Working on Christmas

This year I got Christmas cards from the usual gang. Businesses I do business with, companies I buy from, conventions I exhibit at, a few creators who’ve worked for Yaoi Press, and of course, my attornies. (Past and present, they never seem to delete you from their mailing list).

The attorney ones are the least personal. No signature. Generic ‘Seasons Greetings’ card with a bell on the front or something. The ones from companies I do business with run the gamut. J-list sent a photograph of the staff that was an actual photograph, not a digital printout. Diamond had all the people who I do business with actually sign the card. Real signatures! (How tedious that must be for them.) Media Blasters and Hirameki had custom cards with images of their manga characters on it. Yaoi Con had a contest of sorts for the Christmas card design, and sent a beautiful image by a prominent artist. The best of the lot, I must say, was Broccoli Books. In addition to a custom card with their characters they sent me Digi Charat calendar. I’m not familiar with Digi Charat, but I love this calendar. The art and design is so beautiful!

This year I got three cards that absolutely puzzled me. I didn’t realize who they were from until I was clearing out my address book in Outlook the other day. The cards were from people, not businesses. They were women. They were each hand signed with little thank you notes in two of them. I did not recognize the names. My only clue was that they were sent to ‘Yaoi Press’ not just to ‘Yamila Abraham’ (that’s my real name if you don’t know). I thought it might have been customers of the online store.

I was cleaning out my Outlook and one of the card senders was in my email address book. Their email was their first and last name. The same on the card. I looked through my old messages to try and discover why this person had added me to their Christmas list. I found them in my deleted messages box. They were a writer who had submitted. I also found them in my sent messages box. I had rejected the submission.

The three mystery cards were all from writers who had been rejected. Two got personalized emails, one got a form email.

It’s not a bad thing to get cards like these. I prefer cards from writers I’ve had to reject as opposed to angry emails. It is gracious, and it shows that they did not take the rejection personally. However, it’s also kind of a blatant kiss-up. I didn’t realize this sort of thing was…ok? They’re not my friends. They’re writers who want me to publish them. The only communication we had was their submission email and my rejection email. They aren’t all from the same address. As far as I can tell these are three seperate indicents that are not related. (What I mean is, it’s not three women who all know each other and plotted to send the cards in unison.)

Sending a Christmas card to an editor who’s rejected you is too unique to be a chance happening though. Especially when I got three of them. I’ve thought back to when I used to submit stories to be published. I read a lot of ‘how to get published’ books, because I was naive and Writers Digest had my number. This sounds like advice from one of those books. ‘Send a thank you letter when you get rejected. Send the editor a Christmas card.’

Sometimes I forget that determined writers get special operations training on how to wear editors down. They read books that told them all about me. Who knows what other tactics they have up their sleeves.


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