I was zipping through my incoming mail last week to sort out the stuff that needed to be answered promptly and almost passed by one following up on a requested full.
Why did I almost pass it over?
The subject line gave NO hint of what the email was about.
I sort of recognized the sender's name so I did a quick check. If I'd been in a bigger hurry (yea, like if it wasn't this cold outside, and I was dragging my heels about leaving for the office!) I wouldn't have looked at it till I had more time...days maybe.
When you email a query or to follow up on a query or full, the subject line is your best friend.
For a Query:
Subject line: Query (TITLE) (fiction/non-fiction)
Don't overload the subject line.
Don't put in quote marks.
Don't put in RE:
Don't put in word count
For following up on a query (for those of us hardy souls who still answer all our queries
and AFTER you've carefully read QUERY LETTER DIAGNOSTICS
Subject line: Follow up on query sent (date)
For sending a full:
Subject line: Full ms (TITLE) as requested (date)
For following up on a full:
Subject line: following up on TITLE requested (date) sent (date)
I get a lot of email every day, and my first pass through incoming mail is triage: separate the on-fire from the smouldering from the wet wood that needs to be set aside for a couple days.
Status inquiries are important to me. I understand how hard it is to wait and I'm fully committed to keeping you informed but you've got to help me by not dressing your follow-up in asbestos underpants.