Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, May 3, 2007

This Is Not a Recording

As I mentioned in another post, I respond quickly to queries, and this has led some people to apparently think that either I have some sort of automated system that detects queries and rejects them automatically or that I, myself, am a machine. Many times people actually "test" whether my responses are real, either by sending a hostile e-mail or by directly accusing me of having an auto-rejecter.

I really really don't like to pick on aspiring writers, I know it's not a easy, it's tough dealing with rejection, and I try to make it as painless as possible for people, hence this blog.

But.

If I could invent a query machine that could reliably detect a query in my inbox, decide whether it's good or bad, send an appropriate response and not inundate everyone who e-mails me with random rejection letters, trust me -- I'd be standing in line at the patent office dreaming of the millions I'll make off of my artificial intelligence super-duper e-mail reader. If I myself were a machine I would be standing in line at the patent office patenting myself.

Step away from the science fiction novel, my friends. This is all real.






20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows you're real. Only a real person could be so cruel as to ask writers to pick only one favorite book in their Wednesday blog post.

Nathan Bransford said...

Anon-

Your response made my circuits light up and my gears outputted a laugh.

Laurel Amberdine said...

A randomized autorejecter could be awesome though. Especially if it inserted random critiques.

"Consider adding more romance."

"The antagonist needs to be more subversive."

"Your metaphor is too overt."

Just imagine the bewildered rejectomancy!

sylvia said...

Oooh, auto-prompting. I think I'll put laurel's list on a post-it and reference it every time I stall. ;)

Annalee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annalee said...

Of course you're a robot-- no real person could reject the deathless prose of your many quieriers. Their mothers thought their work was wonderful, and their mothers are real. Therefore, you must not be real.

Do you weigh the same as a duck, by chance? Because we've got policies about that too.

Seriosuly, though, how do you get back to us all so fast? I know individual queries don't actually take that long to read, but they've gotta pile up. Near as I can figure, you're either a superfast reader or you're one of those multitaskers that can read queries, send text messages on your homeboy phone, and kick someone out of your car all at the same time.

((sorry, there was a grammar issue that was bugging the heck out of me, so I deleted the previous comment to correct it)

PattiTheWicked said...

So was that RoboNathan that wrote that post, or Real Nathan?

Only his stylist knows for sure.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could say my mother liked my work. Wouldn't even read it (she likes mysteries, not fantasy). Deflating to the ego, that.

So what's the next pick-one-and-only-one question? Favorite character?

CMonster said...

Is that sci-fi novel the one they're reading or the one they're submitting?

Marva said...

Oh Nathan. Didn't the other Agents tell you about this software? I guess you're just a newbie in their eyes.

Liz said...

Guess those folks just can't cope with your superb efficiency. People just don't run into it very often these days. You are among a rare breed! A young professional with a high work ethic.

Anonymous said...

Writing back with a hostile email? What a dip#$@* thing to do. Not only will you never consider a query from them for their next novel (because as a robot you'll remember their name), they make themselves look pathetic and grasping.

This is a business, people. A BUSINESS. Would you b#%ch at a potential buyer if they didn't purchase something from your collection? No. You'd simply hope your collection either meets their needs better or impresses them more the next time.

Janet said...

Um, well certainly. An agent can make a really nice living by automatically rejecting 100% of his potential clients.

You didn't want those people anyway. They are far too stupid to be able to write a good book.

Anonymous said...

My my, who got out of the wrong side of bed this morning with a hangover?!

Len said...

I'll come right out and say it: You rejected my book, and there are no hard feelings. You got back to me in about an hour-and-a-half, which, given the way you've described your work process, seemed completely reasonable.

The thing about querying is that it's like dating (speed dating in your version). The idea is try to end up with the best relationship possible. It didn't work out between us, but it will with someone else--a different author for you, a different agent for me.

Nathan Bransford said...

Anon-

Even robots have moods.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Well, you're so freakin' fast, what are we supposed to think?

Hey, next time you sign a newbie author, would you start posting about them--why you picked their work and the process you go through to finally sell it? It'd be cool to see real-time updates. Just a thought.

Laura Ware said...

Well, I admit your fast response to my query left me blinking...

Chumplet said...

You waited a day and a half to reject my query. Maybe that means you had to think about it for a while. A good sign! Yes, I said it and I'm sticking to my theory.

John Elder Robison said...

An auto-rejecter, eh?

Sounds like the Repugnatron that manufactured the slop we fed to my son when he was little.

Or the Spanking Machine, next to the washing machine, into which we threatened to drop him if he was bad.

Perhaps he will write about them and send you a book proposal in a few years.

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