I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to your exceptional staff. My name is XXXXXX and I am a longtime fan of your outstanding publication. At this time, I would like to submit to you, for your consideration of publication, my short story XXXXX.
OK, so he is a “longtime fan” who doesn’t know my gender. I’m not exactly an anonymous wallflower. And “Julie” isn’t an ambiguous name gender-wise. But whatever. It’s not the first time someone went with the generic “dear sir” thing so I can forgive that. Let me just read the story and decide…oh wait. This attachment isn’t his story. I read the second part of the query.
Before submitting my copyright-protected work, however, I would kindly request that you please read and sign the attached disclosure agreement. As I am sure you and your fine staff are aware, there are a lot of unscrupulous people on the internet that steal other writers’ work and try to pass it off as their own. In order to protect my rights, I must insist that you return the disclosure before I can allow you to read my work.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.
So the attachment is a disclosure and non-compete agreement. Which says, in part:
I hereby agree that I will not attempt to infringe on XXXXX rightful copyright claims by attempting to publish this story, or similar stories, under a different author’s name or my own name without the author’s full permission.
I also got this beauty over the weekend.
Dear Ms. Dawson
My name is XXXX and I would like to submit the my book, XXXXXXX, to you for review. I am aware of the fact that you do not actively solicit books for review due to incidents with certain self-published authors. But I was hoping that since my book is not self-published, but through a traditional publisher, you would give it consideration.
Now at least here is someone who did a little research. I can appreciate that. She bothered to read my blog, understands I’m not doing reviews anymore, but politely asked anyway under the hope that I might consider a traditionally published book. I figured I’d be nice (which is unfortunately often my first mistake), and tell her even though I’m not doing reviews I’d be happy to post an excerpt of the book in the newsletter. So I click on the link to get more information about the book before making the offer (to make sure it was actually something my readers might be interested in).
Now I don’t know what definition of “traditionally published” she is using, but when your publishing company has the same last name as you and the only books published through it are books by you and what I assume to be your husband or relative as you have the same last name, then you probably shouldn’t tell me your book is “traditionally published.”
I mean, maybe on paper it is possible. Maybe you paid yourself an advance and offered yourself a royalty? Can you sign a publishing agreement with yourself? And who do you sue if the publisher doesn’t pay you?