Friday, November 23, 2012

Response from the boss of Bookpal

I previously slammed Bookpal, a pay-to-publish company based in Australia. 

Here's a response from the company's boss:

Hi, my name is Terence Tam and I'm the CEO and founder of Bookpal in Australia.

Firstly, I would like to thank you Michael for taking the time to post this blog as we value what the community thinks of us, good or otherwise.

Secondly, I would like to present our side of the story, as I believe it is only fair for people to see both sides of the coin and evaluate us for themselves.

Thank you for pointing out some inconsistencies with our communication which we have rectified on our website.

With the bestseller program that we advertise, I totally agree with Michael that it's a marketing push to help authors hit the bestseller list for a short period of time.

It is not something that people who want to sell hundreds or thousands of books should participate in. We make this very clear that it is a profile/personal branding exercise.

The objective, as we communicate clearly to customers on, is to help authors who desire to build credibility and open more doors for their career or business.

Most of the authors who we have helped in this are delighted with this because it helps them tremendously in their speaking and business careers.

We do not mislead people into thinking this is a program that will help make them a bundle from selling books. It is not a program for your regular author.

Secondly, with our 5 star amazon reviews.

We don't get customers to pay for this service, it is part of our publishing package that includes this.

The truth is, every self publisher needs all the help they can get in getting more books sold. Some 5 star reviews on Amazon will always help your regular Aussie battling author to hopefully sell more books.

Let's face it, large publishers engage in these practices all the time to gain an unfair advantage, they have even been known to put negative reviews on competitor's books. That is the ugly truth of the matter.

That is the rationale we came up with when introducing this. The fact is many authors also get their friends and families to post positive reviews about their book on Amazon. And a lot of our authors are older people who are not so computer literate, so this is something we help them with.

However, since this puts us in a negative light as per your blog post here, we will remove this service from our standard packages effective immediately.

Like I said, we want to listen to what the writer community wants.

Finally, Michael you mentioned that all we do is send out spammy emails. Yes I agree that was the case a few months ago.

In the last 3 months, instead of sending out spammy emails we are focusing on good weekly content for our subscribers. And instead of advertising periodic specials, we have revised our packages so that we have 'everyday better prices'.

In fact the feedback has been good writers' associations have been requesting to reprint our articles, which has been very satisfying.

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank you once again for putting in the effort to point out some flaws in our business so that has allowed us to improve ourselves to serve the Australian writer community better.

PS. There was an Anonymous post saying that they had paid us money and we had done nothing to assist them. We have a dedicated live online chat line and a full time customer service person to ensure our customer service is top notch, with a refund policy in place. Wished we could talk to 'Anonymous' to find out his/her gripe. 


  1. I would not expect that kind of reply, nonetheless a reply. I think it speaks volumes that they would acknowledge their faults and correct them based on your blog. I think it speaks volumes for you too Mr. Marcus. To both I tip my hat.

  2. Anonymous, I know this sounds a bit out there, but our mission from the beginning has always been to give self publishers a fair go. There would be many easier paths I could think of if we were in it just for the money.

    If we stray off this path we are more than happy to acknowledge, correct and improve.

  3. Dear Terrance Tam I did not know that you were the boss...your company doesn't appear to help out dyslexic and autistic people like me. Debbie Rohde and John Driscoll seem to be a bit either bi polar of psychopathic in intent as Debbie sent me an email on 25/12/12 and again last night on 11/1/13 at 7.05. I was signed up to Bookpal via my former potential publisher Barker Deane. I never had the opportunity to sign up myself. Autism is merely the fact that the brain is not switched on properly...I used to be an RN who trained at Princess Alexandra hospital and RBH in the 1960's and also worked in a top security Psych security ward in Lowson House, so I usually know when someone is a bit nutty like Debbie who has gone back to Diiana not Diana which is my user name and email address. So because Debbie has tried to make me into a Children's author I have requested the return of all of my gear which Adrienne has viz 3 cd's with my illustrations, all of my hard copies and my photograph in which I look very young for 70 plus years of age. I also have another publisher who I am sure will help me especially as I got $990 from Centerlink to pay for and IPAD and Kindle which only costs $119 Amazon type according to a commercial seller. Why the $990 I( do not know) that is why I am autistic...I have always believed in honesty and a fair go, what about you Terrance Tam? I WANT THE RETURN OF ALL OF ALL OF MY WORK SEND TO BOOKPAL IN GOOD FAITH THAT YOUR ORGANISATION WILL HELP OUT HANDICAPPED PEOPLE AS WELL...IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED FOR ME...HAVE A GREAT 2013..SINCERELY Diana Rose Carew-Reid