Promotions with Tomoson

Some time back, I heard about Tomoson, a site for promoting products, including books. Curious, I checked it out. It’s an interesting idea. It’s essentially a meeting point for people who have a product to promote and bloggers looking for products to review. They describe themselves like this:

Tomoson was created because there needed to be a better way of managing product promotions with bloggers. The process was always so long, manual, and time consuming. Tomoson is the fast and efficient way to communicate with all your promotional bloggers or find new ones to review products.

I decided to run a promotion of my book, Queen’s Gold. I set it up on June 6 of this year and ran it through August 31. I realized after the fact that I really didn’t need to run it for that length of time, but found out once you set up a promotion, you cannot change the timing on it, so that was fine.

Over the course of the promotion, 67 people applied to receive the 5 free books I offered. Tomoson does a nice job of rating the bloggers/reviewers and gives a lot of data to help you make the decisions on whom to approve. They provide data on Google, Alexa, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and more, so you can see what kind of traffic their site receives. Here’s a screenshot of one of the bloggers I approved:

Additionally, they list all the bloggers by subject material. I found this a little disconcerting, because in all the entries for my book, only one blog listed their category as Books. What I saw mostly were categories of: Health, Women-Mommy, Green/EcoFriendly, Gifts, and Everything Else. It was obvious that most of these bloggers reviewed many more products than books.

In any event, my promo period ended on August 31 and I shipped out my 5 books on September 3. Tomoson states that the reviewers have 35 days to assess and review the product, putting the date I should see reviews at about October 7. I was notified of the first review on September 20, and it was a very nice one. Tomoson has a message center, so once I read the review, it was an easy matter to send off a quick note thanking the reviewer. In addition, Tomoson asks that you rate the reviewers, and I did that as well.

When I got notification that a second review had been posted, I was less than thrilled to see that the review was actually not about my book at all, but about a product. I got a message off to the reviewer to ask about it and found out she’d made a mistake and would quickly remedy it.

By this time it was mid-October and I still had not heard a thing from the last 3 reviewers. I sent each of them a note just touching base and making sure they’d gotten the books (I had tracking from the post office so knew they had been delivered). Within a matter of days, all three reviews showed up. Apparently these bloggers just needed a nudge.

Tomoson makes a good case for what they’re doing, and it sounds like a win-win situation:

Tomoson leverages the power of the internet by influencing the influencers. The internet’s influencer’s are bloggers, reporters, and social media gurus create large amounts of content which people follow and read religiously. If you want to get your product out there, why not give it to someone that’s willing to talk about it and market it for you? Both bloggers and companies win, because the bloggers get a free product, and the companies get their products talked about.

However, my experience was quite a bit less than stellar. At this writing, I have not seen any uptick in sales of my book, not terribly surprising given the self-described nature of the blogs. The reviews were okay—mostly positive, thank goodness, but also short and rather perfunctory. Only one has appeared on Amazon. The rest, apparently, only appear on each reviewer’s blog.

Would I use Tomoson again? Probably not. It was worth an experiment, especially for free (not counting postage to mail out books) but not something I’d come back to for promotion. It’s geared much more for products than for books.

So now you know.

Author: Melissa Bowersock

Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic, award-winning author who writes in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. She has been both traditionally and independently published and lives in a small community in northern Arizona. Learn more about Melissa from her Amazon author page and her blog.

20 thoughts on “Promotions with Tomoson”

  1. I joined Tomoson a while back and didn’t pursue it any further than that as it seemed geared toward products other than books, like you mentioned. It’s good to know that you did receive reviews, though. Thanks for the report!

  2. I tried Tomoson too. It seemed like a good idea at the time. The set up is well thought out and user friendly, but I had a bad experience. Lots of people requested the chance to review my book, but like you, I only found a three or four of the bloggers actually reviewed books. And some of the websites were pitifully juvenile. Of the ones I requests accepted, only three actually reviewed my book. One was decent but not too detailed. The next review was very short.

    And here’s the third gem for your reading pleasure:

    “First, the book is Christian-Based. I also loved the description of the book. Abby is on summer vacation.”

    I’m sure this reviewer did love the description, as it made it easier to come up with something–anything–when she hadn’t actually read the book.

    Fortunately, Tomoson gives you the chance to rate the reviews, and with this one I took the time (more wasted time) to do so. I gave it one star, but after I clicked to approve, it came up as 5 stars. Then I noticed all this reviewer’s reviews were rated 5 stars–every one of them. What are the odds of that, I ask you?

    I contacted Tomoson, complaining about the review’s quality and telling them there was probably a glitch in their system. I’m sure they don’t want to keep reviewers who do such a poor job. Interestingly, when I went back to the review just now, I saw that the reviewer had added a few more words. It sounds like she got the details from an Amazon review, but it means the company probably chastised her.

    That makes me happy. But I’ll never waste time, effort–and my books– on Tomoson reviewers again.

    1. Deborah, sounds like your experience was much more “educating” than mine was. My reviews were less than stellar (as written, not about my book), certainly not top-notch. I know we all cringe at poorly-written reviews. That one of yours, though, has to set the bar for being non-helpful. Guess it’s official now; we all know Tomoson is not geared toward book reviews.

    1. Not to say, of course, that other people couldn’t have different experiences, but given the nature of the great majority of blogs, it doesn’t seem to be a good fit for us. Glad I could save some of you the time!

  3. I got as far as sending one book for review to Tomoson; eventually, there was supposed to be three people reviewing it, I didn’t waste my time chasing it, I never saw a review and when, sometime after, they asked if I was happy with Tomoson I didn’t even reply. Another one on the banned list. didn’t Rich check these people out at some point?

    Thanks for sharing, Melissa.

  4. Hi,

    This is Jeff Foster with Tomoson.com. Thanks for trying out our free blogger ourtreach system. Milissa, first thanks for reviewing our site and telling your audience about it. Second, thanks for the people who have gave us feedback on how to make our free system better.

    It sounds like the #1 complaint is that there needs to be better bloggers in Tomoson.com Database that review books and those bloggers need to be matched up with you, as an author, when you list the book on the site, rather than just mommy bloggers. Is that what I am hearing?

    Jeff

    1. Jeff, thanks so much for chiming in. I think you have put your finger on the issue, as least as far as we authors are concerned. Obviously other bloggers may be readers, as well, but it seems that their audience is not quite the book-devouring public we are looking for. If there’s some way to tweak your system to be more author-friendly, we’re all for it!

      1. Hi Melissa,

        1. I have put a team member on working on finding more blogs that relate to book reviews.

        2. We are working on what we call ‘Tomoson Relevancy Rank’ Similar to how Google displays websites that only relate to what you search for, our system will display the blogs that best match the product you want reviewed. This should help matching reviewers like you up to book-devouring people.

        3. Can you or your readers suggest any ‘book-devouring’ blogs / people online? Or even a list of 10-20? I would like to give that to my team as an example of the type of book bloggers you are looking for.

        4. Once we get the above done Melissa, I would love for you to test out the system again, would you be willing to try again in the future once these changes are done? Remember, you are not obligated to even send out a book.

        Jeff

        1. Jeff, thanks so much for taking the time to work with us on this. I think the tweaks you’re seeking will make Tomoson a better fit for us, so it’s a win-win. We have a weekly feature here for book bloggers; check out: https://indiesunlimited.com/category/like-fests/book-blogger-saturday/
          Plus we feature an in-depth interview with an individual book blogger from time to time.
          I would be very interested in trying out Tomoson once you make some changes, especially if I don’t have to mail physical books. And of course I would write up a new report for IU to let everyone know how it works out.

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