Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

Unfortunately we live in a world that is rife with the dishonest, and this is especially so in the Uber Democracy known as the internet. A place without any real regulation. I intend for this blog entry to act as a service first and foremost to my fellow wordsmiths who have delved into the world of publishing, independent or not, it is with great importance I come to you with this.

warning

I don’t see other writers as competition but as fellows where we are all trying to convince the world our words exist. And it is our responsibility to look out for one another especially when our ultimate integrity is threatened. I use the word threat because what we do takes so much work and only a select will understand what that truly means, but for everyone concerned with writing books I have to do my duty for our industry. 

So here’s the story… and subsequent investigation… 

On the evening of April 19th 2018 I received an interesting email from someone called ‘Aimee Ann’ if that is ‘her’ real name is neither here or there. But what this person said is as follows… 

aimee

Sounds good right, I thought so, and initial ideas began to stir around my head in how I was to reply in order to sound as professional as possible, that is without sounding desperate for reviews. Because all writers need more reviews and the fact I overlooked where this person got my email from I was ready to bite her hand off for a review… 

I checked out the website, and initially I was impressed. This person is good, damn good. 

weird

You cant deny the About section appears to be innocent and worded in such a tactical way for nobody to call bullshit. It’s all positive and draws attention away from anyone with an ounce of suspicion, that includes me. 

Of course the whole deal is written in a way to draw a level of sympathy, truth or not, and who the hell has 4 kids and still has the time to read, review and keep a damn blog up to date? I have no kids and have barely enough time to brush my hair! 

weird 2

And so I scrolled further down her rather wordy and ever so positively innocent bio, until the ultimate red flag destroyed all perception of me believing this whole deal was genuine… 

weird 3

Red flag uno… is highlighted in pink above. No pictures personally tells me there is a hell of a lot to hide but this paragraph is very clever in delivery, it’s almost dastardly, as in evil villain dastardly. And I should know a thing or two about such characters, I’m a writer…

Look how she addresses the red flag and then diverts by involving her family and then even sub diverts by making the reader forget completely about the fact there are no photos of her by mentioning the husband and even diverts that as well. 

Next comes more diversion…

diversion

And let me state here, there is no shame in supporting military charities, but this is just another diversion away from the real facts here. All of this is to give an author a sense of security and trust. 

And that is, red flag numero dos…

wres

At this point I knew the dream was over. ‘She’ charges for reviews…

When it comes to paid review services most of the time they are viewed as unethical and although some will argue that paying for reviews is marketing- I’m not here on my own patch to argue or define paid reviews. Yeah there are reputable platforms out there but in my eyes if you pay someone for anything more than their time to read your work and provide an honest opinion, well that isn’t marketing… 

And so I used the google machine for a cold slap of reality to the face.

red

The Alliance of Independent Authors provided me with the above testimony.  

Yes folks that’s 75 big ones for a damn review! And so I poked around the interweb some more and found only a few people have lifted the lid on the Red Headed Book Lover’s blog. 

evide

As you can see this email I screen grabbed from Blank Pages Revealed is identical to the one I got! 

And so my whole premise is simply to lift the lid for future authors who type Red Headed Book Lover into google and tell them simply, it’s an unethical scam! Her reviews are substandard at best and this ‘blogger’ is taking authors for an expensive ride.

I will never reply to the email, it isn’t worth any more words. All you have to do is actually read some of her reviews; they are complete and utter trash, she clearly reads the blurb and that only. Look how she never comments on style, voice and quality of writing; that’s because she has never read a damn thing!

The problem is, there are so many authors who have fallen for this. Some have even approached me saying this isn’t a scam and I should grow up. I’m just the messenger here. Reviews are basically currency for authors, especially indie ones, and so when desperation for reviews meets opportunist, Red Headed Book Lover sits there waiting, and its wrong, so wrong.  

You should ask me instead fellow writer, yes you! I review books for nothing, check out my review section via the menu above.

I can happily say that I never fell for the SCAM that is the Red Headed Book Lover and Aimee Ann and by the power vested by me as an author and creator of worlds, you are banished by the realm of genuine writers. We pride ourselves on hard work and the money we spend to give readers an escape. We can do that without paying huge costs for reviews!

Now you have read this as an author it is your duty to reach out to others and spread the word, together we can stop scams like this one writer at a time…

39 thoughts on “Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

  1. God, I feel like such a nube. My review just posted today and was very complementary but saying she had never heard of evil faeries made me wonder, just how many books have you read??? Oh well, have to chalk it up to a learning experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was contacted by this person and I’m usually pretty smart when it comes to scams. I even had a funny feeling about it, but I was so eager to get my book out there that I thought oh it’s a small price to pay for something that will help me and unfortunately I fell for her scam. It is the first time I have ever been scammed so I feel very stupid. I only wish I had seen your blog before I paid her!

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    • I am sorry to hear that Immy, unfortunately its a lesson most of us learn the hard way, it’s up to all of us as writers to warn others of scams like this.

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I received an email the day my novel came out. She did mention the cost in a followup email of $77. I don’t have any money and kept thinking I’ve heard you should never pay for reviews. I’m so happy that I googled her to check it out before making a decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lee,
    Thanks for this post! I just got the identical email and decided to google redheadedbooklover just to make sure it was legit. And now I am enlightened! As many have said here, I was thrilled to get that email. Now I am thrilled to have escaped.
    Thanks…Steve

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am another unfortunate email recipient and cannot thank you enough for revealing the truth. Thank you for taking the time to set the record straight.

    Thank you again!

    RD Schou

    Liked by 1 person

  6. She/Ha is still out there sending that email out.
    I googled to see what this was all about because I was like, “WHY would I PAY to have someone write a review for me?”
    Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have just written my first book and have no idea how to promote it – I got this email and was so tempted. It seemed to solve every question. Thank you for stopping me. Still a little sad that I am no wiser how to proceed….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, indeed promotion is a daunting concept. I’ve tried a bunch of different things over the years, if you’re looking for some ideas then check out my resources section 🙂

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    • If you are on Twitter, I have a list of book promoters and a list of book reviewers. You will find these under the Lists button on my Twitter homepage.
      Promoting is the hardest thing for most authors, because there is always more to try. There is no magic button. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Back in 2017 i was scammed. I decided to check my old emails and saw. I noticed that it was suspicious years later. Talk about depressing. Well, at least i know now.

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  9. Just received an email. Same thing as shown above. Let me tell you, I am working day and night to get my book out there, and I am not paying her to review. No. I think it is so dishonest not to say upfront that you charge, but I suspected as much. Then I went to her website, and she does not even list the price. I knew it would be high when she so “cleverly” said, “…my fee for this review is in the figure $$”. Um, no thanks. If ever I would pay, I’d put money toward someone a bit more smooth with their own writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have used this service and find no problem with paying for a professional review. I am satisfied with the service provided. There are many other reviewing services out there and reviews are posted…good or bad. Let’s grow up. It’s a business and I have profited from having my books reviewed by paid services. I have found Aimee to be responsive and up front about any charges. She communicates easily and keeps you well informed as to the status of your upcoming review. After being in sales for 40 years the first contact, regarding her wishes to work with me, did not frighten me. On the contrary, I was impressed by her marketing techniques. It’s good to be careful but let’s not think that villains lurk behind every open book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately you are naive to think pretty much all of what you have stated. It’s clear to see near enough every review posted by this ‘service’ is false and it’s not a matter of growing up, the world of authors being vulnerable to scammers like this is something I take seriously to not only defend my own integrity but that of others. Admitting to paying for reviews makes it pretty obvious that your interests are no more than monetary – each to their own I suppose but that’s hardly anything to be proud of sharing. It’s also information that amazon will use to ban you from their publishing platform if they were to find out so be careful with that. This post serves to support fellow authors and not an opportunity for any level of debate, any further comments regarding your stance on this will be deleted. Thanks for reading.

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  11. Hi Lee! Well. Of all people, I should not have been fooled by Aimee, but I was. It’s not that strange to pay for reviews if you published independently. I got a starred review from Kirkus and that cost me hundreds of dollars. The Midwest book review also charges. As does Blue Ink, Foreward and Clarion (the latter two being connected.) So I don’t think it’s so much a question of whether or not to pay for a review but the quality and impact of that review. Aimee did a terrible job. Her review of my book was a good one but it was written really terribly – 8th-grade level at best. I wouldn’t characterize paid reviews as a scam per se, but buyer beware; it really was a waste of money to hire Aimee, it did me no good whatsoever, I can’t share her review it was so poorly written. I really wish I had seen this before I fell for it!

    Liked by 1 person

      • My Kirkus starred review has not been “lucrative” thus far but I am proud of it and I think and hope that it lends my book more credibility. The world of publishing independently is a tough row to hoe; it’s nigh well impossible to get a review in a major news outlet so that leaves paid reviews in trade publications, that are expensive and chancy. I got lucky.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I got the email today. I have done no marketing whatsoever other than the positive IndieReview I received. “Aimee Ann” must have found my IndieReview, googled my book, found my website and then my email.

    It may not be a scam but it’s far from a reputable review service. The dead giveaway for me was when I read that I would receive a full refund if “Aimee” couldn’t grant me a 4 or 5 star review. The military bullshit made me laugh. And yes, the fact that sweet old military wife Aimee Ann could manage a quick 3-4 week turnaround to review your book (and a thousand others) while having 4 kids suckling at her teat was too far-fetched to digest.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I too was contacted by Aimee, the “Red Headed” Book Lover, just this week. I actually am an author, and I have even managed to get some reviews from my readers. When I read one of her “reviews,” I could see that she was only barely literate. Here are some highlights from her review of The True Adventures of Gideon Lev by Julie Gray:
    “I already have to recommend that you lovely readers have a read of The True Adventures of Gidon Lev…” This makes me want to “have a read of it” right now.
    “The reader in this book will learn about his journey…” Evidently there’s a reader right in the book!
    “Lev’s journey is hard-hitting at points, and although the events throughout this book are, the primary feeling associated with this book is inspiration, as Lev’s courage and determination throughout his life is truly beautiful.”
    I was impressed by the reviewer’s description of the events in the book as “are,” and I wanted to know more about a journey that was hard-hitting at points (for example: what this phrase might mean.) I have no doubt that Lev’s courage and determination is beautiful.
    “I found myself reading The True Adventures of Gidon Lev quickly from beginning to end, and this is the sign of a well accomplished and brilliant author.” This is an unmistakable sign of a well-accomplished author.

    Here is the lovely finale, in which she thanks her “lovely readers” multiple times, reminds them in her own inimitable style “to have a read of” the preview and suggests that said lovely readers follow the links she has provided three times each, including repeating an entire paragraph, word-for-word:

    “To conclude my thoughts on this wonderful book, I would say it is an inspirational and honest tale. It will take you through a host of different emotions and leave a lasting impression and so, this book gets five stars from me! So be sure to have a read of the preview below book lovers, you won’t regret it!

    Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is follow the links below!

    Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is follow the links below!
    Goodbye for now book lovers,

    P.S. Below I have attached some links about the author and this wonderful book so if you would like to learn more about the author and the book then please have a browse. Thank you so much again for reading book lovers!”

    If it wasn’t for the poor, befuddled victims who paid real money for this word salad, and wrote testimonials about how wonderful Aimee is, the site would simply be laughable. Of course, since it is a scam from beginning to end (and a shoddy one, at that,) it may well be that the “testimonials” are written by Aimee herself. I am doubtful about this, however, since the testimonials, although they fall somewhat short of Shakespeare, are much better written than the alleged reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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