If you want to promote my books, please learn how to write!

By Dave Fox

It’s a stormy Friday afternoon here in Seattle, and I was just about to initiate my new, probably hopeless plan of cleaning my office before each weekend begins. Luckily for me, some spam that is just too good to ignore blipped into my e-mail box, offering me this fine opportunity to blog (translation: procrastinate).

The e-mail came from Hazel, a “marketing services consultant” for a company that charges authors to promote their books. I have never hired an independent publicist to promote my books. I know people who have. Some say it’s worth it. But hey, if you are an author, and you want to pay someone to promote your book, I recommend finding a company that does not put sentences like these on its website. (Yes, these are real, pasted verbatim, as they appear on the company’s website. All spelling and grammar errors, and obscenely bad sentence structures, are theirs, not mine. Read them slowly so you don’t gloss over the best typos!):

“Amidst missing out education on his early years, Tom strived his very best to deserve what he is now, a successful financial management coach and educator.”

Apparently your editors also missed out education on their early years.

“Marriage is hard work! Two minds coming together to form one is hardly anything easy at all.”

Yes! And apparently for you, writing sentences with basic English grammar is also hardly anything easy at all!

“Running for the entire month of November, the Early Bird Thanksgiving Promo offers appealing discounted prices to all authors planning to boost their books marketing campaign this Holiday Season.”

Never mind the above bad grammar. Why is it called the “Early Bird Thanksgiving Promo” if it runs until after Thanksgiving?

“Kicking off on the first of week of the Thanksgiving month, discounts starts at $100 markdown from November 2-6.”

Oh, I get it! You are running all of your copy through Google Translate — from English to Finnish to Xhosa and then back to English — before putting it on your website.

And finally…

“Generate major “buzz” for your published work by employing a dynamic combination of’s four staple book publicity services — the Basic Media Release Campaign (MRC), MRC-Tailored, and MRC Follow-Up Add-on services — as well as its newest product, the E-Media Release Campaign (ERC), which is specially designed to provide online reinforcement conventional publicity programs.”

…which is specially designed to provide what? I can’t handle all of these big words.

The good news is these guys are book promoters. If they were brain surgeons, people would be dying.

Published on Saturday, November 7, 2009

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