I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again. DO NOT PAY FOR BOOK REVIEWS! Once someone finds out you paid a book reviewer, your reputation is toast.
What’s worse than paying for a book reviewer? Promising to post only good book reviews…for a fee.
In late August, the New York Times ran a story about Todd Rutherford (aka Todd Jason Rutherford, aka Jason Rutherford), claiming he went from making $28,000 per month (“it was like I hit the mother lode.”) to selling RVs. Per the article:
“I was creating reviews that pointed out the positive things, not the negative things,” Mr. Rutherford said. “These were marketing reviews, not editorial reviews.”
That’s in sharp contrast to what Todd Rutherford posted on a forum in March, 2011. Calling himself “publishingguru” (HA HA HA HA!!), and talking in circles, he wrote:
“Authors do not pay GettingBookReviews.com for reviews. They pay us for the acquisition of book reviews…”
YEAH, RIGHT! IT’S THE SAME DANGED THING!!! Based on the comments appearing under his post, authors weren’t falling for it, either.
When it came to hiring “reviewers”:
Potential reviewers were told that if they felt they could not give a book a five-star review, they should say so and would still be paid half their fee, Mr. Rutherford said. As you might guess, this hardly ever happened.
According to the article, one of his reviewers claimed she spent 15 minutes reading a book for a 50-word review.
John Locke, author of an ebook on ebook selling success, which I have read, failed to mention in his book that he, too, paid for positive reviews. John Rutherford told him it would cost $1,000 for 50 reviews. Again, according to the article, John Locke said, “It’s a lot easier to buy them than cultivating an audience.” Mr. Rutherford seemed upset that he never got credit from John Locke. According to the article, John Locke ended up buying 300 reviews. And, again, he didn’t mention that in his book on ebook selling success. In my opinion, he hoodwinked all the readers of his book, including me. He never stated nor implied that he PAID FOR positive reviews appearing under his books on Amazon. I’m going to ask Barnes and Noble to refund my money for that book.
As with any business rooted in deception (offering to post only positive reviews for money IS deceptive to potential readers), Rutherford’s business was ultimately doomed to fail. One disgruntled author took to the Internet airwaves to complain about his service. That led to Google suspending his account, “saying it did not approve of ads for favorable reviews.” Amazon got wind of the deception and removed almost all of his reviews. That meant his customers ended up with nothing for their money. Not that I feel sorry for any of them!
According to the article, Rutherford then started using his middle name instead of his first in an attempt to distance himself from the complaints about him online. It didn’t work. Rutherford is now selling RVs in Oklahoma while planning his next online business, which, of course, will also target authors.
This part made me laugh:
“He says he regrets his venture into what he called ‘artificially embellished reviews’ but argues that the market will take care of the problem of insincere overenthusiasm.”
Rather, it was his disgruntled customer that took care of the problem by putting him out of business!
Under the New York Times article is a comment posted by “Todd Jason Rutherford.” He claims his new business is now “legitimate.” Regardless what he claims, I would NEVER do business with somebody who made a living, albeit for a short time, providing “artificially embellished” anything!
SHAME ON Todd Rutherford, or Jason Rutherford, or Todd Jason Rutherford, or PublishingGuru, or whatever he’s calling himself today!
LINKS TO COMPLAINTS about Todd Rutherford / Jason Rutherford / Todd Jason Rutherford / Afterword Marketing Group, et. al.:
“Afterword Marketing Group Todd Rutherford, Warning: Do NOT use www.GettingBookReviews.com!!!”
“Todd Rutherford, owner of GettingBookReviews.com Completely Failed to Deliver Promised Services”
Rated “F” by the Better Business Bureau –
“THIS MAKES ME SICK! Company Admits Buying 5-Star Book Reviews!!”
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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