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March 14, 2013


Taylor Swift Fan Mail: Hundreds Of Unopened Letters Found In Nashville Dumpster

(Thanks to Ralph)


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Not seeing the big deal here. So a bunch of unsolicited emails to a stranger got trashed. Does the fact that someone sent her a (few hundred/thousand/etc) letters obligate her to spend the rest of her life reading them all? Or even to spend the money on stationery, postage, and time answering them? Or to go out of pocket to hire someone to do it for her?

While I obviously don't get as much fan mail as Swift (don't laugh, I really do get fan mail from my readers; Net Assets -- first released a decade ago -- still gets downloaded 2-3 thousand times a year, not in Dave's class, but not bad for a complete unknown with no publisher), during the peak, it ate a lot of time trying to read it all. And some of that mail was stuff I'd rather have never seen, much less answered. As late as September last year, one near-stalker took it upon himself to contact publishers "on my behalf". Do you really think I kept up correspondence with him? Or made heavy use of the Spam/Trash button?

You really need to pay closer attention, Bear.

They were, like, real, honest to God, like, letters written by, like, real fans who sent them via the, like, USPS, with, like, stamps and all, to a box, like, intended to receive real mail.

Like, got it now?

She probably thought they were letters from ex-boyfriends...one letter from each.

I get it: Unsolicited junk mail, imposing zero obligation on Swift to waste money answering it. Postal spam produced piecemeal instead of in bulk, but with the same results.

The stalker who was pissing off publishers "on my behalf" was a real fan, too. But I didn't want to correspond with him (not having to deal with the same mass quantity of mail Swift does, I did correspond with him until I realized how creepy he was getting, and that he was contacting publishers).

Seriously: the article said "hundreds" of letters. In just one batch. What is she supposed to do with it all? Let's say it was 200 letters. Answering them all: postage $92, paper $2, envelopes $20, time to stuff and seal format response (at minimum wage) $13; total $127. Per day. $635/week. $2,540/month. $30,480/year. For a pre-printed form letter reply.

Like, got it now?

Like call out the National Guard.

In fact, for a reasonable fictional method of dealing with fan mail, read Robert Heinlein's Stranger In A Strange Land, and bear in mind that Smith was much wealthier (essentially owned the rights to interplanetary space travel, and a claim to an entire planet, and with the willing support of a world government) and could afford to hire folks to handle the mail.

(Heinlein was a popular writer, so I suspect it was based on reality. I'm amazed that he could correspond with any stranger. I was astounded when I received a letter from Ginny Heinlein regarding another bit of my old work.)

Happy Pi Day ya'll.

Doesn't she, like, have people to read her mail and like, answer it?

OMG, I hope I have some Zofran left over.

Bear won't be posting for a while. He dislocated his shoulder patting himself on the back.


*wonders if Bear understands who Dave Barry is*

*Starts rifling through Taylor's mail to scrounge John Mayer and Patrick Kennedy signatures*

*wonders if Emmett knows what he's babbling about*
*knows who Dave Barry is, but wonders if guin knows WTF he/she's talking about*

*knows damned well coming back to this blog was a mistake*

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