I’m so desperate I’ll spam the crap out of everybody!

Does that title ring a bell?

Have you received unsolicited e-mails from authors asking you to review or buy their books?

Have you as an author had the urge to succumb to your feelings of desperation and contract one of the many e-mail marketing companies (which spam us regularly) promising to send out a billion e-mails and get your book on the bestseller list?

Well, don’t! Why? Because it just annoys the crap out of people and places you on blacklists. Do the legwork and create your own opt-in list and following. Is it hard? Yes. Will it take time? Definitely.

The reason I’m writing this blog is because I once again received spam on Goodreads from an author asking me to download his book and review it while it’s still free. I usually report these e-mails to Goodreads and go about my merry way. This time, however, I decided to message the author to tell him that I’d read his book, but when I clicked the link to reply the Goodreads account no longer existed, so I went to his site and e-mailed him. This is my original e-mail:

Dear (desperate author),

I usually don’t reply to unsolicited e-mails or in your case Goodreads PMs, but I felt that in this case I needed to give you a heads up about the way you contacted me. I’m not sure if you sent the message or contracted a third party who called himself *desperate author*, but all it accomplished was to turn me off to your offer of a complimentary copy of your book *desperate book*. I actually considered accepting and reviewing it, but when I clicked the link to reply the account did not exist which makes me believe that your contact was nothing more than mass messaged spam. Very negative for your image in every way.

Why am I taking the time to write to you? It’s simple, because not only are you damaging your own image, you’re also fueling an industry of unprofessional spammers. I’ve been in the screenwriting and authoring industry for more than 18 years, and believe me when I say that this kind of approach never yields positive results. No one likes unsolicited e-mails and if you do happen to grab someone’s attention (like me, in this case) you will quickly lose it and be added to their blacklist. There are no shortcuts; you need to do the legwork.

I hope you will take the above into consideration and genuinely reach out to your colleagues for support and feedback instead of contracting someone to do it for you and ruin your name in the process. I am a great Ludlum fan and, like I said, I originally was willing to read your manuscript.

Good luck with your endeavors.

Below is his response. I only bothered copying item 6 as you can see.

This is an automated response that saves me time and covers the 6 most asked questions/issues you may be writing me about…

6) I would like to complain because your marketing agency sent me a message?

Answer: My marketing agency reaches out to tens of thousands of readers who enjoy my genre of novel. Typically, these readers are happy to receive a free hit techno-thriller. My apologies if we have made contact with you more than once over a vast number of social services and networks. I’m pretty sure once a major publisher picks up the series, then all those freebees will dry up. So please enjoy the freebee while it is still available.

Wow, really? You obviously don’t get it. Okay, then keep your freebie.

Happy writing everyone!