Free Books! (Or How to Fill Up Your Inbox)

Most writers, like me, read a huge number of books each year. Smart writers read across genres and both short stories, novellas, series, and whatever comes to hand. With that idea in mind, I want to caution you about a possible slip we all will be tempted to make.

There’s a wonderful company out of New Jersey who shall remain nameless (just in case Guido is visiting San Diego this week) that has contests involving groups of authors. The idea is, if you sign up for the newsletters from the list of authors, you get an entry in the drawing for the First Prize. Oh. Good. While my brain was not functioning at 75% or above, I clicked on “Sign Me Up!” for 20 plus authors of various types of romance novels. What? They can’t all be bad, right?

051018 books on table

I may never know. Before I could get a handle on the emails coming in from these writers, the emails became a torrent and then a flood and now a daily chore! Whose idea was this? Oh, yeah. Mine.

My plan has been to go read some of the books on Amazon, and if I don’t get a bad vibe from the writing style, then to agree to accept a free book. I also plan to set up an email rule that will send these emails into a separate folder where they will await my free time. Twenty extra emails a month, no problem. Some of these talented folks are sending me three and four a month. They really really want me to have the free book I asked for. Yikes.

051018 good titles

Guess who is also sending me four and five emails per month? Yup. The New Jersey company who started the whole contest thing. Because there are more contests where that one came from. Lots more. Twenty-five Fantasy and Time Travel Romances! A Spring Bundle of Steamy Contemporary Romances! Twenty-five Single Dad and Secret Baby Romances! Yet Another Spring Bundle of Literary and Women’s Fiction! Let’s not forget Twenty Thriller and Crime Fiction Audiobooks!

051018 busy

Wait, Audiobooks? Hmm. I could use more audiobooks! What if I just click here — STOP That! Oh, man, that was close. You see how dangerous these things are. I already get lots of authors on Facebook telling me when they have a new book out. I can simply rely on those notices to get all the reading material I wish for. I’m going to very carefully go back to the company and unsubscribe.

051018 lots of mail

As for all those authors, I will be reviewing their books and accepting a few because I did ask for them. But I might send a note to those who are bugging me once a week. Because that is no way to influence a reader. The world is much too busy these days for these tactics.

051018 guido

By the way, you may purchase all of my works on Amazon! Only if you want to, of course. I don’t even know anyone named Guido. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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