Try to keep your jaw from dropping on this one.

This guy sent over a thousand query letters through e-mail, thinly disguised as an attempt to gather information for a creative directory. Then comes the ol’ switcheroo — he happens to have unpublished manuscripts for the taking!

On this website, he’s reprinted all of the correspondence. It’s his responses to the pat rejections that make you shake your head. Like this:

Dear Claudia: You’re totally missing out, man. It could make your whole career. You’ll see. Tee hee. I don’t just have a character vaguely resembling Oprah, I have Oprah herself reunited with the kid she had when she was fourteen who she told everyone had died shortly after his birth. Ha! He’s now thirty-three and has been living with his powerful daddy on a mountain top in Tennessee. It was his daddy who helped make Oprah the billion dollar industry she is. How about them apples? There are publishers who can take a joke aren’t there? I’m betting even Oprah can take a joke, since she and her fictional son are incidental to the main character and the coolest, most riveting plot ever. It’s way good. You’ll be sorry. You’ll be kicking yourself. Thanks anyway. G.

And this:

Thanks for taking a look and for getting back to me. You would fall in love if you read the thing. It’s gorgeous and funny and smart and sexy and thoughtful and has something to say–the sort of book that people will keep buying for a long time. I should probably write ephemeral fluff like everyone else but what fun would that be? The tougher the nut the sweeter the meat. If you change your mind, let me know. G.

And then:

Hey, Paul: I’m more amazing than I even know. The way I’m going to work this thing is simply to stick it up in a website for free, with no advertising and no popups, along with a place where people can give me money if they want to do so. There’s more pertinent and useful information in my project than there is in LMP ($389 a year), Jeff Herman’s hopelessly out dated book (another $50 a year) or any of the Writer’s Digest rags or websites–so I figure a few people might give me a buck or two. If you know anyone who might want to publish a cheap, sanitized, print version, let me know. I get a little outrageous with the stuff on the website, but it’s America, land of the free, home of the brave, and it’s not a commercial venture so I can say whatever I want. I mainly just want to get the sucker done and let it take care of itself so I can satisfy myself that I’ve done everything I can do to sell what I write, then just get back to writing it without any hope in hell of ever selling it. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that writing that doesn’t get published is the only writing that has any possibility of being any good. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. G.

The site’s enormous, but it might make you feel a bit better about your last rejection letter.

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