A few minutes ago, I received an email asking me to promote a book. I get these a lot. I love books, so I read the email. It started out, “I know your work through Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop…” Put on the brakes. I do? I didn’t know I was on Alltop. I spend the next five minutes searching Alltop, which to my knowledge I’ve never been a part of (not saying I wouldn’t love to, Guy Kawasaki, but you haven’t found me yet). Yes, I’m that vain that I have to go find myself on the internet. You do it too, so whatever. No, honestly, I’m always glad when people give me feedback about how they find me. So my suspicions are confirmed. I am not on Alltop. So why would this person start out her letter with that? Ohhh, she didn’t properly target her pitch! I get it! Okay! She cut and pasted a letter and didn’t bother to check who she was sending it to. Did I want to read on? Did I want to review the book after wasting time on my wild goose chase? I hate to be cold, people, but get it right. Also the email was from a woman (probably the author’s PR person) but the letter was written from the male author. At least put a note at the top that says “here’s a letter from X book’s author.” Lessons, boys and girls? * Know who you’re pitching. Do personalize it by saying how you found them or the name of the publication. * Spell the name right. People hate it when you spell their name wrong. * Read the publication to make sure it’s a good fit. This book had nothing to do with marketing. Have you ever sent/received a bad pitch? Tell us alllll about it.