Here is an example of a decent idea with marginal execution.
A company called BookTour.com manages a directory of media contacts, including bloggers, who may be interested in reviewing books. They call this their Pressfinder service. The site uses a freemium model where authors can make a limited number of directories queries for free, then are asked to cough up $30 for unlimited access to the directory.
So far, this seems like a solid service. Authors would love a service that helps them find people who are willing to read then write about their books.
However, what if the media contacts in the directory weren’t media members willing to read then write about books from random authors? Unfortunately, that’s been my experience with the service as a media contact.
Here is my problem:
My blog has been listed as a media contact for Minneapolis. Why is that a problem? Because I have no interest in reviewing books from random authors. It creates unsolicited emails to me from authors who are bound to be disappointed.
But, the bigger issue isn’t my lack of interest in receiving more email. It’s the deceptive nature of BookTour.com’s directory for authors. Many of BookTour.com’s features are free for authors, but they charge authors for access to the Pressfinder service. At a glance, it looks like BookTour.com has a relatively large directory of media contacts, which may entice authors to cough up $30 to gain access to the complete list. But if BookTour.com’s Pressfinder directory is padded with unsolicited media contacts, how to authors benefit?
BookTour.com has never contacted me, but overly optimistic authors using Booktour.com have.
This sounds like a Win-Lose-Lose deal to me, where Booktour.com makes money at the expense of my time and their author clients’ time.