Form rejections: This Is Why

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Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby FranW » 15 Sep 2012, 07:25

I often hear authors moaning about form rejections. They don't say anything useful! They're insulting! Why can't the agent or editor just scribble a few helpful words? Or, worse, the 'no reply is a rejection' policy. Why can't agents have the decency to send even a form rejection? Why won't editors and agents enter into any kind of converstion with authors, for Pete's sake?

This is why.

Because most authors are normal decent human beings, but a small proportion are not. And because each editor and agent may be queried by thousands, even tens of thousands, of authors each year, that small proportion of 'not-normal-decent' adds up to a fair number of nutjobs.

Agents and editors do get responses to their form rejections, and most of those letters aren't pretty. The nutjobs who are sure they are geniuses, or who believe they are entitled to literary representation based on their obvious superiority, aren't much fun to deal with. Here's a cautionary tale:

Less than 24 hours ago, agent Pam van Hylckama was attacked in her car. The guy came up and knocked a side mirror off, then when Pam unrolled the window to talk to him, he began slamming her head against the steering wheel. Luckily Pam's dog was there to help protect her, biting the man and causing him to flee. Pam later called the police at the urging of a family member.

Then they realized that it might not be a random attack. As stated above, Pam works as an agent and as such, both declines and accepts manuscripts and authors on a regular basis. The police believe that the guy that assaulted her (who is unnamed so far) was someone that she turned down. A look through her email showed that she'd received emails that said the normal "I hate you and I want you to die and I'll kill you". Pam had sort of just ignored those for the most part since agents get these all the time, but apparently the guy who sent these also had priors against him. The police then used the address the guy gave in his query to go to his house, where they discovered him with a bite mark on him from Pam's dog. The guy is now officially in police custody.

http://mybookgoggles.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... n-pam.html

Apparently the gut stalked Pam via Twitter, Foursquare and other social media locaters.

So, yeah. Form rejections? This is why.
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby PaulaO » 15 Sep 2012, 13:41

In this day and age of being able to communicate on so many different levels, means it is more and more difficult to stay safe. Facebook will make a map point of where you are when you make a post with a mobile device that has location service. Or if the public network you are using has such a service. I noticed this when I posted on FB while in Minneapolis and used the hotel's wifi.

I got an invite the other day for a Facebook group. It's sole purpose is to bitch about bad reviews. I think it just adds fuel to weirdos already roaring fire.
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby ElaineB » 16 Sep 2012, 00:52

PaulaO wrote:I got an invite the other day for a Facebook group. It's sole purpose is to bitch about bad reviews.

Oh, man, what a happy group that must be. :no:
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby Sacchi » 16 Sep 2012, 02:21

Why do I suspect that the bitching is not necessarily about badly written reviews?

I'm in the process of writing a review of a badly written book. I can find some redeeming features, mainly in terms of what loyal readers of this writer seem to like (and put up with,) and I can blame the publisher for the complete (and outrageous) lack of editing, but it's a struggle. It's my first review on a fairly major site, and I wish I didn't have to be negative, but the site prides itself on being honest, and previous reviews of this writer's books have noted the same problems I see. The writer (or her publisher) keeps sending them her books, so I guess my review won't come as a surprise. It's exposure, at any rate.

(The funny thing is that I was on the verge of blogging about how unfair it is for reviewers to say that they seldom read erotica because it's all trash, but to their great surprise the particular book they're reviewing is actually quite good. I've seen this on many reviews of books I've had work in, or even edited. And now, reviewing a book from a fairly well-known writer and one of the relatively major e-book publishers, I'm realizing that those reviewers looking down their noses at erotica may even be right. Sigh.)
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby Baker » 16 Sep 2012, 09:18

ElaineB wrote:Oh, man, what a happy group that must be. :no:

Truth! :-o Can you imagine a group of authors (of varying accomplishment) getting together to moan and bitch about reviews (and reviewers)?
Sacchi: Oh, yes.


Sacch wrote:And now, reviewing a book from a fairly well-known writer and one of the relatively major e-book publishers, I'm realizing that those reviewers looking down their noses at erotica may even be right. Sigh.

You know that's not fair. Every genre has good and bad. And name me any genre that doesn't have a prominent or extremely well-selling author who writes crap? Erotica suffers because of attitudes towards sexuality, not because it has more than its share of dreadful authors. (Although, I wonder if it may attract more bottom-feeder authors because it pays better than lots of other forms?)

As for the original post in this thread: F#$k. Woman gets assaulted for doing her job by some lose screw man because he feels his entitlement has not been observed. Sometimes, I do love human beings. </sarc>
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities ~ Voltaire
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby FranW » 16 Sep 2012, 11:28

Baker wrote: Can you imagine a group of authors (of varying accomplishment) getting together to moan and bitch about reviews (and reviewers)?

Easily. It's called STGRB (stop the Goodreads bullies). They have their own website: http://stopthegrbullies.com/who-we-are/

Here's a tale about one of them: http://www.pocketfulofbooks.com/2012/06 ... dly-6.html
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby PaulaO » 16 Sep 2012, 12:39

For any negative reviews I get, I promise to never complain about the reviewer in a public format. The review itself, maybe, but not the reviewer who wrote it. And if the two cannot be separated, then I will not say anything.

As to the Bad Reviews FB group, the posts are public. And, like one writer said, her nasty post about a bad review showed up on her RSS feed. Duh.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/276774875766991/
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby ElaineB » 17 Sep 2012, 00:57

Maybe that just changed, but it's not a public page now, at least.
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby ElaineB » 17 Sep 2012, 01:00

I just got a rejection, by the way. Very nice, by rejection standards: cute, but felt part of a longer piece, didn't seem a standalone. Fair enough.
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Re: Form rejections: This Is Why

Postby FranW » 17 Sep 2012, 07:22

PaulaO wrote:For any negative reviews I get, I promise to never complain about the reviewer in a public format. The review itself, maybe

I honestly don't think there is any way for any author to publicly respond to any review without doing more harm than help to her reputation.
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