The Mail I Get

The clueless desperation of some aspiring writers is absolutely cringe-inducing. Here's a recent example from my emailbox:

Hi…I know you are busy…but…would you at least read my bio with a very short paragraph from my novel and give me some suggestion on how to have an agent read something? Please…I am not asking you a lot…I've attached my bio, and if you are interested…please…would you give it to your agent for me? Thank you for taking the time to read.

I politely declined to read her bio or the sample from her book. She didn't take the hint. A short time later she wrote back to me:

Hi Lee, I apologize for bothering you again.. I remember you told me that you didn't want to read my book…but I was wondering if you could give it to your agent to read… It's really important, my true story and I really believe it's a very good one…have a look at my blog at least to be sure I'm good…would you do that?

No, I told her, I would not.

What makes people think that I routinely forward work by strangers to my agent? I don't want my agent spending his time reading work by strangers. I want him out there finding work for me!  

That's not to say I haven't referred writers to my agent. I have. But they have always been good friends or students of mine that I know well and who I can vouch for as writers and as great human beings.  I have never referred strangers to my agent and never will. So don't ask.

4 thoughts on “The Mail I Get”

  1. “Clueless” and “Desperation,” absolutely. But also what about just plain rude and intrusive? And while I’m at it: don’t forget insensitive.
    As the song from “Chicago” goes: What Ever Happened To Class? (Now that everyone’s a pain in the ass.) And that was back in the 70’s!
    The situation has improved since then? Really? Ya think? lol

  2. Yikes. I did that very thing back in the day. My variation was to send a fan letter to some writers and ask if they might look at my story–which I did NOT include.
    They never wrote back, though. Bang went that SASE.
    To be fair, they were editors for a collection of media tie-in stories and had talked about reading lots of submissions, so I was on the right track.


Leave a Comment