Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Communication Breakdown

At the risk of sounding like 'an auld fart' I would like to talk about the lack of communication these days especially given the range we have to choose from:
 texting, mobile (cell) phones, landlines, twitter, facebook, email, letters (remember them?), 
to name but seven.

Earlier this year I was interviewed for a post with the Scottish Drug Forum.

I asked for, and was reassured that if I was unsuccessful I would get feedback.

Long story short; I ended up emailing a few times and phoning on eight separate occasions, all to no joy.
The way I look at it however, is that I 'dodged a bullet' there; I mean would you want to work for an organisation where the HR Department was as incompetent as this?

Nowadays my experience has been that unsuccessful applications for jobs are routinely ignored, not even a 'thanks but no thanks'.

At least when I was younger receiving the mail (that was the stuff that came in paper form and stuffed through a letterbox) and opening the letter only to read I was unsuccessful at least had an element of excitement in it just before the disappointment.

 For some reason, these rejection letters became known as 'Dear John' letters.

 "Did you hear about that job you applied for?" "Aye, ah got a Dear John." 

Being the type of person that would rather shop locally, would rather give my money to
the 'wee man' rather than the big corporation I searched the internet for independent bookshops.
I found very few in Scotland. I did, however, email eight shops introducing myself, asking whether they would be interested in my book and explaining that I could supply marketing materials too.
I did not receive a single reply. I now have little guilt when walking through the doors of a 

I entered 'Death of a King' for the New York Book Festival and duly paid the fee; I sent off
my book and yet, nothing. I don't know if the book was received and emailing seems a waste 
of time. I know not if the 'Festival' even took place. I even asked the question of some Americans 
on a Google+ Community; not a single reply; and these were contemporaries: aspiring authors.

 Mental note to self* never pay to have a book entered into a book festival!

So, onto the Edinburgh Book Festival. I filled in the form online, I posted my book for entry
for the Anobii First Book award and once again, nothing. A disclaimer on the website states
that correspondance can't be entered into so just another occasion where I don't even know
if the book was received, read or reviewed. No feedback. Nothing.

The first I knew that 'Death of a King' was not being considered was when I went onto the 
website and found a list of 42 authors that the public were invited to choose from and vote
for as winner.

Maybe it is just me and the way I was brought up.

Still, I would have thought that even if you have 100 people to reply to a 'standard' rejection 
email sent out to everyone isn't too difficult (or time-consuming) to do? 

After all, each one of those 100 is a potential customer. Or to look at it another way a potential 'bad mouther'.

Do organisations really not care anymore?


  1. Hi Geoff,
    Love the covers of your books. The Scottish flag is a dramatic centre point and the sword is brilliant. Brilliant!
    Jeanette Harvey

    1. Thanks Jeanette!
      I will give Kit Foster (the designer) your feedback.
      Much appreciated.