Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Book promotion scam

Today in my email, I received an offer that I certainly can refuse. A few weeks ago, I received a snail-mail version from the same company, Airleaf. I refused that offer, too. A friend of mine and fellow POD-pubbed author, Nancy F., had gotten the same letter. She brought her copy to the last meeting of Lake Writers. We laughed about how stupid Airleaf's propaganda was. In case, you need a laugh, here’s their email spiel (with my annotations):

Our bookstore clients have asked for a bigger variety of books and we plan to deliver! That's why we're offering our Introductory Bookselling Package at half price until Monday, October 30! You pay just $199 to contact 2000 bookstore owners. (The regular price is $399)
Let’s see, you want me to pay you $199 to spam a bunch of bookstores that aren’t interested in my books in the first place. I could spam them myself for free, but I know that how futile this would be. If you’re offering me such a great deal, it must mean that no one was interested in your original deal. And who are your “bookstore clients” anyway?

Step one is featuring your book on our bookselling websites, airleaf.com and bookatron.com. That happens the day you sign up.
So, let’s make sure I understand: I pay you to display my book on several websites that no one knows about and that no one gives a rat’s patootie about, is that correct?

What we do next is write a custom promotion about your book and then send it directly to the owner's of 2000 independent bookstores. You approve the promotion, and can make any changes you want. You also help choose what part of the country and what kind of bookstores to target. We follow up all responses by mail or telephone.
So, essentially you’ll annoy some booksellers and hope for the best? I’ll bet you don’t write a custom promotion at all. That would require you to actually read the book. I’ll bet you just fill in the blanks in a template. Also, are you aware that owner’s should actually be owners? If you write promos, you really ought to use correct grammar. Plus, I notice that you consistently put two spaces instead of one after every period in your email. That’s typing, not word-processing. (I think Blogger will automatically correct this error, so it might not show in this post.) See The Little, Brown Handbook (9th ed.), p. 206, or refer to an earlier posting of mine for how to space correctly.

We will also sell your book in our stores in Harrison, Ohio, Martinsville, and Nashville, Indiana.
Big whoop! No one in those cities knows I exist so why would anyone there be interested in buying my books. ("Duh, I feel like buying a book by someone I've never heard of. Guess I'll rush right out to whatever that store is in Harrison, Ohio!" Yeah, right.) Do those stores have names? Are they even bookstores?

As always, we will sell your book even if you publshed with another company--and we can have your book for sale on our websites TODAY! Just give me a quick call at 1-800-342-6068!
Craig Gustafson
Author Consultant
Well, Craig, I’m posting your phone number here on my blog so anyone who reads this can just give you a “quick call” (or perhaps a lengthy one) to say hello— and maybe tell you how the word published ought to be spelled. And—this might be news to you!—guess what! Amazon.com and bn.com also sell books that other companies published.

You want me to pass along your phone number to that nice lady from Nigeria who emailed me the other day? I think you'd get along with her just fine—the two of you might have a lot in common.

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