Chris Taylor

The author read your rejection note with interest

 THIS IS AN automated response. Please do not reply.

The author is pleased you took the time to reject his book/short story/article. He probably read your rejection note with interest and thought it showed great promise. In fact, he may have really wanted to love your rejection note. Unfortunately, he regrets to inform you, given the current market conditions, it is, sadly, not quite what he is looking for right now.

In the present economic climate—scavenging for loose change behind the sofa, cadging cigarettes and beers from friends, dealing with debt collectors, alimony demands, complaints from the neighbors about the noise—the author has come to the conclusion that rejections are not what authors are looking for. Amid the dark clouds of global recession, the author feels authors want warm, uplifting notes—perhaps even (and he knows this a lot to ask, given he’s alive and unknown) acceptance—and it is very probable that the rejection, as a genre, has become of very limited appeal. This is not to say you should discontinue; merely that the author feels it is unlikely to win you much in the way of popularity—it may even earn you some enemies.

The author may have been tempted to personally reply to your rejection note, but, as he is sure you realize, today’s market leave little room for niche responses. He hopes that you in no way at all interpret this automated response as a signal of discouragement. He thinks you quite possibly have a great future, and should continue rejecting “promising” projects that you are sure other people will really love and be prepared to commit to, even if, “unfortunately”—as he is sure you put it—you cannot do so yourself. It may even have been the case that the author was mildly impressed by your rejection note and felt certain that one day, with the right author,one of your rejection notes may well merit a personal response.

The author apologizes that this is a form letter and hopes you understand that, due to the volume of rejection notes he receives, he is unable to respond to all of them individually. He wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and, even though he will be in no way supportive of them, he is sure somebody else will.

Best wishes,

The author

PS After writing this automated response, the author went out and had a few beers—don’t ask—and there were some lines of blow floating around (Mike got paid; you don’t need to know about Mike). It’s probably not as good as the blow you guys have for rejecting people in New York and London – the author is kind of reliant on the Nigerians around here for supplies, and, well, he’s sure you’ve seen District 9, so you know what he’s talking about.

The point here is, around about the third line, the author and Mike got talking. Okay, actually, it was mostly the author talking; Mike was kind of zoning out. He’d started earlier than the author, because the author was working on his automated response and it took him longer than he thought. So, anyway, the author got onto this—I may as well admit it, because that’s what it was—rant about, like, where world literature be if, say, Tolstoy had to shop Anna Karenina around with a one-page synopsis and three sample chapters, and all he got was automated form emails in his inbox? The author’s not sure Mike answered that question—the author’s not sure Mike could have answered the question, not after all the beers and the shitty Nigerian coke (the author has a feeling it’s just speed mixed with Novocain). But, that’s not the point. Mike’s not trying to get someone to read a book he spent a year writing. The author’s not even sure Mike’s read a book, and frankly he’s starting to wonder whether any of you guys in the book industry have either.

Ah, forget the author thing. I’m going to resist the urge to be mean spirited. I’m sure you’re an okay bunch of guys. I mean, most of you rejected Harry Potter: I’m with you on that. Seriously:  you should have consolidated and made sure it never got published. Why the fuck didn’t you reject Dan Brown, with his Leonardo code thing? There’s stuff out there that is seriously worth rejecting. I mean, really, the rejections are good; keep them up – but me? What the fuck are you thinking? I have a strong feeling, if we were sitting around drinking beers and doing lines, you’d probably really like me. Hell, after around 10 beers and half a dozen lines, you’d probably even agree to take my book.

How about it? Friday night, 7.30pm? Oh, and the shot-gun thing, that just sort of came to me when I was writing the automated response. It was comic intervention. And, please, please, don’t worry about Mike. He has his problems, but rejecting me is not one of them.