Another scam targeting self-publishing and has apparently surfaced alongside the Penguin Random House-backed Author Solutions crowd: AuthorOffer.com, which apparently is soliciting payments from authors to “offer your Kindle Books to our 635,148 hungry readers , and get up to 24,350+ free downloads or 3390+ purchases for your book.” Exactly how it’s supposed to be doing this is not clear, because it seems from the site that all AuthorOffer.com does is to duplicate Amazon’s updates of free and cut-price titles available on Kindle, and email that information out to its subscriber base. “Once you set your reading preferences, you’ll get a free email every day highlighting the best free-for-a-limited-time and deeply discounted Amazon Kindle books,” says the site literature. Fine – except that there are any number of algorithms and totally free websites that will do that for you, without even the trouble of an email subscription.
What really alerted the independent author community up in arms, though, was the highly suspect series of “author testimonials” like those that Julie Ann Dawson highlighted on her blog. These were sent via the messaging system on Goodreads.com, and supposedly came from satisfied authors who had used the AuthorOffer.com service but, for one reason or another, were unable to use a $30 advertising discount coupon that the service had given them. Authors soon twigged what was going on, and were not pleased. But the company doesn’t seem to have issued any rebuttals or otherwise tried to convince people that it’s bona fide.
Also, for a service supposedly “created by people with experience in book retailing, book publishing and online media,” AuthorOffer.com is blissfully devoid of any actual information on who its founders and senior executives are, which ought to create some suspicions. In their launch press release, in the form of a “One-Time Advertising Promotion for Authors and Publishing Agents,” Editorial Manager Sally Anderson is mentioned, but there’s no clear idea of what her track record is, or even if she’s a real person.
And you’d think that any self-respecting scam would at least try to go out the door with a less transparently pointless value proposition. But the one-born-every-minute principle is apparently alive and well, and out there living in self-publishing-land.