Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Much publicity accomplishes nothing, but you should be prepared in case yours works

You probably know the scout motto, "Be Prepared." In various versions, it's used by both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts worldwide.

The motto goes back more than 100 years. In Scouting for Boys, Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell explains the motto:

"Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it."

Satirical singer/songwriter Tom Lehrer has a different interpretation of the phrase.

OK, back to books . . .

In 2008, eighty-year-old New Jerseyan Alfred Pristash paid Author House to publish a memoir called My Changing World.

Pristash spent 18 months writing the manuscript in longhand, and then dictated it to a son who typed it. The book received extensive and complimentary coverage in NJ.com and in a major New Jersey newspaper. The article mentioned that the book sells for $73.99 and is available at Amazon.com.

I was curious to see how a book from Author House (which often publishes crap and alienates its authors) could possibly justify that high price.

[above] The AuthorHouse website is barren and useless. Links for “Overview," “About the Author” and “Free Preview” contained nothingSince April, 2008, the site has indicated that more information would be "coming soon." 

When is "soon?"

How long should potential readers wait?

How long should the author wait?

I did not place an order.

If you are lucky enough to get media coverage of your book, be sure that your online presence is ready to back it up and sell some books! If you've paid to be published, don't waste your time and money. BE PREPARED.

I recently received email from Steven Aaron, Marketing Manager at webdesignforbrands.com. Steve wants to sell services for my new www.batphones.net website. 

He said: "I’ll be happy to assist you in getting an affordable, professional, responsive, website that looks amazing with a professional touch that you can easily manage on your own after it’s completed. We can deliver whatever you need within 2-3 weeks. And if you already have a website, we can help you with Search Engine Optimization, and add E-Commerce design such as shopping carts for your customers. We develop Mobile Applications as well."

I was interested and took a look at his company's website.

(Left click to enlarge)

It was obviously unfinished, not ready for prime time. There were many blocks of temporary Latin text (known as "greeking" in the graphics arts field). One faceless employee was identified as "John Doe," a web developer.

I was not favorably impressed and will not likely do business with Steve's company.



  1. It's a few months later and they haven't changed a thing. The webdesignforbrands.com site also take a lonnnnnnng time to load, it's copy is full of typos (the backwards apostrophes is a nice touch) and all of the photos are generic and do not link to finished projects.

    This is the second email I received after registering a domain name offering sketchy services. Must be the New Spam.

  2. Yes, this company is REALLY sketchy, BEWARE. I am so glad you posted about them. I also got the e-mail from Steven Aaron with e-mail: steven@webdesignforbrands.com

    They said they can design my website for $700 - RIP OFF. I could get it done for free, why would I pay $700?!?!?

    And at the end of the e-mail he said that he acknowledges the spam can act of 2003 but got my e-mail because we apparently talked before and I gave it to him (liar) and if I think it was sent in error, I could unsubscribe.

    1. We never talked

    2. I would never give out my personal e-mail address

    3. You bought my e-mail since I had a newly registered domain

    4. You are spamming people

    5. I don't deal with companies that have 0 ethics

    6. $700 for a website is a RIP-OFF

    7. Even if they designed it for free, I would not trust them

    8. Their website is also sketchy, they use the name John Doe as their CEO

    9. I think they just want people's credit card information