Alec Shane, J.D. Barker’s agent at Writers House, broke up with him after he sent an email to BookTok creators offering to make “racy” sponsored material about Barker’s new book, Behind a Closed Door.
Shane told Publisher’s Weekly, “I no longer work for J.D. Barker, and I’m sad and upset about what happened.”
Behind a Closed Door was called a “sexually charged thriller” in an email from Barker’s PR company, BestOfBookTok, on January 23. The email also mentioned some video themes that were “currently in the works by other influencers.” Of these, one had the caption “Where is the most taboo place you’ve ever had sex?” and the video “pans up or down the body using only the book to cover up your naughty bits.” Another had the description “cuts to something racy.” There are worries that some of the BookTok authors who got the email are younger than 18 years old.
JD Barker released a statement via email – i can’t find it on his social media accounts – claiming the message was sent by a PR firm. But he’s one of the founders of the PR firm…
(screenshots from by_the_bookcase on threads) pic.twitter.com/h7MnRjuUBG
— kelsey weekman (@kelsaywhat) January 26, 2024
Barker said in a statement on X (which used to be Twitter) that the email “went out on my behalf to known BookTok influencers without regard to age or gender.” He also said that the “campaign was never approved” and that the email needed to be “substantially rewritten” before it could be sent. It was sent because of a “chain of errors.”
On January 23rd, an email went out on my behalf to known BookTok influencers without consideration of age or gender, from a company I own, detailing the framework of a social media marketing campaign meant to promote my upcoming novel, Behind A Closed Door; an erotic thriller set…
— J.D. Barker (@jdbarker) January 26, 2024
“I’m horrified that such a message was released,” the statement said. And I’m very sorry for the pain I caused those who heard it. I have a lot of respect for writers and the people who support them, but I’ve let you all down.
Stay tuned to our website silentnews.org for further updates.