Regarding Rejection & Spam

I'm not normally one to blog about the rejection letters I receive, but I got one today that's just too good to pass up:

Dear Author,

We are sorry these poems did not work out for New Ohio Review, but please consider submitting other poems to our contest (deadline March 10) -- the entry fee includes a one-year subscription. See our guidelines at:

Best Wishes, The Editors

Sad, right? Thing is, I didn't send them any poems! What I sent was a short story. Or at least I thought I did. So to make sure I wasn't losing my mind, I went and logged into NOR's submission manager to make sure I hadn't, I don't know, submitted a short story under the poetry category. Nope. I'd submitted a short story under the fiction category, which was a big relief in knowing that I wasn't going crazy. Still, I had always thought these submission managers were automated, so that all an editor needed to do was click a magically button and an e-mail was sent with the author's name and story title and whatever else. But hey, at least I didn't spend $15 for that form rejection faux pas.

Speaking of form faux pas, over the weekend I received this e-mail with the subject line "We carry your work through Smashwords":


I'm Scott Redford, owner of Diesel eBooks.  You have  a nice website and we hope you will use it to announce where your ebooks can be found. Please take a moment and paste the below "My latest Diesel eBook" link to your website.  Your readers will be grateful (so will we), for when "clicked", it will take you to your most recent book at our web store. Please see for yourself by clicking on the below link or pasting the URL in your browser:

Paste this code on your website to show the above link to your readers:

<a href="" alt="Diesel eBook Store">My latest Diesel eBook</a>

You can also send your readers to a tailored listing of your eBooks at our store using the below code.

<a href=",%20Robert/results/10-Default/1.html" alt="Diesel eBook Store">See me at Diesel eBook Store</a>

Also, don't forget to click the "like" button underneath your cover on your diesel book page. Get your friends and fans to click as well. More clicks equals more exposure for you.  It takes just a second and this will automatically put your title on Facebook for everybody to see. Never know - you may go viral.

Our authors tell us that linking to their titles increases their sales so please take a few moments to past the code and start promoting.  If you need help  just let me know.

If you would like a small Diesel logo graphic for your link you can find one here:

Give me a quick email back on your decision if you can... and keep up the good work.


Diesel eBook Store 1202 Peachtree Blvd Richmond VA 23226 804-201-4162

And so I thought to myself: Well this is certainly nice of him for sending an e-mail. But, wait a minute, I don't even have any e-books at his store. (Which is true; click that one link and you'll see it takes you nowhere.) So I sent back this reply:

Thanks for form e-mail, Scott. I appreciate it, especially since none of my e-books are available through your website.



To which he responded:

is that sarcasm, Robert?

To which I responded:

Yes, it is. I wouldn't mind Diesel carrying my e-books, but why send me an e-mail telling me you do when you don't?

That was two days ago and he hasn't responded since, and I doubt he will. You see, Diesel has some kind of partnership with Smashwords. If you go to Diesel's site and try to find out how to publish your work there, it will direct you to Smashwords. And so if you have a Smashwords account, your e-mail is free game for shenanigans like this. And believe me, I've checked -- it seems the word across the Internet is everyone and his brother was spammed from this guy. I guess he feels it necessary, though, as from what I have also heard is that nobody has sold any e-books through that website. I never even allowed Smashwords to distribute my e-books there (which was how I knew immediately that the guy was full of shit), but just tonight noticed that somehow my e-books had been opted in to be distributed through Diesel. Kind of shady, no? I opted out and left it at that. I don't really care much for Smashwords as it is (and giving out thousands and thousands of e-mail addresses doesn't make me feel any better about them), but it's the only way to get your books into the Kobo and Sony stores, at least for the time being.

Anyway, enough of that. Speaking of e-books, have you entered the Spooky Nook Giveaway Contest yet? If not, get crack-a-lackin.