Thursday, December 16, 2010

Criminal Ineptitude

I received a spam email on my Lulu account offering me the wonderful Christmas deal of 25 reviews of my book for only $15. Wow! What a deal! I mean, paid reviews are worthless, but at least here you get to throw away your money slowly.

Their website contains several amusements. No sample reviews, but the testimonials include broken English, and one fellow reporting how happy he is that he could get reviews he didn't agree with changed.

On their contact page they only list their email address, but they also helpfully provide office hours. And a map. Yes, a mapquest link to their office. Which appears to be a real office building, although their company doesn't seem to occupy it.

Their order form asks you to send the first few chapters of your book, and click a box promising to pay. They won't bill you until you've gotten all your reviews. See? It must be on the level!

And perhaps it is. Perhaps they have assembled a cabal of friends who have agreed to read a few chapters of stuff for fifty cents or so. I assume that they didn't, that they just dash off comments with random names attached, but perhaps the scammers are not only scamming idiot authors but also their putative friends. Only a idiot would buy this service, and only a bigger idiot would agree to read the ravings of idiots for 50 cents a chapter.

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