Stop. Calm down. Think. Then reply

Me (email reply to query):

Thank you for your query. Your pitch is a bit thin, so I’m not certain how your book fits in with our lineup of socially relevant personal journeys. Perhaps you could expand on your story a bit more.

Author (in email reply):

My father died this morning.
Go screw yourself.

Wow. I understand unmitigated grief and am the first one to empathize with someone’s sorrow. But boyo, when I’m polite and genuinely interested in a story and get that kind of reaction – well…it makes me wonder what’s gone wrong with the world that people would strike out like that.

Authors, for the love of all that’s holy, DO NOT EMAIL ANYONE WHEN YOU’RE UPSET. The words you send out into the ether could be a career buster.

Still scratching head…

6 Responses to Stop. Calm down. Think. Then reply

  1. NinjaFingers says:



    Can I use the fact that my mother’s dog died this week as an excuse? *is admittedly slightly in mourning*

  2. Tara Maya says:

    No one should read, never mind answer email, after finding out news like that. These days it might be hard to avoid.

    Sorry you had to experience the whiplash from someone’s else’s misplaced anger and grief.

  3. Sally Zigmond says:

    Poor you. I bet you’re still reeling from what feels like a physical blow.

    The first line is acceptable but the second most definitely is not.

  4. I’m sorry for the author’s loss, but… yeah, what everyone else said.

  5. territiffany says:

    I’m so sorry for both of you. I make it a habit not to reply to rejections unless it was a nice personal one.

  6. TB says:

    Okay I’m a bit of a cynic, but I wonder how many other publishers got that same response after a rejection.

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