I keep getting phone calls and emails from people raving about my books. Part of the problem with this is I think they’re all the same three people. The bigger part of the problem is they are all telemarketers.
I rarely answer the phone if I don’t know the caller. My persistent fans always leave voicemails. The familiar message starts along these lines:
“Hello. This is Eileen Smith at [some company you’ve never heard of]. We got a very good recommendation on your book, and we wanted to see if we could help you get the word out about it.”
The message goes on to list some vague connections Eileen’s people have in the publishing industry and mention some unspecified opportunities for me, the talented author, to make the most of effective book marketing.
Eileen thanks me kindly and ends by telling me how excited she is to receive a call back from me.
Eileen never gets a call back from me.
I do Google her though. Well, not Eileen herself, but whatever company she claims to represent. I do this if I can hear the name she said. You see Eileen has a pronounced accent. She really doesn’t sound like your typical Smith at all. What makes Eileen even more mysterious is that her accent changes from call to call. It’s almost as if there are several Eileen Smiths with different first languages, who all studied English so they could speak to me about my unnamed, highly recommended book.
When I can Google Eileen’s outfit, it’s always an unknown marketing company, or an equally obscure Print-on-Demand publisher with a typical menu of paid POD marketing services. It turns out Eileen works for several different companies. Or maybe each of the several Eileens works for a similar company. Or maybe each of the several Eileens works for the same company that offers its helpful services under different names as time goes by.
I’m not sure which Eileen Smith works where, and I’m okay with that. The true burning question is who so highly recommend my book to her. I have this image in my head of some discriminating reader turning the last page of a book and saying aloud, “Wow, that was a highly recommendable book! I should let Eileen Smith know about it right away! And while I’m at it, I’ll also highly recommend it to Eileen Smith. And also Eileen Smith. The Eileen Smiths will know what to do about this!”
Once, Eileen Smith actually mentioned the name of one of my books. This impressed me. It showed that somebody was sparing no expense in buying the call list that also had titles on it. That Eileen Smith’s branch of the company went above and beyond.
It made me proud that I, and my highly recommended book, were on her sales sheet that day. I hope the extra effort gets Eileen Smith noticed by the recruiters at Random House. If she worked there, I’d call her back.