Wrong spelling. I before e, except if you're me.
How long has it been?
Who are you? (checks sig block) That long.
As you know, in [month] my [industry group] has [event]
And this matters to me because . . . oh, no. You're not going to ask me to do a [dreaded author thing.] You wouldn't.
and while I know you must be extremely busy
Don't. Please. We were nodding acquaintances once.
and you have so much on your plate right now
and the last time you looked at my plate would have been? When Clinton was in office? Yes?
but I would be so grateful if you would consider doing a [dreaded author thing].
(shrieks) You asked. (shrieks again)
The reason I'm asking you is [persuasive argument, much flattery, small monetary bribe.]
If you're going to throw money at me, it had better be enough to cause a concussion.
Seeing how well your last [dreaded author thing] did for [ancient industry event].
I remember that. Rome was sacked about the same time.
I feel you are ideal for [dreaded author thing.]
Couldn't get anyone else, I bet.
We have to finalize the [dreaded author thing], so please let us know when we can start on this project asap.
You're assuming I'm going to say yes. Cake, iced.
Warmly, Former Nodding Acquaintance.
(contemplates how to respond)
(e-mails insane colleague who actually likes to do the dreaded author thing, gets an okay on a rec.)
Actual response e-mail: Dear Nodding Acquaintance, Thanks so much for asking me to do your [dreaded author thing.] Alas, my present schedule won't permit me to participate. I know [insane colleague's name] is available, if he might be an acceptable alternative. Good luck with your event. Best Wishes, Sheila