So I was traveling with a friend yesterday (my bandmate in this electronica duo I'm in--we were going to a geek music festival) and he mentioned that he had received a strange email from Borders. You know, the bookstore chain. He had signed up for their Corporate Fealty Bonus Program, whatever it's called, and so got put on some kind of mailing list.
The email said something along the lines of, "Help Decide Which Books Are Published!" It contained a link to an online survey in which unpublished books were described, and their potential covers displayed, and with these meager details, the Borders customer was supposed to decide which of them he or she would like to be published. No text excerpts form the books were provided--just the covers and a summary. My bandmate said that there were a few current bestsellers and new books on the list, supposedly as control specimens, and that he was quite certain that the others were real unpublished books by real writers. He did a bit of research and learned that the writers were in fact genuine people, and the books described had not yet been published.
I don't think he was pulling my leg. If he is describing this accurately, it is truly horrifying, putting the usual chain-bookstore front-table payola to shame. Have any of you heard about this, or gotten this email? (My bandmate doesn't think he has the link anymore--and by the way he did NOT complete the survey.) Fill us in if you have.