Hi.

You’re probably here because you pitched something to me by e-mail.

If you pitched something to me and I responded normally, my apologies – you’re here by accident, and you’re one of the many people I’m enduringly grateful to, for approaching me when you didn’t need to, for having great ideas and rock-solid integrity, for helping me do my job, and generally just being, you know, nice.

If you pitched something to me and I responded with a number and a link to this page, this page is for you.

And we’re playing a game.

It’s called The Pitching Game, and the rules are simple. The number you received is the amount of points I’ve awarded you, according to which boxes your e-mail ticks, as below.

Best of luck!

Mike.

INTRODUCTION

Getting my name wrong…10
Giving me more than one name across the whole e-mail…30
Failing to recognise I’m a man…50
Abbreviating my name in a chummy way, eg. “Mikey-boy”…100
Abbreviating my name in a creepy way, eg. “MikeymikeyMIKEY”…1,000
Calling me by the first word in my e-mail address, which isn’t my first name…  15
Not bothering to use a name at all, eg. Dear Sir…0
Using my surname as my first name…0 (possible culture difference)
Using my surname as my first name & you’re based in London…500

MAIN BODY

Complimenting me on my blog in a way that avoids mentioning anything specific about it…50
Failing to recognise I write about travel or writing…40
Failing to recognise I write about anything except what you’re pitching me…80
Taking a wild stab that I’ve been hospitalized/burgled/suffered from ill-fortune in some way, and starting with an inspecific “I heard about your troubles, hope you’re ok!”…20
Compare me somehow to Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyer or Adam Sandler…Death
Offering me a sponsored post “for free”…50
Offering me a sponsored post “for free” and hammering home how grateful I should be…150
Name-dropping a friend who, when I check, has never heard of you…100
Using buzzwords or acronyms incorrectly, eg. “I am expert with niche” or “trained in CRM, CPR & Deep Blog”…20
Telling me what my readers really want…50
Telling me I’m not running my website in a way that people will find either useful and/or enjoyable…250
Having no compelling story to pitch other than “I’m awesome/I’m a guru”…50
Using the word “guru” without obvious irony…100
Asking me to compete with other bloggers for the right to work with you – eg. Who Garners The Most Likes On Facebook Shall Be The Anointed One…1,000

 GENERALLY

Having a Google avatar of a celebrity, eg. Liam Neeson or Tom Hanks…     50
When questioned about celebrity avatar, claim it’s really you…Ban + e-mail to police
A MySpace or Facebook e-mail address…100
An email that appears to be a string of random characters before the “@”…  200

 SPECIAL AWARD

Tellingly, your introduction is in a different font type and font size to the rest of the e-mail…      25,000

Image: Waldo Jaquith.