There is something of a discussion going on in a writers' group to which I belong, that has spilled out into some postings on Facebook™, and I thought that newbies might find some of this discussion of use. It concerns why a lot (read: almost all) of established writers won't read unpublished manuscripts, nor introduce newbies to their agent, nor agree to take a newbie's idea and write it for him and then split the money when the book sells.
We all draw the line different places, and it depends on the newbie -- who they are, how good they are, and how much time you happen to have.
People don't know and they have some assumptions about this that are wrong.
I'm not that big a deal as a writer, but even so, I get a handful of requests every month from people who want me to send them an autograph sticker they can put into their books. I'd be happy to sign those books if these folks showed up at an autographing in a book store. And because the numbers aren't large, I usually sign a sticker and mail it off. Costs me forty-odd cents for the stamp, plus the negligible cost of a sheet of paper, an envelope, and the time to address it. I want to keep my fans happy and they did buy the book. (Okay, maybe some of them stole it, but --)
However, if I was getting a thousand such requests a month? That would be expensive, in money and time, and I couldn't afford either.
They don't know how it really is.
My phone rang once and it was a fan who had tracked me down. "Hello?"
"Uh, yeah, I'm looking for Steve Perry, the writer?"
There was a pause. Then came the shocked and awed comment: "You -- you answer your own phone?!"
"Yeah. I gave the sycophants the day off. What can I do for you?"
I know other writers who had similar experiences. I didn't believe them until I did.
We aren't all rich, nor famous. Most of us don't have assistants.
I won't repeat the information there. Laura Resnick's page speaks to it, and she has links to pieces by John Scalzi, Orson Scott Card, David Gerrold, and Jennifer Roberson.
If you are a newbie writer, though, I urge you to have a look at these links. It'll help you understand some things you might need to know.