Wednesday, September 5, 2012


6 Tips for restoring Book Reader Confidence in Book Reviews

A few weeks ago a national book club shared with me that their book reviews had been taken down from, because the account had more than one person noted as a reviewer.’s new policies no longer allowed multiple users on one account.

The book club was outraged. They felt targeted. They didn’t understand.

What was the problem of using one account for all the members to broadcast their book reviews?

This past week’s RJ Ellory debacle maybe the best answer. According to The Telegraph Ellory admitted to creating fake book reviews for over a decade. To make matters worst, some of the reviews were negative toward other authors.

Giving MacBride one star for his work Dark Blood, he[Ellory] wrote last month: “Unfortunately this is another in the seemingly endless parade of same-old-same-old Police procedurals that seem to abound in the UK.”

Later he used the same names in forum posts during a bit of “shameless self-promotion”, in which he also attacked another author before appearing to give himself away by signing off messages with “Roger”.

Now if that ain’t a hot mess… Catch this. Ellory is not alone. There have been other authors caught gaming online book review sites. (Orlando Figes)

So how does this affect book clubs submitted online reviews?

Because authors, paid reviewers, and who-knows-what-else have disregarded  FTC guidelines for full disclosure and have crossed the ethical line for book reviewers, and other consumer review sites have had to create stricter guidelines, in order to try to restore the value of the system.

Now I am not a fan of online reviews, because up onto this point, many reviews are biased or paid, aren’t always about the content but things beyond the authors control, and do not follow a universal book review writing guidelines. I cannot place the same value in a book review from someone whose review is simply “I couldn’t relate to the author.”

On the other hand as a published author, publicist, and former book reviewer, I know how book reviews are. In this new landscape of oversaturated book hodgepodge easy to find, cheap, affordable books-a-plenty book discoverability has become paramount. We know that book reviews help lift our books out of story obscurity.

But if the book review system is this flawed, then what is the value of a book review now, too? Very close to zilch.

So what can we do?

Karen Burgess at Literary Lunchbox shared a great idea to resuscitate book review power.

“… Consider doing some reviews yourself… on Amazon, on Goodreads, or even start your own blog. Because the more people who really love books share the love, the less opportunity there is for hacks and scammers!”

I also suggest for publicists:

  1. Traditional PR works for one great reason. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Submit books to review according to review periodical editorial guidelines and let the chips fall where they may.
  2. Understand the FTC Guidelines for Book Bloggers and use them when you approach book bloggers for book review opportunities.
  3. Review the reviews on your client’s book pages (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GoodReads) monthly. It’s our job to manage our client’s image. Make sure those reviews line up to ethical standards.
  4. No how to contact or any consumer review site to dispute a review. (Note I am a Good Reads Librarian. Contact me about your clients book data.)
  5. Be transparent.
  6. Work with vetted reviewers and bloggers who have a reputation for quality and ethical reviews.

Photo credit: Digitized Chaos

Pamela Samuels Young SpreeCast

Monday, August 13, 2012


Last night author Pamela Samuels Young chatted with book clubs and her friends at Ell Curry’s New Spreecast. The event kicked off Pamela Samuel’s release of her new legal thriller novel ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE. Click here to watch the cast.


Thursday, July 26, 2012



We're having a party, and you're invited!  In honor of the release of Pamela Samuels Young new novel, ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE, some author friends and I decided to band together to celebrate, promote, and extol the many virtues of this wonderful, entertaining, legal thriller.

ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE(ACP) Blog Hop 2012 will be a week-long event, running August 13th-24th. We are seeking amazing writers and bloggers to donating their time, talent, and some very special prizes to make this  event a huge success!

Here's how the blog hop will work . . .

  • Each of the participating bloggers will write a special ACP-centric piece and these posts will go live on Monday, August 13th. At each blog hop stop, you will have the opportunity to receive a free Kindle download of ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE. All your blog readers have to do is leave a comment on your blog post, including their name and e-mail address, and they're automatically entered to win the grand prize (see below). If they visit each blog hop stop, you and they increase your chance of winning it!
  • The blog hop will start at Ella Curry’s Black Pearl Magazine and end at Christian Fiction blog.  You will find a list of all the stops on the blog hop at each blogger's blog. Bloggers will be listed in alphabetical order according to last name. vhgift
  • In each of the author's blog posts, there will be a "secret word." This word will be italicized, so it will be easy to find. All you have to do is make note of this secret word at each blog hop stop. Collect all secret words and submit your list to Dee Stewart at before midnight on Friday, August 24th and you will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing! The winner of this drawing will receive a  FREE Vernetta Henderson Handbag Gift Pack (contains a burgundy Cabas handbag, designer scarf, cosmetics bag, makeup kit, stationary, and an autographed copy of ACP) from Pamela Samuels Young. How fun is that?
  • Contests are open to residents of the United States only.

We hope you'll join us for this exciting event!  Don't forget to tell all of your Pamela Samuels Young loving friends!  The more, the merrier!

psybloghop Add this cute badge to your blog and add you and your blog to the linky link below. We will email the details and where to receive the content you need for the blog hop and your secret word. 

2012 Client List

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and the author of Every Reasonable Doubt, In Firm Pursuit, Murder on the Down Low, BUYING TIME and ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE(July 2012.) She has been featured on BET’s “The Monique Show” and is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime, an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at




Rhonda Bowen is a writer and event planner living in Toronto, Ontario Canada. She enjoys spending time with her family, trying on shoes she can't afford, and enjoying life's unexpected twists and turns. Her new novel, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER releases February 28, 2012 through Kensington Books. Join her BookClub on Facebook here or visit her website at




Trice Hickman is an award-winning and bestselling author. Prior to becoming a published author,she self-published this title three years ago under her own small press Platinum Books. Since then she has won the 2008 and 2010 African American Literary Award for Romance and became a premier book selection for Black Expressions, a national book club company with a membership of over 450,000 readers. In 2010 she signed a three book contract with Kensington Publishing Corp, the last remaining independent U.S. publisher. Unexpected Interruptions released nationwide April 1, 2011. Her current title KEEPING SECRETS AND TELLING LIES released February 2012. Join her book club on Facebook here or visit her website at


Shana Burton is an educator in Macon, Ga. She is also a published author and is a three time Georgia Book of the Year Nominee. She is the author of Suddenly Single, First Comes Love, Flaws and All, and Catt Chasin under Kensington Publishing. Catt Chasing released July 2011, has been selected as a Black Expressions Book Club Pick. Her upcoming novel FLAWLESS releases Summer 2012. Join her bookclub on Facebook at or visit her blog at

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