Monday, September 26, 2011
Like Mother Always Said, "Ignore It"
So I got this spiteful email sent to me from an author whose work we rejected. I read this nasty email in which she decided to lambaste "my world" as she put it. I considered a response for about 30 seconds, and then hit "delete". Why am I bringing this up? Well, I've worked in the public eye for quite sometime. I've written editorials for years, and I received my fair share of ridiculous letters to the editor. I'll never forget the one where I wrote an article against software piracy and got a boat load of responses from techies who defended (yes, defended) their right to steal other people's intellectual property. I was so astounded that we live in a world where people can defend their rights to break the law -- and be mad at me for saying they shouldn't. Anyway, I digress ... this person in a way did the same sort of defense about my right to ask people to respect my time. Under the guise of this is just how to do business (another defenseless assertion), she then went on a personal attack. First and foremost, I want to be clear this was an author we rejected for a number of very solid business reasons, and it was an author who pushed the business boundaries and made a number of requests without signing a contract. She treated her relationship with 3L like a free-for-all, and showed a complete unwillingness to understand that without a contract or willingness to respect our standards and advice on what we'll publish, we won't work with her. In the end, I'm sharing this with you as a lesson in business. If you're in the public eye and write for publication, you will get all sorts of attacks. Sometimes an attack will come out of the blue like this one from someone you barely know. You have to have a thick skin. You should not react. It's kind of like mother always said, "Ignore them." If you know what is your mission, stay the course. Stay on your direction. Stay grounded! And in the end, anyone who writes you a nasty note is just bitter and not worth your time.