If You Address Me as “Yo Angela,” You Will NOT Receive a Response

If You Address Me as “Yo Angela,” You Will NOT Receive a Response

I now receive not only spam, but also query letters and book proposals, from people who address me as: Yo Angela

Call me old fashioned, but I find that salutation extremely disrespectful, as well as immature. I don’t bother to read anything from anybody who addresses me in that fashion.

That’s not all, however. A couple of weeks ago, a writer pitched an article for WritersWeekly, calling publishers and editors bigoted if they reject an article or a book manuscript that has poor grammar and incorrect spelling. I politely declined to publish the article. I wanted to lay into her but you can’t argue with that kind of stupid. Believe me. I’ve tried.

How dare she claim any publisher or editor is a bigot for refusing to publish bad writing?! Doesn’t she realize there are bad writers across every race, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.?  In fact, most people do not have what it takes to be a professional writer. Millions of writers are employed around the world. In most cases, the owners of the companies that hired those writers did so because they could not write well themselves. Writing is a skill and an art. It takes talent, training, and experience to succeed.

But, let’s get back to the bigot part. That woman who queried me probably wonders why the editor can’t simply buy articles from anyone and everyone, and fix the mistakes before publication. Because, as some of you may have guessed, fixing the errors would be seen as bigoted by some as well. That’s right! Don’t think somebody, somewhere isn’t going to get offended if you change some of the words (I won’t go into detail but I’m sure you can imagine…) the original writer used!

I’ve seen articles that were so poorly written that no editor could ever fix them. Time is money. Why spend two hours fixing all the errors in an article when you can simply hire a professional writer who submits work with few to no errors at all? Should editors and publishers be forced to buy articles and manuscripts from everyone, regardless how doing so will affect their bottom line?

Let’s break it down, shall we? What would happen if we accepted anything and everything coming over the e-transom?

If a publication that publishes writing- and publishing -related news started publishing articles with bad grammar and typos, and books with the same, how long do you think they’d be in business? We’d have gone out of business long, LONG ago! Many of our competitors who were “author meat markets” did indeed go out of business. If your books are crap, they won’t sell. Then, you go belly up.

If your favorite magazine or newspaper started publishing articles with grammatical errors and misspellings, would you keep subscribing? No, you would not. And, if somebody can’t figure out basic grammar and spelling, how good do you think their research skills will be? Likely non-existent! Of course, those magazines and newspapers would quickly go out of business. And, all of the grammar- and spelling -challenged folks they’d hired would be unemployed all over again.

Imagine if your pharmacist was permitted to graduate after failing his math and chemistry college classes? Should CVS be forced to hire everyone regardless of their knowledge and skills…just because somebody wants to be a pharmacist?

What about your doctor? Perhaps he decided to skip all of those cancer assignments but he got to be an oncologist anyway.

How about your CPA, your child’s teachers, your attorney, or anyone else whose poor work quality has the ability to harm you long-term?

Dumbing down this country like some are proposing does not help people who either had a bad time in life early on…or simply decided they didn’t need to work that hard (or at all).

Forcing companies to cater to people who can’t or won’t learn a skill or trade the correct way would devastate our entire country. I’m not just talking about poor quality work driving a company out of business. I’m talking about “professionals” who hold the very lives of other people in their hands – physically and financially.

Call me a “bigot” but I will never, ever accept that every company must hire anybody and everybody, regardless of their skills or education.

Before any of you (you know who you are) attempt to virtually hang me by my toenails, you should know this. I, too, was once disadvantaged.

I got pregnant and had my first baby at 19. I had two more children by the age of 24. My first husband was an alcoholic and a drug user. After 12 1/2 years, I finally found a way out of that hell for me and my children. After I obtained an order of protection, and got divorced, he only paid one half of one child support payment. I never received another penny from him. (He later gave up his parental rights.)

As luck with have it, I lost my job. I was unemployed, and had no money at all coming in. Then, my refrigerator broke and I had to feed my three children cereal with powdered milk and tap water. I would fix them dinner at night and I would eat what they left on their plates because I was so terrified of running out of food for them.

I could have applied for public assistance but I was too proud to do that. I could have borrowed money from family and friends but I was too embarrassed to do that, too. In fact, I didn’t tell anybody about my situation because I was so humiliated. But, humiliation and desperation can lead to great things!

What I’m trying to say is, if I was able to do it, anyone can. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, and started working full time on my (at the time) hobby website for writers. That week, I wrote How to Write, Publish and Sell Ebooks, and earned $700 in sales of that ebook in one weekend. With me working full-time on my little website, it exploded! I then went from publishing my own ebooks to publishing ebooks for other authors as well. Later, I expanded into print books and the rest is history.

BookLocker has published more than 30,000 print and electronic titles in the past 20+ years. Launched in 1997, WritersWeekly is one of the oldest and most respected writing-related websites on the Internet.

Except for Mason, who is 16 and still lives at home, my other children are all successful professionals who support themselves. And, none of them have student debt (don’t EVEN get me started on that topic…).

In the beginning, had WritersWeekly and BookLocker published garbage, our lives (and those of our employees and contractors, and their families) would have ended up completely different. There would be NO WritersWeekly or BookLocker.

To the writer who claimed that anyone who rejects bad writing is a bigot, I say:

I know there are a lot of people in this country who are pushing for “change” but this is NOT the change anyone needs. Going so far as to send a query letter suggesting that all editors and publishers must hire everybody, no matter how poorly they write, means YOU won’t be getting any writing jobs soon. You can bet on that.

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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.

WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.

BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

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7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition


At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.

And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!

Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!



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9 Responses to "If You Address Me as “Yo Angela,” You Will NOT Receive a Response"

  1. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  October 13, 2022 at 10:29 am

    COMMENT RECEIVED BY EMAIL:

    Hi, Angela (definitely NOT “YO, Angela),

    I think you sell yourself and your abilities short when you say “if I can do it, anyone can.”

    No, everyone isn’t capable of starting a successful business in the face of challenges and hardships as you did. It takes skills and talent — and ability — to accomplish what you have. And saying so doesn’t make either of us a racist.

    I suspect we have some political differences, but that doesn’t change my respect for what you’ve accomplished. Moreover, as a professional writer, I totally agree about employing only competent, professional writers who know what they’re doing and who understand grammar and spelling.

    Please continue!

    Nicole

  2. Arlene Holland  October 10, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Dear Angela,
    I respect and love you more with every article I read of yours.
    I’m so happy to have chosen Booklocker to publish my books.
    Thank you,
    Arlene

  3. Cheryl Tuskes  October 10, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Ridiculous. These people want all the benefits that come from hard work but don’t want to do the actual hard work.

    These kinds of people have the ‘that’s good enough’ mentality. You wouldn’t want a surgeon fixing a part of the problem and then saying, “That’s good enough.”

  4. Wendy H  October 8, 2022 at 4:01 pm

    Great column, Angela! (although it mystifies me that a response like yours even needs to be written because the truth of what you say seems so obvious).
    I remember your personal backstory from a long-past column, and it was invigorating to hear about your journey again. Passion, persistence, talent, a hunger to improve, and perseverance are all necessary traits in pursuing writing (or any other profession/trade, for that matter).
    Keep up the good work!!

  5. Antaeus  October 8, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    Great article, Angela. Your personal story made me sad, and I’m glad you persevered.
    Taking the subject to the extreme, how about hiring an engineer to build a bridge or hi-rise. Then after the job was done, finding out they failed math but were given a degree because the college didn’t want to be seen as bigoted?
    In my opinion, this “disadvantaged” stuff is BS. Growing up, we were “dirt poor.” No one used the word disadvantaged to describe us. They used other, more derogatory words. I cleaned toilets in a bar at age seven to bring a few extra dollars into the family. I never went to high school because I was too busy working to help support our family. I shined people’s shoes, cut lawns, delivered newspapers, worked on a fruit truck, delivered milk, and worked in a dress factory before my fourteenth birthday.
    I knew if I wanted to get ahead, I would need an education, so I went into the military and sent my paycheck home. I obtained my education while in the military, and the day I was discharged, I went looking for a job. I was hired as a telephone installer and climbed poles on rainy, snowy, or sunny days. I eventually worked my way up to an executive position and was with that company for forty years.
    My point is no one gave me anything. I planned and outlined the steps I had to take to get where I wanted to be. Then I educated myself to qualify for the positions I wanted. Once I obtained that position, I worked my butt off.
    Companies should hire people based on their qualifications, not because they are disadvantaged. You are only disadvantaged because you want to be. In America, everyone has the opportunity to learn, work, and aspire to whatever they want to be. So why do you think two million immigrants faced death to get here? Not for a handout, for an opportunity.

  6. Pamela Allegretto  October 8, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Cheers to you! You are an inspiration.

  7. Robert DeFilippis  October 8, 2022 at 11:38 am

    Ang
    This is a perfect example of how the extremes in this country have gone off the deep end. In this case, it’s the left. Somehow we can’t get a grip on the middle ground and bring rational thinking back. My pet peeve is people who post long diatribes and don’t punctuate at all, let alone poorly. Currently, I’m under pressure from my friends on the left because I refuse to use preferred pronouns. As I explained to one, I’ve spent my entire life trying to learn the proper use of the English language, and now I’m supposed to bastardize it by improperly using plural pronouns when the singular is appropriate. Somehow this gets equated to disrespecting other human beings’ rights to express themselves. Any so-called right that takes away the rights of others is automatically suspect to me. This removal of rights is the hallmark of extremism on both the right and the left. Thanks for taking a position for reasonableness. Here’s a thought for the next complainer, would they take a plane ride with a pilot who never flew a plane but always really wanted to learn how.
    Kind regards
    Bob

  8. William Collins  October 8, 2022 at 11:19 am

    One of the pervasive trash pits of trash talk, bad grammar and misspelling — or what I call shorthand text — is social media. I routinely and unashamedly correct other peoples’ gaffs. In my view, I’m not being smug and haughty. I’m preserving the English/American language. It’s constantly under attack, and without defenders we’d soon get to the point where no one understands anyone.
    W Collins (Published author thanks to Booklocker.com)

  9. Linda G  October 7, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Angela,

    Stupidity is right. Sends us daily on the warpath against it.

    Every. Single. Day.

    Sigh