BookWhirl Can’t Even Sell Itself

I got the following spam email from Bookwhirl, a online marketing & promotion huckster for authors:

Greetings!

I am Jen, and I am Marketing Service Representative from BookWhirl.com. I understand that you have published books. If I may ask, do you have any marketing plans for your books?  I am asking this because we at BookWhirl.com want to help you market your books and we want your books to succeed!

I clicked the link to their site, where they say that:

Waging a successful online book marketing campaign does not require a lot of money — it’s all about having the right combination of knowledge, creativity, and business sense.  Let our team of experienced online book marketers do the selling for you.

If the flatly-written, uninspired, and impersonal mass email that I received is an example of their combination of knowledge, creativity, business sense and online experience, then God help the fool who hires them (packages start at $800).

BookWhirl.com employs an experienced team of online marketing strategists, ad copywriters, graphic artists, and web designers whose combined expertise ensure an effective online marketing campaign

Except their email campaign for themselves is a bust, a demonstration of their total lack of  persuasive skills and marketing savvy. Their email begs the question… if their "marketing strategists" can't even effectively sell themselves, how are they going to sell you?

Naturally, the people who are most likely to waste money on something like this are those who are already experienced at flushing cash down toilets. So it's no surprise that Bookwhirl's list of clients is full of suckers from PublishAmerica, Xlibris and subsidy presses like High-Pitched Hum Publishing.

66 thoughts on “BookWhirl Can’t Even Sell Itself”

  1. I actually got a phone call from them. Caller ID said the call originated from Thrifty Car Rental. The caller seemed genuinely surprised when I told her that I wasn’t interested.

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  2. But who wouldn’t want to avail of free books?
    The copy on the website is so choppy, it makes me wonder if their copywriters are ESL…

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  3. I got a similar email–they even got the title of my book wrong!! Bad grammar is the least of their worries.
    Run, don’t walk from this one…

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  4. I received a phone call from BookWhirl today saying I could post my already published book on their website for free. He said he found my book very interesting, but when I asked him if he read it, he said he only read part of it(probably on my publisher’s website where only three pages are available) and he also said that he was going to buy it. He seemed very pushy, wanting me to commit right away to one of their e-mail marketing campaigns. He also gave me permission to post my book for free on their site when all I had to do was fill out their online form and it would have been posted for free anyway. I committed to nothing. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my experience with BookWhirl.

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  5. Dear Mr. Goldberg,
    I was contacted this morning (Friday, Feb. 13th, 2009) by “Bookwhirl,” and upon Googling them I found your excellent blog, Writer’s Life, and the discussion there of this organization.
    This was a phone message, left on my office voicemail, from “Eric,” who spoke with an accent difficult to identify. He said he found my book, Old Taoist, “interesting,” and wanted me to contact him to post it on their webpage. This struck me as most bizarre; the book in question was published by Columbia University Press in 2000, and has sold so well that a paperback edition was brought out. Of course by now it is well past its cycle of significant sales.
    I am a scholar and translator of Chinese poetry, with ten authored or co-authored books published, all readily available on Amazon and in bookstores. Old Taoist was sold in Borders for a while (poetry section). What in the world could they have in mind?
    Best, JC

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  6. I just received a phone call from these people. I had been informed they were a scam ad told them so. I hung up, but they called back three times and pestered my wife into taking their call. The fellow was pushy and told me to be professional (that is to listen to him). Stay away from Bookwhirl.

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  7. This is Jonathan Chaves again. To my amazement, I just got another call from BookWhirl offering to market my book Old Taoist (Columbia University Press). This is the same book they contacted me about back in February, when I posted my previous comment. It seems they don’t give up! What pests!
    Jonathan Chaves, professor of Chinese, The George Washington University

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  8. I have just received an e-mail from someone at Book Whirl. The subject heading was misleading, I thought it was fanmail as I got five today. I am not a native English-speaker myself but I thought the grammar was incorrect, you’d expect better from someone who says they do e-mail campaigns.
    So, I google this BookWhirl and your page comes up right after theirs. It appears that there are loads of testimonials against them. Thank you for saving me so much grief.

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  9. Thank you for the warning. I’m just in the process of writing my seventh (professionally published) book and was looking for new ways to promote it when Bookwhirl got in touch. Clearly my first instinct about them was right – Bookwhirl is not one of them.

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  10. I was called by them too. I asked a lot of interesting (to me) questions like who owns your company? (someone named Johnny Chiu)
    What well known authors do you represent?
    None right now. How long have you been in business (a year). I do find their pages a bit amateurish, in that many people have the same ones. (Yahoo sites) I agree with the grammar problems.
    I haven’t asked them about their 500,000
    subscriber list where they’ll send our
    ads.
    I am glad others have seen and reported on this.
    pg

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  11. I just got a call from these people, a female I could not understand. For $520, and only $156.00 down, they wanted me to sign on. For that anount of money they would reach out to 500,000 people on my behalf. I checked them out to see if they were on the up and up and I found your site. Through more checking I found several more negative comments and ultimately, their information. At the end of one site, supposedly from Bookwhirl.com, was contact information. That was, hduhaylungsod@bookwhirl.com. I decided to try and see if the contact information was indeed what I thought it might be and found something very interesting. I googled hduhay lungsod and found some very interesting information. You should follow that path to see for yourself. Makes one wonder how the contact person at bookwhirl came up with that contact email. Bob Mondey, author, “An Orange Wild Rooster”

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  12. BookWhirl called me last night. The caller was heavily accented and reading from a script. She said they wanted to market my recently published book, “Growing in Circles: My Struggle to Make Peace With God, Myself, and Just About Everything,” and asked me to give her my email address so she could send me a summary of their services. When I asked her how she got my home phone number, she said BookWhirl’s “research team” had found it. Yet this crack team had failed to uncover my website, whose URL is simply my name and which provides an email address for contacting the author. When I Googled BookWhirl this morning, I found your website. I appreciate having my instincts confirmed. Thanks for the postings.

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  13. I had an e-mail last week which began ‘This is Melissa Adams, a Marketing Consultant of Bookwhirl.com. I came across your book, “Around the States in 90 Days” and I found it very interesting. Your book deserves to be recognized. Our company, Bookwhirl.com is really interested to help you in promoting your book online.’
    Maybe they think I will be flattered by their discovery of me. ‘Fraid not. Your website was listed before theirs when I googled it. That says something.

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  14. Just to update the post I sent yesterday – I decided out of interest to send an e-mail to Melissa Adams, the person from Bookwhirl who e-mailed me, to ask where she heard of the book and why she found it interesting. Here is her reply;
    ‘In response with your inquiries. I have a team of Researchers who gathered information from a self-published authors like you and then they forwarded the contact information to me for contacting. I haven’t read the entire content of your book but only a short description of it through your publisher lulu.com, I believed. I can say that your book is really interesting because it’s all about journey and on how to face struggles that may pass your way. We must enjoy life to the fullest as long as we are still alive. I do really admire your book. It’s not all about the money, it’s more about sharing. I’m sure that that’s one of the reasons why you wrote your book – to share to others about your experiences and ideas.’
    Ignoring the bad grammar (always a good selling point!) the only thing even approximately close to the truth about the book is that it’s about a journey – a 90 day trip around America, which is something you might guess from the title ‘Around the States in 90 Days’. As to facing the struggles that might pass your way, that’s really not even close, it’s a funny book (at least it’s intended to be!). Best bit for me from the e-mail was ‘we must enjoy life to the fullest…’ what is she on about? Anyone reading this, take mine and others advise and steer clear of Bookwhirl.

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  15. Marketing a book concerns a lot of factors. Book marketing companies only provides tools for authors and they can’t do anything about it if your book doesn’t sell. But i think self-published authors does not have the right to judge any company. after all, most of us ventured into self-publishing because we found traditional publishing too hard to handle. so i don’t see any logic why we destroy each other. as the saying goes, you can’t please everybody. this is just my opinion. it’s all up to you guys.

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  16. I found out about BookWhirl when my friend Mark Anielski, author of The Economics of Happiness, contacted me asking for advice about the company. I had never heard of the firm, but after one quick look at their website, I was sure that they were not very good at book marketing.
    Weirdly, within a few days I was contacted by a guy from BookWhirl. The thing that stood out was he spelled his name as “Brian” in the e-mail header and “Bryan” in the body of the e-mail. Of course, there were several more mistakes in spelling or grammar.
    You can read the complete e-mail and my response to the e-mail on my blog on the Redroom Writers Website at:
    Authors Should Avoid Book Marketing Companies That Know Very Little about Book Marketing
    (I have put a link to your webpage in the blog so the Redroom readers of my blog can read all the comments here)
    Ernie Zelinski
    Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (over 110,000 Copies Sold and Published in 9 Langauges)
    and Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations

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  17. What is going on? This is the second such approach I have had in 2 days. Firstly from a company with a German address and an Indian named writer. This was regarding my Master’s thesis (gave the title etc). I was gullible enough to answer this and so that company (LAP Lambert Academic Publishing) had confirmed my email address. Then today I received the offer from Bookwhirl regarding a book I self-published in 2000. I can’t help wondering whether there is a link between the two “companies”. I had expected some other approach from LAP Lambert Academic Publishing som perhaps this was it. I didn;t fall for it this time. Thank God for Google with its search functions.

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  18. Apparently BookWhirl is contacting all self-published authors listed on Lulu.com, as I just received “the e-mail” in the e-mail account that I use exclusively for Lulu.
    Based on the grammar in the message my knee jerk reaction was to Google them and, like many of you, here I am. I actually wouldn’t mind some marketing assistance and their attempt at flattery was, well, flattering, but based on this post I think I’ll pass on their offer to expose my book “to vast number of audience [SIC],” which I assume translates to “sending lots of spam on my behalf.”
    Thanks for the warning, Lee.
    Rob O’Hara, author of Commodork: Sordid Tales from a BBS Junkie and Invading Spaces: A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Arcade Games.

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  19. I am a self published author.
    If you know of any legitimate book marketing companies….pass it on…
    I too got an email from bookwhirl
    The name book whirl makes me think of a toilet being flushed with a manuscript whirling around….. bye bye…..
    Maybe they mean book world but just can’t spell.
    Now we must not jump to conclusions for even though their email did say a number of confusing conflicting points….. no one is perfect from a third or first world country. Maybe they are just crazy. They could be space aliens.
    Maybe they are from some distant land looking for American dollars?
    Lots of people come from around the world to make money here….like taking candy from a baby.
    I have self published some 12 non fiction books and they came across one of my least known titles.
    I was instantly suspicious of their email. Why would they contact me? I am a tiny spec in the universe of authors.
    Oprah also wants to promote my books on her show but I am just too busy these days with my life whirl.
    The first mistake I noticed in the email was the subject
    I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR BOOK (usually no one is)
    After reading the email…the subject should be…..I am interested in promoting you book…. and you giving up some money.
    Nope…..they or she or he is not interested in my book
    The next thing I noticed was
    Hi Jon – (my name) In bold
    A pleasant day. In regular text next line
    What the F’ is this greeting…? Thats not common usage.
    That has got to be one weird opening….
    Then she calls herself a marketing specialist. People with titles often know nothing but to impress us they become a specialist….easily they seem full of themselves. They come to work everyday with an expensive monogrammed attaché case….the only thing in it is lunch. It looks impressive.
    They picked the wrong guy to email. I am a BS specialist…..I write books on BS theories
    The bookwhirl email.. reads:
    “I am this marketing specialist and– we are interested in promoting” –
    those 2 points conflict. I and we….which one? both or not really anyone or my multiple personalities want your money?….
    They give no reason they like my book. To be honest my book they chose is not much of a book compared to the other 12 books I have written.
    All 12 of my books are on the same website at LULU but no mention of my other books.
    And they or she end the email with more strange words and phrases
    “I am grateful to give you information…..”
    does that make any sense?….Its not common English…
    but the cynic in me can see all the problems and miss solutions and benefits…. so I risked messing up my grammar and went to their website …a curious investigator.
    Wow look at all those colors – its a very busy site with lots of words packed onto the home page
    Lots of Orange – that means caution….or Halloween?
    One page reads it wont cost you a dime – just your phone number….Another page reads $1999…seems like there is a price for every victim.
    the forum there is a BS Joke….have you read the postings?
    It sounds like one posting was made up and answered by the same guy with another name. How clever is that? What can I get for $500? ….answer You can get a lot. Wow that sounds like a great deal.
    This seems like the same old story: GET RICH
    – Have your own WEB SITE get rich quick….. scam
    I’ll bet there are sister websites for lots of other victims beyond authors and publishing. Change the title words and go after more victims.
    Many years ago a friend took me to a respectable big name hotel where there was a lecture on making it big on the internet with your own website business and a training program. I was impressed.
    The guy talking was slick and magnetic – at the end of the day I wrote a check for $1800 – I was hooked like a fool. I wanted to give him even more money. All excited I went home and called the 24/7 help line – no one was available. Ok I went to the website…. it looked a bit lame. I Googled it and read: Don’t walk – RUN from this guy….they have no traffic at their website. Only you and fools like you all alone waiting with your dreams of getting rich. The only one getting rich is the hyper lecturer – traveling the country – selling dreams and giving no value.
    So I called up my bank and canceled my check. He had a collection agency threaten me for years.
    Money for nothing. Oh yah….my friend who took me …he lost thousands….my sister lost $7000 with another internet get rich with your own website scam lecture…. she put it on her credit card. She did not ask me.
    From a dirt floor in Nigeria entire towns are set up with email boiler rooms and poor grammar….My dear sir…god has favored you…you have won 700 million…please send a necessary forwarding fee of $1500 so you can get rich the way God has chosen you my good dear friend. I await your pleasant smile.
    What ever you click on at Whirl – never quite answers clearly much….its all so grey…filler…fluff puff and strange weird stuff on it like WD EAC ODL
    And the point of abbreviations is … to impress us?
    This whirl – the big hook is not their email or even the website but the phone calls.
    If they get people on the phone –from what I read they are fast talking – hard pushing pestering – slick promise anything cons. They look for easy prey – people who have a hard time saying NO or NO THANK YOU… or unrealistic people who think spending money will do the trick. It might, but not with a con.
    You cannot believe the skill of some really successful cold callers. Its an art form. Some seem almost hypnotic. They pride themselves on persistence and will call a person a dozen times eventually breaking them. They become whatever the victim wants to get him or her to give up money. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow over the phone. Its amazing.
    I don’t always hang up on phone sales….sometimes I have fun or let them talk to the pillow I lay the phone on. I am the first to ask….Please send me a check to show you are sincere….its all about trust right?
    If you do anything you have to pay for…..what is the value you receive?
    How about trust? How about they trust me and give me a service and if I make money they get some.
    There are some good places online where I do spend money and I am pleased. However too many services want money first and give little or no value.
    A word to the wise…..dont walk…. RUN.

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  20. I got an email from Bookwhirl today. It smelled like a scam, and after a quick Google led me here it’s a pretty obvious scam. Haven’t had a phone call yet, but I’m looking forward to it — I’m used to messing with 419 scammers, so this should be fun.

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  21. Just wanted to chime in and THANK YOU for this post and all the comments about these folks. I got “the email” today, clicked the link and knew this was a crock. I looked it up on Google and your site came to the top. THANK YOU!

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  22. hey there,
    I’m an Aussie author and my second novel ‘In Ecstasy was published by a North American publisher Annick Press last year. Yesterday I received the same email from ‘Jen” who was really interested in my book. First thought- spam, second- should I pass this on to my N.A publisher in case it’s legit?
    Of course it’s not!!! As your website confirms!
    Thanks guys!
    Kate McCaffrey

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  23. Legitimate publicists are initially contacted by authors, not the other way around. They certainly do not scalp author phone numbers from the Internet or send them spam emails. Several of the authors I have worked with have been contacted by BookWhirl.
    Out of curiosity, I Googled BookWhirl’s address from one of their press releases, and if the street-level photo from Google Maps is accurate, the business is located in a run-down house behind a food-processing plant.
    Stay away.

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  24. Well, they’re still at it. Got a phone call from “Adrian Robertson” (a “she”). I wasn’t home, so I missed the pleasure of her blab–and I plan to keep on missing it.
    (Phone # 877/207-1679)
    Wanted to publicize my book, “Lost Treasures of the Bible,”published by Abingdon Press. I’ve publish a dozen books, none self published. So they are an equal opportunity scammer.

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  25. I finally answered the phone out of curiosity. While waiting to talk to a “marketing expert” I googled, like everyone else here. I hung up and got an immediate call back which I did not answer and a follow-up email from “Brian” (who managed to spell his name the same way both times). The caller, unidentifiable accent, stumbled over the title of one book, which was published by an academic press and is still in print. The email from Brian suggested promoting a completely different book published by a different academic press. Neither is self-published. I have used Lulu, mostly to print final drafts of books to distribute to potential readers, though I did self-publish one book as an experiment. There isn’t a lot more to say about these people. I do love that their headquarters are in a run down house behind a food processing plant though.
    BTW here is what they say about their featured author, Patty James: “Patty James
    Driven to devote results than reasons, Patty James is an epitaph of a woman whose life has been an inspiration to hundreds of lives. She is a dedicated teacher that conducts life sessions on subjects as: Spirit, Soul, and Body, and the laws of life.”
    You gotta love the idea of being “an epitaph of a woman!”
    The google earth look at 867 Howard St. 1, Green Bay, WI 54303 is well worth a look too.

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  26. I received a phone call from Melissa Adams (the call sounded like it was coming from a third world country and she made it sound like she was saying “Book World” and I thought she wanted to talk about reviewing my book, “The Honey Boy Story,” a children’s picture book. I called 877-207-1679 ext 323 and left a message to return my call. Then I looked for Book World on google. It looks like a really poorly made website, amateurish at best with stuff about World Book Encyclopedia Online and referrals to Christian Books Publishing websites. So I didn’t take it seriously, still not knowing that it was bookwhirl.com. I got a return phone call from “Melissa Adams” and when I asked where she was calling from, she said Green Bay, Wisconsin. Once again it sounded like it was coming from a third world country. I could not take her seriously. I could not hear half of what she was saying. I asked if the company had a better land line. I had been scammed before under entirely different circumstances but I was not going for round 2. After a brief conversation where she offered me a free conversation with two other authors about book promotion for FREE and arranged a day and a time, I remained apprehensive since she would not give me an e-mail address. Today I called to say I was not feeling well and would not participate in the conference call. Today I understood her to say the company’s name was Book Whirl (I agree with previous posts that the name itself sounds like a misspelling) and when I asked for her e-mail address, she started saying 877 and finally when she gave me the e-mail address, it seemed highly suspicious as if she had never said it before and of course that Melissa Adams is not her real name. I ended with saying that I would call them if I would schedule another time – NOT. STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE. WHO KNOWS WHERE THEY ARE BUT THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT PUBLISHING, PROMOTION OR EVEN GRAMMAR.

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  27. To all of you, I know this owner of this company, her name is Ivy Rutherford a native of the Philliphines. She does not have a company of employees and she is from Green Bay Wisconsin. She is scamming people and she is currently being investigated by the Attorney general of Oklahoma. If anyone can help the attorney general we need to stop this person…. Please let me know if I can help.

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    • Lisa
      Bookwhirl scammed me out of $700 about 1-15-2016 . I sent the $ due unreal, 3, 4 hr. conversations with a Teri Torres (from Philippines) but never signed their unreal ONE SIDES Pub. agreement. So I am disputing the charge for that and other reasons.
      Therefore I need to know all about this Ivy Rutherford, and how you got her name, HOW YOU KNOW SHE IS A NATIVE OF THE Philippines, and how the Attorney Gen. of OKLAHOMA got involved.
      I live in the Southwest and will go to their so called Green Bay Wisconsin ( POB) office office and well, I’ll get my f— money one way or the other. So please reply if your being truthful, as your the only one with this data.

      Reply
  28. I got “the call.” Here are some sundry observations:
    1-Person spoke with a heavy Asian accent! Perhaps a scam out of China or another Asian country.
    2-Wanted me to sign up immediately…..bad sign.
    3-Web page looks rinky-dink! I could do a better job!
    4-Person knew very little regarding scholarly works….couldn’t distinguish between fiction and non-fiction and implications for marketing!
    5-Phone connection was poor, leading me to believe that in this day of digital transmission, the phone call originated in a third-world country.

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  29. LISA,
    WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INFO FOR THE BELOW COMMENT;
    “she is currently being investigated by the Attorney general of Oklahoma.”
    I CALLED THEIR OFFICE AND THERE IS NO INVESTIGATION UNDER HER NAME OR BOOK WHIRL.

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  30. I received a telephone call, followed by two emails and three subsequent calls. I’m very glad that I lucked into this article. Marketing a book is difficult enough without these distractions.
    Thanks,
    Rod

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  31. I just now got ‘THE CALL”. Ace was my Marketing Consulting. When I said I could not afford the price he was asking, he offered payments. Meanwhile, I was just killing time while I could get into Ripoffreport.com and to Google what I thought was BookWorld.com. When Ace got on the line and corrected me that it was BookWhirl.com I told him I never made a decision like this without my husband he wanted to know when he could call back. This was as I was checking out the correct address. Of course I came back with many, many complaints.
    Thanks Everyone,

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  32. Got a phone message last night (with a horrible VOIP connection) from “Melissa Evans” (sp?) at bookwhirl.com, trying to get hold of my wife to discuss her book. Yes, it’s on Amazon.com, but (a) it’s ranked below 2 million [it’s a cute children’s book, but only family & friends have bought it so far, and I doubt that will change much], and (b) how did they get our phone number but couldn’t figure out our email, which is posted on our website? So I Googled 877-207-1679 and found numerous links to warnings, including this one.
    Sounds like a sad little company preying on naive new authors who think they have a wonderful book that everyone will love once they know about it. I think we’ll pass.

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  33. I received a phone call from them today. I did talk to them, but 99% of the services they offer, I’ve already done on my own…and now I see it’s a scam, thanks for posting.

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  34. “I got the following spam email from Bookwhirl, a online marketing & promotion huckster for authors”
    Lee, you need to write ‘an’ before ‘online’, not ‘a’. lol. Remember ‘an’ before vowels. And this post is like 3 years old, and this whole time you haven’t bothered to correct it? And you’ve written books? Ummm…….

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  35. I had several messages left on my phone and too could not understand the name of the company. I thought they said Book World which I looked up an is a online book store (who by the way sales my book. Small Sacrifices) So I thought okay, let’s see what this is all about. I called and left a message which they returned within a half an hour. I got Bryan. Yes he talked big and being new at this I listened. I asked him where he heard about my book. He said they had researchers who found it knew they had a market for the genre (the emails were to these people only) I went to their website while I was on the phone and showed me some of the emails they sent out. I asked did they send them as pdf’s or would this be in the body of the letter. It has been my experience when it’s sent in the body you have click “show images” To be quite honest I have never received an email presented like they were talking about. He kept pushing for me to sign on. I told him I never make decisions like this on the spur of the moment and I don’t like feeling pressured. He could call me in a couple of days. This was followed up by an email. Then I started thinking, how in heck did he get my phone number? My book is not linked to any number. I run a newspaper out of my home and the number is listed under the publishing companies name. Any ideas? And thanks everyone for keeping me from making a costly mistake.

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  36. I also got a call at my non-profit number. This is a fund raiser book “Simplify Your Health Hydrate” for an assistance network for seniors and children. Haven’t figured out how they got that number yet.
    I asked the woman where they are located and she said Wisconsin. Then I mentioned that I am a consultant and editor for a Asian company where I upgrade their English etc. Then I ask what country she was from. The Philippines was her answer. Sounds like an overseas spam job to me as she was hard to understand.
    Thanks for sites like yours.

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  37. I gotta tell you guys….thanks for the great work making this site. I have to tell you that I got Melissa calling me one day as well. She asked about what sort of promotions I had through my company and then did not even try to compare rates. Well, I got to be a little skeptical, being as this was obviously a foreigner. I know this may be different for a new author but I am glad that my radar signal not to jump on this offer was intact this time. I simply told her that if I was interested I would contact her, and politely ended the conversation. That is when I decided to do a google search myself and thankfully your website was the first to pop up. I guess I should trust my intuition more if it saved me this time(before I made the initial response of saying yes). I am going to have to thank my publisher for all he has done for me. It is funny that when I set up my first book with my self-publisher(one fantastic company I may add), that the person I was talking to said she could promote me in both the UK and Australia, not to mention 7000 publications worldwide. That left me a little skeptical, even though my actual company has been marketing me in the UK. Then she started to ask for money up front with no promise that I could see how well my book was doing overseas. I am sure that she intended to hose me for everything she could get. 7000 locations? That would break my bank so to speak. I told her if I was interested that I would call back…after reading everyone’s testimonial I would say, don’t walk, don’t run…sprint away from these individuals. I am a first time author that it still learning the market but even I knew that this sounded fishy. Then there were all sorts of questions I had for her…but, aah, I’ll end this post right here and leave it at that.

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  38. I always let my machine pick up. Caller ID only provided the phone number so I decided to check out the message. I found myself listening to some girl whose name I couldn’t understand give me the name of a web site I couldn’t understand, then tell me she wanted to ask questions about one of my books. She mispronounced the title of the book (always an interesting signal for “scam alert!” ) and left the 877 number. I checked Google, found several sites like this (thanks!) then contacted the National Do Not Call Registry. I don’t know what they do with complaints but figured since this company is at it again, at least that’s one place that MIGHT investigate. I truly hope there aren’t gullible folks believing these scammers are the way to get their books into the hands of millions of readers.

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  39. I am a clinical psychologist and college teacher, now retired and writing. self-published a book titled Economics as a Symptom of Sadism, Pathology in American Culture and Education and the Legitimizing Myths that Support it. I also got a call from BookWhirl. People try to prey on self published authors. The problem is self published books can’t get reviewed. The New York Review of Books, any magazine, journal, or newspaper won’t touch a self published book. Perhaps some self published books are maudlin personal essays but not all are. I have the credentials to write my book. I once belonged to a writer’s group. I suggested we picked The New York Review for censorship and discrimination. They didn’t have the nerve. I also suggested to my publisher that the self publishing industry confront this problem. Nothing yet. It is time for the prissy prigs in review publications to give self published books a hearing. Meanwhile, I plan to update my book and seek a traditional publisher.

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  40. I also was contacted by Bookwhirl. Sending 1 million emails is spam even if it’s opt-in from co-registration.
    Sorry. Not interested.
    Has any one on this thread got info on a legit book promotion company?

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  41. Jerry says: I too have recently written and published my 1st in a series childrens book, and have been contacted probably over a dozen times in the last 6-8 weeks, and for some reason, I kept putting them off. I guess now I know why. thank God it dawned on me to check them out! thanks to all of you for your comments. By the way, if you want to see the best childrens book ever written go to Amazon.com and look up Alice & Herman the bedbug!!

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  42. Received phone calls from Bookwhirl twice to help promote my books My MS Success and Your Health & Healing. Same 877-207-1679 number, two ext numbers which were 378 and 363. Both men had accents and sometimes were hard to understand. The second guy wanted me to sign up by giving him my Visa info and it was hard to get him off the phone…even when I said I would call back. Claims the company has an A- with the BBB and I would receive an immediate receipt. After I got off the phone,I ask the question “does bookwhirl help authors” in the search engine and this site pops up. Thanks for the heads up!

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  43. I’ve written a couple Creative Commons-licensed programming books. I live in San Francisco. I got an email from my parents in Texas saying that so-and-so from Bookwhirl.com had called them asking about my books. Jeez. It’s not exactly hard to get my contact info (except for my cell phone number, which I guess is why they called my parents.) But really? Cold calling the author’s parents?
    I didn’t know much about bookwhirl.com, but then found this site. I kind of figured they made their money from fees charged to authors/suckers rather than from percentage of sales they make.
    I found a link to this article from Bookwhirl’s own response to this post (at http://donharold.typepad.com/bookwhirl/ , which isn’t exactly a URL that showcases professionalism). It’s filled with the usual “strong standards”/”value our customers” flack, but they showcase one of their satisified customers Dr. Nate Lowe, the co-author of “To Be Somebody”. I looked up the book on Amazon. It’s ranked #4,719,575. I’m not expecting it to be a best seller, and the book is a few years old, but c’mon. Not even in the top million? That’s their flagship example?
    I’ll take a pass on Bookwhirl.com. I’m guessing their “marketing plan” is the same as their “finding customers plan”: spam people.

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  44. Oh good Lord and thank heaven for you, Lee! I was about to take them up on their marketing package, mostly because I recognized the name Bookwhirl and I usually don’t recognize the names of Internet folks trying to part me from my money. People always ask if I know you, mainly because Don Gold and I gave over 40 screenwriting workshops during Diagnosis Murder and my ex-husband was location manager – and I was formerly Don’s production coordinator. So…wouldn’t you think I’d have been smart enough not to fall for the Bookwhirl guy on the phone? Did I need YOU to warn me off? Obviously I did! THANK YOU!

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  45. I received a call from someone talking really low about my book, “The Things We Do…” I readily returned the call and he didn’t even remember calling me, which was only fifteen minutes earlier. He talked and asked “just who is Getanya Smith?” (my main character), not knowing what he meant, I asked what did he mean, he replied where did I get her from, I asked him about her, and he only knew what was on Amazon. Then someone named Melissa called and attempted to pressure me into a marketing contract. I informed her that I would be sticking with authorhouse.com, she went on and on about how she is a former employee of theirs and they wait until they get four people, and then they start working on promoting your book. I informed her that I already knew that that was not true, and she could leave me alone. She kept talking and I hung up!

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  46. Melissa Adams called me – “out of the blue”! – and then sent a VER VERY long email (June 4, 2012)with all kinds of stuff – I had no time to read that much and only just now, for purpose of this post, scrolled to see the end of the mail where the pricing and her address is:
    Mailing Address:
    BookWhirl.com
    PO Box 9031
    Green Bay, WI 54308-9031
    USA
    Here is the price list of our 3 packages that we offer:
    Packages
    Lite
    Avante
    Professional
    Number of pages
    4
    6
    10
    Number of Images
    4
    6
    10
    Number of
    Email Account
    1
    3
    5
    Number of
    Animated Images
    1
    2
    3
    Domain Name
    1 year
    1 year
    1 year
    Basic Web Hosting
    1 year
    1 year
    1 year
    Banner Design
    1 of 120 x 60 pixel size
    1 of 120 x 60 pixel size
    1 of 120 x 60 pixel size
    Counter Availability Option
    Number of Free
    Online Listings
    30
    30
    30
    Blog Page
    Selling Price
    $349.00
    $549.00
    $649.00
    With NO monthly charges / maintenance fees
    (Of course the info. was in a nice little table!)
    My abbreviated response:
    If you are absolutely convinced that whatever package I buy will result in successful sale of many books, why make money an issue to begin with? If I can’t pay for anything now (because I really don’t have the money now…) why not begin the process / get a contract in, market the product and get the money you hope to make at the “middle or back end” of the process? With sales I would be able to pay for the services…and more! (You demonstrating that you can wait for the monetary rewards would be the most convincing thing for me that this thing is REAL!) Anyway, I might be just wasting my time, so I’ll just stop.
    I am still awaiting a response!
    IT IS VERY HARD TO SCAM SOMEONE (LIKE MYSELF) OUT OF MONEY – WHEN THEY HAVE NONE!!
    If I had the money they are charging me I would run my own campaign…and I believe it would be successful.
    W.F.
    P.S. I sent a similar response to my publisher…from last year…I’m still awaiting a response!! (Why should I buy additional services when my publishing package covered marketing services – which have not proved successful?)

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  47. So Mr.Chaves, how is even one of your books doing today? Can you route me to a bestsellers list which I can find your book in there as well?

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  48. I really liked your comment. However, you, like several other people here, have mentioned good places online that we could go to see services; without giving us any of the names of those places. I’m still searching for one, and these people from bookwhirl contacted me. I’m very glad I thought to look this up. It’s great that you guys are giving information telling us not to deal with this company. But at the same time, give us information on who you been dealing with that IS good. Thanks

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  49. I laughed so hard at Mr. Zon’s comments, I almost fell out of my chair.
    He put it as plain and humourous as it could, so that we could all realize how serious this is.
    I can appreciate the help. I am sorry that you lost money in the past, Mr. Zon, but this was humorous. You should post this on your blog.
    Thanks for sharing your experience so that we all can learn from it.

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  50. I am happy that while I was on the phone with my caller from Book Whirl, I decided to google the name of the company. As I began to read your comments, I was so happy to get off the phone with my caller.
    She saw my book, “Affirmation Daybook: Journal” on CreateSpace.com.
    After I told her my targeted audiences, she played it up “big time.” She said that children, teachers and educators all over should have a copy of this book.
    One million people would be sent flyers about my book for $379.00 a month for three months.
    Was she serious??
    Of course, I believe that during a time where bullying is a pandemic in our nations schools, a book like this would give students the tools needed to affirm and believe in themselves, but I don’t think that Book Whirl would actually help me do this.
    Well, back to marketing folks!

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  51. I get these phone calls all the time. Not from this company but from others. The best is the one where you hear the boat music and then you’re told you won a cruise. It always makes me laugh. Most of my calls though are from clothing stores that I got signed up for. It’s really annoying. I’d much more appropriate it if the store themselves called me and not a robot.

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  52. I know this is an older blog, but I just got off the phone with them, I did some googling and ended up here. the call came from an unknown number, the representatives had heavy asian sounding accents and did not speak english well at all. Part of me kept thinking that this was a joke. Needless to say that I will not be purchasing their services.

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  53. I just received a call from Bookwhirl in regards to my book, Final Reverie, which was published by J. Ellington Ashton Press. They identified me as a self publisher and want to help market my book. Of course, my publisher would frown upon this activity and I advised them not to call me again.

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  54. Thank you for this….I got the call from then and it sounded incredible, they “found my book” and went on about how good it was and wanted to take it for me to the International Book Fair in London (England, I assume) . . . The cost was more than I could afford but they offered to pay 1/2 of the fee to advertise in the fair catalog and whatever — $1,800, which I was really close to trying to manage….I read your response and some others and THANK YOU all as I nearly drowned in that pool all because I thought they liked my book and …. Without this comment from you, I would have chanced on nothing. I will get over the disappointment I feel right this minute and just hope a REAL publisher will discover my book in the future.

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  55. Over a year ago I self-published my book BAD RAP, The Truth About the Tragically Misunderstood Pit Bull, with Bookwhirl.com. I paid Bookwhirl (up-front – silly me) $2000.00 to publish two books for me. I have not submitted my second manuscript to them due to my experience with my first book:

    Bookwhirl promised me a full page ad in a popular internet magazine which I have never received,
    After having received no royalties and having found no book sales listed for my book on their website, I wrote to them stating: “Even if my book were the worst book ever published, I have to believe that there would be at least one dummy out there who would buy it!” A couple of days later I again reviewed my list of books sold on their website, and they had added the number “1” for the number of my books sold. I never have figured out just what kind of game they were playing with this one.

    I have sent numerous e-mails and made phone calls to Bookwhirl and they have completely ignored all of them.
    I have informed Bookwhirl.com that I would like them to return my money for the second book I had originally planned to publish with them as a result of my bad experiences with them (I have not sent them my second manuscript). They have completely ignored my requests.

    I have warned Bookwhirl.com that if they continue to ignore my requests, I will file a formal complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. This doesn’t appear to concern them at all, as they have not acknowledged any concern nor desire to refund my money for the second book. Thus, my next step will be to file this complaint to the Attorney General’s Office. In closing, it has been my experience that one cannot be too careful which self-publishing company one chooses!

    Gee Lee, thanks a lot for the vote of confidence in inexperienced writers!

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    • I’m writing this for clarification sake: About two months ago I filed a complaint with the Wisconsin BBB. I heard from Bookwhirl who is not publishing my second manuscript and so are, after all, honoring their commitment to me. It will be interesting to see the finished product. I will keep everyone posted!

      Reply
  56. I love the Green Bay Packers, so something coming by phone and e-mail from Green Bay (maybe Lambeau Field!) is a bit of a fantasy on a dreary winter day. And so it was with BookWhirl lady who offered to take my book (representation??) to the London Book Fair where it would be celebrated by big publishers, translators, European markets, agents and dealers, all for an astronomical sum… emphasis on the ass in astronomical.
    I love London, I love France too but my romance novel could put me in a financial depression for want of a marketing scam, I mean scheme.

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    • I am going to be in Green Bay in April. I am half-tempted to stop by Bookwhirl’s Worldwide Headquarters to see it for myself 🙂

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  57. Let there be light…..To you who dreamed of becoming big as self published writers, I happened to know how a scammer rides under the wings of a trusting company. Ex employees open blogs like this one when they are found scamming authors. They have all the tools and getting paid both their employer and the authors they scammed. So authors are in the line of fire when the assigned rep is blinded about the internal chaos. The call centers are all based in Asia and no American contact is paid well enough for production issues like all messed up call center protocol hiccups. Naming names and sharing email addresses of these agents isn’t the solution. They too are being scammed and blinded. Book about self publishing guide will come out 2020. Ethics, ethics, ethics is the key.

    Email me for comments. bookwhoops@gmail.com

    Reply

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