Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh please, by Terry Burns

Give me a break. I get several hundred emails a day, it comes with the territory. Lots of them require some sort of response. So I give it whatever consideration it needs and send the response and the email bounces, or up pops some sort of spam protection that requires me to fill out some form or jump through hoops or something. Or perhaps instead of the information I need in the email it points me to a bunch of online sites where I can spend time browsing through stuff looking for what I need to see.

Not going to happen.

I've already seen what I need to see, I see someone who does not bother to look at and comply with  our submission guidelines. Or someone who does not care enough about their writing career to provide a nice clean way to respond, maybe one that they do not use on casual email so it doesn't require all sorts of protection on it. Editors and agents are inundated with mail and are not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to respond to somebody. We're going to spend that time on people sending us great projects and are carefully providing us with what we want to see the way we want to see it, exactly as we carefully lay it out in those submission guidelines.

Yes, I did intentionally pick my 'stern' picture to use here. I just spent a significant amount of time responding to a guy and pointing him to another person who would be better for him to send his proposal to in our agency. But he'll never see that response because the email bounced back to me. It says his server doesn't accept an email from me. OK, I did my job, I answered it.

The only thing I hate about it is he will never know that I offered him a better opportunity for his book. He will just think I'm one of those jerks that don't answer emails.

So be it.


Rick Barry said...

Terri, I echo the sentiment against email address that automatically bounce the message back and require us to fill in special forms requesting permission to write to that address. Such a nuisance. The owners of such addresses probably forget they have those measures in place, but if someone wants spam protection, gmail and other providers offer that filter for free.

We'll look forward to your less stern image another time.

sally apokedak said...

:) Love that stern look.

I don't have the amount of email you do, but I do hate when I take the time to write a comment on a blog and then the comment gets wiped out when I hit the "submit" button. Or some of the comment forms that require registration or other hoops that are just too much trouble. So I understand your frustration, I think.

It's enough to make you stop responding altogether, and that's a bummer.

Anonymous said...

Love your mean, fed-up look. That'll get your message across! Glad you have another posted picture that shows the real you.

Becky Doughty said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I HATE the hoops and I'm not solicited daily by hundreds of emails! I just want to add a blog to my reader or read a wee story about something cool... but if I have to do more than type in some squiggly letters, I'm over and out. I KNOW we have to be careful about spammers and hammers and all those other "-ammers" but I'm with you. Grrrrrr.

Marilyn Turk said...

Hi Terry,
I can't wait to meet you, even if you do look scary! But I do agree with your comments. I don't understand why I sometimes have to guess the squiggly letters several times before something goes through. I'm with you on that - Nevermind - it wasn't that important anyway!

Linda Glaz said...

Oh, be honest. All your pictures are super scary! You eat prospective clients alive.
Great post and you could have said SOOOOO much more, but you're just too nice! Stern picture, indeed!