The following is surely the most pathetic e-mail solicitation I’ve ever received:
Hello, I am Robert. I am a single father of 3. Two of my children live 5 hours from me. To help raise them, I decided to write a book. It is a non-fiction book about relationships. They are too young yet, but when the become adults, I know they will benefit from it.
I am also trying to teach them a lesson. When I told my daughter about writing a book, she asked “is it going to be in some stores?” I paused and answered that of course it would. Truth be told, I cannot do this alone. It is my first book, and it is self-published, but I do not have the money to have my book sold in stores.
I would really like to prove to my children that it is possible to do something when you put your mind and heart into it. I believe that I could have my book in-store if I could sell 500 copies from the online store where I published it.
It is my intention to give 10% of my profits to a charity.
I would really appreciate your help. If you or someone you know is interested in relationships, please have a look at my book. You can go online to preview and buy it.
The web address is: http://www.lulu.com/content/1022330
Thank you greatly for taking the time to read this letter.
Best to you,
So, I’m supposed to consider advice on relationships from…
- A man who chooses to live five hours from his children.
- A man who makes serious promises to his children that he cannot keep by his own actions — in the hope that random strangers will pick up his slack for him.
- A man who attempts to induce people to buy his book by appealing to pity and altruism — without any mention of the supposed merits of the book in question.
Gee… I think I’ll pass.
Out of curiosity, I checked out the preview of the book. It’s even more pathetic — in both style and content — than I would have imagined. Oddly enough, that’s what I expected: my capacity to imagine the banal only stretches so far.