by John F. Harnish
Is your email address current??? Do you have an email address??? If you don’t have an email address you need to get one — and if you have recently acquired one or changed your email address, then you need to make certain your publisher has your current email address on file. You could be missing opportunities to connect with folks who have read your book, and now they want to send you an email with their comments as a promotional blurb or with questions about your book – they could be asking when your next book will be available for sale. However, you won’t be hearing from them if you don’t have a current email address on file with your publisher. Maybe they’d like to invite you to be a guest speaker to talk about your book at one of their functions—it’s not going to happen unless they’re able to contact you – the author.
Sure, they might call the publisher for your contact info, but unless they have your permission and current email address they aren’t able to give them any information about how to communicate with you. Yes, your publisher might be able to get in touch with you to get in touch with them, but it could happen that by the time you get back to them the opportunity might be lost forever.
Also, an agent might take an interest in your book but you’ll never know about their interest in your book unless they can email you. Some agents could get a little weird about calling a publisher for contact info on an author they’re thinking about pitching to a mainstream house. For the record, please let your publisher know if an agent or a traditional publisher contacts you about your book. Most of the evolving digital publishers will do whatever can be done to help you to make a successful deal for your book. However, there’s a big difference between an expression of interest and actually signing a traditional publishing contract.
Be very careful about so-called agents and editors with questionable credentials who might email you out of the clear blue with glowing words about your wonderful book that you can bet your bottom dollar they haven’t read. They are likely to tell you that for a few hundred dollars they’ll edit your book so it will fit into a mainstream house publishing schedule that they know is looking for a book like yours. After they’ve conned you out of a few thousand dollars they’ll still be telling you a book deal is just around the corner. Odds are the deal will never happen.
Here’s a helpful hint for including your email address on your book dedicated website. You can foil spammers harvesting email addresses from websites if you don’t use the “@” symbol, instead use “(at)” in your email address on your website. Thusly the mail address looks like this: john(at)infinitypublishing.com. The search engines used by spammers won’t be able to find it because the search engine is looking for “@” but folks wanting to get in touch with you will know how to modify your address to reach you via email.
Photo by: Fletcher Prince