Gimme Gimme Gimme

I’m a TV writer/producer and a novelist. I don’t buy scripts, finance movies, publish books, or take on apprentices. And I’m not a celebrity.

Even so, every day I get emails from strangers asking me to buy their scripts, read their scripts, plug their blogs, blurb their books, or take them on as apprentices. I still don’t understand why. But the vast majority of those appeals are so badly presented, I can’t imagine that any of them  could ever work. Here’s a sampling of some I’ve received this week, the names  have been changed to protect the guilty.

I think this woman wants me to take her on as some kind of apprentice…or buy her life story…or just pay attention to her. I’m not sure:

I’m a 36 year old
black woman who has always desired to write for a living.  Thus my blog at XYZ.  Please don’t think I’m some rags to riches story in the
making as I’m not.  The closest I’ve ever been to the ghetto was driving
past fast on my way to visit some unfortunate relative.  LOL!  I am
FABULOUS.  just FABULOUS as you’ll soon find out. I have a gazillion
ideas and a gazillion/gamillion stories.[…]

Please visit my site and take me on as someone to mentor.  You could be the man who
discovered the next Shonda Rhimes. Come on…take a chance.  I’m EXACTLY
the sort of story Oprah would EAT UP!

Another complete stranger wants me to call him or give him my phone number using this come on:

I’m the publisher of, which is regularly ranked in the Top 5% off all sites on the web and cited by international, national and regional media. Is there a number I might reach you at or can you please call me at XXXXX when you have a moment?

Why would I want to do that? When I asked him what he wanted to talk about, he replied:

A forthcoming online project I’m working on.

Uh-huh. Needless to say, I haven’t called. Another person wants me to read his script:

Please take a look at XYZ.  We are now being read by the Hallmark Channel, Noah Wiley, Erique LaSalle and John Schneider and Albert Brooks’ manager. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why would I want to read the script? What’s the point? And if all those stars are reading the script, what the heck do you need me for anyway (though, in point of fact, the stars aren’t reading the script, their "reader" is reading the script). 

A self-published author wants me to blurb his book:

My first novel is now on sale.  Please see:  I’m writing to request a blurb and any other help you believe is appropriate for its promotion.  I’ve receive several blurbs, including one from XYZ, that I will put on a poster to boost local

Who could resist a note like that? Not only will I blurb it,  I’m going to give him the  deed to my house.

9 thoughts on “Gimme Gimme Gimme”

  1. Um, Lee, those are all from me.
    I was just looking for a little help. You know I’ve always wanted to be the next Shonda Rhimes.
    Though, I did lie… I don’t have a gazillion ideas, only a zillion.
    And, um, I lied about Noah Wiley… it’s his gardener who’s reading it.
    But everything else is true, and I do need your help.

  2. That’s all it takes to get the deed to your house? Here I was trying to get it by buying your books and commenting on your blog. I feel like such a fool.

  3. I’ve only received two pieces of spam email so far: one to review a e-publication and the second to review a travel blog. This is one instance when being unpopular is desirable, although as we are canibals, it made a great blog post.

  4. One of my e-mail accounts is pretty much spam-free. The other, a university account that I used when I worked for Alice James Books but still keep, gets buried in the stuff: advertising solicitations, query letters, scams. I delete it most of it unread, though some of the queries are funny (AJB publishes poetry exclusively, but they get queries and manuscripts from wanna-be writers of fiction, memoir, children’s books, etc).

  5. I have to believe these people (A) don’t read your blog; (B) read your blog, but want to get noticed by riling you; or (C) read your blog, but don’t absorb the messages therein — there’s no need when you’re FABULOUS. Just FABULOUS.

  6. So you’ve given up the deed to your house? Then you are really cleaning the garage to move into it yourself, I would guess. For a free blurb for my next book you can live rent free in my mobile home for one in the person of my blue Saturn wagon. It sleeps one and has a cigarette lighter attachment for your laptop, tv set, cd player and whatever other technology you’d like to install. You could see the country from your living room because you would be carrying it with you.
    Consider this and have your girl call my girl. But first give me some time to get a girl. Well I’ll get back to The Man with the Iron on Badge. A major plot point has occurred (no spoiler here)and I wish to see where it goes.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Jeffrey,
    I visited your site and browsed your listings on Amazon. It looks like you’ve been paying to have your novels produced by iUniverse and others for years. I ask this question with no implied snark whatsoever — have you made any money at it? What percentage of your iUniverse investment have you earned back from sales?


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