Thursday, July 12, 2007

Remember my problem with Arbor Books? Well, I never did hear back from The Times, but I note that Arbor has removed the 'buy-a-review' option from their website. So let's chalk that up as an unqualified victory for the good guys. And remember that you read it here first.

The very fact that they were engaged in this practice in the first place still means that the people behind Arbor Books are sleazy scum-suckers, but at least they're no longer advertising that fact.

THIRTY SECONDS LATER...: Sorry, I was premature. The sleazy, scum-sucking, immoral assholes at Arbor Books are still advertising their lack of ethics. They are just being slightly more subtle about it. Now, instead of telling aspiring writers that they can write their own Times reviews, they state that the paid ad can be used as follows:
• Use the ad as a cover blurb for your book.
• Use the ad on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a selling point.
Here's the deal. If you are a writer of any competence and possess even a third-grade education, you realize (as, no doubt, do the sleazy scum-suckers at Arbor Books) that an advertisement is not a fucking blurb! It is a fucking ad! If I pay $1,500 to tell the world that my used tissue is the best thing since Fitzgerald, that doesn't mean I can slap a label on my tissue claiming that The New York Tiumes Book Review says it's "better than Fitzgerald!"

Ugh. Arbor Books makes me sick. Just when you think you've seen the sleaziest publishing practices, some half-assed vanity press like Arbor will find a new level of sleaze. And the problem isn't just that they prey on the dreams of the untalented; these fake reviews also defraud the consumer.

I'd say that the people at Arbor Books should be ashamed of themselves, except they clearly don't know shame.

Oh, and to answer the question that's forming in your head: yes, I frequently linked back to their website on purpose. I want them to find me, and I want Google to send people who are researching them to this entry.