All Caps

As one who spends a great deal of time working with authors through email, I have to say that addressing any individual with all capital letters in a letter is wrong. You might feel strongly about what you have to say, but shouting isn’t going to achieve anything except being put on the back burner until the person you’re addressing has time to respond to you civilly.

But, you protest, you weren’t really shouting. It was just a message you felt was important. That’s why you used all caps.

This is an internet world and there are rules. One of the most important to remember is this—all capital letters means you are shouting at a person. They’re probably envisioning you thrusting a finger in their face, screaming and red faced yourself, as you’re trying to get your point across. And the person you sent that email to is more than likely getting pretty steamed themselves.

Make this person one who is representing your publisher and you may have just committed a fatal faux pas. Even the author with their company who sells more books than anyone else knows better than to scream at an editor if they’re upset. In fact, there is a rule to cover this situation, a rule you were probably told as a child and have more than likely forgotten.

Never talk to someone or send them a letter while you’re mad. Wait until you calm down to talk to them. You’ll be able to resolve the situation much better.

That is advice you should use now. Don’t fall into the trap of believing your opinion, and only your opinion, counts. Don’t be that author the one your publisher can’t wait to get rid of as soon as your current contract ends.

Instead of screaming and shouting for attention, speak, or write, in a normal tone of voice. You’ll get what you’re after much faster.


Cyn Ley said…
And none of us like to type back, "WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?" Not that we would--we're professionals. But you really don't want to prompt that kind of gut response, even if it never sees the light of day.

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