Book Hub – beware of freeloader vanity press

Books

Some of these self-published books are good, but BookHub will not tell you, which ones are not, and will charge the author for your free opinion (Photo credit: rageforst)

Excluding my two blogs, I write for free for two reasons – for non-profit organisations  and “see what happens”.  After I posted a book review,   Book Hub blog  have followed my blog.  Its About page says:

Book Hub Inc. is a rapidly growing eBook publishing and distribution company looking to form long-lasting relationships with both emerging and established authors and publishers, book reviewers , and avid readers.

I am not ready to publish a book yet, but  I like reviewing. I contacted the BookHub, who – letters had been actually signed  ‘BookHub’  – sent me a cover letter, then a list of books available for review, then the book itself as a pdf.

The book was non-fiction, I’ll not mention the title because  it has already had one reader too many. The book was appalling on many levels, the only professional part about it was the cover – simple but clean-looking title on gray background.  The book – $4.99 for digital edition,  $19.99 hardback –  is 196 pages:   66 pages of the main content plus essays, which served as drafts  and in some cases are more detailed than the finished product.  No illustrations, no glossary.  The content was essentially a non-amusing amateur rant, no fact-checking and no editing  before publishing: the pamphlet is full of spelling mistakes.

I wrote a 600 words review in a week –  Book Hub warns you in advance, that while there is no deadline, they will  ‘remind you’ about your commitment. I sent the letter and received a prompt reply that, while my review is quite good, they will not publish it, because it is negative.

Some may think that a free book is a fair exchange for a review, published or not. But Book Hub charges its clients $150 for two reviews, and as a distributor the site gets the reviewer’s copy for free. $75  per review  is not a bad profit for somebody’s work. I bet that quality of  an average  book on offer is close to that of your  high school class essays – literary agents and, after them, publishers go through hundreds if not thousands of manuscripts to find one readable. So the reviewer  is doing work of a sieve, and BookHub gets the gold. 

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