The Mail I Get – Dimwit Aspiring Writers Edition

Here are some great examples of how not to promote your self-published book. These are actual emails that I received from complete strangers. I have removed the book titles and the names of the authors to save them embarrassment.

My third novel, XYZ. is now available for review. If you would like a review copy, I will gladly send you one.

Why would I care if his book was available for review? Why would anyone when this guy can't even be bothered to tell us what the hell his book is about? I'm sure when his book bombs, he'll be totally baffled by its failure. The same goes for this guy:

My novel 'XYZ' is now available on Amazon's Kindle (PC, Mac, Blackberry, Android, Iphone, Ipad) It is also available directly from me as a pdf file @ XYZ. The paperback edition will be available next week on Amazon. Let me know what you think!

Why would I do that? I don't know him and I don't know anything about his book. Does he think that I have nothing better to do than download unidentified crap from total strangers? If this is his idea of brilliant promotion, just imagine what his idea of compelling drama is.  A week or so later, he sent me another email:

I wrote XYZ as pure entertainment.Sure, it's a vampire story. But it's set in Las Vegas, and it's told in short, cliffhanger chapters full of dialog and action. Just read the first 4 chapters (like I said, they're short), and if you're NOT hooked, then let me know and I'll leave you alone.

He still thinks I care.  You'd think my total lack of response would be a subtle hint that I don't and never will. But a least this time he's said a little something about his book. Nothing that would make any sentient being want to read it, but still, he made a slight effort. Unlike, say, this woman:

My book XYZ is out. You can buy it here (XYZ). Please promote it on your blogs and sites.

Of course I will. But why stop there? Could I also pass out fliers on your behalf? Or maybe make some cold calls? Let me know. I am at your service.

23 thoughts on “The Mail I Get – Dimwit Aspiring Writers Edition”

  1. Dear Lea,
    I saw your offer about handing out flyers. If you go to my website, you can download the pdr and print it yourself. I think a thousand copies would do it. Dont forget COLOR. Thanxx.
    If you ever write a book, let me know, and I’ll do the same.
    Rock on!

  2. HAHAHA!!!!!! Omg that’s hilarious. My dad is in the news business and gets emails like that all the time asking him to hire so and so. No resume, no information about anything. Just, “Please hire me. I’m a great writing, get along with everyone and work hard. Oh and can you pay me 50k per year to start please?”

  3. I have gotten the same e-mail from an author every 3 or 4 weeks for months. I have never responded to it. So what makes her think I will suddenly change my mind if she keeps sending me the e-mail? I will grant that she has changed it up some with a new teaser of the book. The first few months, it was exactly the same e-mail every time.

  4. OMG–you mean XYZ is out????
    I’ve been waiting for it MY WHOLE LIFE!
    Thank you, thank you, dear author, for making my century!!
    Pass out fliers? Of COURSE I will. Hell, I’ll even wash your car, walk the cat, give you a foot rub, and pick up your dry cleaning, just say the word. Please, would you allow me to pay your mortgage off while I’m at it–it’s the least I can do for the wonderful magic your words will bring into my life.
    But give me a minute to recover. The amazing news that XYZ is finally available is just a tad overwhelming.
    Too much?

  5. dear lee
    you are an arrogant f$##$ er.
    if you think of yourself as a successful writer then better think again.
    your best selling books are movie/tv tie-ins! you did not invent the characters.
    it just so happens that people who like the series (monk for me) buy your books because of the character. it is not about your writing. any other ghost writer would do just as well. so don’t pat yourself on the back just yet.
    the guy who sent you the manuscript is just trying to get into the book writing business. he is trying every which way kust to get a foot in the door.
    he writes about vampires? so that is the “in” genre at the moment. you write about monk? well same thing. that is the “in” thing at the moment for people who need to have their monk fix since the show ended.
    do not be arrogant. you have not yet even published a best selling book with characters made by yourself.
    if i may add. the walk looks like a ripoff from stephen king’s the stand. in it the star also appears after the end of days and “walks” to whatever is considerd his home.

  6. dear lee
    sorry about the above post. i went off my meds for a while. doc says my toe should grow back any day now.
    also? correkt spelling is for losers and capital letters are the work of the devil.
    god that adrian monk is so hot.

  7. Betsy–you may call the gentleman by his first name when you make as much money with your writing as he does and have *your* books sold in stores around the world.
    Learn to use correct grammar–and spelling. You have too many letters in “f$##$er.” That should be “f$##er.” I’ll skip the other typos.
    Now I suggest you go to J.A. Konrath’s blog and pick up his Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. He knows a thing or three about acceptable promotion that doesn’t impose on others.

  8. dear lee
    like you said you do get a lot of emails from cranks. it is ok to ignore them by not replying. usually you these spam messages.
    but to ridicule a guy trying to get published is f$#$#$#g rude and arrogant.
    maybe you forgot how hard it was to get that first book published?
    oh wait did you used your jewish mafia connection to muscle into the publisher’s door? did daddy threaten to cut somebody’s horse’s head?

  9. Re: “f$#$#$#g”
    A reasonable presumption is that the two letters preceding “g” are “i” and “n.” If so, $=i and #=n, and so the word must be “finining.”
    The closest I can come to making sense of that is to assume that Betsy meant “finishing,” and simply mistyped. Of course, “finishing rude” does not make much sense, but why should this phrase be different from the rest of her posts?

  10. Unless they earned it.
    The things posted were from at least 2 different writers. Perhaps only one of them was the dimwit, but Mr. Goldberg kindly redacted the names and titles.
    I get similar mails from writers who are also a bit challenged about promotional etiquette. I direct them to Mr. Konrath’s blog, then delete the mail. I’m busy promoting my own work.

  11. Betsy–take a deep breath. Bigotry is no way to make friends in the publishing industry or anywhere else.
    Besides, the horse’s head thing came from Mario Puzo. Italian, not Jewish mafia. Get your facts straight.
    One good thing about this, Mr. Goldberg may be reasonably certain that those writers won’t contact him again.

  12. Lawrence
    The way you are analyzing the grammar & sentence structure of Betsy is akeen to someone throwing you some poo and you are debating if it was dog’s or cat’s poo.

  13. It was dog poo and we all wore hazmat suits.
    The dog and cats involved were not remotely akin to each other. Maybe once, a long time ago in Paris, but the divorce took care of that.
    Mr. Fechtenberger and I had an excellent discussion about the whole thing over beer. He was kind and said the yellow of my suit was a becoming color for me.
    Tomorrow we deal with that pesky world peace problem.


Leave a Comment