Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I reserve the right to make fun of anyone who SPAMs me, and this week I got three of these:

Dear Former Subscriber:

Hmmm. I never subscribed to your rag. I could never afford it. So you're lying to me already.

Time really does fly.

And yet you would be the people who constantly bitch about writers using too many cliches. Hokay.

Since you last received [The Rag], so much has happened within our industry.

Wait, I remember now. I signed up on a web site to get some sample copies about nine years ago. You sent me exactly two issues in 2001. So you're right, a lot has happened, and I bet now you're going to give me a flirtacious little recap.

From the Google settlement . . .


. . . to the continuing financial struggles of booksellers both large and small to the emergence of portable digital readers, book publishing is changing and adapting to a brave new world.

Sorry, but I don't care about Google settlement, I'm not a bookseller, and I can't use digital readers, so you've yet to rouse my interest out of its current coma. Also, I can read about all this stuff on the internet for free.

One question, though: why is it that you people always refer to the new world as brave? Why can't it be ambivalent, or terrified, or even a little depressed because it doesn't have anything nice to wear? Huh? Huh?

To successfully navigate today's challenging economic realities, the knowledgeable editors of [The Rag] provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions.

Actually those sample issues did tell me a lot about your rag, namely that you print lots of ads for books I'm never going to read, spread industry gossip, fear and incitement to panic disguised as pseudo-thoughtful speculation, perform simpering suck ups to important literary novelists, endless hatchet jobs on genre writers (four or five of them on my own books), and much smooching of major publisher booty. I hear you now don't pay a good chunk of your writer staff, too. I hate to disappoint you, but none of this is useful to me during informed decision time.

Accept this timely offer to receive one year of [The Rag] at a special 33% discount from our standard subscription rate. You'll pay only [more than $150.00] for [one year of issues].

After being SPAMmed three times by you, do I want to then pay you a big chunk of money to read [The Rag] for a year, or do I want to buy something I can actually use, like five ten-ream cartons of printer paper, or three cartridges for my laser printer, or internet service for the next eight months?

I'll let you guess.


  1. The future really does need something nice to wear. *g*

  2. $150.00!! Via spam! Good grief. One might have to chalk them up as brave (or as the Emperor in need of new clothes) just for asking.

  3. I guess I didn't realize they allowed people who were high to write ad copy or solicit subscriptions...


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