View Full Version : Unsolicited request from Borders...suspicious?

Matt McGovern
09-07-2004, 08:39 PM
Hi all,

Quick question. I received an email from someone purporting to be from Borders, inquiring about my new novel, "Currents: Every Life Leaves an Imprint" (ISBN 0974944548) and wanting to get one copy of the title. This person asked if it was ok to fax a purchase order to me. The reply email address looked valid, but the message was very short and did not include a signature line---so I'm suspicious if this is simply an attempt to validate my email address for spamming, or to get my fax number.

As I am sure you all do, I get lots of bogus emails everyday, so I tend to be a bit cautious about these things.

Also, the "To:" field contained the person's name followed by "IPT (B0133)." Has anyone seen this before?

Any insight or suggestions is welcome. I will most likely contact Borders online "customer care" to see if they can confirm whether it's on the up-and-up.

Of course my dilemma is lost opportunity if I do not respond to what might well be a valid request :-(

I recently had some statewide PR on my book, so it's possible someone in the "biz" took notice!


09-07-2004, 09:42 PM
Matt, I would eat my hat to think of a bookstore contacting an author. Unless your book has been creating a stir, either in your area or around the country, it's the other way around; people contact bookstores. In any case, they would contact Ingram, Baker & Taylor or the publisher, not the author. You're smart to be suspicious.

09-07-2004, 10:06 PM
It's probably spam. I would check the full headers of the email address if I were you, which should tell you where the email is really from.

09-07-2004, 10:16 PM
Is your book listed with Ingram's or B&T? I notice on your website the only way to get the book appears to be by ordering it from you directly and can't tell who published it. If this was a real email inquiry it is following your stated method of contact off your site.

Harvesting email usually wants you to confirm your address. Since, however your email address is on your site already and they have written to you - write back and ask them for their phone number so you can call them about the PO they want to send. If they send you a number, make sure it is not a cell and is a number for Borders that you are calling. If they do not send you a number then mark them off the list.

good luck

09-08-2004, 04:03 AM
I also received the same request and mailed the book to them simply because I am self publishing and I did contact Border's in my marketing efforts. I also received the request by fax vs. e-mail. I may have to chalk this one up too but I will definately post if I hear anything from it.

James D Macdonald
09-08-2004, 07:54 AM
Be aware that one of the newer <A HREF="http://blog.glennf.com/archives/003809.html" target="_new">varients on the Nigerian 419 scam</A> starts with an unsolicited email apparently ordering books. There was a large writeup in Publishers Weekly about six months ago.

Matt McGovern
09-10-2004, 06:33 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for the great advice. Just a quick post to let you know the request I received was legit. The local "Borders" book buyer saw some PR on my book (it was highlighted in a statewide Sunday paper entertainment/books section) and looked up the publisher info on Bowker's BIP list, and--long story short--because I am also the publisher, her inquiry came to me! Not a big order, but it opens the door to Borders a little wider...

Again, thanks for your sage advice...one can't be too careful these days with all those spammers and scammers out there.

09-10-2004, 07:09 AM
Just a quick post to let you know the request I received was legit I am so glad - congratulations!


James D. Macdonald
07-29-2005, 08:26 PM
A success for a self-published author. Hurrah!