A Letter to the Authors Who Spam Me

Can I be a curmudgeon today and say how sick I am of author-related spam? Every day I get more and more emails and FB messages from other authors telling me about their books, asking me to download a free version, requesting a “like” or a look at a page/blog/video. And I’ve had enough.

I’m sending an open message to all the spammers in my life. Well, I’m not sending it — that would be spamming the spammers, and I can’t be party to such hypocritical shenanigans, so I am posting the message here:

For cripes sake, if you know me, then you know I do not appreciate being spammed. You also know I have never in my entire online life sent such an email, never spammed anyone. I realize spamming people is still the premier way of getting known and selling books, but if you already know me, then give me a break. I am well aware of you and your books, your extracurricular activities, your videos, and I do not need to be reminded. If I wanted to check them out, I already have. If I don’t know you, then what business do you have asking me, a stranger, for favors? If your book is free, it’s still spam. It’s still a promo. It’s still asking a stranger for a favComputer attackor.

What? You think you’re special because you self-published a book and are giving it away free, and so I should be groveling in gratitude that you gifted me with a download of your ebook? You’re one of millions. Even if you were a brand name, even if you were Stephen King (especially if you were Stephen King) I would not download your book. I do not have a Kindle, a Nook, a Sony, a tablet, an IPhone, or any other means of reading an ebook besides my computer, and I cannot read long works on my computer. If you knew anything about me, you would know that, and wouldn’t waste your time and my good graces on such an email.

I promote authors sight unseen via my various blogs and social networking sites. This isn’t enough for you? You want more? Why? I already spend most of my online life promoting you and other authors. I thought that the favor would be returned, and guess what? It seldom is. Most writers who make use of my favors aren’t aware that I am a published author. (A darn good one, too.) Most see nothing but a spot of free advertising. I don’t mind that, truly I don’t. I’ve always felt it was the right thing to do. If it did matter, I’d make my favors quid pro quo. But regardless, I don’t deserve to be paid off in spam.

Like Santa, I’m making a list and checking it twice. Unlike baseball, in my game you only get two strikes. One spammy email could be considered a mistake. Two and you’re out. Period. I don’t care if you’re my best friend. And oh, by the way, you’re not. Best friends don’t spam best friends. Friends don’t spam friends. If we’re on an emailing basis and you want to crow over a new book, just mention it in the context of an email. You don’t have to add me to your mailing list with gazillions of other people. Believe me, it doesn’t make me feel special.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

8 Responses to “A Letter to the Authors Who Spam Me”

  1. knightofswords Says:

    I want to tell authors who send me SPAM that my books don’t bring in enough money for me to be able to afford a copy of all the books published each year by all the authors on Facebook. I’m grumpier about it when I get plugs for the kinds of books I never read. People following my tweets and status updates should notice I don’t read books with titles like “Horny Babes in Hollywood” and “The Year Granny Ate Too Many Prunes.”

    By the way, Pat, I have a new book out called “Global Warming is Hell On Earth,” a cautionary tale about not giving the devil his due and then having to sweat it out until the next ice age. I’m sure you’ll want to pick up 100000000000 copies to handout to people on the street.


    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I felt kind of bad about writing this post. It’s not exactly grande-dame-ish, but I did feel better afterward. I hope you know I didn’t mean you. You’re always generous to other authors, you’ve never spammed me, and I’m always glad to do what I can to promote your books. You’re one of those I consider to be vastly under-noticed, and I like doing what little I can to bring you to the attention of people.

      If you’re not really writing such a book, you should. I bet it would be hilarious.

  2. Kathy Says:

    I hear you. I, too, got sick of so many writers talking nonstop about their books and have really pulled back from the online world. I certainly need a break. I deleted FB, minimized Twitter, deleted one of my blogs, and visit very few (yours is at the top of my list of blogs to visit). I’ve worked with computers for 30 years and have been around the internet for 20 years and it’s really getting ridiculous. From spammers, opportunists and even technical recruiters are abusing it. Have people lost all sense? I may as well throw in a big LOL because I just have to laugh to keep sane. 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      If I don’t continue to pull back from the constant barrage of promotion and nonstop talk about other authors books, I’ll probably never write again. As it is, “book” has become just another four-letter word to me, and for most of my life, reading was my life.

      I’ve only had a computer and been on the internet about six years, and there’s been a tremendous change in that time — constantly flashing ads and opportunists. And yes, I think people have lost all sense. How else to explain the 50 shades of gray phenomenon?

      • Kathy Says:

        You are so right! I’ve been noticing others posting about “book overload” – not surprising. And I’ve lost my writing motivation – I have this manuscript I’ve been trying to polish for months, maybe even years now. I just can’t quite finish yet another book that gets lost in the sea of books out there.

        But in full disclosure, I must confess I reactivated my FB account. It was too lonely without it because people continue to hang out there and it’s hard to drag them away. I’m hoping I’ll do nothing more than peek in and keep my big mouth shut – lol!

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          Yep — it’s hard to find the motivation to write another book that will get lost in the sea of books. For now, I’ve given up all thoughts of publishing, which makes it easier to spend time on at least one of my WIPs.

          You could always join the Suspense/thriller writers. They are writers, of course, and the discussions are about writing, but NO PROMO allowed! It’s refreshing.

  3. mickeyhoffman Says:

    I am tired of having authors who won’t give me the time of day asking me to check out their books and “like” their pages on Facebook, etc. They apparently don’t think we notice how they don’t reciprocate.

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