November 27th, 2007

There’s a sucker born every minute

And something called is there for them. They sent me an unsolicited email. For just $150, I could get my book reviewed. Not in a standard publication, no. On Amazon. “We review the book, write the review, post the reviews to online media and book review sites. We need at least two weeks to complete all of the steps to this service, but it's a great service if you need your book reviewed and more publicity and promotion of your book. Our Rapid Review Service guarantees that your book is placed at the top of the reviewers' pile. [Note that this means some reviewer who posts on Amazon.] At a cost of only $150 per book, our service guarantees that one of our reviewers will read and review your book within 2 weeks of receiving it. The review will be posted on as well as and We also post to various blogs and websites that allow book reviews. Once the review is completed, you are free to use any part of it in your promotional materials as long as is given credit for the review.”

Don’t have $150? “List Your Book In our Books Available For Review Section - $25. This is a great service if you'd like to get more book reviews for your book. Reviewers, editors, producers, talk show hosts and other industry professionals visit our site regularly looking for new books to review. Your book can now be listed to here for the media to request a copy.”

Full disclosure here folks: I review books as a freelancer for the Oregonian. There is no way I need to go trolling for books to review. I get a couple of dozen a week. And the idea that "editors, producers and talk show hosts" are regularly visiting this site to view a bunch of self-pubbed books with ugly covers is ludicrous.

Jeez, maybe I should start charging $150 to review a book on Amazon. I could probably get three times that if I sign my name. (And there actually is an author out there who is selling this service.)

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I need some downtime

As soon as I get home from work I need to make sure my kid has eaten something vaguely nutritious and then hie myself off to something called "Book Blast." Even though I have printed off detailed directions from MapQuest, there is an 80 percent chance I will get totally lost. On Wednesday, my kid's mandolin teacher is coming over to give a lesson at our house for an hour. Chances are also good that by Wednesday, our house will be in such a state that he will call Children's Services as soon as he leaves. Thursday, it's another three-hour plus FBI class in the evening - and another night where I don't really have time to eat dinner. Sometime soon, I need to turn in my YA column to the Oregonian. A week from tonight, I'm speaking to Willamette Writers.

My life is pretty much going to be like this until Dec. 14, the last day of FBI class, and also "live-fire training day."

Oh, and writing? I'm supposed to be doing that too!

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