The Mail I Get

I got an email the other day from Sherry Ellis with the attention-grabbing, in-y0ur-face subject heading: "Please Post Information On Your Blog." 

Wow. Who wouldn't be  hooked by a heading like that? Who wouldn't be gripped by an uncontrollable need to open that email? I certainly couldn't resist. I was overwhelmed with interest and curiosity. I just had to read more. She goes on to say: 

I am the author of Illuminating Fiction, a book of author interviews, and I hope that you will be willing to post information about this book on your blog.

Illuminating Fiction contains nineteen interviews with fiction-writing luminaries including Edward P. Jones, Julia Glass, Amy Bloom, Jill McCorkle, Margot Livesy, Ron Carlson and Steve Almond.

I am also the author of Now Write! and Now Write! Non-Fiction, which are collections of writing exercises. Now Write! was selected as one of the best writing books of the year by The Writer. Finally, I am a writing coach who previously taught writing in Concord, Mass.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

She's a writing coach? And that's the best she could do for a press release? Good God.

She reminds me of the contestant on Hell's Kitchen last season who charged $300-an-hour to teach cooking but couldn't grill a piece of fish. She's a writing coach who needs coaching on how to write a compelling press release. 

Does she really think her unbelievably dull email will hook bloggers and make them want to write about her and her book? 

On the plus side,  she's written something other writing coaches, or perhaps the future author of Now Write! Press Releases and Query Letters, can use as a perfect example of how not to write a press release, query letter, or any other solicitation.

Then again, it worked. I've posted about her book on my blog. But perhaps not in the way she would have liked…

9 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. I have heard it said that the only bad publicity is no publicity. Even if it didn’t happen as she may have expected, I think her ‘press release’ may have worked.

  2. Hey, don’t you see what her clever strategy was? She deliberately made her “press release” SO bad, she knew you’d tell everyone about it. Mission accomplished.

  3. Bad writing is the norm, good writing is the miracle, I guess. And bad writing coming from writing coaches is the usual.
    I’ve just read a teriffic book that was published about 30 years ago. It is unbelieveably fresh: “The Fountains of Paradise” by Arthur C. Clarke. Here’s a guy with it all: something to say, original way to say it, deep insights into technology and character. Alas, this is the unusual!

  4. I’ve heard of five of the seven authors she mentioned, though I’ve read only one (Julia Glass). The five are pretty well known, if you follow any media about literary fiction. Dunno about the others.

  5. Julia Glass is a national book award winner. Amy Bloom and Jill McCorkle are also both highly acclaimed literary writers.
    Sherry Ellis is clearly a brilliant writing coach since she knew exactly what buttons to push of yours to get you to show her release, and that’s the whole point, right? Kudos to Ms. Ellis!


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