Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Just. Not. Ready.

I always reserve the right to make fun of anyone who SPAMs me by e-mail, and this latest piece of work to clutter my inbox is simply begging for it:

Ready To Self-Publish?

No, but I'm fully prepared to rip someone's head off this morning, thank you for asking.

My name is [KINDNESS DUCT TAPE], and like you, I am a published author.

While I've never heard of you. But to be nice, I'll cover all the names in your e-mail with kindness duct tape. Okay, so what other things don't we have in common?

I have worked with traditional publishing houses, and I have self-published. Quite frankly, I have found that self-publishing is more fun, more satisfying, and more lucrative!

Really? Because we're both published authors, that means I, too, could have more fun, more satisfaction and make more money self-publishing. Wow. I should call New York right now and tell them to tear up my latest contract. Tell you what, you hold your breath while I do that.

But don't take my word for it.

You think?

Just ask the many authors I have helped self-publish about their experiences. Authors such as [LOTS OF KINDNESS DUCT TAPE]. Not only have they self-published, they have relied upon [KINDNESS DUCT TAPE] to make their self-published works as ready for discerning readers as any traditional publisher.

And this would be because they also found self-publishing to be more fun, more satisfying, and more lucrative than traditional publishing, or because they can't sell their stuff anymore to a traditional publisher, but still thought they could make a few bucks if they hired you to dress up some trunk novel to make it pretty for Amazon.com and do some substandard overpriced marketing that no one would pay attention to even if they were stranded by a blizzard and it was the only thing in the house they could read?

(peeling back the kindness duct tape to study the names on the list of the many authors you have helped.)

Monty, I'm going to have to pick door #2. I bet you also offered them a discount for giving you testimonials.

Click here to view our testimonials.

Jesus, I am psychic.

You Have Questions...

Only one -- who gave you my e-mail address?

Self-publishing can be overwhelming for even the most experienced writer.

Maybe if they've had their head stuck in the sand for the last five years. Or they're so lazy that their couch has a permanent impression of their ass in their favorite spot. Or they're too busy waiting for the planets to align again properly so they can write a hundred words before tumbling to the floor from spiritual exhaustion. It's their pain and their struggle, you see, and you and I will never ever ever understand it.

"Where can I find a professional editor who understands my book?"

Working at a traditional publisher? Oh, sorry, I forgot, according to you they're unsatisfying no-fun profit-sucking vampires. But does that mean they're also unprofessional and they don't understand books? I mean, why would traditional publishers worry about that kind of thing? I know if I were a traditional publisher, I would only hire amateur idiots who couldn't comprehend the instructions on a bottle of shampoo.

"Can I afford eye-catching cover art that matches the style of my work?"

Um, if you work for a traditional publisher you never have to pay for it. Just saying.

"Is there someone who can convert my book into an ebook or lay it out for print as well as the big publishers?"

My head hurts. Is there someone who can give me an aspirin?

"Do I have to do my own marketing?"

Marketing hard. Marketing bad. We hate marketing. (wringing hands) Why oh why isn't there someone out there to step in and do it for us? Off topic for a sec: did you like get the biggest ninny in the writing universe to think up these idiot questions? Or was it another discount trade-off thing, like the testimonials?

"Should I have a website, and can I afford one?"

Oh, screw the web site. Be really aggressive and get the title of your book tattooed on your forehead.

"Do video book ads really work?"

(raising hand) I know the answer to that one: No! (Unless you're Kinsey Holley or Brent Hartinger.)

Every self-publishing author must answer these questions, but you don't have to do it alone!

I didn't get that memo, so I've been doing it alone for ten years. Shame on me. Should I stop now? Should I ask for someone to come over and hold my hand while I do it? Maybe you guys should help me answer these questions. Okay: Should I have a website, and can I afford one? Why are you guys laughing? I'm serious.

We Have Answers!

You've got something.

[KINDNESS DUCT TAPE] provides all the services a traditional publisher does—editing, cover art, ebook conversions, print layouts, marketing, websites, and video book ads.

Out of the goodness of your heart? Or are you going to pile fee atop fee before the book is released on some digital self-pub platform that takes 40% of the sales and doesn't pay the author until they accrue a certain amount, assuming there are any sales to speak of? Let me guess.

We're ready to transform your manuscript from a rough idea to a polished book at prices you can afford.

While my traditional publisher takes my polished manuscript, does most of that and pays me. I can see why I should dump them like immediately.

Don't give your profits away to the publishers!

No, just give them to you. Before I make them. Yep. Going to jump right on that. Everyone get out of my way!

Don't risk your reputation by publishing a book that isn't ready!

My reputation being so pristine already (yawn.) Sorry, dude, but I guess I'm just not ready to self-peddle my wares on Amazon.com's street corner. Or hire you as my pimp. P.S. if you SPAM me again, next time I won't use the kindness duct tape.

[KINDNESS DUCT TAPE] is ready to help you produce the book you've dreamed of.

I think I had a nightmare like this once. In it I was in a beautiful meadow with a handsome vampire, and then suddenly all my e-mails turned into razor-toothed critters and started attacking us. Wait, no, they were dandelions, not e-mails. Never mind.


  1. Oh, wow, I loved your replies to each part of the email :)

    Take that Spamminator!!

  2. WoW. While this was quite entertaining to read, I would not want that much SPAM in my inbox. o_o



  3. damn. I never get fun emails like this.

    All I get are the.. "Dear One...please email me so I can discuss with you the one million chinese yen I wish to share with you..."

    Or the... yanno... viagra ones.

    I could have REALLY had fun with this one.

  4. Hubby was going through his in-box this morning and as soon as he saw "We are pleased to inform you" he hit the delete button. Such a sorry symptom of the modern age.

    p.s. "Kindness Duct Tape" is my new favorite phrase.

  5. And here I thought I was special because I was invited into their fun world of self-publishing.

  6. I loved reading your answers...and the "[KINDNESS DUCT TAPE] is great! Thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning. Of course the dogs think I'm crazy...

  7. [KINDNESS DUCT TAPE] made my morning. I will probably be giggling about it for hours. Thanks for the laugh!



  8. Anonymous11:31 AM

    ROFL. Your comments were too funny. While I don't get spam emails like this, I have seen many ads like this in magazines/online. My internal commentator had inputs similar to yours, but not as funny. Thanks for the laugh!

    Steph L

  9. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Can't stop laughing. I love it!

  10. You totally made my afternoon with this post!!

    (I get a ton of those, too...along with "let us market your books")

  11. Oh, screw the web site. Be really aggressive and get the title of your book tattooed on your forehead..

    Best line of all. Thanks for the laugh today. I really needed it.

  12. Well, thanks for the compliment, but I agree with you - book videos don't work. I think mostly they're for amusing/impressing/appalling other writers. I know of no readers who ever bought a book based on the trailer.

    I had fun making one for my first book but I didn't bother with the second one and I don't think I'm going to.

    I think expensive, highly produced videos are probably great publicity for authors who can afford it - and of course, if the author can afford it it's probably because they're already a big name and therefore don't have to pay for their own publicity!

  13. Shiloh and I must be on the same spam list. *g* Nice response, and I hope they appreciate the kindness duct tape.


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