skeery internet world in which we're living

But before we get started today--have you bought our new book yet? Or have you asked for a review copy? Why not?

Okay. Review copy brings us to .....
#1 scary internet trend. WTF? I'm getting scathes of emails (if "scathes" = more than five, less than ten) from people wanting me to review their books. The requests are polite and--here's something cool--most employ proper grammar and punctuation.

But still. WTF? Where are these people finding me? Why me? Why their books? Is this going to get worse and worse as the self-publishing trend explodes? Yes, of course it is.

I have occasionally sent out unsolicited books to people but not any more. I never will again. It just feels odd to find someone I don't know asking me for a favor. Actually I'm scared when people I do know ask me for the favor. Because what if I say yes and HATE their book? Will they go all Howett on my ass?

Or what if I don't fulfill the unspoken contract and read their book at all? The only reason my TBR pile isn't terrifying is because it's almost all ebooks. If these were real books cluttering up the house, we'd be in line for a Hoarder's show. So no to the review stuff.

I don't expect this will make a difference and tomorrow I'll wake up to 20 review requests. Then fifty and then. . . .

Although I just said yes to a book that turned out to be 24 pages. An instruction manual, as it turns out. I googled it and the first thing I found was an easily downloadable PDF of the book for free, and the second thing was the actual author's page. The book costs 9.99 there. Which leads me to

#2 scary internet thing. Pirated books. We know all about this one, right? As long as enough people like Rowena Cherry stay active out there, it might stay under control. Wait, it's already out of control. Never mind. Let's just get to....

#3 scary internet trend. Spam messages that are actually interesting enough to not get dumped immediately. At first I thought someone with a lot of time on his /her hands is taking the time to read the blog here and actually post real messages that fit the topic. But the name on the account is "generic viagra" and yes, it leads to a page selling generic viagra. Why did I click the obviously spammy link? Because the comment fit the topic.

Wait! An actual human can't be doing this--that's not how spam works. This means someone out there has a computer program that will somehow generate messages that aren't just random nonsense. So when anyone comments here, or on twitter or on facebook....that someone might be a machine. How will I ever know the difference? I won't.

For all you know, I'm a virtual reality/computer generated being. Heck, maybe I don't know the truth of my reality.

And here's a prediction about the book/internet future (not labeled scary trend, because I'm not sure it is):
Within FIVE YEARS, the word ebook will go away. EBOOKS will be called BOOKS. And those other things, those paper objects, will be called PRINT BOOKS.

In other words, the dominant book format gets to drop the prefix.

Comments

  1. *g* I get those review requests too. "Please review my action adventure where three women climb Everest while talking about shoes." etc.

    I just say "thanks for your email, but I'm afraid I'm no longer reviewing." That seems to do the trick :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kate, if you haven't read this yet, you must: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2009/09/i_will_not_read.php

    Because the longer you are in this business, the more you will find yourself experiencing that deer-in-the-headlights moment of "Oh, no! Another person begging me to read his/her book!!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. It makes me wish I could go back in time and beg forgiveness of every author/reviewer I've ever bugged.

    ReplyDelete

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