When Northcoast Shakedown was in print, I used to get all sorts of emails from people allegedly wanting to help me.
Agents who would get me into Simon & Schuster “for a small fee.”
“Publishers” who wanted to show me a new way to publish. (Yes, I’ve been solicited by PublishAmerica.)
And publicists. Mind you, I approached my publicist, mainly because she had a client list.
This guy, Milton Kahn, did not, despite the raves of his email:
I would like to make you aware of my public relations company. My clients have been featured in publications numbering Parade, People, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and USA Today; as well as television shows such as Oprah, The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, C-SPAN, CNN, CNBC, etc.
Among my most recent PR campaigns number the 2007 blockbuster, Stanley Alpert’s The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival, published by Penguin and acquired by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner to be filmed for United Artists, the 2006 World Almanac Book of Records (which outsold rival Guiness Book of Records by a 4-1 ratio), and such other book campaigns as the Personal Finance number one BN.com bestseller, David Latko’s Financial Strategies for Today’s Widow (Simon & Schuster) and Thomas Sawyer’s highly acclaimed novel The Sixteenth Man (IUniverse)…
[Cue needle scratching across vinyl record] Um… Milt? Did you just say “iUniverse?” You mean the printer? And why are you emailing me now? When I have nothing in print, and the only thing in my backlist is a novel I now refer to as “allegedly published.” (‘Cuz the publisher was only allegedly a publisher. Get it? OK, I said I wouldn’t talk about that anymore.)
Then it hit me. The PWA member directory came out. This is a useful little item, especially if you’re a Shamus judge or an officer or you just want to send Bob Randisi a Christmas card. Somehow, Milt got a copy, because I got the email less than a week after it came out.
But where have I heard Milt’s name before?
Ah, yes! Here.
So what’s wrong with this picture?
Does not use proper business name of prospective client. (No, it did not originally say “Dear James,” already a tip off.)
Does not check to see if prospective client has anything in print or has signed a deal.
Does not check the blogroll of Lee Goldberg’s blog or this one.
Does not have an actual client list.
If I’m not mistaken, publicists generally do their homework first. The real publicist I worked with a few years back did. Oh, yeah. Forgot. PJ Nunn has a client list. Yeah, that was kind of a hint she knew her stuff. Where’s yours, Milt? The vague list of unverifiable claims doesn’t cut it.
Thanks, Milt, but I already found someone to financially rape me. My mortgage broker. I get a house out of the deal.