Thursday, November 02, 2006

Short and Sweet

Yesterday, I committed what I initially thought was a faux pas only to learn a valuable lesson...

In one of my writing and marketing newsletters, I'd read about an online live forum that wanted speakers from the publishing world to talk about various topics. I'd begun composing an e-mail in which I suggested topics I thought might be worth discussing. After each topical suggestion, I provided a few short sentences explaining my qualifications to talk about it.

I had two topics written: "Successful Ghostwriting, Co-Authoring, and Collaborating," and "How to Be Your Book's Best Friend" (easy ways for authors to promote their titles without relying on the publisher to do it for them). I figured I had the e-mail half done. I wanted to re-read it, polish up a few things, come up with a suitable close, sign it and send it.

I thought I hit "Save Draft." When I heard the tell-tale whooosshh! of my mail program, I realized I'd inadvertently hit "Send."

"Oh well," the fatalist in me thought. "So much for that."

Thoroughly disgusted with myself (It wasn't even signed, for crying out loud! How unprofessional do you think THAT looks?), I turned back to work on another project.

Not even 15 minutes later, I received an answer from my Ooops! e-mail. They like the idea of having someone talk about ghostwriting and co-authoring. To the best of their knowledge, no one else has volunteered to speak on either topic. They're currently planning the line-up for the next year. I'll be hearing from them in the next few weeks.


I couldn't help myself. I wrote back to thank them for their prompt reply. I also explained what had happened earlier and apologized for sending an e-mail that ended so abruptly and that contained no signature.

Only a few moments later, I had the epiphany when they replied:

I didn't notice!! lol I'm a busy person and appreciate short, concise, e-mails that are to the point.

I've just got to remember this for future reference. For one thing, there is no need for lengthy e-mail queries. For another -- just look at the time I saved by NOT slaving over constructing the "perfect ending."

I'm not suggesting that sloppy work is somehow to be encouraged. I'm just saying I know I can benefit from taking the "short and sweet," get-in-and-get-out advice to heart! Perhaps I'm not the only one...