This article is an unvarnished review of BookDaily, a book promotion services site that I tried recently. If you are an independent publisher/author considering the use of a paid book promotion service, perhaps reading about my experiences with BookDaily will save you some time and considerable aggravation.
Candidly, negative reviews are not my thing. Generally, when I have a bad experience with a product or service, I just don’t buy it and look for a better alternative. What makes this situation different? Sometimes something is so bad, you feel that you owe it to the rest of the world to stand up and talk about it.
Since encountering them via Twitter, I receive at least two emails each day, sometimes more, from BookDaily touting their services. Because I waited to publish my latest book before I concerned myself with marketing it, I was seriously considering using the paid promo services described on the BookDaily website.
After visiting the site and virtually kicking the tires, it seemed like a fairly-priced resource that might really kick start my marketing efforts. I started by creating the free author account and then claimed my first book.
Frankly, from the start the mechanics of the site’s upload application seemed a bit clunky. As an example, it took several tries before my profile picture successfully uploaded. I had similar issues trying to upload my book cover. But eventually, the image uploads were accomplished.
Next, I added the details to my book; descriptive blurb and a one chapter summary. That’s when the real problems began. When I hit save, I received an error notification, “data is too Long (47775/30000 characters).” I tried several more times and received the same error message. I knew that the sample chapter was nowhere near 47,775 characters but I checked it just to be sure using the Microsoft Word program word count function. Including spaces, the character count was well below 10,000.
Since the site warns: “There is currently no excerpt for this book! The book will NOT be viewable on site until an excerpt is provided,” I knew I had to somehow manage to get the sample chapter uploaded before I could continue to the promotion link.
I tried everything imaginable but still wasn’t able to save the chapter excerpt. It began to occur to me that the problem wasn’t mine but that of the BookDaily upload application. So, I deleted the chapter sample and just typed in three random letters, three characters with no spaces and hit save. I got the same result, ” data is too Long (47775/30000 characters).” Clearly there was a problem with their clunky upload application.
I looked around the page and finally found a small “Contact Us” link buried in the website page footer. I clicked on it and too my surprise was taken to a very professional looking “Support Ticket” page. Relieved, I completed the form, giving the details of the issue I was having, and then submitted it. That was on December 6, 2016. Days went by. Weeks went by. I checked the status of my support ticket regularly only to find it was always flagged as “New.”
Finally, on December 21, 2016, I decided I’d given BookDaily ample time and opportunity to respond to my request for assistance and more importantly, to earn my business. Big fail. All around. I didn’t even receive the courtesy of a reply to my support ticket. That strongly suggests that the site owners pay no attention to support tickets. I can’t imagine that they simply singled me out to ignore.
If the clunky software and lack of support I experienced while trying out BookDaily is any indication, and I think that it is, I find it exceedingly difficult to imagine the site provides any real value to independent publishers/authors seeking book promotional services.
When it comes to book promoters, with the rise in popularity of independent authors and publishing, the web is rife with sites willing to promote your books in exchange for your money. I have no doubt that many of these promoters are legitimate businesses that do offer value in exchange for the fees they charge in terms of an author’s marketing efforts. But the inability to even upload your book specifics to site or get any response from the site owners when you’re having problems doing so to me is a big, fat red flag.
I’m not suggesting that BookDaily is an illegitimate site or service, only that a company that has nothing to sell but a service should have at least a basic grasp on the concept of providing service before they entertain the idea of separating potential customers from their hard-earned cash. At least from my experience, BookDaily doesn’t seem to grasp the concept.
In fairness, there are a great many books advertised on BookDaily. Perhaps their upload application once worked swimmingly but it simply broke down and they haven’t noticed it. And to take fairness a step further, if you are someone who uses BookDaily or have in the past, a raving fan who can’t say enough good things about BookDaily, do feel free to leave a comment telling your side of the story.
Since all I have to work with it at present is my own horrible experiences with the site, I give BookDaily two thumbs down. If you are looking for a book promotion partner, take my advice and don’t bother with BookDaily unless you enjoy aggravation. Keep looking.