‘Got A Phone #?’

That was the header on one email I got today.

And what was in the body of the email? Nothing.

Here are some etiquette tips for when you email strangers asking for things. First of all, introduce yourself. Then say something about how you came to be sending this email. Then state what you want.

Here is a sample email that might work on me and others like me:

Dear Mr. Ford,

I came across your blog last week when I was researching American Jewish literature.

I read several of your interviews with some of my favorite novelists and I had some questions for you.

I am a third year student at Yeshiva University majoring in English. I plan to become a lawyer one day.

This subject of Jewish literature is a passion of mine. I am going to be in Los Angeles next week. I wondered if I could take you to a kosher lunch?

Yours sincerely,

Shlomo Goldberg

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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