People behaving badly

(head banging on desk) Why-oh-why do I not stick to my guns and send form rejection letters? Instead I wrote:

Dear Pathetically Immature Windbag (not his real name),
Thank you for your query. I’m afraid your plot is a bit thin for us and since we accept very little fiction, we won’t be interested in reviewing this further. Best of luck to you.

And his pitch was thin – thin as the beagle’s explanations as to where she’s been all night. His reply:

How in the hell do you know how thin my plot is without reading it?

What a dumb ass reply.

If you can’t take the time to read a 50 page book that addresses the bullying problems in today’s schools, you are wrong for me anyway.

Thin? Hahahaha.

I also wrote 8 other novels and 61 screenplays. The actors I write for would laugh at your stupid shit.

Thanks for nothing goofball.

Dearie me. I didn’t find 8 books, but I did find one book that was pubbed by a vanity press.

My reply:

Great holy pardons, this is what I get for offering a personalized rejection rather than a canned rejection. See, I foolishly mistook you for a professional – a mistake I’ll be sure not to repeat.

You must remember that editors can’t climb inside an author’s brain, and we’re forced to make decisions based on what you give us. You gave me something thin, and this forces me to decline to review you further because I have over a hundred other queries awaiting my attention – and most of them are from authors who act like professionals and know how to write a proper query. If you revert to acting like a four-year-old with a simple rejection, Lord only knows what you’ll do with a bad review. Obviously you aren’t ready for prime time yet. Go grow up first.

My reason for posting this isn’t to make this twit look foolish – he’s managing that quite well on his own. My point is that many times authors think they’ve adequately expressed their plot, and they don’t take the time to step outside themselves to determine whether it will make an editor’s mouth water. That comes from knowing how to write an effective query letter – something my ill-tempered friend hasn’t yet mastered.

Form rejection letters, Lynn…FORM REJECTION LETTERS!

7 Responses to People behaving badly

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    Don’t even mention query letters. Seventh circle of hell. At least.

  2. I know, Ninjie, query letter suck stale Twinkie cream. But it’s the only method that allows us to streamline the many stories that come into our Inbox. Until editors take to wearing tinfoil hats, query letters are de rigueur.

  3. Suzi McGowen says:

    Holy smokes. I’m amazed taht people act that way. But then, I’m continually amazed by the way some people behave.

  4. And this is why agents and editors send form rejection letters. These kinds of responses happen all to often when you’re trying to “give them something a little more.” And then they give you something a little more, and there you go. I like your response back though. Very right on.

  5. Eh. It’s a sad state of affairs when one has to pull back on helping others because of the odd bird who’s a twig shy of a full nest. But it’s the price we all pay for bullies who hide behind the anonymity of email. I doubt Mr. BottomDweller would have had the ‘nads to say these things to my face. They never do.

    Oddly enough, his book was about…wait for it…bullying. Oh the delicious irony.

  6. kimkircher says:

    It’s certainly a shame that a few Mr. BottomDwellers must ruin it for all of us. I for one, would love to receive feedback in any other form than a rejection letter. Even feedback that’s hard to digest. We are writers, people. We can’t take feedback as a personal insult. And when we act out of that very small, very primitive part of our brain by taking well-meaning criticism personally, well. We all know where that leads us. Form rejection letters. I can’t say I blame you, Lynn.

  7. Kim, I huff and puff and swear to the Great and Mighty Cosmic Muffin that I’ll never send another personalized rejection again.

    And then I turn right around and send five. Go figure. I’m a sucker for a sound thrashing.

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