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There are many ways to gain readers. After all without them, we writers would have no audience. This is one example of how not to win friends nor gain readers. I was flabbergasted to receive the email below from an American romance writer. Naturally, I have redacted details that would identify her. Suffice to say, she has over 20 titles on Amazon and only a paltry 11 reviews in total. She is desperate! But that’s no excuse for what she did.

Firstly, I must tell you I sent out a legitimate email to my subscriber list. They are there willingly for a variety of reasons. In the main they either signed up from this site or for a free book or books during a multi-author BookFunnel promo.

This was the email, and I have to say it makes her brazen spam even worse owing to the generous nature of my email which contained a message from the CEO of Audible.

Hi there!

Can’t see the images? Click on ‘view in browser.’

Great news of a wonderfully generous offer of free listening to audiobooks from the CEO of Audible. Below is the email he sent me as an Audible rights holder (publisher of audiobooks).

Dear Steve,
We recently launched a free listening experience for children who are isolated and away from school and friends during these troubled times. Only days after the launch of stories.audible.com, many millions of children are listening around the world. The collection includes audio in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. If you know of young children and families who would appreciate the opportunity to listen to hundreds of Audible titles, or parents who want some time to themselves while kids are positively occupied with transporting storytelling, please pass the link along.Thanks to Audible’s partnership with J. K. Rowling and thanks to her thoughtful Harry Potter At Home offering, I thought I would share that Stories now includes Britain’s “national treasure,” Stephen Fry’s brilliant performance of the first Harry Potter title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. For years devoted Audible listeners have enjoyed comparing and contrasting different artistic interpretations of an unforgettable story. Since so many Americans are already familiar with the great Jim Dale’s equally brilliant and nuanced rendition of Harry’s adventures, I wanted to make members aware that Stephen Fry’s version is now on Stories.

As the entire world faces a historic crisis, thousands of Audible colleagues around the world are all working virtually to be a positive part of your lives at this time so rife with fear and, in too many cases, pain. Audible’s core principles call for us to ceaselessly pursue what a company can mean in ways that transcend what it does. For years our collective spirit and hard work has been sustained by listeners who tell us that the well-performed words we convey got them through the most profound personal challenges as well as devastating natural disasters and acts of terrorism.

As always we want to connect personally at any time. If our phone waits are longer than you are used to, we apologize but we will get back to you. You can always get us on social too or via our Online Help Center. Thank you for listening with us, and all of us at Audible hope you and yours are safe and healthy.

For those of you who are new to my newsletters, I usually send out one per month with my latest blog posts, plus extra emails with news of any promos such as this one.

Warmest Wishes and Happy Listening!


The Romance Author’s Reply to Me (Redacted)

Below is the cheekiest, most brazen, gob-smacking piece of spam I have ever received:

Thank you, Stephen. If you haven’t already, become a VIP and receive your FREE copy of XXX a novella about a fascinating character in the XXXXXX asked for more about XXX. To get it use this link: XXX


If you’d like me to gift you a FREE audiobook, let me know by responding. First come first served, as I have a limited number left.

Visit my website: XXXXXX

I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Let’s become lifelong friends.[My Edit: Yeah, right!]

Sincerely, [My Edit: Get a dictionary]

This spam reply of hers was sent from an ordinary Gmail address. I’m sure Gmail doesn’t permit this as part of its T&C. But the point is, can you understand why I was moved to write this blog post?

I just simply find her actions preposterous. What about you?

PS if she gets back to me on this, she’d better know I’m not averse to naming and shaming her if she cuts up nasty. Oh, by the way, did I mention she claims to be an award-winning author? Of course she is with all 11 reviews 🙂

PPS I unsubscribed her manually



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