Over the years, as an editor and agent, I have built a pretty good-sized author beware file. This file is made up of interesting and usually angry letters and emails from authors. Often they are in response to rejections or other correspondence we’ve had. No matter what the situation, the letters always give me insight into the personality and professionalism of the author, letting me know that this is not someone I want to work with. From time to time I’m going to dig out one of those letters and post some of what was said. And, of course, I’m going to comment.
This is probably not the most exciting author beware letter I have posted to date, but it has been a while and I do think they are fun. Keep in mind, as always, that all typos are taken directly from the letter. (The letter writer’s comments are in italics; mine follow in brackets.)
I knew the minute I saw my SASE that it was going to be a rejection and when I saw that you used recycled paper [BookEnds letterhead is on heavy recycled paper that actually resembles our blog; apparently that’s offensive] I was shocked. I recycle too [and she did here by handwriting this note on the rejection I sent].I use toilet paper rolls as hair rollers(no lie). [Hmmm, I’m not sure what to make of that random piece of information.] I never thought I would write a novel, but everyone suggested I do so, many even telling me to go directly to the publisher. I am overwhelmed by the process and after seeing what is being published I feel the only reason I’m being rejected is because I’m inexperienced.