Humility is a good thing

I don’t mind being corrected. No, really, it’s true. Well, unless it’s the beagle, and the only thing we ever snarl about is her lack of sobriety and refusal to do any meaningful work.

However, when I receive a query and the subject line is: Searching for an agent, my pea-sized brain thinks the author sent this to me by mistake. And yes, I’m a bit  annoyed because it shows me that the author didn’t stop to even consider who she was querying, or this is a form query letter that she didn’t tailor it  to those she queries. Either way, it’s noobish.

In this particular case, I wrote the author and told her that had she checked us out she’d notice we’re publishers – not a literary agency.

She wrote back and informed me that she’s the author of many books and that she knows full well how it works. Okaaay. So I decided to cut her some slack and read the synop. Errors. Big errors.

Because I was still sipping my morning cuppa and not in official work mode (after all, a girl needs to get her bike ride in first), I looked her up. Gah. Yes, she’d written numerous books. All by….Publish America.

‘Nuff said.

There’s being published – to where an author REALLY knows how it works – and then there’s being pubbed by a vanity press, where one needs to know absolutely nothing.

Getting back to my original statement – I don’t mind being corrected, but I do consider the source. Having a PA author tell me they “know how it works” is like the beagle telling me how to stay sober – like she’d know, right?

The purpose of this post isn’t to finger point at an unfortunate author who suffers from Inflated Egoitis, but to point out that humility is a life preserver. None of us knows everything, and we shouldn’t be above being corrected by those who might know more than we do. After all,shouldn’t we be grateful to those who take time out of their day to provide comment or critique?  ”Tis better to keep your mouth shut and your ears open, not come back with snark.

And for the record…it’s “pen name” – not “pin name.”

4 Responses to Humility is a good thing

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    This is one I’ve never done…and if I did, it wouldn’t be the subject line, as I always put Query: in there…probably because most short story editors like a subject line of Submission: and it’s a habit.

    Now I wonder if that’s actually a good subject…

  2. Sally Zigmond says:

    The older I grow, the more it is clear to me that those who argue back and claim to know it all, actually know the least. Odd, that.

  3. angie says:

    Sent this fine post to Twitterville.

  4. Considering that PublishAmerica is getting more rapacious and underhanded by the day, I’m not surprised the author’s trying to escape… but that wasn’t the right way to go about it.

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