Sep. 12, 2015

Keeping it in Perspective!

This has been quite a busy day!

 Yesterday I received a book in the mail along with a letter that read in part “The author wants to learn more about options for promoting her review to industry influencers (such as foreign and domestic publishers, agents, film producers, librarians and booksellers) as well as consumers, email her at…” and she had written inside the book “Thanks Sharon for your review”.

 A quick look at the book left me speechless: It began with a table of contents, two page list of characters, and three pages of plot, log line, main plot, and three sub plots. The body of the book consisted of 18 pages of what I couldn’t believe would pass as a workable outline for a book. 

 I was at a loss as to how to proceed! Should I simply ignore the request? Should I read it and try to review? Neither choice seemed right. I kept digging until I found it on Amazon where it was being offered for sell at $5.38. The amazing discovery was that both Amazon and Kirkus each displayed one amazing review. Not only were these reviews grossly embellished, they were both more detailed, and almost as long as the book! Total fabrications! Who does this?????? This morning I decided I HAD to reach out to this author and following is our email exchange:

 Me - Because you took the time to mail (title of book) to me for review, I feel I should take a few minutes to explain why I cannot offer you a review or advice about how you can promote it to "industry influencers". As a general rule, I do not review what I cannot recommend and I cannot recommend this work.  These 18 pages might be considered by some to be an outline of a book to come, but it is not a work - in it's present form - that I would consider promote-able.

Her Response - Thank you so much for your honest opinion. I know that it’s not promote-able in its current form which is why I am looking for direction orindustry influencers who can lead me in the right direction to take it to the level that it needs. I am truly stuck and need some help makingthe book promote-able. If you can provide me with a website or company that can assist me in developing the book, I would greatly appreciate itand when it is finish I will send you another company.Thank you Thank you for taking the time to respond to this email and my book.

Me - I don't honestly believe that a website can accomplish what you need. Consider taking a writing development course either at your local community college or taping into one of the many interactive writing courses that are offered on line.  I also suggest that you remove the work you have posted on Amazon and the review that was posted on Kirkus until the real book is complete. What you don't want to do is have your name associated with this failed try in a way that people won't support you after the book is actually developed.  I also encourage you to look at the courses and books offered and by Writer's Digest - that is where my mentor directed me. 

Her - Thanks for the Response!

Updated Response - After consultation with other authors regarding my  book review done by Kirkus, I have decided to post pone any marketing until I have the book edited. And kirkus. Can you direct me to the depart that help me with developing and editing my book. Thanks for the help.

I was honest, I gave it my best shot now it’s up to her to pull up her big girl’s panties and put in the work necessary to become a successful author.

Just as that situation was coming to an end, I looked on my Facebook page and read a new entry that someone  - who only five minutes before had asked to be my friend – had posted on my page. I hate that!  In-box me first – let me decide what I want on my own page. His post, which included his picture, a picture of and link to his book, read in part:

“I am a newly published author and I would like to send you my book for consideration as a possible read for your club”.

Once I got over the fact that all of this was actually posted on my page, I responded that if he would like to share the book with my audience, he could send a copy to be given away at The Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend.  THEN, I in-boxed him and as gently as possible, I told him that just isn’t the way my book club selects reads.

He responded “This is all new to me – this is my first book so pardon me for not knowing the protocols”.  I understood so I took a few minutes to refer him to a FB page that has been set up to share promotion ideas and suggested that in the future, he not post ads to anyone’s page without asking. 

And before you ask - yes, after an hour or so, I removed his info from my timeline!

Yes, Lord! This has been a full day!