Hey, you have a great idea that you think I would be awesome if I wrote, either something new or as part of an existing series I write, and you want to tell me about it in detail? Or — perhaps — even collaborate with me on?
Congrats! And also, I don’t ever want to see it or hear it or read it, and if you send it to me, I will delete it the instant I’m on to you (which is usually in the header to your email) and I will probably permanently put your email into my spam block so I never see any notes from you ever again.
Why don’t I want you to send me your ideas?
One, I am literally booked for the next decade. Remember that big ass contract of mine? It still has nine books on it! I’m sort of obliged to do those. I don’t need to add anything else to my plate.
Two, if I do decide to add anything else onto my plate, it will be from my own proverbial storeroom of ideas. I have more ideas than I will ever have time to write in this life, and I keep coming up with new ones all on my own, all the time. I genuinely do not need yours.
Three, legal reasons. I could go into detail here, but I won’t. “Legal reasons” should be sufficient for any of you.
Why don’t I want to collaborate with you? See above.
Also, if I ever want collaborative partners, I will ask for them. If you don’t see me actively and unambiguously asking, please don’t volunteer. Also, to be clear, the chance that I will ask for a writing collaborator in an open cattle call rather than contacting that person directly or in some specific professional milieu is pretty damn slim.
But I have a million dollar idea! That’s awesome, and also, unless you’re bringing that million dollars with you as an opening bid on my writing services, I don’t want to hear it. Write it yourself and make that million with it! I believe in you!
Is there any way to get me to listen to your idea or offer of collaboration? Sure: If you’re part of a legitimate publishing or production entity with verifiable and successful credits to your corporate name, and you’re looking to engage my professional services, then you can contact my literary agent or film/TV manager and query them with regard to my potential interest and availability (this is covered here, because of course it is, I’ve been doing this for decades now so obviously I would have an established process). Other than that? Nope!
As an aside, I really do get exasperated when people don’t read the various policies that I have on the site, which, again, are linked to on literally every single page of the site as it’s currently constructed. I have made the titles unambiguous! The policies have been around for years! I am very clear in the policies! And yet, people don’t read (or assume that they will be different). And yes, sure, people don’t always come to the Web site (although they should), but, here’s the thing — I get most of these solicitations through email. Where is the easiest place on the whole Internet to find my email? Why, it’s here on the site (thanks to a link on every single page on the site). I feel reasonably certain that most of the folks soliciting me have been here. They should have seen the policies, and then followed them.
(That said, as I’m posting this I’m simultaneously updating the contact page to note to people not to send me ideas or offer to collaborate, because clearly we’ve come to that point.)
In any event. Don’t send me story ideas or offers to collaborate. They make me cranky. Thank you in advance for your co-operation.