Dear Authors, Stop Peeing in My Pool

Dear authors (and publicists),

We have a problem. I'd like to say that YOU have a problem but you are making it my problem. And I'm tired of it.

I am pretty used to bad pitches. I have been receiving them since 2006. I'm fairly immune to them by now, however, I am seeing a troubling trend. For the last year I've seen a dramatic increase in the number of authors and publicists pitching me outside of my inbox.

I get pitched on Twitter. Yes, people are attempting to pitch me in 140 characters. I'm sure someone told you this was a good idea. Stop listening to them. Oh and FYI -- if I look at your stream and I see nothing but pitches? I report you as a spammer. Because you are.

Then there was the author that friended me on Twitter and Facebook. I hesitated before adding them on Facebook because I had never heard of them. I went against my better judgement and granted the friend request. Less than 2 minutes after I hit the accept button there was a pitch on my wall. I unfriended them and then blocked them on Twitter. I no longer friend authors on Facebook unless they are an author I know.

I get pitched in the comments of my posts here. Do you see them? Nope. That's right. I delete them. I get pitched in the comments at on other sites. I ignore them.

I know that someone out there is telling you that you need to be on social media. I know someone it telling you that you should follow bloggers on Facebook and Twitter. I know someone is telling you that you need to read blogs. They are probably right.

But that does NOT mean that you should pitch me on Twitter. Or on my Facebook wall. Or in the comments of a post ANYWHERE.

I understand that you want me to read your book, that you want lots of people to read your book. If I were an author I'd want that. I get it. But here's the thing -- you are peeing in my pool.

You are interrupting my conversations with something totally off-topic and self-promotional.

You are the telemarketer who calls at dinner time.

You are the door-to-door sales person who sticks their foot in the door so the homeowner can't close it.

You are the person who pees in the pool because you are too darned lazy to get out of the pool and walk the ten feet to the washroom.

Stop it. Please, please, PLEASE stop it.

I know that you need to promote your book. I know you need people to read your book. Maybe I will want to read it, maybe I won't. I know, though, that if you pitch me your book in anything but my inbox, or in an appropriate face-to-face conversation, I'm not even going to consider it.

If I read your book I will take the time to think about it. I will take hours of my personal time to read it and write about it. I'll be respectful. All I ask is the same from you. If I am going to take those hours out of my life to do that, you can at least take the more than 30 seconds it takes to tweet me. You can at least read my review policy. You know, the one where I explain what types of books I don't accept and the fact that I accept very, very few review copies.

You can at least take the few minutes it takes to craft an email telling me why I should read your book -- not why you think it's great -- why I should read it. You should think it's great. After all, you wrote it. You need to sell it to me. Appropriately.

If you want to engage bloggers on social media by all means, do it. Have a conversation with them -- one that isn't about why they should read your book.

You need to engage people in conversation. Sometimes that will tie into your book. Sometimes it won't. Constantly trying to sell people your book isn't engagement, it's sales. End of story.

All I'm asking is that you respect my space and I'll return the favour.

I don't think that's too much to ask, do you?