Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Monday, March 30, 2009

You think I'm tough? Meet my spam filter.

My spam filter makes me look like a pussycat.

Her name is Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and the desert is the Sahara of no-response.

You don't want to hang out with Priscilla.

One fast way to engage Priscilla's attentions is for your send name not to match your email name. And when it doesn't, and Priscilla consigns you to the desert, I won't save you. If I "mouse over" your email name -for example BarbaraPoelle- and what I see is that it comes from "" I don't reel you up into the incoming mail. I let you lie there.

It's not the that I toss you for it's the slitherycompetitor. Make sure your email name and your name are close enough I can recognize them as the same person.

You adjust this in SETTINGS. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, get some help from a colleague who understands email. Chances are you're fine, but don't assume.

There are some other tips on email here at the Bad Pitch Blog.


Jenn Johansson said...

Priscilla is unforgiving.
Priscilla is undiscriminating.
Priscilla will get us all.

At least the desert is warmer than this blizzard I'm sitting in.

Indigo said...

Ok, that was a huge "duh" moment for me. Checking it out I did get the gist of what you were talking about. Big relief. Not that I've sent you any query letters or just never know. Keeping the door open isn't a bad thing, ever. (Hugs)Indigo

Haste yee back ;-) said...

My real and email name do not match. Priscilla reads me my unanswered emails I've sent to you. We laugh. Then she feeds me grapes and caviar... too bad, wish you were here!

Haste yee back ;-)

KTDP said...

I've gotten so much hate mail I've decided to ignore the email linked to my blog (kill[at]

saves me a world of grief .....

green_knight said...

Err, what?

My e-mail address is <>. I do not have an e-mail address that says <> and it would never have occurred to me to send professional mail as UniqueScreenName, because I feel that if I'm going to communicate with someone outside the blogosphere, I should be using my real name in communication.

It never occurred to me that this might land me in somebody's spam filter. Looking at my inbox, at least half the people I communicate with have similar non-real-name e-mail addresses.

laughingwolf said...

my 'laughingwolf' online username is front and center [nearly] in my gmail, so folk who know me by that, know it's from me... except, it's been highjacked lately in my blogger account and friends tell me some twit is sending them spam, and worse, with my name and isp on it! GRRR

i immediately notified my isp, and they're working on it

NEVER assume anything online is what it appears to be :(

christine tripp said...

Her name is Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

OK, nothing to do with anything but.... that was one fabulous movie!!!!

Aimless Writer said...

Ewww, I'm going to have to change something. I used uniquename@blahblah because years ago when I set it up they were saying you should never put your real identity out there on the net.
Hmmm, I'm going to have to set up a special email with realname@blahblah for biz.

Griffin Asher said...

I'm actually planning on creating an email account with my name ( just for querying and business stuff. That seems like an even better idea now. I didn't know spam filters looked at that kind of thing.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Well, at least I did SOMETHING right!

morphine-moniza said...

oh dear priscilla would not like me. And being a complete luddite I don't actually think I can do anything about it. Technology is hard.

Steve Stubbs said...

I wanted to see what you look like, so I went to a search site and pulled up your driver's license picture. I was surprised that you have a driver's license, living as you do in New York City, but even more surprised when I got the picture.


And say hello to Priscilla for me.

Deborah said...

Wow, another obstacle that never crossed my mind. Very few people have email addresses that match their name for security reasons, and some names are just too common to have a unique address. Do all agents do that? That would stink to be rejected because of technical difficulties. What if their email matches their pen name?

Nocturnal Intellect said...

The domain names are what makes a difference, too. Names..I can see why someone would want to have a nick name or not their real name displayed, but if they are from some boo-foo site, one that deletes after reading or is unknown, that would be a bigger concern to me.


nancyhigh said...

Can Priscilla be my wing girl when I go out on dates? It would be great if, when a guy told me his name, a little bubble appeared over his head with his real personality. "Slithery competitor" might be an apt title for some...

Rick Daley said...

I'm not saying you're tough, but...

- If you were a fabric, you would be chain mail

- If you were a mineral, you would laugh at how brittle a diamond is

- Chuck Norris has a page of Janet Reid facts.

I hope you're laughing, otherwise I'm in deep shit.

Heather Wardell said...

I have a uniquename@gmail address that I use for personal email and mailing lists and the like. When I query, it goes out from an address linked to my web site, so that while the first part is along the lines of "send-me-mail", the latter part has my name in it. I'm sure Priscilla is all right with that.

Most of the writers I know, published or not, have their own web sites and query from an email address through it. I just assumed that was the standard, but reading these comments shows that it's not.

Maybe creating a address for queries would be a compromise for the non-web-site-owners?

Soyarma said...

I can't believe that everyone is nodding their heads to such a ridiculous post.

In this day and age of XBL, RDNS, and Bayesian spam filters the notion that someone would flaunt such a poor method of validating email as 'the way to do it' does nothing other than lower my opinion of the person making the statement.

Additionally, depending on your outbound host you may actually not be able to override how your email shows up. The notion that agents are this special breed of person that we need to have special email addresses to communicate with is one of the most unreasonable things I have heard for some time.