In response to yesterday’s query about book reviewers contacting publicists on company letterhead, one publicist confirmed via email that “most of us treat it as an antiquated rule.” Reviewers working with any big or reputable organization can just call or email and they won’t have a problem getting an advance copy of a book. “We also advise most people to follow up their fax with a phone call,” our source adds. “It’ll bring it to our attention if we have 100-some-odd faxes in our inbox.” The letterhead rule is mostly just to deal with the con artists who wheedle books out of publishers to sell them on eBay and such.
“I never made people fax a request if they were a legit reviewer or even a freelancer I’d worked with before,” adds Abrams new director of marketing operations, Colleen Lindsay, of her days in the publicity department. “Email was (and is) always preferable. However, if I was ever contacted by a freelancer I didn’t know, I asked for the name of the editor to whom they would be submitting their story at any given publication.” (Sounds like the perfect solution to me!) Anyone who couldn’t supply a name was probably trying to run a con, and Lindsay wasn’t falling for it: “And, yes, there are hundreds of scammers out there looking for free books. Trust me. It’s pathetic.”