The suckosity of book spammers

You no spamma me...got it?

You’ve had it happen to you a million times, and you’d love to know whom to kill. Right? You open up your email, check your inbox, and there it is. Yet another SPAM about some person’s new book, resplendent with big colorful catch phrases like “Brilliant!” “Fabulous!” blah, blah, blah. And more often, it’s by an author who self-pubbed or went with a vanity press. Oh, and it usually includes an invitation to the author’s book signing.

Sure, I’d love to go…and bring some eggs and overripe tomatoes. I’d sit at the back of the room, and the minute the author steps up, I’d unleash my culinary bounty while screeching, “That’s for being an idiot.”

Seems harsh, right? Calling someone an idiot? But in this case, I feel justified in my irritation. I know, I can simply delete the email and move on…and I do. But what gets my Vickie Secrets in a wad is the abject cluelessness of authors who engage in this type of “publicity.” Book spamming is like hitting your book with a healthy spurtz of bug spray – guaranteed to repel all readers.

This is not effective publicity – it’s vanity publishing’s second cousin. Don’t buy into this or engage in it. If you do, bring a raincoat and umbrella to your book signing because you just might be wearing someone’s farm goods.

12 Responses to The suckosity of book spammers

  1. Digressica says:

    Yup. I’ve unfollowed people for this kind of behaviour.

  2. Digressica says:

    (Though I’d suggest that the involvement of fresh produce might be overkill.)

  3. Fresh? Never! Overripe…possibly.

    Obviously, I’m engaging in fanciful thinking…

  4. Vanity publishing’s second cousin: nice phrase. I like it.

    steve

  5. D. D. Syrdal says:

    The worst thing about doing this is even if the person has a perfectly decent well-written book, spamming like that guarantees I will never pick it up.

  6. kidsbooksmaven says:

    Nicola Morgan blogged on something like this today: http://helpineedapublisher.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/publicity-or-spam.html

  7. Becky Mushko says:

    Even worse is getting email spam from a suckosity company which charges an author big money to “promote” his/her book and which take offense when a recipient tries to remove herself from the list. I blogged about one of those spammers a couple of years ago:
    http://peevishpen.blogspot.com/2010/09/literary-spam-thickening-plot.html

  8. Terry says:

    I’m suddenly aware of a great deal of animosity toward self-published authors in this post and in these comments. It isn’t what I expected to hear from a well rewarded local author. I don’t spam … I barely market beyond friends and neighbors. I’m sorry to know this about you.

  9. I fail to see where I’ve disparaged self publishers in my post. I’m glad you don’t spam…however, many do, hence the rantiness of my post. It’s plain irritating. If that’s a character flaw of mine, then I’ll own it, free and clear.

  10. Terry says:

    If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. How would you suggest self-publishing authors promote their work? Many books and blogs written about self-publishing recommend building email lists and social networks in order to compete with more expensive promotions. What might you suggest?

  11. Becky Mushko says:

    I self-published my first book (albeit with some financial support by an arts council), and I don’t feel the least bit disparaged. However, I’ve received poorly written spam “press releases” from some self-pubbed folks I’ve never met who got my name from a list of regional writers. I figure if the spam “press release” is badly written, the book must be just as bad.

  12. Terry, it’s simplistic to suggest that if I’m not part of the solution, then I’m part of the problem. In what way am I part of the problem of authors who spam? I don’t believe I’m in the minority over being irritated at having my inbox filled with spam either sent by ill-advised authors or bottom-feeding “publicists” who charge big $$ to unsuspecting authors.

    There are a million effective ways for ANY author to promote their book that isn’t irritating and bothersome. it seems that you’re trying to initiate an argument where none exists. I haven’t disparaged self-publishers, so how did I become a focus of your ire?

    If you want to have a discussion about self-publishers, you’ll need to wait until I actually have a post about self-publishers. In other words, stay on focus.

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