I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good

So…there’s this…thing. It’s not really a SEKRIT thing, it’s just a…work in progress thing. My enabler handler friend Skyla Dawn Cameron has a project coming out soon [Patreon link: PAY UP, BECAUSE SHE IS MADE OF WIN] and has, despite both my better judgment AND willingness to participate in such shenanigans (who am I kidding? I’m always up for shenanigans!), convinced me to join her in its fruition. (She has a knack for doing this – she knows what buttons to push/tribute to offer.)

I can’t say much right now, as it’s still in development, but once the details are hammered out, I will share it with you.

I am up to no good. There will be vampires involved.

Of Spammers and Asshats

Last night before heading to bed, I check my email. This arrived, subject line “Hi Dina, how are you today?“, along with the little paperclip icon that indicates an attachment.

Now, normally, I don’t even bother looking at such things. I don’t open emails with attachments, or with idiotic subject lines like that, but something…I don’t know what…compelled me to open it. Go on, laugh. I don’t mind.

Finished? Onward then.

Here’s the email [sic], with specifics redacted, as I don’t want to give any undue attention to this spamming asshat:

Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me.

I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature.

I am working on another 2 series also ..
< conveniently provided links to Amazon and their blog >

Now, this email rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons. Mostly in the “Oh HELL NO YOU DO NOT SPAM ME WITH YOUR SELF-PUBBED BULLSHIT” way, but I’ve learned to let things sit for awhile before writing something in anger. So I let it be for a day, and wrote back today. Here’s my reply (again, particulars redacted):

Dear < SPAMMING ASSHAT > (may I call you “< REAL NAME FOUND VIA GOOGLE-FU >?”),

I think perhaps this email has been misdirected, for surely it was not intended for me. I am a writer, not a book reviewer of any kind.

However, perhaps this email was intended for me. I noticed a few days ago you added me on Google Plus. It often happens that people add me there because they are friends or fans of my work, but it seems you have added me for another reason – because I have “writer” in my profile. With that in mind, let’s assume this email was for me. As such, I will address it line by line in reply. My responses will be in red (ETA: italics for this blog post) for your convenience.

On 4/15/2014 12:26 AM, < SPAMMING ASSHAT > wrote:
> Here is a book that you might consider reading and reviewing for me. Actually, no, I wouldn’t consider reading and reviewing it for you, as you have sent it to me unsolicited. This means “I did not ask you for it.” This is considered extremely rude in the writing community – it’s rude in general, known as the “hard sell” – and only serves to set you apart as an unprofessional salesman and alienate your target audience, which, by the way, I am not. Why would a paranormal writer wish to read and review erotica?

> I have just published < REDACTED > at 21000+ of mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature. This sentence is incomplete. You have just published what? I am guessing you mean “book,” but at 21,000+ (I am guessing again here that you mean “words”), it’s actually a novella, which is anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 words. Also, if all you have to say about this work is that it’s “mostly dialogue and very descriptive and erotic in nature,” you might want to look into how to pitch a novel. There are a hundred websites out there that will help you figure this one out.

> I am working on another 2 series also .. Here you conveniently provide me with links to your work. I cannot begin to describe the absolute rudeness and audacity of this action. Not only have you sent me your work unsoliticted (some refer to this practice as “spamming”), you have also shown me where to purchase your work, with three links to various incarnations of Amazon, and one to your blog, ostensibly so that I may keep up with your progress because I am bound to be so enthralled by your work that I will wish to keep tabs on you. As I said…this is beyond rude.
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < LINK REDACTED >
> < POPULAR BLOGGING PLATFORM LINK REDACTED > Really? And you want me to take you seriously as a professional author? Also, “< REDACTED >” is synonymous with “basic,” which you might want to look to in you’re not of a mind to call the intelligence level of yourself or your audience into question. FYI.

Then, after all of this, you attach a free PDF copy of your work for my reading consideration, in the hopes that I will not only read it, but review it for you as well. < REAL NAME >, I don’t work for Fiverr. I will not be giving you a review of any kind, ever, for anything. You have just guaranteed that with this email. I will, however, remember your name, and know to steer clear of you from here on in. (All links are broken to get around spam filters, because I want to ensure you get this email, so take out the spaces and replace [dot] with a period.) [ETA: link restored for the purpose of this blog post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-shaffer/five-stars-for-five-dolla_b_3997107.html

With this email, you have just done the complete opposite of what you hoped to accomplish. You have ensured that I will never, under any circumstances, have anything to do with you or your work. Now, maybe this is an innocent error. Maybe you just read on some idiotic self-publishing site or forum that this is the way to do things/get sales/promote yourself. Listen to me very carefully – THIS IS WRONG. This is very, very wrong, and you are only hurting yourself as a writer by doing things this way. This, by the way, amuses me, because you refer to yourself being somehow above other writers in one of your Amazon reviews. My views on self-publishing aside (which you would know, had you actually investigated who I am instead of just mining G+ for writers), your behavior is exactly what gives self-pubbers the reputation they have.

If you want to ever be taken as a professional writer of any sort (and there are professional erotic authors out there), you will stop this idiotic spam attachment campaign immediately. Most people will delete this kind of thing without reply. I have taken time out of my evening to answer you, in the hopes that you will educate yourself and stop being such an ignorant douchebag asshat. (Again, if you’d bothered to investigate me at all, as I’ve done with you, you’d know I am an evil bitch who does tolerate bullshit like this from anyone.) Please be advised that I will be writing a blog post using this email (with details redacted, as I won’t be giving you any kind of promo whatsoever) to illustrate what NOT to do as a writer. I thank you in advance for your shining example of douchebaggery. I am also as of this moment blocking you on G+ because of this email.

Here are a few links of my own in return for those you kindly provided me (again broken to get around spam filters):
[ETA: Links restored for the purposes of this blog post – they were originally broken in the mail]

On “the hard sell.” Please read this and pay close attention to it – https://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/the-hard-sell-doesnt-work-redux/

On wordcount – http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/wordcount.html

On how to be a professional writer – http://www.dinajames.com/writing/how-to-be-a-professional-writer/

How Not To Be A Douchebag Author (bookmark this site and keep an eye on it – it’s full of writing advice weekly, though they are on hiatus this month)- http://evilwriters.blogspot.com/search/label/HNTBADBA

Best,
Dina

P.S. It’s spelled “Vader,” not “Vador.” His Lordship would Forcechoke you for your misstep. Though I suppose it’s better than “< OTHER USERNAME REDACTED >.” Are you seeing a pattern here, < REAL NAME >? The Internet is forever, and Google is an amazing tool.

Dina James
Chronicler of the Paranormal
http://www.dinajames.com

Spamming Asshat didn’t take too kindly to my reply. They wrote me back with various – I can only call them “illiterate,” despite them considering themselves a writer, as they clearly have no reading comprehension whatsoever – threats and comments, culminating in them posting the above email, my address and all, on their own blog. I’m not really sure what that was intended to do. Show I’m a bitch? That’s kind of obvious.

All I did was call them out on their spamming. They did the rest. I won’t repost the threats and other charming responses this individual sent, but thought I’d put this here as an example for other self-published writers of what not to do.

Hear that, writers? DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO RANDOM PEOPLE UNLESS THEY ASK FOR IT. See the links above. (I’ve restored them so they work for this blog post.) DO NOT SEND YOUR STUFF TO PEOPLE YOU HAVE NOT RESEARCHED. They could be someone offended by your work, or an evil bitch like me, or not a fan of self-publishing, or whatever! Research people before you send them anything. This spamming asshat just mined G+ for anyone with “writer” in their profile and sent them their book out of the blue FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN TO GET REVIEWS/GENERATE SALES. This is SPAM. DO NOT DO THIS.

And so, as promised, here is your cautionary tale about spamming people with your shit.

The end.

ETA April 19: Apparently our lovely spammer did indeed follow through with their threat to spam their mailing list (which is looking like it was collected via mining social networks for certain keywords), as I’ve heard from a writer previously unknown to me that they were spammed with my name and reply mail. So there’s that.

It has also come to my attention via a friend that our dear spamming asshat has ragequit the internet. Checking the folder I filtered any of their future spam to, they had indeed sent me the same message this blog post from a book reviewer details wonderfully – chucklesbookcave.blogspot.ca/2014/04/rude-authors-1-gn-grayson.html. So, despite “threatening” to remove me from their “friends list,” they apparently kept me on it. Big shock there. This “threat” *cough*butthurtragequit*cough* was apparently true as well, though. Their webpages and profiles have indeed been deleted, as well as both of their blogs, and the links to their books are no longer working. I guess I wasn’t the only one to tell them to call them on their asshatery.

Evil Auction Post – Winding Down

I’ll try to sound coherent here, but it’s Sunday morning and the sun in shinin’ in my eye that is open and my head is reelin’ –

Wait, those are song lyrics to Shelley West’s “Jose Cuervo.” This is not the blog post you’re looking for. (Besides, this is Oregon. Everyone knows the sun doesn’t shine here. No jokes about “where the sun doesn’t shine.”) *ahem*

The EVIL AUCTION APPROACHES ITS DOOM!

I mean its end.

That’s right.

It was supposed to end on Friday, but due to some issues with the Foundation we’re raising funds for (there’s a problem with sending confirmation receipts to people to show they’ve paid for their item, which is kind of important given we’re using those to confirm a donation made so we can send the winning bidder their item), it’s been extended through tomorrow – Monday, February 25, 2013, 5PM PST/8PM EST.

I’m writing this to goad you all into helping us reach our evil, lofty goal of an even $5000. Come on! One last push! We’re almost there!

And we’ve got just the items to make this happen!

Up for bid this second (and final) round are more signed books (with zombies!), some crafty things, jewelry, AWESOME GEEKY COMICS from Dork Tower (Hi, MINE! MINE I SAY!) art…. GO! GO NOW AND SEE!

If you’ve already donated- either an item for bid, given funds directly to the school district or via the auction – thank you from all of us at the Evil League of Evil Writers and Crestline Elementary School. You don’t know how grateful the parents, teachers, and kids are for these donations.

We have made people cry. We have crashed the Foundation donation website with our evil.

WE HAVE DONE THE IMPOSSIBLE, AND THAT MAKES US MIGHTY.

We have been Bad Guys (shiny!) for Crestline, and we couldn’t have done it without all of you.

“When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t do that…well, you know the rest.”

Now if you all could carry us just a little bit further the rest of the way home, we’d take that as an eviltry. (It’s like “a kindness,” but without the negative connotations of doing something good. For lo, we are evil, and this is an Evil Auction.)

So, if you would – get out there, jump up and down, wave your arms around, do whatever you have to to get us noticed.

Let’s go out with a bang so loud they hear us all the way to the Core.

(Also, if you haven’t seen/watched Firefly – GO DO THAT NOW and follow it up with the movie Serenity so you can get all these cool geek references I’m throwing out.)

Pimpage link: EvilButton1 http://evilauction.blogspot.com/

If you blog about the auction, remember there’s shinies in it for you! Here: http://evilauction.blogspot.com/p/spread-word.html

Evil Auction Post – Round One Closing!

EvilButton1Most of you know about the Evil Auction by now. My partners in crime, Skyla Dawn Cameron and the rest of the Evil League of Evil Writers, and I have been busting our collective asses for the last ten days getting this thing organized, and it’s been a success beyond any of our imaginings. Thank you all, so much, donors and bidders, for helping make Round One over $3500 in pledges for Crestline Elementary School.

And that’s just Round One.

Alas, Round One auctions END TODAY! This evening at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern, these items will go to their highest bidders. I encourage you to take one last look, especially at items you may have already bid on, just to make sure everything is set, because once the clock strikes Auction’s End, Round One is over!

There is, of course, still Round Two, and there are some AMAZING items up for bid.

Just sayin’!

Dina’s Holiday Rant 2012

All right. I’m starting to (yet again) see posts in various places about “keep Christ in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season,” so it’s clearly time once again for Dina’s Holiday Rant.

This was originally written/posted December 5, 2009 on my Livejournal. It’s still applicable, so I decided to dust it off, shamelessly copy and paste, and update it to post again. This is apparently going to be an annual thing, this rant.

Read at your peril. Feel free to repost/forward with credit to me as the author if you feel like it. Continue reading

Darkness Falls

Yet another SOPA post. This one is just to remind regular readers of my blog that my site, along with thousands of others, will be going dark tomorrow in protest of SOPA and PIPA. If you’re not familiar with what these things are, click here and see what all this is about.

There’s more about it here: http://sopastrike.com/.

Just a quick reminder. See you when this is over. For awhile anyway. If this bill passes, I may not be seeing you at all, ever again.

So if the internet is important to you, get involved. You know I hate politics. This isn’t politics. This is the criminalization of innocent people (like me) in order to punish a few assholes. This is Hollywood studios not wanting to get off their lazy asses and spend the money to go after these fuckwads on their own. Instead they’ll spend billions of dollars in lobbying Congress and the Senate to pass these stupid bills because they think it’s better to punish everyone to get their way instead of doing what “regular people” like me and you do in order to stop online piracy. You know, sending notices and so on. Tracking down pirates. Whatever. There are already laws designed to protect the copyright holders and stop online piracy.

THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER.

I’ll stop ranting now. Enjoy it. It might be one of the last rants you hear from me. Freedom of speech is under attack, so if you like my rants, scream at your Congressperson/Senator. TELL THEM YOU WANT YOUR DINA RANTS!

That is all.

Sithmas Approacheth – The Holiday Card Post

(I’m totally recycling last year’s post. Like I do with the holiday decorations!)

SITHMAS IS COMING! SITHMAS IS COMING!

Okay, yes…I’m one of those people who started humming Christmas songs back in October. I know, I know. But I really love the holidays. Halloween used to be my favorite holiday until I came out of my Goth closet and could dress how I wanted to every day of the year and not care about being seen as a freak (for the record, I was 25), but now Christmas is my favorite.

Thanksgiving, however, is not to be overlooked. I mean, a foodie like me ignore a holiday that’s all about FOOD? PIE? LOTS AND LOTS OF PIE?! (Not to mention leftover pie!!) Great. Now I’m hungry. And there are pies in the kitchen. I shouldn’t write about pie before breakfast….

Anyway, what was I writing about? I mean, before my stomach started doing the writing? Oh, yeah! The holiday spirit!

Okay, here’s the deal: I’m making my holiday card list.

Yes, you heard right. No, I’m not too early. It’s nearly Thanksgiving! I mean, by the time I get the list done and cards mailed, I’ll be right on time!

I am setting a deadline for you all, though. If you want to be on my holiday card list, post a comment on my website by Sunday, December 4th (don’t worry, these will be screened!) or e-mail dina [at] dinajames [dot] com with your snail mail addy, and I’ll send you a holiday card. If you got a card from me last year, you’re still on my list, but if you’ve moved, don’t want one, or otherwise changed your address, let me know! I keep the list for subsequent use year to year, but will remind you all yearly to send me any updates. I realize people move about and change names and such.

If you’ve won something from me or I’ve otherwise sent you something in the last year, your name has likely been added to the card list. If you want a card, let me know, because I have them printed up in small batches and need to know how many to order.

If you’re feeling in the holiday spirit yourself and would like to return the favor, here’s my address:

Dina James
P.O. Box 574
Astoria, OR 97103
USA

Happy Sithmas!

Dina's Sithmas Tree

My Sithmas Tree. It's a black tree with red lights and a Darth Vader nightlight for a topper.

It’s Here! It’s Release Day!

Look! Look! All Wounds is here!

I’m overwhelmed, really. Thank you to so many people for not only making this possible, but for supporting me and promoting me and just generally being awesome. I have the best friends, and the coolest fans. You all rock!

I mean, Ilona Andrews has me featured on her blog’s sidebar under friend’s release (scroll down to the bottom – I need to figure out how to do something like this on my own site), Lilith Saintcrow (the Bad Horse of the ELEW) pimps me out her blog post today, Skyla Dawn Cameron does the same…wow. Just…wow, you guys. Thanks.

Because you are all so cool, I’ll give you all a little treat. I’ll post a very short excerpt of the book. Short because I’m evil. (But you knew that.)

All Rebecca really wanted to do was go to sleep, take care of her nana, and go to school in the morning and deal with Marla Thompson like normal.

Instead she was sitting at a table with a werewolf and a vampire, listening to them discuss how best to raid a demon lair.

All right, all right. Since you are all SO awesome, I’ll throw one of my Evil Giveaway things. Not just yet, though. I’ll need to see if I can procure something evil for it first. If the evil works, BWAH-HA-HA-HA! If it does not, we’ll have the giveaway without it.

I now go in search of this new devilry.

Stay tuned. We’re gonna kick it up a notch in the next day or so.

Preview – there will be PRIZES. Hee!