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Discussion Starter #1
Tried to search here and google to see if anyone has received one of these emails:

Dear Travis Hill,

Browsing Amazon, your book, It's Better This Way that it was publish in 2013 November, caught my eye. The cover and the description are really interesting and I would like to include your work in the launch of a new website called The Books Machine that aims to solve the two main challenges faced by authors today: lack of visibility on Amazon and scant reviews. The Books Machine is an innovative platform that connects authors and readers as we hope to incite a major change in the way books are presented to the public.

Before our launch in a few weeks, we are personally reaching out to authors whose work we admire. We believe that your book meets the quality standards we've set for our site which is why we would like to offer you a FREE premium membership for a period of six months so that you can try out our new platform at no cost to you.

You can access your free membership here www.thebooksmachine.com/invitation.aspx , where you will also find information about how your work can benefit from your participation in The Books Machine. You'll also get a sneak peek at the rest of the site before it's launched.

Spaces in our free membership program are numbered so this opportunity will only remain active for a limited time. We hope that you will accept our invitation.

Warm regards,

Meryl Wright
Site Administrator
The Books Machine
www.thebooksmachine.com
Copyright 2014
Is there anyone familiar with the site/organization? I have no opinions of it being a scam or anything like that, but I have to admit always being suspicious when unsolicited offers show up in my mailbox.
 

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I receive newsletter from them but I never joined the club. Some topics are interesting though, but anything that cannot be discussed on Kboards for example.
 

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I got one, too. Once I read far enough to see that they were expecting you to "gift" books and pay $30 a month on top of that, I deleted the email. I was slightly tempted to write a reply explaining how flawed their business model is, but then I decided I had roughly a gazillion better things to do with my time.
 

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Got one too. They even copy/pasted my date of publication wrong. I went to check the IP of the sender, and it said Argentina, so maybe that explains weird grammar. I won't be joining.
 

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I got one and just knew I'd find a thread about it already today :)

I figure what the heck, they are offering a free six months to our very select, very special little group, eh?

My first book is now permafree, so it won't cost me to gift it. Bear in mind there is no way I would pay $30/month to offer ARCs. However, StoryCartel is now at $30/book, I believe, and it doesn't generate much in the way of high quality reviews for people who haven't sent their own mailing lists there to get the book.

The IP address of the poster may not be representative of the company. Plenty of companies outsource this kind of work. Not that I'm defending typos (other than my own).

I'll let you all know how it went in 6 months!

Jil
 

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Discussion Starter #10
StoryCartel was a complete waste of time for me. Almost fifty persons reading a book and not a single one of them left a review.

As for this Book Machine stuff... I'm sure you all get a bunch of these here and there. I'm right now telling some girl from Storyfinds.com to %@#$ off for the second time. She sends out emails talking about how your book is so good it has won either an award or a free promo slot on their site (but somehow it ends up costing $30).

In this new age of self-publishing, we're going to encounter a lot of dumbass scams that are easy to see through, a lot of scams that might seem fishy, and a lot of scams that are downright evil in how they use an author's need to succeed against them.

But this is why I always post these scams (and this might NOT be a scam) and see what everyone else has to say.
 

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Sniffles. I didn't get that email. They don't admire my work.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My mystery pen name got the invite as well. I signed up since it's free for 6 months to invited authors and there was no request for cc or other payment details. If my book gets reviews out of it then great, but if it doesn't then no harm done. After the 6 months is up, I'll just unsubscribe. I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

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CJArcher said:
My mystery pen name got the invite as well. I signed up since it's free for 6 months to invited authors and there was no request for cc or other payment details. If my book gets reviews out of it then great, but if it doesn't then no harm done. After the 6 months is up, I'll just unsubscribe. I'll let you all know how it goes.
Yes, that was the tipper for me, as well. A scam would be asking for those details. Do I think it is a service that will actually be valuable? Who knows. But I've got nothing to lose being what will basically be a beta tester for their service.

The site is also well put together, and I was happy to note that everything was well described in grammatically correct English.
 

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The book I put up there is one that sells hardly any copies anyway. I also don't plan on gifting the copies via Amazon, but providing a Smashwords coupon instead. There's no hard and fast rule that you have to gift it, just that they advise you to. As far as I can see, I'm not paying anything or losing anything. If I get some more reviews on this book, then that's good. It seems like another Netgalley service, only free (for now).
 

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I'm glad to see this being discussed. I received the offer as well. I appreciate the six months of free membership, but I don't like the recommended Amazon gifting. (And I'm surprised they aren't making it required since later in the Reader FAQ they only mention Amazon gifting as the way to get the book and only books on Amazon may be in the program.) And they require authors give away at least 5 books a month. Shouldn't the author decide how many books they give away? I don't understand the minimum requirement, especially if an author is paying $30/month, they should be allowed to decide if they want to give away any books.

2. Am I required to give my books away for free?

The Books Machine allows you to choose when and to whom you offer your books to and the number of copies you're willing to offer as free reads, with a minimum of 5 units per month.
http://thebooksmachine.com/howitworks.html#forminvi2

Plus, they require authors rate the reviewers. Considering this is supposed to be strictly based on whether the reader delivers the review, I don't understand why this isn't automated. I think their system should track the reviewers to see if the reviewer has fulfilled their commitment, not put the onus on the author.

I have not used netgalley so don't know how closely this resembles that service. It's certainly cheaper, but I don't know if it is something I need.

CJArcher, I'd love to hear how it works out for you when it goes live.
 

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Dear felow authors,

I copy below my answer on other threads.
From my personal experience as an indie author, I think that sometimes it takes time to understand when some new "marketing service for authors" is totally different in its concept and core aim and not the same that other services that are solely to put a book cover on a page and that's it.
Until today my own experience was very enriching and I admire the personal connection that finally I could create with them.

"Hello my name is Heather and I am an author of young adult novels. I wanted to tell you that so far I had an excellent experience at The Books Machine. They offered me a free membership for several months  not only to know the service, but also to take advantage for free original marketing tools to increase the exposure of my titles within the community and through social networks. They always answered my questions very quickly and have a very good service.
During the first three weeks, I got five requests of  real readers that wanted to read my novels and write an honest review.
On the other hand, the site is in full expansion and continuosly are adding innovative actions.
Is at least my experience and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Best!"
 
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