E-mail Etiquette

The World Around Us, by Evangeline

A few months back, an author sent me his book pitch. I declined to review his book because I did not feel comfortable reviewing a book with an explicit image on its cover. Included in his reply to me was: “Thank you for the reply, dear Evangeline.”

Dear?! Seriously?

I frequently correspond with people I don’t know, mostly authors and publicists. The thing that bugs me most is when they get too comfortable in their emails. I always appreciate authors and publicists who can maintain a certain level of professionalism while also having a little hint of casualness and of course, friendliness, in their emails.

I definitely don’t appreciate being called “dear” by someone I don’t know!

You might be thinking that I shouldn’t be turning this into an issue because I am receiving free books from these people. Yes, I appreciate the free books, but the format of review pitches sent to me say a lot about the book being pitched.

I have received review pitches containing serious grammatical and capitalization errors. The books being pitched are English books. If the 80-word pitch contains grammatical errors, what more about the 150,000-word book? If the authors can’t even use proper capitalization in their pitches, how can I expect their books to be worth my read?

Now, I know that the majority of you reading this probably will never send book pitches to strangers. Nevertheless, this rule of not getting too cozy with strangers in emails still stays the same.

Never use endearing terms when emailing strangers unless you are friends with them. It doesn’t reflect well on you and while you do not see it, there would be raised eyebrows on the other side of the computer screen.

Evangeline is a 17-year old homeschooler from Malaysia. She likes reading, writing, editing Wikipedia, listening to music and surfing the net. She is always on the lookout for new posts for her blog: http://sugarpeach.wordpress.com

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