When Freelance Writers are Toxic, Unstable, and Abusive to Editors By Angela Hoy

When Freelance Writers are Toxic, Unstable, and Abusive to Editors By Angela Hoy

You know, there are all types of people out there. Sane (and not), stable (and not), polite (and not), professional (and not)…and then there are folks like the one below.

I receive queries from writers every single day and I must, in turn, send rejections to writers every single day. I can’t possibly publish everyone. By far, the most common reason for a rejection is because the idea the writer has proposed is on a topic that has already been done-to-death in the industry. For example, there are countless articles online about how to get paid writing for websites. It’s a general how-to topic aimed at beginners and there is no shortage of articles and even books that offer advice in that area. When a topic is already widely-covered, I won’t publish it. All editors look for fresh ideas on a daily basis, or a unique twist on an old topic. And, good writers know this.

The writer below submitted an unsolicited article on spec about writing for websites. Furthermore, the article contained numerous punctuation and grammatical errors. For example:

“…readers’ who aren’t immediately attracted will leave the page in a hastily.”

It included such common advice as making your article title attractive, and to include links in your article.

Since the writer didn’t follow our guidelines (we only accept queries), submitted an article with numerous errors, and also covered an overexposed topic, my rejection was short:

“I’m sorry but this is common knowledge in the industry.”

How did the writer respond? This is an excerpt:

“I don’t think you’re sorry. Feel sorry for yourself and your corporation, for the spiritual payback that will come back to you. You will reap whatever you sow. If you knew that you…”

The email ended there but he wasn’t done with me yet. Here’s an excerpt of what he sent 20 minutes later:

“I’m not pretending to be the best even though I don’t your reply, because it’s the type of dirty reply that only a scammer can give. HEAR ME CLEARLY, you will reap what you have sown. Are you so dumb to the extent that you could’nt make it clear that you wanted new ideas that are not everywhere? Anything that has a bad foundation like what I’ve clearly seen in yours, will not last. The spirit will meet up with you.”

If this writer had read my rejection, and then read our guidelines, and submitted something more unique and more appropriate, without errors, I’d have considered his future query. But, he blew it because now he’s blacklisted.

I’d like to say this type of situation is unique but it’s not. I have received far worse over the years and, with this type of individual, I know I’m not the only editor he’s treating with such hatred and venom. He is very likely burning bridges on a daily basis due to his inability to accept rejection and, unfortunately, he’ll never be a successful writer because of his hair-trigger temper. I’m just glad he showed his true colors from the get-go. And, no, I did not respond to his abusive emails. Never engage enraged individuals. That will give fuel to their obnoxious tendencies and things will only escalate from there. If you ignore them (don’t send even one response!), they will eventually skulk away into the night.


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

About The Author


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.

PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.

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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE