Author Topic: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!  (Read 2614 times)  

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« on: May 03, 2017, 01:42:45 AM »
When readers sign up for my various newsletters they get a free courtesy book or books. Then as time goes on they get my dulcet tones (in text form), fall in love with me, and buy all my books (yeah right) to keep me in the life to which I've become accustomed and deserve  8)

[cough] [cough]

The reality is I get a sub from Ms. X and a demand like this via email: "Send me the readable book, not the ebook"

Should my answer be?
  • Okay
  • Nope
  • I'm not a bloody charity [expletive] off
  • Other



Edited. No getting around the filters. PM me if you have any questions. --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 02:22:16 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline alawston

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 01:45:52 AM »
I'd go for 3, every time.


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Offline Abderian

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 01:46:05 AM »
Haha. That email doesn't deserve a reply, unless it's send me the letter, not an email.

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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 01:47:44 AM »
When readers sign up for my various newsletters they get a free courtesy book or books. Then as time goes on they get my dulcet tones (in text form), fall in love with me, and buy all my books (yeah right) to keep me in the life to which I've become accustomed and deserve  8)

[cough] [cough]

The reality is I get a sub from Ms. X and a demand like this via email: "Send me the readable book, not the ebook"

Should my answer be?
  • Okay
  • Nope
  • I'm not a bloody charity [expletive] off so make like a tree and get out of here!
  • Other

Helped you rephrase that, with an assist from Back to the Future:P



Edited quoted post --Betsy/KB Mod
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 02:20:27 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline Lydniz

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 01:48:10 AM »
I'd say "I'm not a bloody charity [expletive] off please" because then that will make you look polite.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 02:20:46 AM by Betsy the Quilter »

Offline LMareeApps

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 01:51:13 AM »
"Hi, I'm so glad you're a fan of my work. If you'd like a paperback copy of the story, it is available for purchase from these places: {insert links}.
Thanks again for your continued support."

Or something like that...

Online Paul Mathews

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 01:58:19 AM »
Tell the reader to write you a letter - rather than send a horrible electronic mail thingy - and you'll think about it...  :D

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Offline afshan.jaff

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 02:22:35 AM »
Tell the reader to write you a letter - rather than send a horrible electronic mail thingy - and you'll think about it...  :D

Best Reply ;D


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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 03:02:11 AM »
Oh dear, lol. I thought only I dealt with people like this (I  had an ebay business for years and received the weirdest, rudest demands...I mean, requests.) Books have been a bit better, but I was a bit miffed when someone I knew sidled up to me, speaking in a whisper, "You know that book of yours you said was .99...Well, it wasn't. I bought it anyway, but I thought I'd let you know.' The ebook was .99, the paperback was, of course, considerably more. How the heck did she think I would be able to price a full length paperback at .99? She wasn'tstupid; she'd run a business...I think that's what got me more than everything. I am running a business too!


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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 04:26:13 AM »
I replied with a variation of option 3. I advised her the books are available to purchase as paperbacks on Amazon, and the free COURTESY ebooks were for signing up to the newsletter. I asked her to understand that I'm not a charity, and I could not email paperbacks all over the world for free.

Then I said have nice day...

...and unsubbed her at my end.


Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2017, 04:34:17 AM »
I recently signed up for some newsletters -- bunch of cozyish mystery authors all via a common publisher. So I've started getting a lot of free books. One author sent only a PDF copy. That's useless to me, so I just ignored it and unsubscribed from her. The others I got the books and will read them at some point. Whether I stick on the mailing list will depend on what the periodic emails say.

To answer your question: "I'm so sorry: for this promotion, the incentive is an ebook only. I can provide it to you in a variety of formats, but paper is, sadly, not one of them. I wish you all the best."

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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 04:37:22 AM »
I think you did the best thing you could do. I don't think some people realize how expensive print books would be to send out all over the place. Or they're selfish gits who just don't care, because all writers are rich, and you owe them for even thinking about reading your book.
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Offline anniejocoby

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 05:30:22 AM »
When readers sign up for my various newsletters they get a free courtesy book or books. Then as time goes on they get my dulcet tones (in text form), fall in love with me, and buy all my books (yeah right) to keep me in the life to which I've become accustomed and deserve  8)

[cough] [cough]

The reality is I get a sub from Ms. X and a demand like this via email: "Send me the readable book, not the ebook"

Should my answer be?
  • Okay
  • Nope
  • I'm not a bloody charity [expletive] off
  • Other



Edited. No getting around the filters. PM me if you have any questions. --Betsy/KB Mod


Option #3. :) How rude of her to demand that, and in such rude language!

Now, if she were nicer about it, I would consider sending a book if I was in a decent mood and had the extra cash.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 05:32:44 AM by anniejocoby »

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Offline Motivrite

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 05:37:30 AM »
Option #3 but phrased far more politely. Sometimes you have to kill stupid with kindness, and the last thing you want is for stupid to spread the story of the evil nasty author all over the Internet. (Conveniently leaving out the rude request that led to that treatment in the first place, of course.)

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 06:34:40 AM »
Personally, I think you should have gone to see her in your yacht and hand delivered it. How selfish of you after she went to all the trouble to write an email!

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Offline plumstead

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2017, 06:48:37 AM »
Personally, I think you should have gone to see her in your yacht and hand delivered it. How selfish of you after she went to all the trouble to write an email!

Now all I can picture is that scene from Romancing the Stone:

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2017, 07:42:48 AM »
You all sound so angry. A potential reader made a request that can't be met, and though you were offended by her language, bottom line is she was interested in reading your books. She can't be all bad. I would have just told her that the offer is only for an e-book, but that your books are available in paperback and where to find them and left it at that.

Good customer service is all about empathy and making sure the customer has a pleasant enough experience that they might return a second time.

Offline Mystery Maven

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2017, 07:54:53 AM »
You all sound so angry. A potential reader made a request that can't be met, and though you were offended by her language, bottom line is she was interested in reading your books. She can't be all bad. I would have just told her that the offer is only for an e-book, but that your books are available in paperback and where to find them and left it at that.

Good customer service is all about empathy and making sure the customer has a pleasant enough experience that they might return a second time.

Not true, in my experience. I've found that whenever I try to be polite and understanding with this type (the ones who make unreasonable demands and order me around like a servant), they just keep sending me more angry e-mails. Because ultimately, I can't give them what they want, and they want what they want.

The best strategy I've found is to ignore the very first rude e-mail and unsubscribe. It's easier than trying to extricate myself later.

Funny that you just posted this, Mark. I almost started a thread yesterday to vent about readers who bark orders at me, demand answers to personal questions I don't feel comfortable answering for strangers, etc.

I'm so grateful that my mailing list is growing and that I have many wonderful readers, but it's incredible how some readers act like a bad boss talking down to a grunt employee.

Offline Jim Johnson

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2017, 07:55:14 AM »
You all sound so angry. A potential reader made a request that can't be met, and though you were offended by her language, bottom line is she was interested in reading your books. She can't be all bad. I would have just told her that the offer is only for an e-book, but that your books are available in paperback and where to find them and left it at that.

Good customer service is all about empathy and making sure the customer has a pleasant enough experience that they might return a second time.

That's about what I would have done. And I'd never unsub a reader from my list unless they were being abusive or something. Hard enough to get readers to sign up; no need to be petty.

Offline Mystery Maven

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2017, 08:01:47 AM »
That's about what I would have done. And I'd never unsub a reader from my list unless they were being abusive or something. Hard enough to get readers to sign up; no need to be petty.

Jim, it really isn't just pettiness. I'm genuinely concerned about what could come from a long exchange with an angry person. Social media bashing? One-star brigades? Trying to snoop into my real life somehow? When I unsub someone like this, it's to avoid escalating the conflict.

Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2017, 08:03:59 AM »
Yeah, a simple "Sorry, but I don't send out paper copies." would have sufficed. Sometimes people just come across as rude when they don't mean to be.

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2017, 08:07:36 AM »
I think it's important to note that mailing list signup page does NOT mention the format being provided.  It says "Where should I send your FREE books?"  It does not clearly indicate the format of the books.  It is understandable someone might be confused.

I would have gone with Ann's reply.

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2017, 08:08:34 AM »
That's about what I would have done. And I'd never unsub a reader from my list unless they were being abusive or something. Hard enough to get readers to sign up; no need to be petty.


If you read the thread you'll see I was far from petty, but I'm also running a business here. My mailerlite unsubs hundreds of people who never open or click. My list isn't a vanity project. Pettiness has no part in it. My lists are the basis of my marketing targets for ads. I need them full of engaged readers willing to read and buy my books.

I don't think I was unkind. I gave her 4 ebooks that she gets to keep.

I think it's important to note that mailing list signup page does NOT mention the format being provided.  It says "Where should I send your FREE books?"  It does not clearly indicate the format of the books.  It is understandable someone might be confused.

I would have gone with Ann's reply.

It does in the email she receives immediately after sign up.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 08:14:41 AM by Mark E. Cooper »

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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2017, 08:13:09 AM »
You all sound so angry. A potential reader made a request that can't be met, and though you were offended by her language, bottom line is she was interested in reading your books. She can't be all bad. I would have just told her that the offer is only for an e-book, but that your books are available in paperback and where to find them and left it at that.

Good customer service is all about empathy and making sure the customer has a pleasant enough experience that they might return a second time.

I think it very unlikely that this person would stick around and buy any books. I wouldn't have been polite to her; she wasn't polite to Mark, so why shouldn't he reply in the same vein.

When I advertised on Facebook free books in return for subscribers, I made it quite clear that I was giving away e books. I got a comment on the ad to the effect of 'this is a scam. I wanted the books.' I had two other people saying 'scam; I didn't get the books' and it turned out that they hadn't actually signed up. When I pointed out that they needed to subscribe to the mailing list to get the books, and if they sent me their email addresses I would be sure they were added and send them the links, one woman said: 'ok. send it to my kindle.' As though I know what the address of her kindle was. And she still didn't sign up!

In this instance, Mark, I would have simply unsubscribed her.


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Re: Replying to readers, or WTF? UNSUB!
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2017, 08:18:46 AM »

If you read the thread you'll see I was far from petty, but I'm also running a business here. My mailerlite unsubs hundreds of people who never open or click. My list isn't a vanity project. Pettiness has no part in it. My lists are the basis of my marketing targets for ads. I need them full of engaged readers willing to read and buy my books.

I don't think I was unkind. I gave her 4 ebooks that she gets to keep.

It does in the email she receives immediately after sign up.
I know - you could have told her to follow the links and print them off. Then she'd have printed copies that wouldn't cost you a penny!


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