Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Book Browsers Beware

Every now and then I poke about editorial job sites to see if there are any freelance leads worth pursuing. The other day I came across this listing, and I have to tell you that my jaw dropped a centimeter or two:

I am the marketing director for a book publishing company, we are looking for a person or persons to post comments about our books on bulletin boards and book sites throughout the internet. You must be good at searching out sites to post to and able to write short "one paragraph" comments about the book. You will be paid per each comment submitted and can easily make $200 to $300 per month ongoing for only posting 16 comments per week.

Good golly, is there any commercial realm not subject to stealth marketing tactics? Is this a widely known practice? It seems so dishonest and unethical, but this forthrightly stated ad indicates that it's not a trade secret. I don't usually rely on the consumer book reviews on Amazon (I have other, much more reliable sources than that, thanks to my well-read bloggy and real-life friends), but still! I guess I'll be looking even more askance at those Amazon reviews from now on.

And speaking of stealth marketing, here's a link to an article that will just warm your heart -- that is, if your heart is warmed by tales of pharmaceutical company deceit.