First let's start with the facts, because I've gotten a lot of text messages and DMs about this since last night:
1. Yesterday, an email was sent from Rockstar PR & Literary Consulting to an undisclosed amount of bloggers to help promote a new Bella Forrest title. I actually deleted the email because I get a lot of emails daily from PR companies I don't know asking me to help promote a book/author for them. I don't have time for it. I don't.
2. At 8:54 PM last night, I received an email with the subject saying "My Apology for HUGE Error". Curious, I opened it and inside was an email from a publicist at Rockstar PR apologizing for sharing personal and sensitive information in a previous email that day.
Of course, at this, I got curious, and dug the old email out of my trash bin and read it. It was a generic book pitch (the second I'd gotten about the same book from 2 different publicists at RPL that day, mind you) but at the bottom was an attachment that said "Ya Bloggers". Clicking on it opened a spreadsheet with information on over 200 bloggers.
Information like names, home addresses, and fun little comments about said bloggers. Some even had phone numbers listed.
3. I freaked the freak out. This email went out to an undisclosed list and amount of bloggers and readers. All these people now have my personal information. There are bloggers listed on here that haven't been active for years like The Story Siren and IB Book Blogging.
4. I've always been super careful about who has my info. The only people who have it are publishing houses and 2 PR companies I've worked with where I know people personally at both places. That's it. So how in the world did a company I've never heard of suddenly know where I lived?
5. Several other bloggers and myself figured out based on dates and the comments and who the publicist who sent these emails out, that she worked at Penguin and Little, Brown. She was a publicist there who likely took contact lists with her when she left.
That's not OK.
I gave a publisher permission to use my address. Not a random employee I'd never worked with permission to take my info with her when she quit. It's a violation of privacy and I'm pretty sure it's illegal.
Moral of the story ... I don't even know. I work with publicists and publishing houses a lot. I don't blame them for what happened; for an employee stealing private documents.
I don't even blame the publicist for making a human error. It was an accident. It was an unfortunate accident that could still have disastrous consequences for a lot of people. But it was a mistake.
My issue is that Rockstar PR & Literary Consulting had no rights to my personal information at all. I never gave consent for them to contact me. A lot of bloggers never gave their permission or consent to work with this company.
So I would be careful if you're someone who works with them or wants to work with them. At the very least use a PO Box address.
*Please note that Rockstar PR & Literary is NOT affiliated with Rockstar Book Tours at all. In fact, when Rockstar PR started, Rockstar Book Tours (who had already been around and well established) contacted them about changing their name so as not to confuse people. Rockstar PR declined.*
For the list of affected blogs, go here: http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/2016/08/rockstar-pr-literary-list.html