In the past few weeks I’ve received emails from a couple of authors begging me to write glowing reviews of their not yet published books and help “spread the word” about the “greatest romance to come along in years.”
I’m all for helping people any way I can, especially new authors, but the tone of these emails, quite frankly, didn’t inspire me to read their books or write reviews or help promote their works of literary wonder.
It made me sit there and wonder why.
Why do they want my endorsement? Why do they care what I’ve got to say about their writing? How did they find me? What made them choose me to beg for help?
Call me old-fashioned, call me a bit of a stickler for good manners, but you don’t just email a complete stranger, beg for their help and not offer some reason why you want them to help you.
If either of these people had included even a brief line of “I came across you on _____ and liked _____” it really would have helped their cause.
It’s obvious they don’t know me, don’t know anything about me. If they had done their research before sending out their email requests, one of them would have noticed that the book she’s saying will be the biggest romance for decades to come nearly mirrors a romance novel I wrote and published last year.
People who make gutsy moves sometimes win with their efforts. And sometimes they just annoy the stranger they are pestering.
So the moral of this story – if you are going to be gutsy and send out emails begging for help from complete strangers, do your homework first. Find out something about the person you want to help you. Tell them honestly why you contacted them. That will get you a lot further than proclaiming yourself the greatest writer since Hemingway.