Tuesday, June 02, 2015

You need to customise these things.

Lucia Whittaker / Foter / CC BY
In my inbox today I found a string of emails with the identical subject line.

"I Need Your Support. I Have Just Launched A New Book. Let me know whether you are interested in reviewing my book."

Whoever out there is teaching this book reviewer pick up line probably did not expect their students to be quite so literal.  It is like showing someone an example of how to fill out a form by writing "your name here" only to have them dutifully copy down those exact words. Not that I think this is a great subject line for a review solicitation in the first place, but after the fiftieth repetition is quickly became a basis for auto-rejection.

Inside the email each of them dutifully copies, sometimes with minor variations but often word-for-word, the rest of the text. "I hope you are doing great. I have got your email address from Amazon Reviewer Page..."  Later on there is a sentence: "The main theme of the book is..." which many leave with an open ellipsis, stumped by the heavy task of creating a whole original half sentence describing what their book is actually about.

Any author who would copy and use, verbatim and uncorrected, such nonsensical form letter is not someone I would trust to write a book worth reading.  I only hope they did not spend actual money to be taught how to alienate potential book reviewers in one easy step. It may be a pain to write your own solicitation, but if you a trying to sell someone on your talent as an author this is one chore you need to undertake yourself.

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