I work at a book publishing company, and I handle all the author contacts (letters and emails people send to the webiste that the Customeer Service people forward to me, that people send to authors in c/o of us). I got an email from A. Guy (for purposes of story) wanting the address for John Smith (for purposes of the story) author of HisBook; can he have his email address?
John Smith doesn't ring a bell, so I do some digging & realize:
We published HisBook 15 years ago, and the book has been out of print & out of stock for almost 12 (as an aside, this means any interest for the book an interview could possibly drum up would net us a big fat Zero, since there are no new books for sale)
= no one from our company has corresponded with him for almost 12 years, and we never HAD an email address for him, or a phone #
= I have a mailing address from 15 years ago; Accounting's last mailing address is from almost 12 years ago
I email A. Guy back & explain the above, & tell him that even though the address is old, and it may not reach John Smith, I'd be happy to forward the interview request & A. Guy's contact info in a letter via snail mail, but that is unfortunately all I can do.
A. Guy emails back almost immediately & asks if I can FedEx the letter to John Smith overnight because his deadline is tomorrow.
So I write back,
"I'm afraid it won't be possible for to overnight a package to John Smith, especially to an address where he may or may not still be living. I respect that you are on a deadline; however, your first contact to us was an email to our website at [five hours ago] so there's only so much we can do for you at this late stage."
I would have loved to have had to explain an $80. shipping charge to Accounting . . . .