I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Top Tip Thursday - Make E-Querying Easier

My life has been pretty hectic this past week, so I'm skipping my regular Twitter Tip Thursday - hopefully I'll bring that back next week in all it's glory.

Today I wanted to share a tip I've come across in my internet travels. I can't recall where I read it, but it's stuck with me ever since.

A question for you: How many of you query by email?

I imagine, as for me, that it's the first port of call for many queriers these days.

A follow-up question then: Do you have a separate email account for querying?


And that's my top tip. Set up a separate email account from which to send all your e-queries and correspond with agents/editors. There are quite a few reasons to do this, and I'll list some of these below:
  1. that way you won't make a mistake and send an embarrassing email to an agent when you meant it to go to your critique partner/friend/significant other. You know, the type of email where you either gush about something an agent said or did (perhaps they requested a partial or a full manuscript and made your dreams come true) or, even worse, you complain about something to do with an agent, and that damn predictive text in the email "To" bar inserts the agent's name instead of the person meant to receive the email. Thankfully, this hasn't happened to me, but I've heard horror stories...;
  2. there's less chance you'll miss an important email amid the 20, 50, or 100 emails you get a day from friends, relatives, critique partners, and your various blogging activities;
  3. it's easier to keep stress levels down during the query/submission cycle when you aren't checking your email every two seconds to see if something has come in. I've found it works really well to give myself strict times when I can check my querying email address. Because it's closed all other times, I can push the "waiting tension" further back in my mind.
So that you come across professionally, consider making the email address some variant of your name. Your real name, of course, not your blogging/pen name. Whatever you do, don't send queries to an agent under your email address of hotchick18 or sexrulz69. That would be plain embarrassing, and won't do you any favors when it comes to impressing those within the industry.

Hope this tip helps you as it helped me.

Happy querying!

21 comments:

Megan K. Bickel said...

I did this! Just sent my first agent query yesterday, but I set up a "writing only" e-mail address before that. It is very helpful!!

Quinn said...

I have an email address with just my name. I set it up when I after I graduated from college because I wanted a professional email address that I could use on resumes and for job stuff.

But it also just became my normal everyday email. I like this tip.

Julie Hedlund said...

I might consider doing that. I have two email queries out right now, but there's no chance I would miss a response, since I obsessively comb through both my inbox and my spam folder like a froth-mouthed maniac!

Perhaps that is why I should indeed take your advice...

Joanna St. James said...

great tip Rach, btw I only query electronically because i live faraway.

Hart Johnson said...

Great tip! When I set up my current email, it was for 'writing' and still is, but my writing life has expanded exponentially, so it probably makes sense to take this extra step next round. I ended up sending a draft to an agent because gmail saves email addresses of contacts and i forgot I had an AGENT in there with the same first name as one of my first readers. There were no drastic repercussions, as I followed 2 minutes later with an 'oops, I'm sorry, please disregard' and it was sent AFTER my rejection for a different work, but still... embarrassing... (so good advice!)

Brad Jaeger said...

I do everything through one email address, which is my name, and don't plan to stop anytime soon (though I can see how this may be helpful to some people!).

Thankfully, my email is labelled and filtered to such an insane extent that everything goes exactly where it is supposed to :)

L'Aussie said...

Great tip Rach. I have a 'mail' account especially for sending submissions etc. Mail.com offers the words 'writemail.com' so you can be whoever you want to be @writemail.com. Very writerly and separate from your other fun email account/s..:)

Christopher said...

back in college one of my professors was asking me my email address

I replied "Should I spell it out?"

She said yes

i said shouldispellitout at hotmail com

i thought it was hilarious, she didn't like me so much the rest of the semester

kangaroobee said...

About a year ago I set up a separate one with my full name but I found it such a hassle to check yet another page on the net. I still have it, so you never know I might get used to it. I haven't submitted much by email yet, so still on the fence. I definitely prefer emailing queries rather than going to the post office all the time for international reply coupons. I sent off for a theme list just for a magazine a week ago and wonder when I'll get it, that's not even the querying. Hopefully in a few years everything with be via email, fingers crossed.

kangaroobee said...

Just read the comment above, very funny Christopher!

Mary Mary said...

Thanks! These are great helpful tips!

Rachel Morgan said...

I hadn't thought of this (I guess cos I haven't got to the querrying part yet!) but it sounds like a pretty good idea :-)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Yes, it really does help to have a separate email! The problem is, when you see an email come in, you know it's serious! So, my tip for that--don't let any of your friends have that address or you will get a heart attack every time one of them tries to email you...

Regina said...

Great tips. I will have to get another email set up for this when I am ready for that step. I do get quite a few emails and would hate for something scary like the above mentioned happen.

Jackee said...

Great tips, Rachel! I use a separate folder within my email account to send stuff out to agents. It's effective, but I think a different email account would work better. Thanks!

~ Jackee

Lola Sharp said...

Great tip! :)

Have a wonderful weekend,
Lola

kangaroobee said...

Well I used this great tip today with my 'professional' other email only to then discover it no longer exists *bangsheadagainsttable* *waitsforformrejection* I did email them and ask that they use the other one, but hey first impressions. Who's betting I get a form rejection? That could be the next competition. The winner gets the top 10 tips on what not to do in a submission ;)

Adina West said...

I did all my querying via email.

I do have several email addresses already for various purposes but have to admit that for querying I used my most professional/long term/not-going-anywhere-for-years email address, just to make sure nothing went missing. And for better or for worse, I definitely followed Julie's approach of obsessive checking, so there's no way any email with "Query" in the title would ever have slipped past me...

Rachael Harrie said...

@Megan, glad you found it helpful, good luck with your query :)

@Quinn, great you liked it. Am impressed if you've made it through on the one email address - I've got heaps, too many perhaps :)

@Julie, LOL. Would love to see you in your froth-mouthed maniac persona ;)

@Joanna, thanks. It's a bit like that, isn't it!

@Hart, oh dear! Still, glad there were no drastic repercussions. That predictive text when two people have the same names is a killer!!!

@Brad, glad you've worked out the labelling and filtering stuff - I tried to wrap my head around those but wouldn't trust my own technical skills to get it right (*grins*)

@L'Aussie, thanks. Ooh I like "writemail.com" - very professional! :)

@Christopher, that's too funny!!! I've got in similar trouble in the past with that sort of answer. Sigh, some people just don't get our sense of humor! :)

@Kangaroobee, those IRC's are a killer, and some agents/publishers don't even take them I hear! Give me email every day :)

@Mary Mary, no probs (*grins*)

@Rachel, something to think about when you jump on the query boat :)

@Carolina, that's so true! Great tip :)

@Regina, hey thanks :) Good luck setting up the emai. The hard part's sometimes finding a combo of your own name that nobody's taken yet :(

@Jackee, thanks :) I've never tried it from a separate folder. Sigh, technology and me just ain't friends LOL

@Lola, ta, you too :)

@Kangaroobee, #ifeelyourpain. But I'm sure it won't be a form rejection (*hugs*). The way I see it, if they want your work they'll contact you any way they can, and they'll definitely remember your later email with the right address. So you're not allowed to stress over it, ok!!!

@Adina, go you! It does need to be the professional-sounding address though, doesn't it (*grins*)

kangaroobee said...

ok :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I don't do this mainly because I would still keep obsessively checking the separate account, and it would be depressing to see nada emails every time I check. Plus I love having my rejections drowned out by my blog comments/love. It takes the sting out of them. :D

Related Posts with Thumbnails