Some of you are familiar with my posts yesterday about a certain “gentleman” who emailed both me and one of our authors, offering to “correct” one of RHP’s books. And some of you may remember a few months ago when I emailed a webmaster about errors on his site, things like capitalizing common nouns in the middle of sentences, incorrect grammar such as “had ran,” and things like that. I was polite, mentioned that he’d have a lot more credibility if his site was error-free, and offered to help when he told me that he couldn’t afford an editor and wasn’t sure what and how to fix it. He was very grateful, and we went on to have a nice conversation about books and writing.
First, my email to the webmaster was polite; the “gentleman’s” was not. Second, the webmaster had many errors; our book does not. The “gentleman” was hell bent on changing the present tense of the book, in first person, to past tense. That was his sole issue. But that’s not what he said.
He started with this: “If you need more than an editor – a creative editor to enhance your books […] – then please contact me.”
So I asked why, specifically, he was contacting me and were his attachments submissions. He said no, and went on:
“The point is that your product […] is therefore not an attractive book and parents can tell a good book from a mediocre one. But a mediocre book can be turned into a best seller simply by good editing and rewriting by a competent author once the story plot has been approved by you as a publisher.”
Quite frankly, I was flabbergasted. I probably wasn’t very nice when I wrote him back, but in my defense, I hadn’t had my coffee yet. And not only did his tone come across as smug, but he attached two other “examples” of his own work and informed me that he’d be willing to work as our editor because obviously we needed one.
The whole thing devolved quickly, and yes, I could have let it go but his ego-filled attitude was annoying. To say the least. Perhaps I should mention that he’s a non-US writer? And English is not his native language? And that his writing was stilted and boring? That’s not the problem though – when I declined his offer, and mentioned that firing off non-correction “corrections” is probably not the best way to land a job, he said I was stupid. And my books were stupid. And that only people with big egos would turn down HIS work. And that’s obviously why I was angry. Oh, and he called me an ass.
Them’s fighin’ words, Hoss!
Really, I have no idea if he even knows about my own books, or other RHP books. Of course I checked him out, and he’s on no social media under this name, no blog, one portfolio page with half a dozen “samples,” and very little info can be found anywhere about his background or education. He’s nobody.
And yes, I laughed at him. Virtually. Via email. He was not happy. But wait, there’s more!
“I just took a second look at my edited version of your first two pages and I am horrified that you have a book out as a published author and yet do not feel any revulsion at the fact that I had come up with so many corrections within just the first 2 pages – and that too only for English usage leave alone the dialog and other creative aspects.”
I’ve marked all his email as spam, which means that yes, I do see it when I check the spam folder, but it’s not in-my-face and I can ignore it. However, yesterday I got an email from Google saying that he wanted to forward all his email to my personal email account. Huh? Why?
But this morning, I received a short note from him informing me that he had had Google block all my email to him and it was set to delete. Fine by me. Not like we’re buds or anything. So I think he was just confused, which means not only does he not know diddly about editing or interpersonal communication, but he’s pretty clueless in the operation of basic email.
I…don’t even know where to start with this, so I think I’ll settle for making the face and backing away slowly.
Yes. That. Exactly what I did after his second email…
Insulting people and getting on their nerves is not the best way to land their business.
Beautiful article, Robin! Well said. Be bold, he’s a troll. Be fearless. Ignore, block and laugh. “:))
I like your handling of this situation 😀 I don’t even know what I would have done. Probably followed my brother’s advice, which is to “hit them with a ‘lol’ and ignore them”.
Thanks! The smart thing, sadly, would probably have been to ignore him from the start. But… oh, well!
Robin, I doubt I could have left well enough alone either. The first emails were akin (is that really a word?) to offering to change your baby’s facial features before you show him/her to the public. The others were simply showing you how ignorant he really is. (Ended sentence with a verb – sorry.)