Friday, June 3, 2005

Glowing reviews

I've seen a PublishAmerica author mentioned a couple of times lately on the AAR boards. One person posted, "I found the book (Fire in the Ice) through a recommendation on B&N for Full Bloom by Janet Evanovich. I bought the book, not having a clue who this author was (Katlyn Stewart) and was blown away by this fantastic book." Another person wrote, "I was surprised by this novel so much that my mouth is dropped wide open. Not only is this an exceptional story that you will want to read again and share with friends, the editing was wonderful. Now, granted Ms. Stewart has made other messageboards because she is one of their best sellers (so they say) selling over 1000 books (small change really). But, if this book gets the promotions behind it, it will soar to the top. I am serious. It's that good. "

Books from PA often seem to get promoted this way on the boards, and I've gotten the impression that these posts are often by less-than-disinterested parties. But what caught my attention this time was that both posters dissed PublishAmerica, saying they had heard bad things about the publisher and approached the book with caution. This suggested that these posters were genuine, rather than friends of the author. There was also a long thread on the RT boards, beginning with this post: "Someone had asked earlier about this book. I've read it and loved it! The Hero is a tortured Alpha male. She is emotionally tortured as well. The story was quite exciting. The romantic scenes were very hot, very erotic, very tastefully done."

Intrigued, I checked Amazon and saw fourteen five-star reviews. Again, you often see very bad books with a long list of five-star reviews, and the fact that Amazon is promoting it with Full Bloom doesn't impress me, since I recently discovered this is a program Amazon offers-- you can be bundled with a bestselling author for a mere $750. (It seems to be working for Ms. Stewart, if she's actually sold 1000 books, so maybe I should try it. Her Amazon ranking is a lot higher than mine:-). But either way, I thought I'd check out her excerpt.

Um. I'm not a snarky person, so I won't make snarky comments, except to note that this book sells for $19.95. Feel free to check out the excerpt yourself and see what you think.

I'm starting to seriously consider that Amazon program.

UPDATE: I'd probably be a better writer if I could actually read *wry grin*. I reread the first quote and noticed it mentioned B&N, not Amazon. I checked, and lo and behold, two different readers (out of five) on B&N mentioned Fire in the Ice as "also recommended" in their reviews of Full Bloom. A much cheaper method than the Amazon program, I guess. What are the odds that two totally disinterested readers would mention that book in reviews of a Janet Evanovich title, do you suppose?


  1. That's really interesting. Not sure how I feel about it, but it's...interesting. ;)

  2. I see your point about how the folks commenting dissed PA and maybe that means they're genuine. My thought was the opposite, that this is a reaction to the really bad press PA has gotten on L. Goldberg's site and others lately and that the new tactic for self-promotion by the PA authors is to suggest "hey, I've heard bad things but maybe they're not true" rather than give glowing reports about PA which just come off as fake. Call me skeptical but I'm thinking this is a new - and smarter - promo campaign

  3. Marguerite ArotinJune 3, 2005 at 8:10 AM

    Helenkay brings up some really good points. As for the Amamzon bundling program, I say go for it. It sounds as if it might pay off.

  4. Yes, HelenKay, that occurred to me too. But I thought maybe I'm just a little cynical:-). Posting to boards is a known promo strategy of PA authors, so it's quite possible. Based on the excerpt, I found it difficult to believe that many people would be overjoyed at spending twenty bucks on this book. Perhaps it improves, but I'm disinclined to pay twenty dollars to find out.

    There's really no way of finding out if this book has actually sold a thousand copies or not, either. If it has, the Amazon program might be responsible for a large percentage of those copies. If not... I'd hate to drop $750 on the program and sell three additional books. Eeeek.

  5. I tend to be very cynical about PA. The whole idea makes me angry. I know the folks buying into this are grown-ups but, really, it sounds like such a scam. And, the $20 price tag? Yesh. That's just scary.

  6. Well, if she's really sold a thousand books, I don't feel too sorry for her:-). More power to her... she must be doing something right! But like the iUniverse figures Lee posted recently, I think this is a really big exception to the rule.

  7. Naughty Ellen. Please don't make me read any more, I got to the second paragraph I promise. *g*

    Dude I have never yet read anything from PA that I remotely thought was any good.

  8. I guess you might say i am one of the idiots that bought "Fire In The Ice" and paid the 20 bucks.
    But, it is an excellent novel and a 20.00 worth spent. I have shared the book now with three friends and one sister. Each though the book was fantastic.
    Now maybe I should recoup the loss bu having each kick in a few dollars, then the price wouldn't be that high (lol).
    Seriously folks. This novel is a really good piece. The storyline is a bit different. Not the usual rich prince meets the wayward girl...but more like the blue collar hard working man finds the woman of his dreams and changes his life forever.
    Doesn't hurt that the hero in this book is portrayed as an Alpha Male, nor that you can almost imagine how sexy he really is.
    I think Ms. Stewart has a wonderful imagination and the passionate scenes are hot.
    This is just my opinion.
    Now the publishing company or the 1000 books this author sold, I have no idea. All I know is it was recommended to me and I bought it.