They come so unexpectedly: the pop-up ad on a website, the page recommendations on Facebook, flyers in the mail. The ones that irritate me the most, though, are the ones from authors who either leave me a comment on the blog or track down an email and tell me about their own books and why I need to read them and blog about them (and often I would have to purchase them to do so). More often than not, these are self-pubbed books. Quite frankly, my interest stops here. There are more than 5000 books coming from publishers each year in my field. I can only read a portion of those (a very small percentage). I do n ot need to seek out books that could not find a publishing house. Authors who ask me to blog about their books also do not understand what it is I do on the book blog (www.ls5385blog.blogspot.com). I do not post about all the books I read, just the ones I "like." That is subjective, I know, but there it is.
But this past week, I received a letter from an author at the hotel where I was staying. The author had been unable to make it to the conference but wanted me to know about a YA book. Here is why I was stunned by this. First, when I heard there was a letter for me at the front desk, all I could imagine was that there was something wrong. (BTW, I asked others <we ALL received letters> and they all admitted to some trepidation). Then, here is a blatant sales appeal. And it was third hand. It just left me cold.
Sure, let me know about your books. I am heading to NCTE soon and will revel in listening to the publishers talk about their new books. I will read recommended books. But push me a little too much and watch me back away. Turns out I can resist some sales techniques.