Another Reviewer Update… I’m still here!

Hi everyone, remember me?

Yes, my health did indeed get worse, to the point I couldn’t do reviews or updates for some time. But here I am, back at it and trying to catch up with the seriously HUGE backlog of reviews I need to leave.

It’s gotten to the point I am considering doing a few posts that sum up my opinion on several different books at once. I feel this the easiest solution, IF I can keep myself to 500 words a book MAX. I do apologies to authors and publishers that they won’t be getting the same amount of time and space on my blog as I have given others… But I would rather catch up on my back log and get back to “live” reviews, so to speak, than keep putting off leaving reviews as there are just so many of them now.

Also, while I have people reading my blog, I want to give an update on my reviewing choices… recently I’ve started getting literally DOZENS of requests from aspiring authors who found my details via “AMZDiscover”. This, it appears, is a 3rd party database that collects your reviewer details from places like Amazon, and then sells (yes, charges money) them on to people. Mostly it seems to be to authors who are just doing their best to get their books out there. But quite a lot of the enquiries I get look more like phishing… as in, it’s a cookie cutter version of exactly the same letter, with the same suspicious link at the bottom promising to show you a video of some cute animal, and the person wanting you to go buy their book and they will “refund you a portion”.

Oh honey, I may write light and fluffy stuff… but I’m not an airhead and not about to fall for that crud. I worked in the IT world for almost 20 years, I know how to be cautiously paranoid over receiving form letters containing links and asking me for money. Actually, I’d like to think that ANYONE who has used the internet for as long as I have would have the brains to not fall for that stuff.

So, as a blanket decision, I will not accept any request to review from authors, or publishers who appear to be using AMZDiscover.

Sorry guys, but places like AMZDiscover annoy the heck out of me. They take advantage of new and naive authors who are willing to pay for attention to create sales. They are not authorised by or approved of by the places they are taking your information from. Amazon dislikes them immensely. And, as a reviewer, if you are seen to be getting goods from them, Amazon is more likely to come down hard on you for breaking the rules, than they are those who have skimmed their databases and sold them on for their own profit.

I feel new authors should have more dignity than to fall for such snake oil peddlers. And, if they are working through a publisher, they should be relying on THEM to help promote their work (even an Indy publisher)… or have the experience and budget to sign their authors up with more legitimate places like BooksGoSocial or similar. Yes, it will still cost – your publisher, not you the author – and these far more reputable places are less prone to be used by scammers and phishers.

I say this as an author of almost 10 years. Yes, I’m not a known name, or a New York Best Seller… But I also am very happy with how I’ve conducted myself as an author. I’ve not spammed, not paid to be reviewed, or anything.

So I do hope people can respect my decision to no longer accept enquiries to review from authors, or publishers who appear to be using AMZDiscover.

I am still more than happy to accept requested for review from Netgalley, publishers known to me who I have worked with before, and places like BooksGoSocial.

As I get so many emails, and am still not well enough to be online for long enough to reply to them all, I will be deleting all such requests without response. Here’s hoping some of those who send me such emails will have read this and know to now leave me be. 🙂

Okay, this has just about done me in for the day… which kind of sucks. Hopefully one day the doctors will be able to tell me what is causing my blahness. Right now, money is either on MS or Fibromyalgia… yeah, two absolutely FUN things to live with. Not.

But I can assure you it’s not COVID, as I live in one of those rare COVID free zones that hasn’t been that effected by it all that much. No lock down this year, no masks, just common sense, cleanliness, and an app to say I visited a place.

I will end here with the promise of finally hacking away at my list of reviews to be left when I next post. I have been reading the whole time I’ve been absent from here and have continued a book nerd love affairs with certain others, met new ones, and reconnected with old ones I had forgotten how much I’d enjoyed in the past.

Until next time,

Janis.

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