Today I got a new book spam. This has come to me via Media E-Blast, a company whose name was coined by someone in a desperate attempt to make unsolicited spam and e-mail harvesting all respectable and Web 2.0ish.
Here's my first piece of advice: Paying some "consultant" to make you a fancy JPEG ad and send it to a "carefully targeted" e-mail list doesn't make you look any better than someone using broken English to peddle erectile-dysfunction medication. Just because they can use Photoshop and have a mailing address in the continental US doesn't make it less sleazy, it just means it's a little less likely they're using hijacked zombie PCs as mail servers. (Mmmm zombies. . .)
Second bit of advice: If you're self-published, seriously consider paying someone else to write your ad copy. If you rely on borderline ludicrous sentence constructions like,
"Sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, drug or alcoholic addiction, sexual addiction, murder, losing a loved one, broken marriages, are many things that we sometimes face."
your only market will be among the kind of masochists that buy awful prose with the specific intention of mocking it.
Third bit of advice: Don't lie in the subject line of the e-mail and pimp your work as "Warren Caldwell's #1 Best Seller." It really looks bad, especially for a minister whose selling his "life-changing testimony." Here's a little clue: those lists in the New York Times, those books? No spam involved. That should tell you something.
Fourth bit of advice: No one likes large unsolicited JPEG attachments. Most are porn, and I like to solicit my own porn, thank you very much.
Last bit of advice: Never use the phrase, "I stripped down to nakedness to share my most inner self," in a spam that lands in the same folder as all the penis enlargement ads. We don't need that mental image.