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Readers Wanted

I received this in my inbox the other day:

I work for a market research firm called New View Research and we’ve recently been pulled in to do an assignment for Barnes & Noble on romance novels. We are searching for people who love to read books in the romantic genre to participate in an editorial session for a new romance novel that is about to be released. The session is in San Francisco in October on either the 10th or the 11th. Those selected would be flown to San Francisco, with all expenses paid for a day and paid $100 for their time in the session. I would be so obliged if you could share this information with your readers as we are attempting to cast a broad net to recruit the most diverse group possible for the session. If anyone is interested they can contact me at newviewresearch@sbcglobal.net.

What we need from interested parties:

1) Background info: age, marital status, activities, hobbies, kids, etc.

2) How many romance novels you read a month

2) Your top 3 favorite authors

3) What your favorite titles are.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

32 Comments

  1. LG
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 08:40:42

    Wow, that’s short notice.

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  2. Diane V
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:02:06

    So sad that its for Barnes & Noble who I ABSOLUTELY HATE or I would have tried to be a part of this as it sounds interesting.

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  3. Nikki
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:02:42

    It sounds interesting but I agree about the short notice and it will either be a Monday or Tuesday so people have work, kids activities, etc.

    If I didn’t have class on Mondays… But I am curious about what book is to be released and needs editing at this time if it will come out soon. Is it a big name author or a newbie they think will rock our worlds? It seems very movie preview like to me.

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  4. LEW
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:10:57

    Honestly, the whole request (timing, information of interest, etc.) makes me think they’re not interested in romance readers with jobs, or assume that romance readers don’t have jobs.

    Or maybe I’m just being grumpy today…

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  5. Tilly Greene
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:12:41

    Sadly, my first thought was to question its legitimacy – all this and, as LG pointed out, at such late notice for a single book? Whatever the background may be, I hope it is an honest offer that real romance readers take them up on and can then see if they were listened to or not.

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  6. Allie
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:21:41

    “Background info: age, marital status, activities, hobbies, kids, etc.” I wonder what “etc.” means here.

    And they want all this information emailed to them and they’ll select people, it says. I wonder if they will select anyone. This is a clever way to gather survey information via email. No name given, not even a first name.

    An editorial session? Really? Somehow I don’t think they are just pulling readers off the street to do actual editing. As Nikki pointed out, how can there still be editing if the book is “about to be released”?

    A New View Research is apparently not BBB accredited…And they had one complaint recorded in Florida. Of course we have no idea if this is the same company…They apparently have no web site of their own (Really????) and the only google result for this email address given is something posted one day ago at some site called fanpop, which I have never heard of, and curiously, they put it in the Daniel Steele section there. There is a name and slightly more conversational tone to the message there. http://www.fanpop.com/spots/danielle-steel/answers/show/302208/romance-novel-fan-want-attend-editorial-session-new-book At that post, they indicate they’d love to have a link to your Facebook page. *snort*

    Personally, I would never ever respond to something like this.

    I’m a little surprised to see something like this here at DA.

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  7. Jane
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:25:29

    @Allie I figured it was for Barnes & Noble which is a legitimate company and that the DA readership could use their own judgment about whether this was the type of opportunity that they wanted to pursue.

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  8. Suzy K
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 09:47:45

    It doesn’t really sound like an editing session so much as something that is done for movies & television shows where people see a prescreening & then give their opinions about the plot of the movie/show.

    And there are enough romance readers in the SF area to do something like this, why are they going ‘nationwide’?

    The only reason I could see for a in-person session is so that details about a book aren’t leaked online, such as might happen if they did it via email or net-meeting.

    But I’m a skeptical person… this sounds a bit phishy to me (semi-intended pun). If it were in a town/city near me, I might be interested, but there are enough online romance bloggers that I wonder why they couldn’t contact them… or one of the romance groups on librarything or goodreads?

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  9. Allie
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 10:08:30

    If it is really for B&N, I would expect to see some way to verify this. I am stunned if B&N is doing something like this with a week’s notice and did not advertise it in more legitimate ways, like having a page to link to on their own web site. Even with an outside research company, I would expect this. You know, I should just write to B&N instead of whining about this here. ;) I’ll let you all know if I hear back.

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  10. Randi
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 10:12:07

    It does seem odd the B&N would hire an unknown company to do their marketing research. I would expect B&N to have their OWN marketing department. I can only suspect that perhaps they actually hired beSatisfied, which New View Research recently purchased. beSatisfied looks to be a much more legitimate company.

    http://www.besatisfied.com/

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  11. DS
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 10:15:17

    I just have this image of the company after the focus group trying to sell everyone a time share. That was the intent of the last people who offered me $100 for my time.

    Considering how much I hate flying any more it would have take more than that to get me on a cross country flight

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  12. Allie
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 10:27:05

    I saw that about beSatisfied. The press release, which is not dated, indicates they will now be called beSatisfied and not New View. You’d think people working for them would use the new name? I did find reference to New View dba beSatisfied in a marketing plan or something for Florida dated 2009. You’d think after 2 years, they’d be using the new name with everything…

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  13. Susan
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:37:59

    I just called Barnes and Noble and this is not real! They know nothing about this so don’t respond. It is being handed over to the proper department which I suppose is the legal department.

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  14. LG
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:42:16

    @Susan: Thanks for the info – so, it doesn’t just sound sketchy, it really is sketchy.

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  15. Susan
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:48:02

    It just didn’t sound right to me. BN said they would release something through them. So don’t go to that website

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  16. Jane
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:55:34

    I spoke to these people and it sounds legitimate but I did ask them to have someone from BN come to the site and allay concerns.

    Let me add that the person in charge gave me her personal information and I looked it up and she has done business with a number of fortune 500 companies.

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  17. Carolyn Jewel
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:55:36

    Well, gee. If anyone decides to some to San Francisco anyway, drop me a line and we can meet up and yack about Romance novels. But I can’t pay you anything at all.

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  18. Tilly Greene
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 11:56:01

    @Susan: They should’ve known better than to mess with Romance Readers! They’re a smart and busy group who have real lives to live, families to enjoy and books to read – nice job Susan :-)

    @Jane:And Jane as well for letting BN know it’s being questioned and what they need to do to make it right again.

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  19. Allie
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 12:23:56

    Thanks for the update, Susan. I have not gotten a response to my email to B&N yet.

    As I was out doing my run, I was wondering why B&N, a bookseller, would be having any kind of “editing” session… I think that is what made me question the whole thing, the way it is worded.

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  20. Patrice
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 13:35:22

    I would love to have someone pay my round trip airfare to San Fran and pay me to read or give an opinion about romance novels. (Although I do wonder why B&N rather than a publisher would be doing any editing.) It sounds too good to be true! Uh oh, you know what’s normally the next sentence in that sentiment. I will watch to see if B&N or the market research company comments as Jane requested. :)

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  21. Kim
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 13:40:21

    Out of curiosity I’ve contacted besatisfied to see if they know anything about it. I’ll let you know if I hear back from them.

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  22. Jane
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 13:43:10

    @Kim New Venture Marketing or whatever it is called is not associated with Besatisfied. I wish I could say more but I can’t.

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  23. Allie
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 13:56:28

    New View Research is not associated with a company they bought according to a press release on beSatisfied’s web site?

    http://besatisfied.com/news/A_New_View_Press_Release.pdf
    More and more interesting all the time.

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  24. Jane
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 13:58:20

    @Allie I think this will be my last response but no, there are lots of companies all over the country that have the same name, particularly smaller companies. I do think that the person who is running this is legit but I also think that if a reader does not feel comfortable that she should not send in her information or pursue this opportunity.

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  25. Scooper
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 14:56:16

    I responded and received a reply message stating they want to see how many readers respond, thanking me for replying and telling me they would contact me in the next few days if they wanted to move forward with the interview process.

    I wonder if this has anything to do with B&N going into a partnership with the self-publishing company Lulu.

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/48860-lulu-titles-now-on-nook.html

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  26. Jia
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 15:15:07

    @Scooper: The timing is interesting.

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  27. sarah mayberry
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 21:03:21

    so they’ll fly me in from Australia, right? Right?

    Damn.

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  28. Emily
    Sep 29, 2011 @ 21:15:56

    I actually found this intriguing, I might want to do it but I am not much of a risk taker (I am actually kind of a wuss.) I would love to do this but people seem really pessimistic about so now I am not sure. Can someone give me advice? Also do you think I could decide tomorrow or Saturday to do it.

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  29. ruth
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 01:15:40

    I think it might be jump on Jane day… I think it sounds like an adventure. I would go but I am already booked that day. If you get stuff like this in the future I would totally be interested. :0)

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  30. Jane
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 07:59:33

    Thanks. I think the readers here are really trying to watch out for each other and that is part of what makes the community special.

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  31. Kim
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 09:29:22

    I sent an email and I received the same response as Scooper. They said they have a huge response and will contact those that they’re interested in shortly.

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  32. DJ Gross
    Sep 30, 2011 @ 09:34:18

    Hi all-

    For a number of years I was in charge of marketing on the Quaker Oatmeal business. I spent a fair number of hours working with my marketing research team on focus groups. This request feels a bit off. There are many romance readers in the world (hurray!) so I’m surprised a research firm would have to fly folks in to a major metro to get their numbers. Typically the client (B&N) travels to a few cities if they are looking for geographic diversity. Whether this request is legit or not, I’m glad to see recognition the Dear Author audience is an excellent pool of marketing research subjects.

    Best,

    DJ

    ReplyReply

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