3

I received the following in unsolicited email:

Hello,

My name is ___________. I saw that you have written _________. My question for you is: may I promote the book at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in L.A., early April? It costs you nothing. All I'm asking you in return is if we may add you to our book marketing email list.

I'm giving you two LA Times promotion options to choose from: 1: you may forward a copy of your book to our address (see below), and we'll display it in L.A., or 2: we'll include your work in the Hot Indy Author Guide that we're displaying and distributing during the LA Times event. Either option is free. Check out our Facebook page when we report live from L.A. where over 150,000+ are expected to attend.

At America Star Books we have a book promotion department that does nothing but offering book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation. We attend all of the big fairs and festivals: Book Expo America, London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Miami Book Fair International, the American Library Association mid-winter and annual Conferences, Baltimore Book Festival, and so on.

All I am asking you at this time is if we may add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. You may at any time unsubscribe, and we will promptly cease sending you any further emails. America Star Books has been around for more than fifteen years, serving over 60,000 authors. Participating in book promotion is entirely optional.

Thank you for considering this opportunity. I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

—________
America Star Books Special Services, manager
xxx-xxx-xxxx

How good or bad of a proposition is this? I've written a few different works; if it is something I should be interested in, should I send other favorites?

Thanks,

5

As you suspect, an unsolicited email is not good news.

America Star Books is a well-known scam. The offer shoddy, overpriced self-publishing and promotion packages. They make their money charging hopeful authors who don't know better, not by getting any of your books sold.

They may well be saying something is "free" now, but if you read the email, they're trying to interest you in book promotion at the lowest fees in the nation , and to add you to our email list when we issue our next book promotion offers. Rest assured, those aren't free, and many, many warnings have gone out about how deceptive and useless those offers are.

A small sampling of warnings and horror stories:

In general, whenever you hear from somebody you're not already sure of, it's worth Googling them - particularly adding riders like "warning" or "scam," so you'll find the relevant results, and not just the company's own self-promotion materials.

Additionally Writer Beware is a fantastic resource; I can't recommend it highly enough. Spend some time browsing there, and you'll get an excellent idea of common pitfalls and what signals should be setting off the alarms.

All the best!

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