Identify Yourself

Too many authors forget this key information.IMG_7175 2to3

by Andy Scheer

Imagine if an editor wants to publishing something you’ve written, but isn’t sure who you are, how to reach you, or where to send payment. This really happens.

Here’s part of an email from a friend who edits compilation books — and works with hundreds of contributors:

“I had an author 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.”

“I had another situation in which two authors had the same name, and neither put their contact information on the manuscripts. I didn’t realize it was two different authors and sent a contract for a manuscript to the wrong person.”

To avoid such problems, apply something you learned in kindergarten: Put your name on your paper. And also your essential contact information: email address, conventional address, and a phone number. (Single-space this information at the top of the first page of any article you submit.)

Customize your email settings so
each time you send a message,
it automatically includes a “signature.”

Then customize the email settings on your computer so each time you send a message, it automatically includes a “signature.” This isn’t limited to just your name. Many professional writers create a signature block that gives their full name, then 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 also like it when the email address matches the person’s name,” that editor says. “If Susan Longfellow has SLongfellow or SusanLongfellow in her address, it’s easier to reach her if I have a question or want to send her a contract. If Susan Longfellow goes by, I have to spend precious time searching for her in my files — each time I want to email her — unless I can remember her vague address.”

“So many writers don’t sign their emails or put contact information on their materials, so I have no way of knowing who they are,” she says. “Or they’ll sign only their first name, and I have no clue.”

Don’t let this happen to you.

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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