Wow, when did people get so rude?????

As some of you might be aware, I'm starting a travel magazine.  For years, I've been a freelancer and I was a stickler for following the rules.  Learning how to pitch a magazine was the one thing I read and studied more than anything else.

Since starting this magazine, it's remarkable to me just how many people don't care about all that.  I've gotten e-mails from people who wrote them poorly, sent me articles in spite of the guidelines saying, "No articles accepted on spec, pitches only to the following e-mail......." and sent them to the wrong e-mail address.

Today, someone sent me an e-mail outside the guidelines and I responded with:

Please visit the magazine’s website and peruse the editorial guidelines.  This is the incorrect e-mail address to send anything like this and the magazine doesn’t not accept articles on spec, just pitches, as is stated in the editorial guidelines.

The response I got from this writer kind of blew me away:

Thank you, but finding Editorial Guidelines under the Advertising link told me all I needed to know about your site! It's not for me - too amateurish.

This is someone who A. Has never been published outside of two books that they self-published and B. didn't bother to read the editorial guidelines BEFORE contacting me.

How am I supposed to feel about their obvious poor manners?  I've been told by numerous people my site is wonderful and it's already gotten the attention of some folks in the international press and media.

Maybe I just needed to vent because I know the right answer to all of this is to consider the source and move on.  I am curious to know what some of you think.  (I'm intentionally not putting the link to the magazine's site here because I don't want this to seem as though I'm plugging the magazine)

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  • LOL, too right!  ;-)

  • And it occurred to me, after I hit "Add Reply" that there have been some pretty reputable magazine who buried their editorial guidelines so deep in their websites it had me wondering if they used a shovel.  I thought I was doing pretty well putting the link on the main page, thereby making it easier to find...

    It's not uncommon for magazines to make them available on through the site map and I considered doing it that way but decided against it.

    I feel they might do this to add a layer of separating the wheat from the chaff.

  • All of you said exactly what I was thinking in my head but I suppose I needed the affirmation.  I thought putting the editorial guidelines under the "Advertise with us" was more than appropriate and for this "pitcher" to use THIS as their basis for slamming me?

    I think, in the future, the e-mails that are obviously not following the rules are going to be deleted, period.

    As I said initially, when I started out, learning how to pitch was the part I spent more time on than anything (if you don't count the four years of college where I learned to write) and it kind of sticks in my craw that people try to circumvent the process.

    Judy Wells - you're so kind to say what you said.  I try to be as professional as possible and it gets hard, sometimes, not to just slam these people with what they deserve.  Thanks for the support.

    Maralyn Hill - I hate writing pitches more than anything else.  It's tedious and makes me want to just go to bed but it's a necessary evil.  My intention with this was, once someone is established as a writer, they didn't need to do the pitches any longer but e-mail me directly when they have a story idea.  That's how I do it now with AAA.  The first article I ever did for them was pitched by the rules.  After that, I e-mailed them directly to the two editors I work with there at the appropriate time.

    Thanks again, all of you, for the back up.  I guess some people are just jerks to the nth degree and, Allan Lynch, you're exactly right and this is something I've been known to say - if they'll treat total strangers like that, imagine how they treat those they know?  Jerks...  Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em.

    • Great last line, Nancy, better than a lot of axioms that make it to Bartlett's. 

  • I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned "poor manners"!

    At least you found out early without wasting one minute of your precious time on this moron...:)

  • Nacy,

    Like Ed, I dislike doing pitch letters, as I pride myself on coming through. However, if the guidelines require pitch letters, that is exactly what I do, like it or not.

    Unfortunately, rudness has been around a long time and will remain. What's good about it? It lets you know who you don't wish to grant an assignment.



  • Nancy,

    The combination of relative anonymity and instant gratification gives bad actors a unique platform on the internet.  On the other hand, you get worldwide exposure to your ideas and writing for almost nothing.  I accept and try to embrace that tradeoff.  With Borders gone and B&N demanding low prices and unlimited returns from my publishers, I don't know how I could sell my books without an ongoing presence on Facebook and many other accommodating Web sites such as yours that provide me with reviews and a place to share my articles.

    What strikes me as most bizarre about your experience is that there isn't even a potential cash payment as you get your online magazine going!



    • I know, right?  It's not as though I'm preventing them from reaching literary heights unheard of in the real world!  For now, it's a magazine hoping to make a dent and get some advertisers so I CAN pay writers.

      Also, Steve, what books do you have?  If they pertain to travel (or might make a good beach or airplane read) I might be interested in reviewing them on the site or in the magazine.

    • Editorial Guidelines are often placed under the Advertising Link. Nothing "amateur" about that at all.

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