I hope you'll all understand if I haven't responded to your needs in the past few weeks, but I'm overwhelmed by _______(insert excuse here), and as soon as I unbury my desk, I'll get to my backlog of author requests. Please know that you are very important to me and I'm not ignoring you, just trying to keep my head above water.
But instead, we are usually the recipients of a scathing email from a fed-up, burned out, pissed-off person who aims her anger at everyone on the loop. Or in the case of one publisher...she took down the loop entirely because she didn't like the group discussing things amongst themselves. Didn't she know we have access to email each other privately? Again, a simple communication effort could have avoided the problem and speculation that comes with silence. People aren't mind readers. They don't know what's going on in your world unless you let them in.