Monday, August 03, 2009

Rules for Writers!--an ongoing list

Soon I will be pried out of New York with a crowbar.

Yes, the Alaska Writing Guild was brave enough to invite me to their writing conference, and given I like polar bears and hoped one or two might register for the conference, I said yes.

As part of my work for the conference I'm receiving emailed manuscript pages, and query letters. Of course, with any such information exchange there are snags.

Tonight was a common one. One person sent me the email address for an author who needed some specific questions answered. I clicked on the address, sent an email.

Boing! Boing! Bounced back faster than you can say "googleschmoogle"

What to do?
It's 2 in the morning here in New York. Even with a five hour time difference it's pretty late to start calling up strangers on a Sunday night.

So, I did what I always do first: I googled. Sure enough, up pops the author's blog, and there's his email address in his bio.

Bingo, bango, bongo, much better than boing boing, yes indeed.

Even if the blog was empty, if it had the email address it would have given me what I needed. A contact page on a website would have too.

Even if you're not published, even if you're just starting out, be READY if someone needs to reach you.

Here's the rule: Be reachable.


Lance said...

I love your blog.

Anonymous said...

Countdown to inane Sarah Palin jokes starts ... now! Tick ... tick ... tick ...

laughingwolf said...

multiple 'access points', like phone numbers, would help too, should the net suffer breakdowns

PurpleClover said...

LOL. Thanks!

Enjoy the polar bears. They're so cute and fuzzy. Just keep your distance. I hear they can be brutal.

Stephanie McGee said...

Good to know. Have fun in Alaska.

I like the new look, btw.

Novice Writer Anonymous
Chronicles of a Novice Writer

Furious D said...

Enjoy Alaska, and I have to say that you have a great blog. Very educational.

Anonymous said...

Right on!

Anonymous said...



First hit: my blog [includes my e-mail, or you can comment]

Second hit: my webpage [includes my e-mail]

Third hit: my Twitter account [can you direct message someone who isn't following you? - doesn't matter in YOUR case as you're on my followers list!]


If you leave out my middle initial, Google gives you a maxillofacial surgeon in New Jersey, but I'm still #s 2 and 4 on the hit list.

Loretta Ross said...

I have a built in answering service: My cats take messages. They don't GIVE them to me, of course. They just take them and then have a great time sitting around going "WE know something YOU don't know"!

Mira said...

I like your 'rules' list. That's cool.

JennyMac said...

Such a wise tip. Have a great time in Alaska! My parents lived there while I was in college/grad school. Such beautiful country.

Valerie Geary said...

First- I'm envious that you are going to a conference where there may be polar bears!
Second- I am preparing to go to the Willamette Writer's Conference this weekend and I'm pitching to a couple of agents. A writer friend recommended I bring something called a "one-sheet" with me to the pitch. Have you ever heard of this? Seen one? If so... do you think they are valuable tools? Do you like them? I respect your honesty on this blog and I'm hoping you (and perhaps some other writers) might be able to shed some light on the "one-sheet". Thanks so much!

none said...

Miss Snark zapped me with the cluegun to teach me this :).

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Give Sarah my love. I wrote about her last week (see link below). Enjoy!

karenb said...

Okay, so we're a little far south for polar bears (though we do get the occasional grizzly or black bear through the yard), and we're only a 4-hour time difference, but other than that, yes, you're in for a treat.

I'm sorry I can't make this conference, because it would be great fun to meet you. I recently saw something I would have loved to present to you as a gift, the perfect companion for your octopus (because even octopi need love) - a mosquito puppet. Can you imagine what the children would look like.

Sarah, shmarah. We worship Miss Snark up here.

Hope you have a wonderful visit.

Glynis Peters said...

Oh how I agree with this. Last week I returned to Cyprus from the UK. I married off daughter no1. She booked a magician as a surprise for new hubby, failed to let said magician know the venue, he couldn't contact her by phone. He googled her name, my author blog appeared and through searching through it, he found the venue mentioned. He arrived and I gained a fan for my poetry too! So it proves you should be available to your blogging buddies, even strangers need you sometimes.
Interesting post, I enjoyed my visit.

Reesha said...

This seems like a no-brainer, but yet something so easy to forget.
I'm jealous that you might get to pet or even just see a polar bear. And Aurora Borealis. Though the best time to see them is between April and September, the worst time of those months is August.
I hope you get to see some though.

Reesha said...

Sounds like a no brainer, but yet something so easy to overlook.
I'm jealous that you might get to pet or even just see polar bears. And Aurora Borealis.
April through September are the best months to see them but the worst month out of those is August.
Good luck catching some amazing sights! It'd be awesome to see.

ryan field said...

I had an e-mail last week from a writer I've never met warning me that a web site was pirating a book, and the download numbers were growing. I can only assume he found me through my blog. And I'm glad he did.

Don Bolen said...

I Googled my name and discovered that when I'm not a priest in Rome... I'm selling used cars in Oklahoma. Good enough for me!

SundaySoup said...

Yep. And even the people who email you all the time can use this info on occasion. My editor was away from her office where all my contact info was, and her email server went down right in the middle of a very tight deadline and she had no access to my email address right when she really needed to send me pages. She went to my website and sent me a message that way, giving me her alternate email address and we carried on. Delay? 5 minutes.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I'll be one of those people at the Alaska Writer's Guild Conference. And I promise we'll keep the polar bears in line, at least so long as there aren't too many Sarah Palin jokes. ;)

And thanks for the tip on listing your email on your blog or webpage- I just started blogging and need to do that!

Empress Awesome said...

I'm reachable. I use my cellphone as a freakin' headrest. I quite surprised that my head isn't radioactive by now.

Anonymous said...

Such a helpful blog! Thanks so much for posting all this information.

Because of this post, I moved my email to the top of my blog. :)

Jaycee Adams said...

And how do you deal with people who aren't, shall we say, right in the head having your personal information? (Phone, mailing address, etc)

Tell your agent to put your number in her phone, and then just post her info?

eleven said...

Should an unpublished writer set up a website with her works-in-progress and of course, contact info, to increase visibility? Or to build up traction for (possibly) a future where she does get readership and gets published?