Tuesday, September 09, 2008

really entertaining way of dealing with too many fans

One of my colleagues forwarded this very funny article about Robert Heinlein, the sci-fi/fantasy author, and his "very nerdy" solution for dealing with all his fan mail. He got too much to respond to personally, but felt bad about not responding. So he and his wife generated this awesome form letter in which he could simply check the boxes that applied.

You can get a larger version of the letter on the article I've linked to.

My colleague proposes editors develop a form rejection letter inspired by Robert and his wisdom.

20 comments:

ChrisEldin said...

This is brilliant!!

I've always wished agents would have a similar checklist when rejecting manuscripts--something just a notch above a form rejection.
:-)

Froog said...

Yes, that was very funny.

Perhaps we all ought to do one for our sidebars, to dispense with comment acknowledgement.

Susan said...

ABSOLUTELY you should do rejection forms that way. If I'm going to be rejected, it would go down easier if I was laughing at least...or could console myself that at least I hadn't received the most gruesome of your checkboxes!

Do one up for fun, anyhow, and let's see it?

The Anti-Wife said...

I think this is you should procede with this idea. We could probably come up with lots of categories for you.

Precie said...

Nice! Ooh, and it would take care of the "Could you pass this on to another editor there?" problem. One checkbox could simply say, "No, I cannot pass this on to my colleagues."

I wish I could draw up one of these just for my everyday life!

JeanieW said...

Highlights for Children magazine uses a checklist. It's helpful to see the reason for the rejection -- to know why your work isn't a good fit for them right now. It can also be encouraging to see all the reasons for rejection on the list that weren't checked -- to realize you're not as clueless as some of the people they've been hearing from.

cindy said...

haha! if only we all had heinlein's "problem". pure genius!

Precie said...

lol--jeanie, I hadn't thought of it that way! now i like it even more!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I've gotten checklist rejections before. You know, I've only written two fan letters. One was to John D. MacDonald and I never got a response. Of course, I didn't include an SASE either. I was like 15. The other was one of those, I'm not asking for anything or a response letter.

Natalie said...

Awesomeness in its purest form.

Linnea said...

My novel is in high school reading programs and I am inundated with emails from students doing book reports. At first I replied on an individual basis but it became too time consuming. Thankfully we live in the age of the computer. I put up a website, answered the most frequently asked questions and I add to them as new questions arise. It works great. I don't have to repeat myself and the students get all the information they need.

EmmaK said...

very good idea. I will use the list if I ever become a famous scribe.

Pamala Knight said...

That was so funny! Thanks for sharing.

Carrie Harris said...

I think every profession should have one of these. I'd probably get a quicker response from my cable company than I do by waiting on hold for umpteen days. :)

Hilarious!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I'll remember to keep a copy of this - might come in handy one day! ;-)

Colorado Writer said...

Hilarious, now why can't my kid's teacher fill one out instead of forcing me to attend teacher conferences every 8 weeks or whatever?

A. Your kid is a joy in my class and gets straight A's.
B. Your kid picks his nose all the time and smells funny, but other than that he's doing fine.
C. Your kid was voted most likely to work at McDonalds.
D. I've never seen your kid in my life.

writtenwyrdd said...

I am given to understand when I read about form rejections that this, too, will create some snarky responses. You'll never win, I'm sure. But I wouldn't mind a form rejection for myself, because I'd know where my rejection stood in the editor/agent's mind, which is at least somewhat helpful.

writtenwyrdd said...

I forgot to mention I wrote one fan letter once and received the unexpected reply from the author's husband saying that she had died and how much he appreciated the fan mail. A personal response and I didn't expect one.

Snarky Writer said...

That's awesome. I printed that out and posted it in my cubicle. My co-workers think it's hilarious, too.

Thanks for sharing!

ChewySweet said...

Hilarious and ingenious.