Yes, I get mail. Yes indeed.
Good afternoon. I hope this email finds you well. I am a book reviewer, blogger, and a HUGE fan of your writing. I am sending you this message to inquire about the possibility of receiving a signed copy of your book STRANGE ANGELS. It would truly mean the world to me. I would also like to interview you the same time my review of your book goes live. I appreciate your time and attention and hope to hear from you soon.
*address of person redacted*
Well, putting your address on is a bit…optimistic. Still, Redacted says s/he’s a “HUGE” fan. I’d really like to help Redacted out. I wish I could.
Unfortunately, I get so many of these requests I could easily go bankrupt paying postage if I acquiesced to them all. I don’t have the money or infinite free time, and it already says on my site that interview requests need to go through the publishers for just that reason. Still, I want to be kind. So, my reply:
Dear Mr/Ms *redacted, since the name was gender-neutral*,
Thank you very much for reading! And thank you for your kind words.
Unfortunately, I no longer mail out signed copies, as the cost of postage for the number of requested copies has become prohibitive.
Lili St. Crow
Usually that’s the end of it. Occasionally people offer to send SASEs, which is fabulous and makes me hurry to the post office. But imagine my surprise when another terse missive landed, from a different name altogether, but still in the same email thread, with the former emails tacked below.
Do you have any swag you could send?
Sent from my iPhone
Oh dear. Oh, dear me. Just from your iPhone? Things seemed to have become informal rather quickly, dearest Redacted. And this is a little…suspicious.
Dear Mr/Ms *second redacted name*,
I am a little confused. First it is a signed book for a huge fan, now it’s asking for swag? I am not at all sure what’s going on here. But no, I am not in the habit of mailing out a great deal of promotional items. Again, the cost of postage on such items is prohibitive, and there is no return (if any) on them. My time is better spent writing books. Thank you for your inquiry.
Apparently this was not what this particular Redacted wanted to hear. The next time there was no “dear”, no name (either of them) and no signature.
Yes, I inquired about receiving a signed copy, but since you couldn’t provide one, I thought you could send a bookplate or bookmark. Now do you understand what’s going on or do I need to break it down slowly for you? You should appreciate your fans because if it weren’t for them, no one would buy your books and therefore you would not get paid. You
shouldn’t complain about $2.00 postage when your books are sold for $16.99 (US). I’m glad you revealed your rude, pretentious personality. You can guarantee I will never contact you again and I will definitely not purchase anymore of your books. Maybe I can use the ones I already own as fire kindling this winter. Please don’t contact me again, you’re not worth the time it’s taking to write this message.
I do appreciate my fans. Every day I sit down and I open up a vein, and I write stories for them. Apparently dear Redacted thinks all writers are positively swimming in cash and free time. Some of them may be, but I’m definitely not. I could explain exactly how much of that cover price I see per book, and how much is overhead for the publisher, and also send a detailed breakdown of my finances and income. But why bother? Something tells me Redacted is furious at not receiving something for free, and that is a species of entitled rage no amount of fact or kindness will soothe.
Regardless, I bear no ill will.
Dear Mr/Ms *redacted second name*,
Thank you so much for informing me of your intentions. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours.
Poor Redacted. S/he just can’t catch a break. As for me, now I go back to work.
And people wonder why I don’t answer more mail…