Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HOW CAN WE STOP SPAMMERS FROM TROLLING OUR COMMENTORS!

It has just come to my attention that a VERYoverly keen author who has been, shall I say overly soliciting people to review his book has JUST taken one of my subscribers emails and sent her his standard "review my book" emails?    She is not a member of book blogs, nor is she even a book blogger, and I was VERY upset with this person considering I JUST  sent him an email HOURS before telling him to STOP sending me the SAME EXACT email considering he and I previously had been in contact about his book, and he was going to send me a hard copy intead of ebook, blah blah blah.  And TWICE more AFTER we had emailed back and forth he sent me this original email introducing himself, asking me to review his book.. yadda, yadda.

SO

I then asked him to PLEASE stop emailing me the SAME email and so he wrote back said he was sorry and took me off of his newsletter list.  And then about TWO HOURS later I get an email from one of my faithful and lovely readers saying she got this email and I scroll down and YUP it's him. 

AAAARRRRGGG!!!!

So this incident then  got me thinking.  When most book bloggers hold contests we ask that people comment and leave their email address that are then published for the entire world to see.  Huh.  I'm not exactly sure how to rectify that, but after my Outlander one is done what I may do is somehow keep track of the entries and then not publish.  Or have people enter by emailing me privately.  I'm not sure, but this really bothers me, and I know it was unnerving to this person as well.  Then I think, well, maybe this is just one of those hazards to entering in a contest?  Blah. I dont' know.  AHHH!

Any thoughts???? Especially much more experienced bloggers out there????

25 Blabs:

Natalie W said...

Wow, that's awful. I'd like to know who it is. I wonder if I got one of his emails.
I've always hated putting my emails on comments but gotta do it if that's the rule. Maybe do an email for the 1st entry and then comments thereafter? Or no email address , people would have to check the website or subscribe for winner list.

Barbara said...

That sucks. Actually I think I got an email from this person too. Sure there's a way to fool spam bots but humans can figure out what the emails are. You might want to go here http://kontactr.com/user/ so you can make a form so people can just fill it out and it gets emailed to you.

Michelle said...

When I have a contest, I don't have them put an email address. They have to check back to see if they've won. They then email me with their address so no one else can get ahold of either their email or mailing address.

It's worked pretty well so far for me. And if I do get a spammer at my email address, I can block them, versus dozens or hundreds of entrants who have their emails up for the abusing.

Lisa said...

Michelle and Barbara: THANK YOU! These are EXACTLY the kind of ideas I am looking for!!

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

aw lisa that sucks! Someone (was it Froggy?) is using a form entry instead, maybe we should all consider this???

Chris said...

I have no ideas because I rarely do contests. This kind of thing only makes readers annoyed with authors who do this. It's ridiculous.

raych said...

Did this author's name rhyme with Bat Cheese? This sounds like something he'd do, but I'm pretty sure he has google alerts out on his name and he and I have HAD ALTERCATIONS that I'd rather not revisit.

Also, yes. Spammers. I like the idea of making them come back to your blog, because then you know they really want it AND there's no risk of your commenters getting spammed.

Jess said...

I just started using Google Docs for my contests, what it allows me to do is create a document that asks for information such as name and email, and then if someone is interested in entering my contest, they can click the link to the document and answer the questions. Nobody but me sees the information and then nobody else can see their information :)

Suzanne said...

OMG, today I think I got an email from that SAME author! I had already reviewed his book that he "didn't have any hard copies left of" and here he was sending me ANOTHER solicitation! Well, mistakes can happen, but then my husband got an email from him trying to get him to review the book! My husband may comment every once in a while on my blog and that is the only way the author could have gotten his email. And he sent him the same exact email! The author must have been trolling thru comments other than giveaway entries because my husband NEVER enters my giveaways! And he never puts his email in the comments!UGH!

Kate said...

That is really sad that people have to go to that level. Another option that no one has stated yet is using Google Docs. You can make a form for your contests with the information that you wish to collect, then it puts it into a spreadsheet. So it is private and organized.

Booklover1335 said...

Hi BB,
I've been thinking about removing emails from my comments too, and an easy way to still have them provide an email is to use Google Docs for them to enter their info. It is a form that is super easy (especially since your a blogger) to add to any post and gather the contest info that you want without sharing private info. It's only available to you.

Booklogged said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this and happy to hear there are solutions. I have two giveaways going right now and hated asking for emails but didn't know what else to do.

Jenny said...

Well, that's annoying. I don't know if it's the same person, but I got an e-mail from an author today and he said he only had e-books available.

Lisa said...

Given that bloggers are one of the best ways for a new or lessor-known author to get recognition, making bloggers mad is not a good idea! I'll have to ponder this myself.

Marg said...

I have seen a few people experimenting with Google documents where the person fills all their details in a form and the information is automatically collated in a spreadsheet and that way there is nothing showing in the comments.

Haven't tried it myself, but sounds good in theory.

brizmus said...

I think I know the author you are talking about. And I actually read and enjoyed his book. SO I e-mailed him to tell him this, and the very next day I got an e-mail from him asking me to read his book. It was so weird.
I don't understand why he feels the need to do that, though; his book is good.
It's so annoying.

Jennifer said...

Use a Google Docs form. People enter their information and only YOU get to see it! Love Google Docs! Going to start using it for my future contests!

Lisa said...

Thank you everyone for the awesome suggestions! And Brizmus, I am pretty sure you are talking about the same person, because from what I have read of his book AND his reviews the book is very good. And your example is exactly what I am talking about, this knee-jerk email response without any regard to the actual PERSON he is emailing to. He, despite having actual email conversations with people, does not seem to have any retention of a person and just blindly sends out email after email without recognizing someones name. Your example has happened to quite a few others that have shared the EXACT same experience to me in the last 24 hours.

Lisa said...

Raych: Bat Cheese? Nope. I don't this it's the same dude.

Anna said...

I know exactly who you are talking about. I've read his book and it was pretty good. I've emailed him about this, too, and yet I continue to get emails from him. Hmm... The book is good, so I don't think he has to try that hard.

I used Google Docs for a BBAW contest and it was pretty easy. I might switch to that for all my contests. Something to think about at any rate.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Lisa said...

Hey Anna, I KNOW, the saddest part of it all is I think he may be turning off some people from even READING his book in the first place. And if he had just let the first reviews kind of do thier magic, he would have probably had a bit of buzz about it and it would have been blogged about anyway!

Thanks for the suggestion, Google docs seems to be what most people used. I even tried it last night! I can't wait to give it a go. I'll feel MUCH better about holding contests that way! Thanks again!

christine said...

I have been thinking about using google docs also but I wonder if some people like to see how many are entered in a giveaway. I have my comments set up so an email is required but not published. As the administrator of the blog, I am the only one who can get this information so I think I am going to try stating not to leave an email in the comment. Is this an option for blogger?

Lisa said...

Hey Christine: I don't think I can do that with Blogger, but I know what you mean. I'm going to look into that. I agree with you that the only drawback to not having all of the comments is I think people (myself included) like to see how many people are entered! Makes it that much more exciting somehow! :0)

Aarti said...

This guy did the same thing to me and my readers, too! (Is he the one who puts you on the "blacklist" when you unsubscribe from his email list?) So creepy and stalkerish. That is not ok. It upsets me, and maybe I'll start doing Michelle's trick of not having people put emails in their comments...

Crazy-for-Books.com said...

I have started using contestmachine.com. If you only do a couple of contests a month, then it is free. You can see how many people have entered, but only I can see the e-mail address. The program automatically picks the winner, too! So far, I like it, but if you want people to Tweet, FB, or do other actions, it may not work for you. You can see it in action with my The Secret of Joy contest at crazy-for-books.com. This is my first time using it, but I'm impressed so far. It's really easy to use. Let me know if you have any questions!
Jennifer

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