• By: Jessica Faust | Date: Sep 09 2011

In response to rejections . . .

Jessica F. received this:

I understand this:

Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.

– Jules Renard

Jessica A. received this:

Subject: You Are an A**Hole!

Jessica F. received this in reply to the auto-reply letting authors know the query was received:

Well, that confirms it. Take your form and stick it up your fat stuck-up ass.

. . . and this from the same author in reply to the rejection:

Interesting. You’re not “hooked” yet you waste your time writing back to me. Anyway, the blood will continue to flow at BookEnds and beyond.

. . . and then, because the author continued to reply, he continued to receive the auto-reply about his query being received:

I did not query bookends this time though I did previously. Here’s an idea. How about you get a fucking life, stop sending me these forms actually read the query I sent to you previously.

And so it went:

I don’t mean to tie up your system or anything but this is getting kind of stupid. There must be some human somewhere to stop this madness. How about this? Read my query, feel its urgency and let’s get started. If not, kindly stop your silly forms.

And again:



*** Now, keep in mind that I can go days without checking my queries. Luckily I popped into that mailbox and did finally stop the insanity. Although it was tempting to see how long my computer and this author were going to go at it.


77 responses to “LOL”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I bet your computer got a kick out of it! (and we too)

    Another one with bridges not only burned but bombed to the ground.

  2. Avatar Joyce says:

    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

    With the "blood will continue to flow" comment, you probably could have reported him to the police. Not that it was a real threat, but it would have been satisfying to have the cops knock on his door.

  3. Avatar Lorenda says:

    I'm always impressed that someone would take the time to find BookEnds, find your email address, and write a query – but not find any time to research the query process (you know, the one that includes 'professionalism' as one of the important ingredients). I always feel a little better after reading these – I want to be memorable, but this reminds me it's not always bad to have my email "jump out of the stack"

  4. Avatar Xan says:

    Wow, that's tragic. Can't believe there are human beings like this out there. Idiots like this are really not helping us genuine authors who see rejection as part of the process and a chance to improve. Kudos to agents for putting up with this kind of person and still allowing unsolicited queries!

  5. Wow, that last person was totally clueless. I'm surprised that once he realized it was an autoreply message, he continued to hit Send. Derp.

  6. Avatar Colin Smith says:

    "Hmm… I send messages to this address and get an auto-response each time. I wonder what will happen if I keep sending messages to this same address? Oh, look–auto-responses. Maybe if I send more messages to this address…"

    Talk about not ready to publish–this person isn't ready to walk out the front door!

  7. There's nothing so sad as realizing you missed out on a client to stupid to win an argument with an automated email system.

    How will you go on?

  8. Avatar Redleg says:

    I'm inclined to assume that after he finished fighting with your auto-responder he had a nasty run-in with two vending machines.

  9. Avatar Anonymous says:

    You deal with some rude people. The language alone is enough to offend. It's a wonder any agent ever takes the time to respond when they have to get this in their in-box. On behalf of somewhat sane authors, Thank you for taking the time to respond. At least we know where we stand.


  10. Avatar Michael G-G says:

    I'm glad you found this funny!

    The way people like this act makes life tougher for the saner among us. I even came across one agent writing on her submissions page that the reason she doesn't reply unless interested is because she's found that a "no" brings out venomous responses.

    Of course, the people reading this blog are not the types who need to learn this, but if your query is rejected, move on. If your full is rejected, send a short, polite note thanking the agent for their time–and MOVE ON.

    That completes my rant for the day.

  11. Anonymous 8:06 comment about the computer having a good time suggests a science fiction story that I suspect I would read. πŸ™‚

  12. Avatar Vivi says:

    Seriously? It's so hard to believe that people can be that rude! And STUPID! What an idiot!
    So did you sign him? LOL!

  13. Avatar Ilana D. says:

    I continue to be amazed about how cluelessly rude people can be, with so much pent-up and randomly directed anger.

    I think electronic communication brings out the worst in people — it certainly did in the "comments" section of the web site of the newspaper where I used to work. Bigotry, racism, ad hominem attacks, general nastiness. Sure, in the old pen-and-paper days, you would have gotten people writing back with spleen and obscenity, but I don't think there would have been as many.

  14. Avatar David Klein says:

    Jessica: I don't think you should have stopped it. Just let the interaction go on between computer and human to test the limits of human stupidity. It could make a good case study, somewhere.

  15. Avatar pauraque says:

    I'm baffled. Does he just not understand what "automated" means? Wow.

  16. Avatar Elise B. says:

    My face and my palm meet in defeat.


    Not only is responding to a rejection with rage and personal insults rude, it's illogical.

    I don't understand writers who believe the agent/editor/manager somehow owes them something. It is quite the opposite: you are doing the query writer a favor by accepting unsolicited submissions. You don't have to even respond.

    The worst, however, is when the query writer somehow obtains your office phone number, and continues to pester you saying, "Have you read my query? I want to check on the status of my query submission." Because then you have expend the energy necessary to hunt down that query, and send a formal rejection.

    Something I learned fast as a writer: If you haven't heard back in five months, they're not interested.

    /end hijack rant

  17. Avatar Leila says:

    My mama always said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Or, in this case, write.

    Thanks for sharing, Jessica.

  18. I don't think I could have stopped that. I really want to know how long he would have gone before his head exploded.

    He's like the chatbots talking to each other, only dumber. πŸ™‚

  19. Avatar Elizabeth says:

    "There must be some human somewhere to stop this madness."

    And he didn't realize that human was himself.

  20. Medication could really help this dude.

  21. Thanks for helping me start the day off feeling good as a writer. There are people out there more clueless than me.

  22. Avatar Lori M. Lee says:

    I winced my way through reading that. I can't even imagine how anyone could be that 1. vicious and 2. stupid.

  23. Avatar Laura says:

    It's kinda like watching someone fight with a tree branch…

  24. Avatar Meredith says:

    And you offered representation right? LOL! Sorry, couldn't help it.

  25. This dude this therapy. Brains might help too. I can't believe he didn't figure out what was going on.

  26. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Elizabeth @ 10:56:
    I think you've written the last line for the short story this whole episode could be made into. Bravo! πŸ™‚

  27. Avatar lynnrush says:

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    **shakes head** Some people just don't get it.

    Anyway. Thanks for the Friday morning chuckle. Have a GREAT DAY!

  28. Avatar Victoria says:

    I think the rude and repetitive fellow/gal maybe mistook your computer for Turing Hopper from Donna Andrews's series???

    BTW, I agree with David Klein.

    And Elizabeth's response made me LOL even harder!!

  29. Avatar Robin Weeks says:

    That. Was. Hilarious. Thanks for sharing!

    You were professional enough not to share his name here… but this is the sort of behavior I always imagine would race through the agent grapevine, in a sort of friends-don't-let-friends-sign-jerks sort of way.

  30. That is funny and sad. That person should understand that the automated email is just that.

  31. Avatar Phil Hall says:

    Such is the flaw of automated replies; however, without them, authors might not know that receipt has taken place. What needs doing is a one-time only auto-response, followed by "dump into folder X…"

    Still, no reason to "shit bricks" at you…it's not your fault.

  32. Avatar E.R. King says:

    Wow. Talk about an author with a hot temper. The first response was rude, but by the last one, it was laughable.

  33. Avatar Maggie says:

    I'm glad you can laugh at this–it is definitely funny, but I'm offended on your behalf. You're much more tolerant than I would be. I would definitely have given this person a piece of my mind. On behalf of the rest of us, thank you for sending autoreplies to let us know the query has been received, and for taking the time to let us know politely if the MS is not for you. Please know that most of us appreciate it.

    The rudeness and aggressive stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

  34. Avatar JO says:

    Wonder if he'll drop by here and realise that all your followers are having a laugh at his expense!

  35. Avatar Katherine says:

    That is beyond funny. I'm presuming your auto reply message is a lot like the one we use in my office – it states it's an auto reply message and asks the person receiving it not to reply to that specific email address. We get people who respond anyway but not to the extent that this guy did.

  36. Avatar Angie says:

    I wonder if he thought your name is "Automated Reply"?

    It would have been even more hilarious to see him screaming at his laptop in some Starbucks, threatening to throw hot coffee on it when he got the replies.

  37. For someone trying to make a career with words, he should probably learn what "automated" means. Plus, it'd be a better use of his time to just block your email if they bother him so much, since he can hardly respect to get any sort of positive personal response after that little display.

  38. Avatar laurathewise says:

    I seriously hope these people read your blog and see this post. XD

  39. Avatar SBJones says:

    You should set it up to do a broadcast of some sort if they reply to the auto-reply.

  40. There must be something terribly wrong with me, because I got nothing but complete joy out of reading this post. Thanks for the laughs. You and BookEnds rock big time.

  41. Avatar Lindsey Bell says:

    It blows my mind that authors can be so hateful. I'm glad you're able to get a laugh from their unkind remarks. On behalf of all of us authors who do NOT behave that way, I apologize for their behavior.

  42. Oh man. I was totally cringing through all of that.

  43. Avatar Sara says:

    ROFL. Thanks for the seriously awesome LOL. πŸ™‚

  44. Wow. Just…wow.

    (And here I thought lawyers had all the crazy would-be clients!)

  45. Although it was tempting to see how long my computer and this author were going to go at it.

    You had me laughing and laughing. You nailed the title of this post, that's for sure.

  46. Oh, my…..
    And he probably still doesn't understand why no one will publish him.


  47. Avatar Jus Accardo says:

    Wow… Just… I don't even know what to say. What a dork!

  48. Avatar Kym says:

    I find it incredible that anyone could be so rude to anyone.

  49. An example of what's known as "tilting at windmills." And not in a good way.

  50. Avatar G says:

    Clueless in whatever state that individual happens to reside in.

    In a funny twist of fate, my word verify is "pings".

  51. Do you keep a list of authors who send rude emails so that if they dare query you again you know not to work with them?

  52. Avatar Kelly Shire says:

    Too funny! Could be the beginning of a Twilight Zone episode.

  53. Avatar Lita says:

    Amazing. I wonder how he deals with revolving doors.

  54. I'd have so kept him and the computer at it for as long as it took to either burn the circuitry or wear his fingers into submission.

    That was not only funny as hell, but a sad reminder that not all competition in this game is created equal.

    Hey, more odds in favor of we who know how it should be done.

  55. Avatar Tim Kane says:

    Somehow I don't think this author will be represented anytime soon. My gosh, what an attitude.

  56. Avatar newmancht says:

    Oh man…that was the most hilarious damn thing I've read in ages. What a MORON!!! Post more of those please…humor is in short supply these days.

  57. Avatar Lyndsay says:

    LOL is right! That is just crazy. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George leaves numerous messages with increasing mania on a girl's answering machine. He then, of course, has to find a way in so that he can attempt to destroy her machine's tape…

  58. Why would someone waste the energy emailing an auto-reply? He could have used that time sending out additional queries. Astonishing…

  59. First of all, thank you for sending an auto reply to say a query was received. The Internet swallows too many.

    Second of all, that's hilarious. You were generous, or wanting to end the laughter that made your stomach ache, in stopping it for him.

  60. The only thing funnier than the post was the comments! My favorite = That was like watching someone fight a tree branch.


  61. In a lot of ways this is really sad, I mean, what was this person thinking, how dumb could they honestly be?
    But seriously, some people's comments here had me falling off my chair laughing. Thanks for sharing. Some days I feel crazy doing this gig and something like this makes me realize its okay because I'm not THAT crazy.

  62. I certainly don't envy you and I know that it must stink to receive so much hate, but thanks for sharing because it made me giggle on an otherwise kind of sad morning.

  63. Avatar Anonymous says:

    But why did you stop it? Think how much more entertainment you could have derived from watching him argue with an automated reply bot!

  64. Sometimes the ghost in the machine gets naughty. And funny!
    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  65. It takes all kinds I susppose. I deal with people like this everyday and they never cease to amaze me.

    Apart from wasting your time, it was pretty funny.

  66. I worked in retail for 20 years. People being rude and doing incredibly stupid things is like water off a duck's back. But it definitely helps to have a sense of humour about it all =)

  67. Kym said, "I find it incredible that anyone could be so rude to anyone." But Kym, he was being rude to a computer! That's even more incredible. LOL.

  68. Had the first chuckle of the day. Revise, had the first gut-busting laugh of the day. Final Revision, LMFAO while ROFL. Thanks, BookEnds, but don't auto-reply to this… ~Kathleen Kat McLaughlin~

  69. All I can say is "Oh dear, oh dearie, dearie, dear."
    What a poor little lamb. Someone should volunteer to go round and give him a big hug. Though you might want to wear kevlar.

  70. Avatar Amie Borst says:

    maybe this is selfish – but this makes me FUMING mad! i totally get being upset and feeling frustrated – i'm sure every author has felt that way at some point or another. the difference is we let it out by eating chocolate and getting on with our lives. it's jerks like him that ruin it for the rest of us and make good agents turn to policies that they otherwise might not have needed to.

  71. Oh dear.

    I feel so very lucky that at R&T we've never received a nasty email back from one of our rejection letters, or receipt letters! It's difficult enough sending out rejections without being blasted for it.

  72. Avatar Mark Fenger says:

    And here I was thinking I was rude for accidentally querying the same person twice within three months!

    I can empathise, but not condone what he's doing. Querying is super-stressful. I'm glad to be over that hurdle, hopefully for good, but I think it's sort of a sick joke. Take a group of people who have far higher than normal emotional sensitivity, put them in an environment of oppressive, failure and rejection and see who's strong enough to survive, yet sensitive enough to still write so passionately that the reader can feel it.

    To be clear I don't blame agents for the way things work. This has always been the way for most forms of art.

  73. Avatar Sonia Lal says:

    That's hilarious.