No, not that kind.
I’m talking about the kind of book spam authors receive after they’ve gotten well enough known that spammers think the author might actually have some money, but might still be naive enough to fall for an obvious scam. Newsflash, scammers: I’ve never been that naive.
This post is inspired by an actual email I received this week.
Maybe I’m just new to the world of scammy solicitations landing in my inbox, but holy scam alert Batman!! Does anyone actually fall for this?
Let’s review what this would-be marketing savant did wrong.
“Would you be interested if I tell you how to triple your book sales?”
Sure– but you haven’t, so I’m not. The way this email is written also leads me to believe you have about as much chance of tripling anyone’s sales as I have of becoming the next man to set foot on the moon.
“I had a quick look at the sales rank of your newly published book and realized that you have not made a considerable amount of sales.”
Did you really? The book that you didn’t even mention the title of? Really? Because this sounds suspiciously like a form letter– and a poorly written one at that. Also, in what alternate reality does a book that’s been out for 8 months qualify as newly released? Inquiring minds want to know.
“I also had a look at the cover and blurb of your book and believe that they could be better.”
You do, do you? Objectively, everybody’s cover and blurb could be better; but something tells me that you know considerably less about cover design and blurb writing than I do. In the world of indie publishing there’s already more than enough of the blind leading the blind. Let’s not add to it.
“If you are serious about learning how to triple your book sales, please email me at TotallyNotASpamAccount@ gmail.com for details, thanks.”
There’s nothing about this offer that isn’t scammy. This pitch is tone deaf, insulting, and guaranteed to only appeal to the most morally bankrupt, inept, and incompetent dregs of the author community.
Coincidentally, TotallyNotASpamAccount@ gmail.com also seems to belong to a handful of people selling fake reviews. It doesn’t exactly add to the credibility of the offer.
A few tips if you’re offering a service to authors
- DON’T send unsolicited emails. Reaching out to offer a service authors should be contacting you for comes off as scammy and desperate.
- DON’T forget to do your research. Form letters that don’t mention the author or their work by name and miss important details (for example, the fact that a book is far from newly released) are destined for the spam bin.
- DON’T lead in with criticism. In fact, don’t criticize at all. Negging doesn’t work as a sales tactic, but it is the best way to get told to f*** off.
For those of you offering legit services, best of luck to you. I know we’re all desperate to make a living and the competition is tough.
As for the owner of TotallyNotASpamAccount@ gmail.com: Get bent you miserable scammy f***.