September 6th, 2011

Danger, danger, danger!

A friend got the following email from Bookwhirl. (Try typing “Bookwhirl” into your browser. It will probably autocomplete with the word “scam.”)

Experience world-class book marketing and publicity campaigns from two of the toughest and the best in the publishing industry.

The BookWhirl Kirkus Book Review bundle includes a professional book review, Targeted E-mail Marketing Campaign, and a well-written press release.

Combined together, they form powerful, symbiotic marketing machinery that significantly increases the punch of any book-selling campaign.

Grab this opportunity to have your title reviewed by one of the most respected book review publications in the industry.
Browse at our affordable bundles below:
Package    Service    Specifics
Starter Package $2,449
Standard Review    8-10 weeks TAT
Approximately 250-350 words
E-mail Advertising Campaign    500,000 recipients
Media Release Campaign    100 recipients

Mega Package $3,349
Express Review    4-5 weeks TAT
Approximately 250-350 words
E-mail Advertising Campaign    1 million recipients
Media Release Campaign    500 recipients
Ultra Package $3,799

Express Review    4-5 weeks TAT
Approximately 250-350 words
E-mail Advertising Campaign    2 million recipients
Media Release Campaign    1,000 recipients

For more details about's Kirkus Book Review Bundle and other book marketing services, call 1-877-207-1679 toll free for a consultations with our Book Marketing Enthusiasts.

Okay, let’s count the red flags here
- “Browse at our affordable bundles” “for a consultations.” [Let’s hope those press releases are written by someone with a better command of English]
- “2 million recipients”? There’s another word for that. It’s called spam.
- $3,349 for a package? I guess if you pay that, you deserve what you get.

Just in case you are a self-pubbed author who is dying for a professional review, cut out the middleman and go straight to Kirkus. “Simply request a review by clicking the link above. You'll give us as much information possible about your book, choose whether you want standard service (7-9 weeks) or express service (3-4 weeks), and pay for your review (standard service $425, express service $575). When you submit your order, you'll get a response from the Kirkus Indie team confirming receipt of your request. (

So for thousands of dollars more, you can spam people.

Their prices have gone up in the last three years. Because it used to cost a little over $2,000 to send an email to 5 million folks.

Read my original post on Bookwhirl.

Edited to add: Kirkus tells me they are not affiliated with Bookwhirl.

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Three YAs reviewed in the Oregonian

I review YAs with a Northwest connection (and sometimes just really wonderful YAS) for the Oregonian.

On Sunday, I reviewed three books:
- A Need So Beautiful
- The Day Before
- Ripple

I also occasionally review adult mysteries and literary fiction. I make the same amount for reviewing one adult book as I do for reading and reviewing three YAs. But it’s a labor of love, so I’ll continue to do it.

Besides, do you know how many newspapers review YA any more? Not very many. I’m happy to help provide one of the few outlets.

Read my reviews here.

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