Making Friends and Winning Hearts

Some people are better than the rest of us. At least in their own minds.

Case in point, one Kasia S., which is the screen name for an Amazon Vine Voice. Vine Voice is a special status conferred by Amazon on reviewers based on their number of reviews and the percentage of people who find their reviews helpful. I sent an email to Kasia offering a free review copy of my novel, Naperville, and received the following reply:

Listen, if people like you want someone to actually read their work at least address then by their name and make it personal not just a copy and paste.. otherwise it’s SPAM.

Kasia S. also told me they receive 40 such requests a day, so it was generous of them to take the time to reply to my “spam” email not once, but twice. Especially since they don’t even have time for spelling or punctuation.

I’ve sent plenty of similar “spam” to literary agents, editors and, yes, Vine Voice Reviewers. Without exception, they either ignore my query if not interested, or respond if they are. But Kasia S. found my email exceptionally offensive–enough so to warrant chastising me in ALL CAPS, the online version of yelling. But then Kasia S. is obviously a bit more important than, say, a successful literary agent.

Here is the offensive email:

Since you enjoy Terry Pratchett, you might enjoy my novel. Naperville ( is a dystopian corporate story in which one man, a lowly cog in a corporate headquarters covering most of Illinois, goes on a dangerous journey to find a new office chair. Publishers Weeky says it’s “fun and inventive” and “takes corporatocracy to its logical extreme.” If you are interested in reviewing it, I can send a copy in any ebook format.
Thanks for your time.

Pretty offensive stuff. I felt bad enough about my faux pas to reply with an apology, which she was nice enough to include in her review of Naperville.

Yes, as busy as Kasia S. is, they were generous enough to take time out of their busy schedule of reading free books and replying to spam emails to post a review. Sure, they didn’t take the time to actually read my book before reviewing it, but still…

As I mentioned, Vine Voice reviewers depend on a high number of “I found this review helpful” votes to maintain their status. So please take the time to check out Kasia S.’s thoughtful review and, if you find it helpful, give it a “yes.” If, and I can’t imagine why, you don’t find it helpful, you have the option to give it a “no.”

In any case, it’s good to know I’ve made another friend.

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