Yesterday, I opened my email box to find a strange message:
You have been registered as a user on Rae Bryant
You may now log into the site at http://www.raebryant.com
Your username is bleep and your password is a bunch of numbers
Rae Bryant Admin
My first reaction was worry. Is someone using my name, pretending to be me? I thought. I don't know who Rae Bryant is! I didn't click the link in the email, because I'm a savy interent user. I know that strange emails like this often lead to phishing sites where your information is harvested. Instead, I went on Google where I discovered a rprobably self-created Wiki page. (Yes, writers you can do that. And there's nothing innately wrong with it.) I also found her book on Amazon and just to be sure this wasn't a scam, I followed a link to the publisher, which is a very small press that's appears to have published three titles. None of the titles appears to be in the name of any of the staff, which seem to be three authors who have had some success and decided to start a small press. Nothing but that email smells fishy.
She is a writer trying to get noticed by more readers. I can totally undestand that. I have empathy but not sympathy. Once one puts their work up forsale, writing becomes a business. How would you feel if <s>Bank of America</s>(insert any company here) sent you an email informing you that they signed you up for their website without your permission? I'm all for self promotiom but how it is done is important too. Most people won't think "Wow, this is wonderful." What they're like to think is, "OMG, somebody is using my identity! " Do something like this to the wrong person, and you might even have to fend off a lawsuit.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).