Friday, April 5, 2013

A Letter to a Young American

This morning I received an an email from a young American requesting help with publicity for his forthcoming novel. I've copied it below with a few pertinent details changed. Below is my reply. I haven't pressed "send" yet. What do you readers think? Should I send it to him? 

Oh before you start reading, I'd  just like to say first to my American readers and friends: please remember I have a sense of humour and note that I was bored when the email arrived in my inbox at 7 am this morning. I'm afraid it's never a good idea to email me at that time of the day. And I love you. Okay? Right, here we go:


Heyyyy Jane,

Through a series of links, I just came upon your blog, and I have an idea.

My new book, (Deleted title) is coming out on April 22nd. It is the narrative of my one year trip around the world. I mustered cattle. I volunteered with children. I went scuba diving. I grew a mullet. I fought bulls. I made love on a beach. Etcetera.

A few years ago, for my first book, (Deleted Title), I was featured in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, the New York Post, the Atlantic, on the Today Show, CNN, Fox News, NPR, 20/20, 147 radio programs, and blah, blah, blah. My publicist expects similar exposure with the release of this next book, and with that kind of clout coming to your blog, I’d love to work with you on its release. What if…

·         I send you the full PDF of (Deleted Title)
·         You post about it however you’d like (review, blurb, article about a particular issue, etc.).
·         You give away the eBook (for free) to any of your readers who share the post on Twitter/Facebook/Etc. (Or any other kind of incentive you’d like to use.)

This is good for everybody: I get online exposure through your blog. Your blog gets engagement (and people sending along the link to your site to their friends). Your readers get something for free. We all go to the beach to sip on sangrias.

More importantly, though, there is some quality content here to unearth, and there are some important issues that can be discussed on your blog (beyond just doing another book review). People need to travel more, not only because it is satisfying and fun and inspires purpose and provides service to a world that needs it and sparks creativity, but because we need to open up our eyes to what is really going on out there. This is vital.

The bottom line is this: in this increasingly global world, it is essential that more people (young Americans, especially) step foot out of their country.

So, this is more than, “Hey, Jane! Help me promote my book!” This is an opportunity to provide quality content to your readers, and thus create interesting discussion, and I’d like to help do that.

Anyway, I’m attaching the press release here (for your eyes only, please) as well as a sample essay from the book. If this sounds like an endeavor you’d be interested in, let me know. (Likewise, if you’re not interested, let me know that also, please, so I can move along to someone else.) 

Cheers!

My reply:

Hi Adam,

Thanks for your email. Please fire whoever advised you to send it out. Really, do people fall for that kind of bullshit? Still, it was worth reading your email for the line “We all go to the beach and sip Sangrias,” it really tickled my fancy and definitely broke the tedium of filing my nails. Yeah, I know what you’re trying to do with that line but boy let me tell you it categorically does not work. At least not with a Brit. We don’t fall for that kind of hyperbole, I’m afraid. If you want to send me some chocolates I might reconsider.

Anyway, here’s a couple of pointers that I think you need to address before sending out any more of that stuff:

You write:

People need to travel more, not only because it is satisfying and fun and inspires purpose and provides service to a world that needs it and sparks creativity, but because we need to open up our eyes to what is really going on out there. This is vital.

I write:

People need to travel less because travel and transportation is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, form of pollution. Have you heard of climate change? Maybe you haven’t. But let me tell you that a lot of the general population and many scientists believe that pollution is seriously screwing up our world. Yep, I get all that fun and exciting bit and even the creativity bit but let me tell I know a good many people who have managed to do that without flying around the world burning up fossil fuels. Hmm...come to think about it maybe that would be a good topic for my blog! You can give twenty reasons why young people should travel and I’ll give twenty reasons why not. Sounds fun eh?  No? Okay let’s forget it :)

You write:

The bottom line is this: in this increasingly global world, it is essential that more people (young Americans, especially) step foot out of their country.

I write: 

Oh God: No! However, I do appreciate the sentiments. It would really help if young Americans appreciate other cultures then they might understand how best to approach them which isn’t (just in case you haven't worked it out) sending them badly worded emails. However, I don’t want to appear rude as generally speaking I love Americans and they form the largest quota of my blog readers (for which I am genuinely grateful) and what’s more you even elected George Bush junior to President and that gave me years of quality entertainment. So thank you for that and, by the way, can I just say I love Friends, Cheers and even some of those intense crime dramas where everyone works in the half-light. I have to  have my spectacles on to watch them but nevertheless they’re great. I also quite like Tom Cruise but that’s probably because I’m approaching the menopause and I've lost some of my better judgement about the opposite sex.

You write:

My new book, (Deleted Title), is coming out on April 22nd. It is the narrative of my one year trip around the world. I mustered cattle. I volunteered with children. I went scuba diving. I grew a mullet. I fought bulls. I made love on a beach. Etcetera.

I write:

Please, please, please tell me you lived in a Kibbutz. Is it a big chapter on volunteering with children? Because I’m not sure I could stomach too much of the scuba diving and making love on a beach. Hmm…I guess you slipped that making love on a beach thing in to tantalize me with your sexual prowess and long, lithe limbs eh? Is that one of those that sex sells marketing ideas? It’s working, Adam, because I’m going to be honest here I am kinda interested to know whether the romance was with one of those bulls you sparred with. That sort of physical intimacy with animals can lead to all sorts of things can’t it?

You write:

My publicist expects similar exposure with the release of this next book, and with that kind of clout coming to your blog, I’d love to work with you on its release.

I write:

Do you think you could bring some clout to my blog? Really? I am sooooo excited!  Let’s work together on promoting your book and making my blog into a sort of international travel companion! I simply love the idea! I’m sure you do too:) We Americans and Brits really do have a special relationship don’t we? Churchill would be proud of us! My only proviso about working with you, Adam, is that there’s no room in our relationship for the bull. I can be very jealous.

Well that’s it for now, Adam. I’ve got to get back to my nail filing. It’s been lovely getting to know you. I wish you well with your book and many appearances on CNN etc etc.

Yours affectionately,

Jane

Ps: If you ever come to the UK please email me. I think we’d get on like a house on fire!

Pps: Don’t bring the bull.





6 comments:

  1. He thinks we want to read about his gap year?
    Sigh.

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  2. It does rather sound like that doesn't it?!

    His first book where I gather he pretended to be poor for a year (but quit before the year was out) has 137 reviews on Amazon.com. I particularly enjoyed reading the 10 one star ones.....

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  3. Ummmm. Yah.

    I got a similiar one a few days ago from someone who found my e-mail addy on the web (got it on FB and my blogs) who wanted me to link up to her sister's blog as a cheap b'day present.

    Anywho, nothing like being the receipient of an e-mail bomb to make your day (bomb in this case means being one of hundreds of blog owners being bombarded with a mass mailing).

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  4. Unbelievable G, unbelievable! Did you send a scathing reply (like I know you're capable of!) or did you manage to to hold back??

    I know - why do people do these email bomb things? Do they really work? I have to see hard stats to believe they do. This one only made me laugh and think there was no way on earth I was going to buy his book. (Especially after I'd skimmed over the bullfighting extract he sent me which if that was the highlight was like watching paint dry! It rather reminded me of one of those occasions when you're forced to watch other people' holiday videos.)

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  5. Gosh am I gullible! I would have totally gone for it and would have been patting myself on the back for my beneficence. I am such a dope. :(

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    Replies
    1. No really, Marie?! If so, you are just too kind - which is really a nice way to be so try not to be too upset he would have got one over on you! As for me,I'm afraid I am just a dry, bitter and cynical woman these days:))

      Do you think I was too harsh on him? Now I'm worried I hurt his feelings...

      Okay maybe I'm not that worried:) He deserved it! I've actually been hoping he sends me another just so I can do a follow up letter:))

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