Your account name can communicate professionalism — or not.
by Andy Scheer
When I was working as a literary agent I got a query from a woman named Tanya — at least I thought so.
But when I opened the email — surprise! The query was from her husband — a guy named Brad — piggybacking on his wife’s email account.
Fortunately, I already had an easy decision. Tanya’s husband’s book plowed much the same ground as one I already represented. To avoid a conflict of interest, I suggested Mr. Tanya try another agent.
But if his project had attracted me, I’d have a nagging question: Why didn’t he use his own email account? Is he shy? A technophobe? Neither is appealing when publishers expect authors to promote their work. At the least, the writer had given no thought to communicating professionalism.
Which brings me to writers who insist on using “creative” email addresses. You’ve seen them. Ones like GodsChosenWriter@isp.com. Or CutePuppies&Kittens@isp.com. Or BonnetsandVampiresWrytr@isp.com.
Save your creativity for your prose. In an email address, you can’t go wrong with FirstnameLastname@isp.com. Or Firstname@FirstnameLastname.com.
Having an account dedicated to your writing adds to the impression you’re serious about your craft. Much more than a funky-named account you also use for personal email. And definitely more than your spouse’s account.
What’s the cost of a poor first impression? A lot more than the price of establishing a free email account for your writing business — in your own name.