I love your book and other nasty emails

by Thea Atkinson

a nice range of emotions

I suppose I’m like many writers: I say I write because I love to. That I write because I simply can’t not write. I write to explore topics of interest to me, to discover stories that haven’t yet been told, to communicate. Yes. That last one. I write to communicate.

Well, I’m no different than most writers. I have an ego. It does get slashed and burned at times and it does every now and then get stroked. Yes. I like it when that happens. I’m human after all; doesn’t everyone like a little love now and then?

Like most writers I get all warm and fuzzy when someone tells me they loved what I wrote. During my freelance days, I never really cared one way or another if someone loved my essay or my article about Uncle Bob getting an award. I just wasn’t invested enough.

But I’ve been writing fiction for years. Really. YEARS. I’ve studied the craft, worked at it, practiced, edited, critiqued, and judged it. I still have a long way to go before I’m a Margaret Atwood or an Alice Munro, or an Annie Proulx. Heck. I’ll probably never get there, and if I did, by now I’m old enough that if I ever do get there, I’ll be gone the next day.

But I digress. I always do.

I’m just saying that the worst kind of email a writer can get is a piece of spam that starts out with a subject line: I loved your book.


You know I was going to open it. I had no other choice.

And what was within? Oh, dear heaven. SPAM. Spam for some other writer’s book. What kind of lowly author would do such a thing? What kind of masochistic writer would use another writer’s sensitive and fragile ego as bait to schlep their own wares. (Hmmm. I’m amazed my spell checker didn’t scream at me for the word schlep…it must actually be a word)

Ok. So this writer is a moron. An insensitive, sociopathic moron.

Or smart.

Could it be that the writer ‘gets’ his audience? The book being schlepped (teehee. Still no spellcheck warning) was about how to market your independent book, the market was writers. Not readers. Writers. Could it be that this author really understood his audience and captured it the best way he could?

Well, I clicked. And then I read. And then I got angry. And now I’m blogging about it.

Regrettably, I learned a few things. One: that my ego isn’t as hardened as I’d thought. Two: that I still seem to need validation. Three: That there is a right and wrong way to market even if I nailed the ‘click’; there is within the message, a need to be authentic to achieve buy-in. Four: that my mantra of pay it forward and back is even more solidified in my mind. We writers need to stick together, not use each other.

Did you get the email? What did you think?


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Thea is the author of several novels that she considers left of mainstream. You can find her on BN, Kobo, Sony, Apple

Anomaly by Thea Atkinson

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Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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21 comments on “I love your book and other nasty emails
  1. dorothyanneb says:

    Ah yes. Shall we speak briefly about those folks on Facebook who use it only to endlessly promote their own books? It is so annoying to have the feed list filled with endless reiterations of where to get their book, etc. I understand the marketing thing, but honestly, some folks can be SO annoying about it!

  2. […] I love your book and other nasty emails (theaatkinson.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] I post I love your book and other nasty emails. […]

  4. merryfarmer says:

    I got that email too! I should have been suspicious when I got an email from a man who said he loved my historical romance novel. Granted, some men do read romance, but not a lot. It was a sneaky ploy.

  5. Oh, it’s the same when they follow you on Twitter, and you think, oh great, they’re writers I’ll follow back. Then I get SPAM in a DM about their bloody book.

    This is the worst thing they could do. Because I’m now adamant I’m not going to buy it.

    We all need to support one another etc. I get that. And those that I do socially network with via Twitter and Facebook, I do try to read their books. But I can’t read them all. I just can’t. I’d never get any writing done for a start.

    I’m even being friended on Goodreads now… and then SPAMMED. Grrr.

    Great post! I might even share 😉

    • I hate spam. that’s the message we all send out, and then sometimes we are guilty of it. Call it desperation….sometimes ignorance, but this one in particular seemed plain unethical.

  6. Indeed. And I’m getting fed up with people I have just started following sending me direct tweets promoting their book / site / blog. I treat them all as spam now because I resent them wasting my time.

  7. richlynne says:

    Ignore the spam–got nothing to do with you, everything to do with them.

    Honest positive comments = “a warm fuzzy”

    Cold dishonest somments or spam = “a cold prickly”

  8. jbkirkpat says:

    One very bold spammer bragged that he would make a purchase of my book for his High School library, to which he was conveniently connected (no, he wasn’t) Bet he got a lot of reciprocal purchases in addition to mine, none of which were deserved. His book was vile, and he is a liar.

    I’m not so easily duped anymore.

    • how terrible! I think successful spammers, like conmen aim for the vulnerability in us, and it also disgusts me. Promotion and spamming are not the same in my mind.

  9. Diane Tibert says:

    I haven’t received this message, but if I do, I’ll simply delete it. I agree with the rest; it’s an awful way to market a book. There’s a lot of spam floating around out there, and WordPress does a great job of keeping them out of the comment section. I don’t have the same guard on my personal email.

    If the authors of these books/messages are considered spam, perhaps they’ll stop.

    As for egos, we all have one at some degree.

  10. Totally agree. That’s a terribly way of advertising their own book. I’d never buy it.

    As for the ego, alas!, it’s still there after so many years of rejections and a few, very few, acceptances.

    I guess it’s human nature.

  11. Atiya says:

    Sadly my book isn’t there yet so I haven’t received that email. I think I’d cry if I did. Then I’d send a plethora of useless junk mail their way. Actually I don’t know what I’d do.

  12. Send a reply, this is a do not call email and the fine is $1000. for the pain and suffering?

  13. Emlyn Chand says:

    I did get that email! I haven’t responded yet; now I think I’ll just delete it. Man! I’ve copied the email I received below. A) they couldn’t have just gotten my book on Smashwords, because I’m enrolled in KDP Select, and B) it came to my novelpublicity email, which is in no way associated with my book 😦

    Just checked out your book on Smashwords and you’re so so talented. Do you have any suggestions for a budding writer like me?

    What has worked and what hasn’t? Tried FB, Twitter, even book marks. I just don’t want to waste my time on things that don’t work.

    I just read a couple EXCELLENT books on it. One was recommended by my friend called “Effortless Marketing”: http://amzn.to/EFFORTLESS I got it cause Mark Coker the Smashwords guy endorsed it and cause it’s free for the next 24 hours anyway. And it was surprisingly really, really good.

    Do you have any other books you’d recommend?

  14. Sorry for the big screw-up in the beginning of my post. I don’t recall typing those words twice.

  15. I’ve not received that one yet, but I’m sure it would it would take the sunshine out of my day. I hate to admit it, but I am sensitive. Not so terribly much about my writing, because I know we have to grow rhino hide to live through the submission process. But I don’t like to feel as though I’m being preyed upon.

  16. I’ve seen tow of these going around from two different authors, figured one got the bad idea and the other just copied it… I can’t imagine too many authors (we all have egos!) getting that subject line and then seeing its just an ad.

    I reacted the same way you did the first time I got one, getting happy because the subject line was ‘Great Book You Have!’ and then opened it to an ad for their book…

    Very much a turn-off for me and I’d never buy their book now.

    Armand Rosamilia

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All Thea's novels are available on Kindle, Nook, Sony, and Kobo

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