Can I be a curmudgeon today and say how sick I am of author-related spam? Every day I get more and more emails and FB messages from other authors telling me about their books, asking me to download a free version, requesting a “like” or a look at a page/blog/video. And I’ve had enough.
I’m sending an open message to all the spammers in my life. Well, I’m not sending it — that would be spamming the spammers, and I can’t be party to such hypocritical shenanigans, so I am posting the message here:
For cripes sake, if you know me, then you know I do not appreciate being spammed. You also know I have never in my entire online life sent such an email, never spammed anyone. I realize spamming people is still the premier way of getting known and selling books, but if you already know me, then give me a break. I am well aware of you and your books, your extracurricular activities, your videos, and I do not need to be reminded. If I wanted to check them out, I already have. If I don’t know you, then what business do you have asking me, a stranger, for favors? If your book is free, it’s still spam. It’s still a promo. It’s still asking a stranger for a favor.
What? You think you’re special because you self-published a book and are giving it away free, and so I should be groveling in gratitude that you gifted me with a download of your ebook? You’re one of millions. Even if you were a brand name, even if you were Stephen King (especially if you were Stephen King) I would not download your book. I do not have a Kindle, a Nook, a Sony, a tablet, an IPhone, or any other means of reading an ebook besides my computer, and I cannot read long works on my computer. If you knew anything about me, you would know that, and wouldn’t waste your time and my good graces on such an email.
I promote authors sight unseen via my various blogs and social networking sites. This isn’t enough for you? You want more? Why? I already spend most of my online life promoting you and other authors. I thought that the favor would be returned, and guess what? It seldom is. Most writers who make use of my favors aren’t aware that I am a published author. (A darn good one, too.) Most see nothing but a spot of free advertising. I don’t mind that, truly I don’t. I’ve always felt it was the right thing to do. If it did matter, I’d make my favors quid pro quo. But regardless, I don’t deserve to be paid off in spam.
Like Santa, I’m making a list and checking it twice. Unlike baseball, in my game you only get two strikes. One spammy email could be considered a mistake. Two and you’re out. Period. I don’t care if you’re my best friend. And oh, by the way, you’re not. Best friends don’t spam best friends. Friends don’t spam friends. If we’re on an emailing basis and you want to crow over a new book, just mention it in the context of an email. You don’t have to add me to your mailing list with gazillions of other people. Believe me, it doesn’t make me feel special.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.