professornana (professornana) wrote,

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My BH is retired from a career in sales.  When we were first married, I would sit and listen as he called customers and poured on the charm.  Heck, I would have bought the quality control systems that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And I admit to making purchases from charming kiosk owners in the mall from time to time.  I am open to a good sales pitch.  That is why a poor pitch will turn me off just as quickly I suspect.

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 ( 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.
Tags: books, pitches
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