Identify Yourself

Don’t hide from editors who want to publish your work.

Imagine that a magazine or anthology editor wants to publish something you’ve written, but isn’t sure who you are, how to reach you, or where to send payment.

That really happens. “Once I had two authors with the same name,” says a compilation editor who works with hundreds of contributors, “and neither put their contact information on the manuscripts. I didn’t realize it was two authors and sent a contract to the wrong person.

“I recently had an author,” she says, “who submitted to me under two different names and email addresses and didn’t put contact information on her manuscript. I had to send an email to make sure the other submission was also hers.”

The solution? Apply what you learned in kindergarten: Put your name on your paper. And also your email address, conventional address, and a phone number. (Single-space this at the top of the first page of any article.)

Put your name on your paper. Also your email address, conventional address, and a phone number.

Customize your email settings so each time you send a message, it automatically inserts a “signature.” Many writers create a signature block that gives their full name, a line about their specialty (such as Author/Conference Speaker), the title of their most recent book, and a link to their blog or website.

“I prefer when the email address matches the person’s name,” the compilation editor says. “If Susan Longfellow has SLongfellow or SusanLongfellow in her address, it’s easier to reach her. If she goes by, I have to spend precious time searching for her.”

Clearly identifying yourself — on everything you send — marks you as a professional.

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About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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