In case you’re wondering about the recent influx of emails in your inbox from your favorite authors, there’s a new EU law that is effecting everyone’s mailing lists. It’s not a bad law – it’s designed to keep everyone’s personal information safer. In light of recent Facebook scandals and whatnot, I don’t think anyone’s going to argue increased safety regarding personal information is a bad thing.
It does, however, mean that those of us who operate mailing lists – such as newsletters – are subject to consequences if we have any EU residents on our mailing lists and don’t comply with the laws – whether or not we’re EU residents ourselves. I’m not an EU citizen, nor do I live in the EU, but I’m absolutely certain that some of my readers are. (After all, Amazon does tell me when my books are purchased/borrowed from the French, Italian, or German versions of their website. One can easily surmise those books are purchased by EU citizens.)
And since the fines involved run up into the millions of euros… yeah. I’m damn sure gonna comply.
Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to deal with my end of the bargain. Basically I tweaked the mailing list a little bit: there should be a double opt-in now. Instead of entering your email once and done with it, new subscribers will get a confirmation email. Once they click the link in there and confirm they want in, they’re on the list and I’ve got proof they want to be on the list. For the current subscribers, I sent out an email that basically explains the new law and asks them to opt-in. Once they do, they’re fine and I’m covered.
But anyone who doesn’t opt-in by May 25… will be automatically removed from the list. Which is the scary part of the proposition. I know I’ve ignored newsletter emails in the past. A whole lot of them, actually. Or I don’t get to them for days or even weeks.
I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen a bunch this month. I’ve got a plan to send out two additional reminders to people who don’t respond, so hopefully that’ll catch most of the stragglers.
But in the meantime… so far, so good, and I feel much better off knowing that I’m not risking millions of euro for the lack of a couple of emails.
But if you see an email from your favorite author over the next couple of weeks… make sure you open it, please? And if you still want to hear from them, please let them know!