Ok, that’s not necessarily true. Sadly, there is no season for acting like you lost your brain on the 405 freeway. If there was, agents and editors would close for business during that time.
Alas, we become a moving target 365 days a year, and today was no different. Even though I’m still recuperating from hip surgery, I’m still answering the phones because we’re in the middle of a big publicity campaign and I have a lot of radio stations calling me right now. So this morning, I became that target, which is easier since I’m more stationary than I am moving.
In the family room, lazing around on the couch with business phone and laptop on the coffee table. The cooking channel is on, and let me just get it out there…am I the only one who thinks Ann Burrell is Guy Fieri’s less attractive twin sister? That hair!
Pricey leans over and nabs the business phone where the usual blippity blah blah intro ensues.
“Hi, I met you at ABC Writer’s Conference…”
Ooo…stop right there. I meet hundreds of people at conferences, and I’m always surprised that I’m expected to remember which author is on the other line. Even giving your name will often draw a blank in my quasi-working brain.
“I’ve been querying for over a year now and have gotten nothing but rejections. Could you tell me why you rejected me?”
“Um. I’m really sorry, but I don’t remember you or your story, let alone the reasons behind your rejection.”
“What? You rejected me last Monday. Are you people that callous that you can reject and just forget all about us?”
I know it sounds really mean, but yes, we can. And do. The problem is that the author is caught in the vortex of her own tornado, and she’s oblivious to the other tornadoes that circle about our office. She is so concerned about her own “ish” that she’s not thinking clearly. And she doesn’t know anything about the industry and thinks we accept calls as freely as Harry and David.
Thing is, taking calls are how Harry and David make money. Not so for editors. We make money by selling books, and this precludes me from taking time out of my day to explain to an author why a story didn’t interest me. I do have sympathy for authors looking for feedback, but calling me isn’t the way to go about it.
The long and short of this is that you should never, never, ever call an editor about your rejection. Join writer groups, enlist a group of beta readers, use whatever you need to feel confident about your book.
And really…addressing me as “Dear Sir…” well, that’s just plain bad karma.