May 5, 2008 at 1:48 pm 4 comments


I’m probably going to bore you to death with this post. My true funny happens once every other month. So, I’m going to try and keep it short and painless.

The one thing I hate about publishing are form rejections.(A very close second is the waiting) My personal opinion is form rejections are just rude.

Case in point. How many of you read this line and just wanted to scream?:

Dear Author

Okay, really I understand you are busy. I understand there are probably hundreds, maybe thousands of queries waiting to be read and rejected by you. But for the love of God is it just so hard for you to insert a person’s name?

Yeah, I know I’m probably sinking my own little row boat with this post both by publishers and agents, but I’m sorry. Stop reading now and go pen my rejection. Go ahead and do this DEAR “AUTHOR”, when you send that rejection. But I’m soooo getting this off my chest. (Sorry Lani and Sam. I know you said no rants.)

I digress.

So why does this irk me to no point of return? Why do I think the neutral term is rude, because I’m sure some agents/publishers really want to write Dear Person who writes utter Crap. I’m sure the one agent/editor who is reading right now is going Dear Person who likes to Sink there own career

The reason: I’ve done my homework. If I could I would have called your next of kin and asked what type of person you were. I then would call your third grade teacher and ask, “what kind of student was _____?” Just to know if you are the right person to handle my work. I’ve tripled checked that I’ve spelled your name right, the agencies name, and address is correct. That includes editors and their publishers name and address. And then I get:

Dear Author

Insert eye twitch I have a name for goodness sakes. It says so on my birth certificate. Really, I’m not asking much. You can give me the rest of the form. I won’t take offense to the best wishes or even the good luck with your future submissions That I can understand. You’re telling me “we don’t fit”. I’m not even asking for a rejection with feedback. Yes, if you do that for every single person you wouldn’t have time to acquire new work.

Okay, if that’s not swaying you. How fast do you send the rejection when you read that query that starts off:

Dear Agent/Editor,

You move faster than the speed of light. You probably think to yourself, “how unprofessional”, “he/she is probably sending this mass e-mail”. You probably even check to see if the author is.

So, all I’m saying Dear Author leaves a lot to be desired. It actually leaves me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure the little 5 by 10 you insert in my SASE was a very good business decision. You read it, don’t like it, you stuff envelope. Or for the savvy editor/agent. You read it, don’t like it, cut and paste.

But for the love all things are holy it’s okay to use two seconds of your time to write: Dear Melissa Blue

I’m open to comments. If you want you can write anonymously. But I’m sure there won’t be any. Told you today’s post wouldn’t be comment worthy.


Entry filed under: agents, editors, publishing woes, rant.


4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  May 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Baby that’s just prep for all the times AFTER you sell that your editor (you know the one who liked your book and allegedly wanted to work with you), their assistant and/or your agent ignores you.

    Trust me there are mucho worse things than being called “Dear Author”

    Case in point, I recently heard a NY published author say this: They keep you in the dark and occasionally throw you bread. Now granted, she could have been talking about Christmas with her in-laws but she wasn’t. I’m sure you can figure out who (what) she was talking about.

  • 2. Mel  |  May 5, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Yup, there are worse things to be called than “Dear Author”, but then again he/she must have been thinking of you when he/she penned their note. I’m one of those sick individuals who’d rather be called butthead then “one of the ones who sprung from my loins”

    As for your example: OUCH!

    I completely understand this is a business. I’m questioning the “usual” business pratices. I mean even when you get rejected by a credit card company, cellphone comglomerate (sp?) They at least say, Dear “Your Name” and then go on to tell you your credit is so bad Jesus Christ wouldn’t vouch for you.

    Lastly, thanks for your comments anon.

  • 3. Marianne Arkins  |  May 6, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I’m just commenting cuz you said no one would *G*

    I don’t have much to contribute because I can see both sides.

    But, hey. I commented.

  • 4. Mel  |  May 6, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Marianne-Thanks for commenting. And I totally see both sides. I know this one post isn’t going to make waves and change agents/editors minds. I really just wanted to point it out. You know the whole it’s my party and I can cry if I want to.

    Again, thanks for being brave.

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