Tuesday, August 15, 2017

So, about your contact page!

After my soul-scorching email management program meltdown last month, I lost a couple email addresses. I find out which ones only when I need to reach a particular person.

Yesterday was such a day.

I had manuscript pages to send back to a writer.
The query did not list her email address.
It did however list her website: triumph.
The website has those cute little icon things for email, twitter, Facebook.

So I clicked on email.
And up pops an email service provider that asks for ...

her email address.

I can't send her an email from her website unless I know her email address.

Ok, triumph.

So I click Twitter: Triumph will be mine!
The little tweet box pops up with a form message about her website.
But what it doesn't have is her Twitter handle.
Triumph part no.

At this point I'm stymied.
So I call her.
And that turns out to be just the ticket.
Besides having a nice convo, we had a good laugh about the website, and why I needed her info.

What does this mean for you?
Well, yes, I will track you down, but you already knew that.

What it means is that you check your contact page from a computer that is not yours.
Make sure someone can reach you if they don't have your email address.
And you might double check that your Twitter link actually reveals your Twitter handle.
Same for Facebook.

And if you think "oh she has my email" well, maybe not.

Any questions?


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Woe is me, that it "twer' not I the Queen wished to contact.

If my phone rang and caller-ID splashed water and showed fins, I'd faint dead away. No really, you'd find me on the floor before "please leave a message after the beep" finished.

Colin Smith said...

Speaking of which... I have noted there are still some commenters who have not updated their Blogger profiles with at least an email address, if not also a web site. I'm curious why that is so. Is it just something you haven't got around to, or is there an aversion to being Reachable?

Janet: BTW, on a sort-of-related-kinda note, I have noticed some of your clients still have your previous agency listed on their blogs/websites... blogs/websites which are also looking, shall we say, a little neglected...? :)

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Yes, your majesty. Of course.

Morning, Reef.

Theresa said...

Good thing that old-fashioned telephone technology worked!

Now my challenge is to find another computer from which to double check my contact information.

nightsmusic said...

Good post this morning and a reminder to us all. I learned early on that one should always check from a computer one has no affiliation to because your browser caches all your pages and will automatically fill in the information on yours that it does not contain on someone else's. Same thing goes if you ever want to do a search on yourself. You'll get completely different results from a computer you've never used compared to what you find on your own.

Morning back, EM and the rest of the reef!

Justice said...

For Wordpress blogs, would the contact form be enough? Those messages get sent to my email, but I don't know if there's a professional stigma around it.

Dena Pawling said...

So if I want to encourage an agent to call me, I need to hide my email address and twitter handle, and only provide my telephone number. Got it.


Happy Tuesday all!

Heather Wardell said...

I put my email address at the bottom of my most recent queries and I wondered if it seemed odd, but if I had been the one QOTKU wanted to contact (in my dreams!) she'd have been able to find me. So I guess I'll keep doing it!

I also put the URLs of my website, Facebook, and Twitter, and also my phone number. I'd give my blood type if I thought that would help someone reach me.

Heather Wardell said...

And immediately after submitting the above comment I checked to make sure I am reachable via my name-link here. Do not want to be chomped by The Shark! :)

Heather Wardell said...

Last comment, I promise! If you can't find another computer to check your profile/site from, try using a different browser on your current computer. If you're not logged into your usual accounts there, it'll be as if you're at a different computer.

Boris Ryan said...

Check your local library for free computer use.

RachelErin said...

Colin I am not Reachable because I am not querying, yet. When I have my MS and query 'ready', I'll be forced to let them rest by spending a few weeks building my website and contact information paths. Then when my MS and Query are Really Ready, I'll be Reachable.

I've determined it's not the best use of my time to build a web presence before I have something to query.

I have tried to update my email on blogger, but it hates me and the results are inconclusive. If I start trying to fix it, it will suck me into the rabbit hole of website/blog/social media/marketing that is much easier and more comfortable for me than writing. And I don't want to be one of the writers with a platform and no novel. So I'm staying away.

RachelErin said...

It appears Blogger fairies worked magic on my email some time ago...but my comment above is still why there is not an url.

BJ Muntain said...

I'm planning on revamping my website soon, but currently, I just have simple links from my home page to my e-mail, my Twitter account, and my Facebook page. Direct links, not links through a widget of any kind. Sometimes simple HTML is the way to go...

That said, I do put all my contact information on my queries and on page one of any manuscript. That includes name, address, phone number, e-mail address, website, and Twitter account.

Colin Smith said...

Rachel: Fair enough! My question was genuine--I know some people have strategies behind how reachable they are. I wasn't being sassy. Well, not totally. My kids tell me they learned sass at my feet and happily throw it back at me. :) I'm not that sassy, am I? Sorry... I digress... anyway, I just wanted to underscore the importance of being reachable, even if you're not published or even querying, but I also totally understand that some aren't ready to do the whole Social Media bit yet.

Susan said...

I'm always impressed by Janet's investigative skills. :)

For anyone who is looking to build a website, wix.com and squarespace offer great functionality and some fun apps to spiffy up your website. Even if you're just looking for a landing page with some contact information or a simple blog, they have a ton of templates that you can choose from and then redesign to make it your own, no coding necessary. Wix also has a built-in newsletter app so you can start building your mailing list.

Just wanted to mention it in case anyone feels overwhelmed by website building, even if it's just for contact info for agents.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

I have to be reachable in my "running a sanctuary" life... which spills into my writing life as I'm contacted now and then to pen equine welfare pieces for various publications. All my links are apparently working - evidenced by the endless emails I wake up to from people asking us to take in a horse they no longer want. Remember way back when, when email was fun?

I've enjoyed getting to know others here at the Reef by visiting their blogs and websites. It seems to me that having an online presence and being reachable is a good thing, even before you're ready to query. You never know where a connection might take you, including from a creative/inspirational standpoint. New friendships often create new journeys.

Sarah said...

I think you could also use something like Chrome's Incognito Window to check your contact info as well. :)

Colin Smith said...

Chrome has an "incognito" window? I never noticed it. Hmmm... I guess it works, then. ;)

Sarah said...

That's because it wears a hat and glasses.

Claire Bobrow said...

Tracking people down, investigative skills, incognito, hat and glasses - this post has all the makings of a great spy thriller.
Janet - if you ever decide to become a secret agent, you're going to need a code name. 008? Perfect for a shark :-)

Megan V said...

In other words, ignore those moments of writerly doubt where you wonder who would ever want your email...

Claire Bobrow said...

Megan, I have many of those moments myself. Time to memorize the lyrics of "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" and keep cracking away at craft. I've checked my Blogger profile and all seems well, but I'm going to take the advice offered today and log in from a different computer in case something's gone kerflooey.

roadkills-r-us said...

I'm not the least bit shy about having contact info out there. I've had my home address on the net since long before there was a world wide web- back when you had to be or know a computer scientist of the right sort to even be on the web. (OK, so certain universities gave all their students access, which drove everyone else nuts. The PSUVM-driven Eternal September led inexorably to the Tower of Twitter Trolls who dominate so much of the net today. If I survived that (as you might have guessed, I did), nothing online can scare me.