I really didn’t want to have to write this post, but I think it’s important to let other authors know about my experience with Orangeberry Book Tours.
Firstly, I didn’t spend a whole lot of money on the tour (it was less than $100 bucks) and it would run from March until August. I was due ten reviews along with the book blog posts that I had prepared for them.
The owner who runs everything was always great about answering questions and getting back to me in a very timely manner. It seemed very professional and another author who has been quite successful was affiliated with them, so I thought they were a great choice for a tour.
Things started out great. Posts were up on time and while I can’t swear it helped sales (since my publisher was also promoting and getting reviews at that time) it seemed as if it was helping to generate buzz and traffic. After the first couple of months, HeartBleed happened. Posts weren’t going up on time and some never got up at all. I understand that was out of Orangeberry’s control and I certainly didn’t blame them for it. They graciously offered additional posts or reviews to make up for it. I opted to take ten more reviews because I know how important reviews are for things like Amazon algorithms.
I started to notice that the sites my articles, interviews and teasers were being posted to didn’t seem…legit. They seemed like sites set up exclusively for Orangeberry to post to. There was nothing but tour related posts. No actual interaction type posts from whoever was supposed to be running the sites. They were full of ads and articles that had no comments. It seemed…sketchy to me.
By that time, sales had slowed down a bit and there were still no reviews. According to the tour schedule, most (if not all) reviews would be coming from a UK book club and they wouldn’t post until the tour was over because everyone had to read the book and discuss it with their groups first. That’s fine, but it’s been ten months now and no reviews.
I contacted the owner who quickly got back to me and asked me to give her a couple weeks and that the reviews would be up. I agreed. The blog didn’t end in August like it was supposed to and carried on into September, I’m guessing to make up for the missed posts due to HeartBleed. That was cool so I figured waiting a couple of weeks until everything was official done would be okay.
Last post came and went and still no reviews. I finally contacted the owner again and she responded that she had just gotten a medical diagnosis that she was trying to deal with. She apologized and we left it at that. I like to think the best of people, which may be a little naive of me, but I didn’t want to think she would lie about such a thing. I was sorry to hear what she was going through but a business is a business and if she couldn’t uphold her end of the bargain, what I had paid for, then there should have been a statement issued, monies returned or something like that.
I won’t pursue it any further and I can’t positively say I got no sales due to the tour, but I definitely didn’t get what I paid for and what was promised to me. I hope others have had a good experience with them but I definitely wouldn’t recommend them to any other author looking to do their own blog tour.