Friday, 2 March 2012

Author Confessions - The Darker Side of Writing

Over the last few months, I have been gathering information on the ins and outs of the writing industry. Few stones have been left unturned in areas ranging from general writing trends to more hardboiled and controversial subjects such as ‘whether pricing your book at $1.99 is better than $1.98’.

However, very few authors have been willing to talk about their ventures into the darker side of the business. I’m referring to the various shady methods used to promote books (ebook or print, online or offline). Authors are afraid to divulge information about their personal attempts at these schemes, and perhaps rightly so, because this could put a serious dent in their sales once the wider community condemns their actions.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting subject, and I decided that the best way to explore it was with the help of Internet anonymity.

A while back, I set up an email account and put out a message asking authors to send in their confessions anonymously using puppet email accounts, under the agreement that I would publicly post the most interesting ones.

Please note: This isn’t an invitation to act upon these schemes.

Here are some of these confessions:

Anonymous1 emailed:

forgive me authors for I have sinned - I use my sister’s account to post 1 star reviews on the pages of other authors in my genre

Anonymous2 emailed:

I’ve hacked into the pages of book reviewers and added glowing reviews for my own book. One time I lowered the star rating of one of my rival’s books by 1, teehee

Anonymous3 emailed:

I mailed 1000 bogus letters to people in my neighbourhood, branded with the logo of respected travel companies, telling them that they had won a holiday and could come to the airport to claim it. 5 people actually showed up! At this point I told them that the prize was actually a copy of my latest book, ‘The Wild Holiday’.

Anonymous4 emailed:

yeah this isn’t so much a confession as a plea for you to buy my goddamn book, look just publish this link on your site ok: [link removed]

Anonymous5 emailed:

12 23 24 45 67

I broadcast these numbers on shortwave radio frequency. The sleeper agents know what to do. That’s all you need to know.

Anonymous6 emailed:

One of the perks of working in a nuclear power plant is…nah you know what, trust me people are going to know about my book very soon. :)

Overall, an interesting round of confessions. If you want yours published, please send an email to

No comments:

Post a Comment