Today I got yet another email promoting a book whose author or publisher has signed up with mass email marketer (read spammer) Media E-blast. I get these on a semi-regular basis, probably because I'm a book reviewer.
"E-marketing has been a long term goal for many companies, whether it be a religious organization, record companies, artists, national and independent, and small, medium or large businesses in the world today," says Media E-blast's About Us page. "Media E-blast LLC E-MARKETING solutions will not only help you make money but it will also get your name out there to a specific target market." Costs aren't listed on the site--presumably, they are tailored to the campaign--but perhaps the author on whose behalf I was blasted today took advantage of the "March Madness" sale--Reach 500,000 subscribers! Only $125 per blast!! Limit 3 per customer!!!
If I'm any indication (and I can't be unique), many of those subscribers are involuntary. Some target market, huh? Authors and small publishers--spam campaigns are not a good use of your publicity dollar.
Here's why you should not E-blast me (or use any other kind of mass email campaign, such as those offered by some self-publishing services).
- It pisses me off. I'm always happy to consider a request to review--but I want you to approach me personally. I want you to be at least somewhat familiar with my reviews, and to have a credible reason to think I might be interested in your book. I do NOT want to get an email that says "Dear Reviewer," or an E-blast that has no content other than a link I have to click, or a request for a review that's obviously inappropriate for the magazines I write for.
- I'm not your target market. I'm not any spammer's target market. My spam filters are pretty efficient--your E-blast will go straight into my Junk file. Unlike some people, I actually look at my Junk file, because sometimes Writer Beware documentation gets caught in there--but very probably, that's only reason I will ever know about your E-blast.
- I didn't give anyone permission to E-blast me. If you think that services like Eblast are subscription-based, think again--these services build their lists by harvesting email addresses off the Internet, just as other spammers do. As far as I'm concerned, there's no difference between your book E-blast and a penis enhancement spam.
- Did your E-blast campaign include me? Shit. Now I'm on a dozen other lists, and I'm getting E-blasts for beach rentals and consumer goods. Before, I was only irritated with you. Now, I hate you.
The E-blast ad that precipitated today's rant: Son of Hope by David Berkowitz. Yes--that David Berkowitz.