Friday, October 29, 2010


BEACON FLASH #48 - November 2010

A word about email addresses for writers.

Last month I moved my shared hosting (email accounts and website) to another provider. In the process I had to import my email contacts and distribution lists onto the new web server so I could send bulk emails like my e-newsletter. In the process I lost a few and had to go hunting for them.

The experience taught me that many writers on my e-lists do not use their names in their email addies and are thus at risk of not being found when magazine and acquisition editors search their address books.

So, keep your weird/funny/unique email addies for your personal life and open a new account for your writing correspondence.  It's okay to use a free service like gmail or hotmail if you must, though I wouldn't - see why in Related Articles below. But as most writers pay for connection to the Internet, you have the use of several emails on one account. You must ensure that your last name, at least, appears in the address. Ideally use both your firstlastname@ because it makes searches accurate and quick.
Gmail's logoImage via Wikipedia

I can hear many of you saying, "Oh, but, my name's not available." Yes that happens with common names all the time. You have lots of options:
  • Add an initial or two - juliehferguson@ or juliehtmferguson@ 
  • Hyphenate the name, even better - julie-ferguson@ or julie-h-ferguson@
  • Use periods - julie.ferguson@
  • Add a meaningless (to others) number after both names.I would use a number that I'd never forget! - julieferguson1404@... 
  • Use underscores as a last resort - they are easily confused with hyphens, especially when hand-written - julie_ferguson@....
There is always a way to achieve a searchable email addy, so please consider opening a separate email account solely for your writing correspondence. It's too important to take a chance.

Have you set-up separate email addresses for personal and professional use? If not, why?
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