Last week I made a foray into the local Office Depot to collect supplies for my upcoming query-a-thon. It came to a whopping $92, and I was reminded of the post I saw on www.rejectioncollecion.com where the author was complaining about how they didn't have the money to send out material that wasn't returned even when a SASE was included. My thought at the time was that if a writer can't afford to print and mail out their work, they might be in the wrong field. But now after my $92 trip, I realize that they were totally right! Or not. On the bright side, I really like the paper I got; blindingly white.
Rejectioncollection.com is a very interesting website. First, I have to say that I can understand how difficult it is to be harshly rejected by someone who you look up to. Certainly, some of the letters that agents and publishers send out are written with a dollop of pure evil, and some are downright unethical. I can also understand the frustration of writers who are trying to break into an insanely competitive industry, but the reasoning behind some of the writers' viewpoints and actions just escapes me.
For example, why would a writer want their manuscript to be returned after being handled by the post office and a bevy of agents, publishers, etc.? Do they actually want to send it out again? Books are meant to be read; on the subway, while eating Timbits, while waiting for the doctor. And I won't even tell you how many times I've dropped a book in the bathtub, cause as I've covered earlier, I'm...not good. In short, a manuscript is going to be manhandled. A SASE is for responses. Agents and publishers might well return the MS if you include enough postage, and an envelope big enough, but I can't imagine what you'd do with it at that point. Send the manuscript out with Timbit prints all over it? Oy.
As I read through the submitted rejections, I was struck by the fact that the Rejecters (which kind of sounds like some kind of evil supervillian...but I digress) really couldn't do the right thing. If there was a brief "no thanks" or a form letter sent, the recipient wanted a personalized note, if there was a scribbled note, the recipient was upset they didn't warrant a form letter. Obviously, rejection can be hard to deal with- no matter how it's couched, but I don't think that writing back to a Rejecter rejecting their rejection is going to get you published. It will likely get you on some kind of a list, though.