Hey, Yo!

Formality. In the age of easy self-publishing and digital books, where has it gone? I understand addressing someone you know pretty well by first name. I understand addressing someone you don’t know by their first name if that’s what they introduce themselves as, or if they have a name tag with only their first name on it.

What I don’t understand, is the finer art of the email query in modern society and the digital age. If you want someone to do you a favor, or consider your work for publishing, or become your agent, your reviewer, your proofreader, editor, whatever role you wish them to play, can you not take the time to at least spell their name correctly and check to see if they even take the kind of work you are trying to push?

Bart Smith is an editor. Now, of course he would never be so narcissistic as to expect anyone to actually address him as Mr. Smith, and certainly not Mr. Smith, Editor in Chief, but he really hopes you will read through your email at least once before sending it, so that you do not end up with this:

“Dear Barf,”

or his other favourite:

“Dear Fart,”

Also, he is a science fiction editor. His profile says so. He has submission guidelines posted clearly on his website. So, please do not send him your book about how to create stunning quilts.

It is hard to get people to notice your work. We all know this. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to stand out. Rather than being cutesy and trying to address another busy person who is simply trying to get through their work day as if you have known them forever, or being funny (because we all know that makes us book professionals laugh,) try getting your foot in the door by spelling our name right. After that, ensure that we take your kind of offering, and find out if there are any other restrictions or guidelines you should be aware of. Are we closed to unsolicited submissions? Do we only accept books or certain kinds of books during specific months of the year? Are we accepting books at all?

I know. Who died and left me the pretentious bitch of the year award? I did. That’s who. I got hit in the head with a random book someone threw at me and it knocked me a good one on the temple. Coma. Very sad for my husband and kids. Please send condolences. When I came back from the other side and chose not to go toward the light, I made a decision. I’ve seen a library the size of Manhattan waiting for me when I die. Shelves and shelves of books that await me. I’ve got a library almost that big now, in fact. And I keep getting more and more queries (if one can call them that–Dear Lonia, Dear Tonia, Dear Reviewer, Hey! Sonia!) The only ones I look at are the ones where the person actually seems to be speaking to me.

A couple of final thoughts. Being careful and addressing someone properly as well as sending a good, clean query where everything is spelled right and geared toward the kind of work the person accepts will get you everywhere.

Do not keep emailing them if they do not respond to you right away. They could be ignoring you for a reason. They might just be busy. You don’t want to become an example used in this blog.

If you are sending out multiple queries at the same time, please remember to use the BCC function in your email. I do not want to know that you sent this email out to a thousand other people. I don’t want their email addresses, and I don’t appreciate them all having mine. Think before you ink.

Sometimes standing out is as simple as being better at the most obvious thing.

Ionia wears a helmet in public now. Don’t make more reviewers paranoid like Ionia.

Love to you all.



14 thoughts on “Hey, Yo!”

  1. I’m with you in everything you said here. Perhaps the “seven years spent at home”, you certainly know the saying in Romania, are no longer en vogue.
    “Please”and “Thank you for your time,” would be such a nice way to show you have respect for the person whose time and attention you are requiring. Unfortunately,no more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very well said, Melanie. πŸ˜› Seriously though, I totally understand how frustrating that is. I mean, an author would hate for his or her name (or the characters’ names) to be messed up in a review or article. Why do it to someone else? Maybe it’s just the age of autocorrect, so people aren’t even trying to review their emails.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ones that really annoy me aren’t even the misspelled names. The ones that begin with “reviewers” are the ones I scoff at the most. Makes me want to reply with “hey author”


      1. Geez. That’s oddly sterile. Be a strange world if we referred to everyone by their career. ‘Hello, butcher’. ‘How ya doin’, dentist?’ ‘See the latest episode of Downtown Abbey, hooker?’

        It’s funny if you think about it. We’re given names upon birth, so people should use them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahaha! Yes, people really do have problems following instructions, and the attention to detail is usually a good indicator that the research in their book is going to be top-notch!!
    I owe you an email. I’ll be sure to attach my book, “How to Build a Tractor in 10 Easy Steps” for your review. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

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