Trolling for Suckers

I got this email today:

Dear Lee,
      My name is Tracey Rosengrave, Marketing Manager
for Xlibris Corporation, a Print-On-Demand Self-Publishing company. We are
sending you this email because we have either learned about your passion for
writing or we have had the pleasure of coming across some of your work…

I guess she’s never read my blog, where I indulge "my passion for writing" by criticizing print-on-demand self-publishing scams. Or maybe she’s read my books, and thinks I’m ready to make the switch from being paid by publishers to paying to be published. I don’t know. So I asked her.

What a nice surprise to hear from you. Where did you learn about my passion
for writing? Which of my books did you read? I’d love to know how you discovered
me (I’ve been waiting so long to be discovered) and why you think xlibris would
be the right publisher for me.

I’ll let you know how she replies…

20 thoughts on “Trolling for Suckers”

  1. I received similar spam about three months ago and wrote a simple “remove me from your spam list” email to Ms. Rosengrave and received the following email in response.
    “Dear Tod,
    My personal apologies. Your name has been removed from our list. I have just come aboard as Marketing Manager and I am working on revamping our current email broadcast. We are currently developing an extremely informative newsletter that I believe our authors will appreciate. If you have any interest in this at all please email me personally and I will send you a sample. It will not be up and running for at least two months. I will not send this to you without your expressed authorization.
    Again, my apologies for the inconvenience we have caused you.
    Tracey Rosengrave
    Marketing Manager
    Xlibris Phils. Inc.”
    So, I’d guess that she might actually write to you personally.

  2. I haven’t had one of those in about a year. Earthlink’s spam filtering is a magnificent piece of technology.
    I started getting those some time after I wrote my first review for THRILLING DETECTIVE. Ever so efficient, I ignored them. The emails started taking on a rather snotty that said, in a nutshell, “What’s the matter with you, Winter? Don’t you want to get published?”
    If you mean go through a submissions process, have the book edited, and get a cover designed, all at no cost to me, hell, yes.
    If you mean spend $500 just to get in print, um… No. I need that $500 to pay for strippers… Er, um, to give to starving children in Luxembourg.

  3. Gee, Lee, I got the same e-mail…
    What a stunning coincidence…
    Same words and everything…
    You wouldn’t think it was *gasp* spam, would you?
    Brendan DuBois
    P.S. Not sure if you remember some fun times we had, knocking back drinks at a past Bouchercon with S.J. Rozan, and you having us in stitches about the propulsion systems fans designed for SeaQuest. Thought at the time you were pulling our legs… *sigh*, should have known better

  4. No fair! All you COOL kids get to bitch about schmancy Xlibris spam, and I’m stuck wearing this “Grateful Nigerians [heart] Your Bank Routing Number” t-shirt.

  5. Heh. Same thing in my email today, as well. First thing I thought was, “What would Lee Goldberg do?”
    I had a warped desire to write back and say “Sure, I’d love to publish with you. Provided you pay my dog’s $1500 vet bill. That’s how it works, right?”

  6. She’ll reply, unless she does the smart thing and Googles you.
    I had a lot of fun with these folks a few years ago, exchanging emails. If you show the slightest bit of interest, they pounce on it.

  7. I decided to have a little Konrathian fun with Tracey. I sent her a entirely different email from another email address (so, obviously, it’s under a different name than my own). I won’t reveal the contents of that note yet, but it will be interesting to see if she replies…and what she says.

  8. Heh. Interesting. I got the same email yesterday, I was actually beginning to think that maybe someone would publish one of my stories. Too bad I don’t have a finished one.

  9. When Willa Cather was starting out, she self-published a collection of poems, hiring a vanity press to do the book. Later, when she was well established, she grew acutely embarrassed by that first book, and eventually redid it, tearing out the poems she couldn’t bear, substituting new ones, and having the book published by a legitimate trade publisher. One wonders what sort of solace Tracey might offer an author who has grown professionally and has become mortified by his or her Xlibris first book. Is there a warning on the package she is offering: side-effects might include acute embarrassment in the future?

  10. Well, there should be but even if there’s nothing technically wrong with the work, some will use it for an attack on the author. It happens repeatedly to me, yet miraculously no one ever inserts an actual example of what faux pas have been committed. The bottomline is with any vanity press book what you have is a discredit by proxy.

  11. Hm. I got the same e-mail myself. I read it right after I deleted an advertisement for a diploma mill. “Think your chances for getting a job would be a lot better if you had a few letters after your name?”
    Does anyone else smell any similiarities between Ms. Rosengrave and the folks who sell Ph.D’s?


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