It seems to me there is a fine line between a press release and a promotional item. Wouldn’t you say that a press release is generally promoting something? Maybe the definition of “promoting” is the key.
Can I send press releases to anyone or only to journalists?
Today, authors can buy reviews and social media followers with the hopes of fooling a publisher or agent into believing they’re a hot commodity when, really, they’re not. In the online world it’s known as black hat SEO. It’s the process of artificially inflating web visibility either for social media accounts, websites, or blogs using unethical techniques. Now granted, places like Amazon or Facebook won’t throw you in the slammer. They will, however, ban your account…
An author told me the other day he found a typo in his proof, adding “I’ll probably leave it and send $5.00 to the first three readers that spot it and tell ’em it was test to see if they actually read the book…” I was completely honest, and told him that would be a HORRIBLE idea.
Recently, I noticed a URL for a fictitious website in a book I was formatting. I pasted the URL into my browser and, sure enough, it was a real website. The fictitious usage was for a humorous book but the actual website was a suicide prevention one. Had the author used that URL, it would not have only been in very poor taste, but it could have also resulted in a lawsuit.