Paul D Zuw

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Feel ripped off: shoddy product, mediocre customer service

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Updated by user Feb 08, 2021

PS. I believe the correct name of this company is Clever Publication, not Clever Publications

Updated by user Feb 07, 2021

I would like to add contact information for Clever Publications that didn't quite fit into your forms: Clever Publication500 4th Avenue SW2500Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2V6CanadaPhone: 1 85* *** ****s.lopez@***.ca

Original review Feb 07, 2021
I let Sebastian Lopez of Clever Publications sell me a book-marketing program for 1K. It involved three things: First and most importantly, CP was going to send out a query letter they had me write to various literary agents and editors who I assumed would be an appropriate audience. I assumed CP was targeting respondents who might at least be receptive. I was told that I would get responses but that they couldn't guarantee a publisher or agent would pick up my title. Lopez encouraged me to do this, and I trusted him. Well I did get about 150 responses, all immediate, all negative; when I went through these responses, I was shocked to see who they had been sent to. (My book is Happily Hippie: Meet a Modern Ethnicity.) Many responses were simply automated, out-of-office replies. Others were from those who should never have been contacted with to begin with: publishers of books exclusively about genealogy, Minnesota and the upper Midwest, Wyoming, Children's literature, books "grounded in psychological theory, anchored firmly by empirical data, and translated into applications for mental health professionals," or responses like "University Press of Mississippi staff is working from home until further notice,"Writers House is closed for Election Day in participation with Time to Vote. To learn more, please visit Here's to democracy. Happy Election Day. #vote Back Wednesday." Most responses were boiler-plate rejections that dismissed the query out of hand it seems to have been treated as junk mail. When I complained about this to Mr. Lopez, he first said that maybe CP had used the wrong email list; then, he said CP would try it all again in early January; then, he said they would do this again in late February; then, he said CP was going to scrap that approach and try something else which would be for free. Then he argued that the problem here was the content of my book. Well, my take on all of this is that the email list they used was, since the email list was not targeting particular agents and publishers, virtually worthless; further, Mr. Lopez should've known that. When I told him, for instance, one response was from a Children's publisher, he expressed shock; eventually, I concluded that not only was he largely unfamiliar with this outdated and inappropriate list, but he had no idea what kind of responses authors were receiving as if he were running the entire project blind; indeed, Lopez later told me his boss had accused him of "overselling" the product. Further, how much work did Clever Publications actually do here? It appears they took this lame list, pasted it into the "To" on a mass email, pasted the query letter I wrote into the body (Lopez admitted they didn't really review that query letter as promised) and hit "Send." That's what they charged me 1K for?! In addition, they didn't perform well on the two lesser aspects of this project (either they didn't do as promised and/or they did it in a very tardy and haphazard manner). Lastly, I asked that they consider giving me a partial refund. Far as I can tell, they've rejected that request out of hand.
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Preferred solution: partial refund

User's recommendation: Beware this query-email product, and be cautious about this company, Clever Publications. Although their performance on a radio-interview product was acceptable, their performance here was fumbling, unfocused, irresponsible, lazy and unacceptable.

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