I got a query the other day from a woman named Tanya—at least I thought I did. When I checked my list of incoming emails, there was her name.
But when I opened the email—surprise! The query had come from her husband—a guy named Brad—who was piggybacking on his wife's email account.
Fortunately, I already had an easy decision. Tayna's husband was pitching a book that plowed much the same ground as a project I already represent. To avoid a conflict of interest, I suggested Mr. Tanya try another agent.
But if his project had attracted me, I would have had a nagging question: Why didn't he use his own email account? Is he shy? Is he a technophobe? Neither is an attractive prospect when everyone expects authors to promote their work electronically. At the least, the writer had given no thought to communicating an air of professionalism.
Which brings me to writers who insist on using “creative” email addresses. You've seen them. Addresses like GodsChosenWriter@isp.com. Or CutePuppies&Kittens@isp.com. Or BonnetsandVampiresWrytr@isp.com.
Please, 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 email account you use exclusively for your writing adds to the impression you're serious about the craft. Much more than a funky-named account that's shared with your personal email. And definitely more than your spouse's account.
What's the cost of making a poor first impression? A lot more than the price of establishing a free email account for your writing business--in your own name.