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Author Topic: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?  (Read 2233 times)  

Offline Marian

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I have a new novel coming out next month. It's Women's Fiction (literary) and has a subject that should appeal to book clubs. Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book? Other suggestions would be welcome. I think this might be a good route to take. What are your thoughts?

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« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 05:14:03 PM by Marian »

Online baldricko

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2016, 04:13:55 PM »
Hi Marian, yes, I have for my blue cover book below. The Girl With Two Names received a very good thumbs-up review! I used a section of it as an editorial review on my Amazon page.

The process from uploading your book to receiving a review can take a long while. I think it may have been a couple of months before I had a review. You might have faster results with your book. There is a small charge included to speed up the reviewer response time or you can choose to go the free review way.

Definitely they are worth including on your promotion schedule for your new book.

I have question about the onlinebookclub Book of the Day. They send emails stating fantastic Amazon ranking results using their promotion. I am wondering whether anyone else has had a Book of the Day with them and has seen the benefit for themselves. Anyone?

Edit: I ask the question because Book of the Day is most definitely not a cheap promotion to use. Still, if it is as effective as OnlineBookClub suggest then just perhaps it's worth considering.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 04:29:27 PM by baldricko »

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Offline Marian

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2016, 08:59:07 AM »
Hi Marian, yes, I have for my blue cover book below. The Girl With Two Names received a very good thumbs-up review! I used a section of it as an editorial review on my Amazon page.

The process from uploading your book to receiving a review can take a long while. I think it may have been a couple of months before I had a review. You might have faster results with your book. There is a small charge included to speed up the reviewer response time or you can choose to go the free review way.

Definitely they are worth including on your promotion schedule for your new book.

I have question about the onlinebookclub Book of the Day. They send emails stating fantastic Amazon ranking results using their promotion. I am wondering whether anyone else has had a Book of the Day with them and has seen the benefit for themselves. Anyone?

Edit: I ask the question because Book of the Day is most definitely not a cheap promotion to use. Still, if it is as effective as OnlineBookClub suggest then just perhaps it's worth considering.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I wondered about the Book of the Day as well. Let's hope someone who has used Book of the Day will see this thread and respond.

Offline PeterRowlands

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 06:27:21 AM »
Hi Marian - or anybody

I know this thread has been inactive for a whole year (in fact yesterday was the anniversary of the OP message!), but my question relates directly to it, so it seems illogical to start a new thread. I just wondered if you (or anyone) ever did find out any more about the book promotional service of OnlineBookClub.org? Does it work?

Some time ago I somehow got myself on their mailing list, and since then they have inundated me with promotional emails: at least one a day every day, I would guess, and sometimes more than one. They deserve credit for their sheer energy if nothing else! What's more, these are all considered emails, and each one is different. If two come on the same day, they're two different messages; it's not just repetitious spam. You get the impression of an amazingly lively moving force behind it all - and he actually makes an effort to represent himself as a real person, not just a faceless cipher.

But I'm worried that they're wearing me down! They claim great results, but as you say, the prices seem very high. I doubt if I would blow my entire promotional budget on one single initiative like this. Then again, you have to consider all options, don't you? And I have a grudging respect for the vigour of this one. So before attempting to remove myself from the mailing list, I would be intrigued to hear about any other writers' experience of this service. Any information would be useful not just for me, but also for others who are in receipt of these endless emails.

Thanks!

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Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 07:37:14 AM »
Hi Marian - or anybody

I know this thread has been inactive for a whole year (in fact yesterday was the anniversary of the OP message!), but my question relates directly to it, so it seems illogical to start a new thread. I just wondered if you (or anyone) ever did find out any more about the book promotional service of OnlineBookClub.org? Does it work?

Some time ago I somehow got myself on their mailing list, and since then they have inundated me with promotional emails: at least one a day every day, I would guess, and sometimes more than one. They deserve credit for their sheer energy if nothing else! What's more, these are all considered emails, and each one is different. If two come on the same day, they're two different messages; it's not just repetitious spam. You get the impression of an amazingly lively moving force behind it all - and he actually makes an effort to represent himself as a real person, not just a faceless cipher.

But I'm worried that they're wearing me down! They claim great results, but as you say, the prices seem very high. I doubt if I would blow my entire promotional budget on one single initiative like this. Then again, you have to consider all options, don't you? And I have a grudging respect for the vigour of this one. So before attempting to remove myself from the mailing list, I would be intrigued to hear about any other writers' experience of this service. Any information would be useful not just for me, but also for others who are in receipt of these endless emails.

Thanks!
I see Lincoln Cole had the book of the month for April. You might want to PM him and ask directly how the service works. He is a very helpful person and will almost certainly be willing to share anything he knows.


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Offline lincolnjcole

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 10:11:59 AM »
I see Lincoln Cole had the book of the month for April. You might want to PM him and ask directly how the service works. He is a very helpful person and will almost certainly be willing to share anything he knows.

TL:DR - If it wasn't for how hard the team running the site work to promote books, I would say 100% steer clear. However, I will still offer a warning that they are crazy expensive and your results will NOT come close to paying back the cost.

My book (Raven's Peak) was book of the month over there in April, and they have about 240,000 subscribers and have been growing at a rapid clip in the last few months.

Essentially, I sort of stumbled into the program and managed to get a few different services lined up all at once. I had extra promotional budget and wanted to try something new out, and I had gotten a few reviews from them before their prices went up.

The thing is, they are expensive. Crazy expensive, and I would say 99.99% of the time you will not make your money back, nor get even a fraction of your money back. I got amazing results out of my promotion with them, and it still didn't really come that close to paying for the promotion (and that was with several extra listings as book of the day than they actually offer as part of the promotion across multiple other titles).

They have some really interesting systems in place, including daily giveaways for readers and other promotions, but in general many readers seem more interested in capitalizing on these promotions than on actually finding/supporting authors.

What I would agree with is that their site team, including Scott, put a lot of work into their system and really work hard to get results for the authors, but it would be nearly impossible to get the results you pay for considering the huge price tag on every service they offer. I would also say that most of the authors who work with them don't get as much personalized experience as I got (because of the huge price tag) and then you would have a much worse overall experience because of lack of results and lack of personalization.

That being said, they will do exactly what they promise by sending our promotions, and they certainly sell the value of their results at a very high level.

Side note* one thing I do like about them is that before you can pay for promotion, you need to get a good review. This forces you to pay for a review before any other promotion, but it also means that garbage books with a lot of problems very rarely end up getting sent out to readers.

Offline PeterRowlands

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 11:19:30 AM »
Quote
What I would agree with is that their site team, including Scott, put a lot of work into their system and really work hard to get results for the authors, but it would be nearly impossible to get the results you pay for considering the huge price tag on every service they offer. I would also say that most of the authors who work with them don't get as much personalized experience as I got (because of the huge price tag) and then you would have a much worse overall experience because of lack of results and lack of personalization.

That being said, they will do exactly what they promise by sending our promotions, and they certainly sell the value of their results at a very high level.

Hi Lincoln

Thanks for this detailed and fully thought-through response to my question. It sounds as if you've said everything there is to say on this subject, and you've taken a nicely even-handed approach.

Unfortunately, what you say underpins what I suspected, so I don't think I'll be spending my hard-earned money here any time soon. It's a shame though, because those endless promotional emails from Scott and his team look so beguiling! Perhaps they will nudge me to find a more affordable promotional channel that will suit my circumstances better.

Thanks again for such a swift, helpful and informative posting.

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Offline Kessie Carroll

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 11:27:20 AM »
I got myself into a snafu with them right off the bat and haven't been back. I submitted a book to their system for review. Fine, whatever. As I went poking around the site, I thought it might be fun to sign up as a reviewer, too. Hey, free books to read that have been curated, right? Well, their system immediately blacklisted me. It saw that I had a book out for review, and assumed I was trying to game the system. Fixing it was going to be more hassle than I wanted to deal with, so I just left it alone. I couldn't afford their promo services, anyway (and the reviews seldom go on Amazon).

Fast forward to a year later. I get an email saying they have un-blacklisted my book and I can apply for reviews now. Followed up immediately by their system blacklisting me again because my account still had the reviewer flag on it.

Between that and their ever-skyrocketing prices, I've been totally disgusted with them.
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Offline PeterRowlands

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 11:33:45 AM »
Quote
I got myself into a snafu with them right off the bat and haven't been back. I submitted a book to their system for review. Fine, whatever. As I went poking around the site, I thought it might be fun to sign up as a reviewer, too. Hey, free books to read that have been curated, right? Well, their system immediately blacklisted me. It saw that I had a book out for review, and assumed I was trying to game the system. Fixing it was going to be more hassle than I wanted to deal with, so I just left it alone. I couldn't afford their promo services, anyway (and the reviews seldom go on Amazon).

Fast forward to a year later. I get an email saying they have un-blacklisted my book and I can apply for reviews now. Followed up immediately by their system blacklisting me again because my account still had the reviewer flag on it.

Between that and their ever-skyrocketing prices, I've been totally disgusted with them.

Good grief!

The response from Lincoln has already made me cautious (more cautious, I should say), but your experience is something else. As you imply, extensive correspondence might have resolved your issue in the end, but ... who needs that?

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Offline lincolnjcole

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 11:45:42 AM »
I got myself into a snafu with them right off the bat and haven't been back. I submitted a book to their system for review. Fine, whatever. As I went poking around the site, I thought it might be fun to sign up as a reviewer, too. Hey, free books to read that have been curated, right? Well, their system immediately blacklisted me. It saw that I had a book out for review, and assumed I was trying to game the system. Fixing it was going to be more hassle than I wanted to deal with, so I just left it alone. I couldn't afford their promo services, anyway (and the reviews seldom go on Amazon).

Fast forward to a year later. I get an email saying they have un-blacklisted my book and I can apply for reviews now. Followed up immediately by their system blacklisting me again because my account still had the reviewer flag on it.

Between that and their ever-skyrocketing prices, I've been totally disgusted with them.

Yeah, this is the other side of it that I try to keep an eye on. Any company that deals with something like that and is still establishing itself is bound to  p*ss  a lot of people off. Another example I've used for this is BooksButterfly. I've used them on multiple occasions with no problems other than diminishing results, yet I've heard so many horror stories it's really made me cautious. I would say the same thing here, because even though my experience hasn't been bad, I can fully imagine a lot of people having negative experiences with only a few minorly changed details in the dealings with the company.

The problem is normal channels for reaching readers aren't available to self-published authors, and the only channels for us are typically less established/professional.

Just keep trying to survive the shake ups that happen and keep your head down!

Thanks for this detailed and fully thought-through response to my question. It sounds as if you've said everything there is to say on this subject, and you've taken a nicely even-handed approach.

Unfortunately, what you say underpins what I suspected, so I don't think I'll be spending my hard-earned money here any time soon. It's a shame though, because those endless promotional emails from Scott and his team look so beguiling! Perhaps they will nudge me to find a more affordable promotional channel that will suit my circumstances better.


NP and hope it helps. Like I said, despite my in-general positive dealings with the company, I'm still probably not going to use them way too much in the future since they keep raising their rates at a fever pace!

Offline Hurricane John

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 01:41:53 PM »
So glad someone reactivated this post.

I've had several books reviewed by OnlineBookClub.org. Fortunately, most of them were reviewed free, long before the site became a money making machine for it's owner. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

This is just my opinion, but it seems like this is way to much money to spend in return for getting a temporary boast in your book ranking. Neither the emails from Scott nor quote's from the authors ever mention the actual number of books sold, only the awesome boast in ranking their/your book will receive.

I've always suspected that royalties from book sales would not be enough to offset the crazy high fee of running the promo itself.

Lincoln, thanks for sharing your experience. I would love to hear from anyone who actually made money on one of OnlineBookClub.org promotions.


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Offline Marian

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Re: Has anyone used OnlineBookClub.org to review and promote a book?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 05:32:48 PM »
I was surprised to see that this thread had been reactivated, and happy to see that you all shared. It seems that promo sites are getting greedier, doesn't it?