As an editor, I get a decent amount of emails from creators. Some of them want to inquire about rates, others want to give me thanks and kudos for the Bolts & Nuts columns I wrote. Recently, I got a couple of emails from creators who wanted to contact me from time to time in order for me to mentor them.
What I find interesting is that most of the people who contact me don't know how to introduce themselves. Some of them can barely get out what it is they want, leaving me to infer what it is they're trying to get at.
Personally, I find the former to be rude and the latter not to be worth my time (which is a shame, because I try to be helpful).
Here's an email I found rude:
I'm doing some budget research for an upcoming project and have been having trouble finding rates for editors. I was wondering if you could help shed some light on how much it should cost to hire one for a 250 page story. Thanks for the great articles you post on ComixTribe and any advice you can provide me.
That's the email, in its entirety. There's no greeting. There's what the person wants, but that's about it. There's a thank you at the end, but it feels more like an afterthought.
I don't mind being helpful. I love being helpful. However, if you're going to cold-contact someone and you're looking for help/advice, at least have the courtesy to introduce yourself, say a bit about how you found them, talk a bit about your project, and then talk about what it is you would like from them that you think they can provide.
Being slightly polite isn't difficult. Slow down, take some time, and think about what you're writing. Possibly run it by someone else if necessary. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.