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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Just Got A Call Offering To Promote My Book

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


...that's been out of print for a decade.

I was working on a book outline and the phone rang. I almost let it go because there was no Caller ID info, but since my train of thought was broken, I was ready to unleash my wrath on some hapless phone solicitor.

Caller: Jody?

Me:  You've got the wrong number.

Caller: Jody Bah-rret? Are you the Jody Bah-rret who wrote Quantum Leap A-Z? (I should mention at this point that the connection was static-filled and the caller had a very heavy accent. I suspect the call originated overseas.)

Me: What do you need? (I was at the 20th anniversary of QL celebration just this past weekend. Alarm bells were ringing.)

Caller: Are you the Jody Bah-rret who wrote Quantum Leap A-Z?

Me: Yes, what do you want?

Caller:  We would like to help promote your book on the web.

Me:  You'll have to talk to the studio about that. It's been out of print for ten years.

Caller:  Do you have any plans to bring your book back into print?

Me:  You'll have to talk to the studio about that. They own the rights.

Caller: (After a very pregant pause.) All right.

Me:  Who are you with?

Caller:  Bookworld.com.

I checked out the web site in question (which I'm not linking to so I don't provide Googlejuice) and it was a link farm. The registrar is apparently a web hosting company, but their web site wanted to show me a movie. Hmm. The movie wasn't loading, so I decided to leave the site in case I was offered a "codec" to view the film.

More checking shows that the site in question was held by a distributor called BookWorld that was bought up by Atlas Books back in 2007.

I thought about stringing the caller along, but I think he was just a hired salesguy and had absolutely no clue about how the publishing industry works.

Folks, don't hire someone to promote your book without checking them out thoroughly. It's just common sense.

Now I need to get back to this outline.

ETA: Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware suggested it might be a service called Book Whirl. If so, they cater to self-published authors. I won't link to give them the Googlejuice. Thanks, Victoria.

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Filed under: Publishing   Self-Promotion         
4/2/2009 12:01:52 PM
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