When PR People Make Dumb Mistakes By Angela Hoy

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Okay, I know you’re all probably tired of hearing me rant, but something happened last week that I’m still steamed about.

We received a card in the mail from Federal Express early last week, sent to our P.O. Box, saying they had something for us. The card said they would return it in 7 days if we didn’t call them for delivery or go pick it up. The “from” line was written in squiggly handwriting and appeared to say “self counsel” but we couldn’t be sure. We’d never heard of that company, but the “counsel” part sure made us think it was from an attorney.

We get lawsuit threats all the time for our work on WritersWeekly Whispers and Warnings so we naturally assumed this was what we jokingly call “our lawsuit threat of the week.”

We looked at the date and it had already been seven days since the date on the card. Richard drove all the way to the local FedEx office and picked up the packet which was, of course, still there. It was a bit of a problem, though, because nobody was in the front office at FedEx and Richard had to go walking through the building looking for someone. He was a bit stunned at the lack of security. Here he was, a stranger, walking amongst hundreds, if not thousands, of undelivered packages. He finally found some guys sitting around a table.

Anyway, he got the package and called me. What do you think was so important that it warranted all this trouble? A review copy of a book! That’s right! Some dumb PR person sent a book to us for review (we don’t, nor have we ever, reviewed books) to our P.O. Box…via Federal Express. The name of the publishing house was “Self Counsel.” We were pretty steamed by all the trouble they caused, which was all completely unnecessary.

And, on opening the book, we found our company, BookLocker, listed…but grossly mis-categorized. We weren’t even listed under publishers, only under online bookstores (right next to Amazon and Barnes and Noble). Well, at least our online bookstore had made a good impression. But, since the book was on self-publishing, we were pretty surprised how badly they missed the mark.

I emailed the publisher, told them they wasted our time and their own money, and asked them to remove us from their list. We never asked to be on it anyway.