Dear Mr. Publisher,
Please don’t publish my book.
You must have thought a ripe one had fallen into your lucky lap when I responded to your first email. You were so clever in structuring it that I never dreamt you weren’t actually writing to me. And when you asked to see my manuscript, I never dreamt you had no idea what my manuscript was, who I was, or whether there was any merit at all in myself or my work.
You must have congratulated yourself on your superior cunning and ability to exploit my trusting nature and naive mind when, during our first phone call, I still didn’t seem to realize that you were playing a game familiar to you but unknown to me. Thinking that you and I were colleagues in the publishing world, and knowing that I was being truthful, it never even occurred to me that you might be lying — by omission or suggestion, if not explicitly.
You must have rubbed your palms together when we ended the call and I still had not caught on to your scam. You imagined me waiting for you to, supposedly, have your editorial and managerial staff evaluate my work for its quality and potential.
I’m not waiting.
You see, having reflected on what was said in your emails and phone call, and having now seen the same emails directed to hundreds, if not thousands, of potential marks, I now understand that no one is evaluating my work or my talent, my craftsmanship or my knowledge, my professionalism or my alacrity. If, indeed, you and your alleged staff have evaluated anything, it would have been my credit rating. You want to be certain I can pay you the thousands of dollars you wish me to “commit” to your publication of my work.
You’re obviously a professional. A professional what, I can’t say. But because you didn’t bother to look at my book, or my bio, or any one of my many author pages online, or my website, you failed to recognize that I, too, am a professional. I have been writing professionally for many years. I was first paid for writing when I was 13 years old. And since that time, I have never paid anyone for my work. Other people pay me for my work.
And so, Mr. Publisher, I would no more allow you to publish my book than I would let you adopt my child. You don’t know, or care to know, its merits and its problems, or how it was created and nurtured, or whether it has siblings. You’ve never even really looked at it. No loving mother would even think of giving you her child under those conditions, and no self-respecting author would think of giving you her book — or her money.
As baby boomers age into retirement, and many of them sit down to write that book they’ve been thinking about for decades, publishers like you will find plenty of amateur writers desperate for publication even if it costs them thousands of dollars. They may not even realize how they are being manipulated and humiliated.
My advice to you is that in the future you do your research, and concentrate on the desperate amateurs who will be receptive to your scheme. Leave the professionals alone, please, to continue their work.
Thank you for being cordial, if not precisely respectful.
Very truly not yours at all,
Author Iris Chacon