I would like to respond to your recent article titled Authors Who Spam.
I work for the editorial department of a local business newspaper where I receive and distribute all general e-mails to our publication. I also write a column for a national publication on playwriting for which I sometimes review books. While inappropriate spam is annoying and our e-mail server works to block it, we do not mind mass e-mailed press releases about books or events or news stories pertinent to our geographic area. We expect it, actually. That’s how we know when something is new. That’s how we find out about potential news stories. Book reviewers and critics really shouldn’t mind a little extra promotion. It is nice when the sender researches our publication and contacts us individually, but it’s not required. We like exclusives on news stories, but we know what press releases are for and where they are going. If we’re not interested, we’ll hit the delete button. If we are interested, we’ll contact you. I see no difference between using e-mail vs. faxing the announcement or sending a letter.
Editor’s note: The most important statement in the letter above is: “…we do not mind mass e-mailed press releases about books or events or news stories pertinent to OUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA.”
She prefers TARGETED pitches. You’re much more likely to get press if you contact an editor individually and target her specific audience.