Have you seen my book? ✉️

Posted: December 11, 2013 in ✉️ To whom it may concern


To whom it may concern at Waterstones,

I am an inspiring writer destined for greatness. I have recently finished an awesome epic book that could easily rival the Harry Potter franchise. It is a mixture between Fifty shades of grey, The game of thrones and The Terminator. It’s a wonderful blend of genres that complement each other like cookies and cream. Unfortunately I do not have a publisher at the moment and its becoming a long laborious task.

However in my excitement I did something a little risky. I was so keen to get my work to the public that I took the liberty of placing a couple copies within one of your London stores to see if any of your customers would take the bait. I even went as far as alphabetising it in the correct section.

The book is entitled Odd Future: Cyborgs, Swords and Winter Porn. It has a Black cover with a Gold emblem on the front of it around seven hundred pages long. You can’t miss it.

I am sure it has not caused any problems as such but I am wondering if anybody has attempted to buy them. I know you would have been unable to sell them due to the lack of a barcode on the back but it would be nice to know if anybody has attempted to buy them. Please can you ask around and let me know if you can find anything out. The feedback is priceless.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you,


Sebastian Bowen.

Waterstones Response

Dear Sir/Madam,

It has been brought to my attention that you have taken it upon yourself to add copies of your unpublished title to our stock in a London store. While I understand your wish to get feedback and to create some publicity for your title this course of action is entirely inappropriate and of great concern to us.

The only two possible scenarios are that a customer finds the title, tries to buy it, is unable to and the title is taken off of the shop floor for investigation, wasting the time of every single person involved in the interaction, or that the book sits in the section until a bookseller finds it and removes it from the shop floor for investigation, wasting the time of every single person involved in the interaction. Either option is completely unacceptable to us, especially at our busiest period. You do not have permission to add your title to our stock, please remove it as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Matthew O’Donoghue
Publisher Liaison


My Response

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for responding to my email it is much appreciated. I am sorry for disrupting your busy day. It would seem you had a little trouble deciding whether to address me as Sir or Madam. Sebastian is a man’s name and I am a man so the title of Sir is more than fine for any future correspondence.

Firstly I apologise if I have caused you any aggravation it was not my intention. However I do think you are somewhat overreacting to the situation, I am not sure if I explained myself correctly. I have not tried to gain any publicity for the book you are the only person I have told. I just thought it would be interesting for me to know if anybody had any interest in picking up a copy of it. If anything I would regard it as research not publicity.

You have pointed out two possible scenarios but I would like to suggest a third; Somebody could find the book on the shop floor and begin reading it and realise how amazing it is an will try to buy it. Once they are told that they cannot purchase the book they will have two choices either continue reading the book and finish it in the store or have the foresight to just take it home with them because it’s free. I do not see how this is hurting anybody.

I think it is unreasonable to say this is a waste of everybody’s time considering you have never read my book. If you take the time to find it and read it I am sure you will change your mind and would possibly recommended it to your customers as a future best seller or potential game changer in the world of literacy.

In regards to me removing the books from your store unfortunately I have a flight booked next week to leave the country as I am scheduled to visit family members over the Christmas period so I will not be able to make it back to the stores to remove the books until January 8th 2014. I appreciate this is a very busy time for you but would it be possible to ask your staff at your Central London stores and your store in Greenwich to have a quick look and possibly mail the books back to me. I will be happy to give you my address and pay for the postage. If it is too time consuming to call your staff then I give you permission to forward our correspondence on to them to save time.

Once again thank you for your time,

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Sebastian Bowen.

Waterstones Response

Hi Sebastian

Thanks for your email. I note from your blog of humorous letters to various well-known companies that you’ve already had a response from our Independent Publisher Co-ordinator which I think covers things pretty well.

I’d just add that anyone serious about getting a book published should buy or borrow a copy of the Writers and Artists’ Yearbook. It’s full of invaluable advice about how to get your book in front of agents and publishers, and a better starting point than leaving material in random bookshops.

Good luck, and have a great Christmas.

Best wishes


Waterstones Customer Support

My Response

Hi Dan,

I must admit you have me bang to rights. I think I will take your advice when the time is right until then I will continue my work on the World Wide Web.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to check out my blog. You found my book after all.

Continue the great work and have a great Christmas.

Thank you,

Sebastian Bowen.
The Fishtank Podcast

  1. Truly no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here it happens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s