Dear Carolyn: What if you are a book editor and expert on the current market, and friends/family/acquaintances are frequently sending you manuscripts? Or asking you to forward them to another publishing contact who could be interested?
Usually I try to sidestep this by telling them to find an agent first, but then I’m asked about agents I know, and … their stories are never good enough that I feel comfortable with that.
Is this an instance where I just have to be honest about their quality of writing? How do I tell people I love that they’re just not good enough?
You tell all of them that you receive too many manuscripts and other publishing queries from people you know and love to give them all the attention they deserve, so you’ve had to make it your personal policy not to field any of them.
Or, that you have a personal policy not to mix business and friendship.
Or that you have a personal policy not to make yourself miserable, but maybe that’s a little more honesty than your friends were bargaining for.