decision themselves.

        Have a good weekend!

  8. Not to be a sh*t disturber but more to keep you from feeling like you’re being ganged up on, Melissa, but I think Peter and Florence are the same person. Their paragraph structure and grammar mistakes are identical. I’d say you’re being trolled by the site that you’re complaining about.

    • Linda I think I love you.

      I made the same observations when reading it first, but kept it to myself and let my husband read everything himself. About ten minutes ago, my husband, upon reading all of this, came to the same conclusion that you and I both did.

      If this is the case, it’s very sad all the way around.

      • It is. And all the more reason not to back down. They’re proving their dishonesty right here. If you want to be sure, the IP addresses should be right in your comments section under your WP admin. If the IPs are different it could only be because they’re using different computers but if they’re the same… well we already know they’re sloppy with their research, right?

      • Thankfully, the IPs check out and are not proxies so that is not the case here πŸ™‚ at least that worry is out the window. Now I know they are ganging up on be because they genuinely disagree with me, which I can totally accept.

  9. The red flag for me would have been the whole “We’ll purchase your book” commitment. And one does not lend a book, they borrow it – unless that’s some new American phrase switch I’m not aware of.

    In any case, I took a look at this site a while ago and thought that there was something really off about it – so I passed.

    In a sense, I applaud you for actually going through this experience and being able to share it here. It is a good lesson for anyone who is considering this path for their own book promotion activities.

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