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!



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


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


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


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

Image: Waldo Jaquith.