By Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine
Okay, maybe your not a famous best-selling author...yet. As writers, it's critical to establish early on the "image branding" for your work. Writing is a business, and you must approach it as such, in order to be taken seriously.
Today, I'm focusing on something super simple and totally within your control. Your author email identity. Often this is the first impression an editor, agent or publishing house has of you and your work. Therefore, it needs to present itself as professional. It should convey and establish your serious intentions toward your craft.
Editors, agents and publishing houses receive thousands of emails weekly. As writers, we want to be found by those who can help us move to the next level. We all know the business of writing is a process.
We need to do our part. How will an editor be able to identify your wonderful book with an email in their inbox from "OldLadyInHighHeels@notserious.get"?
Don't make anyone interested in furthering your career scroll through thousands of emails. They will become frustrated if they open up all the cutesy named emails, only to not be you. The cutesy emails are great for your personal friends, but you are a professional writer and need a professional email under your author name. Trust me, editors will move on to a professionally-presented author if they can't identify you in their inbox.
Likewise, you do not want to use your current hero/heroine as your email identity. Why limit your potential? Do you really think you will only write about these characters? Keep in mind your future projects.
Regarding pen names, I believe if you use a pen name your email identity should be the pen name for the same reasons mentioned. Your goal is to be found not lost in the crowd of emails.
Think long-term...big picture success. Congratulate yourself on completing Step One in Image Branding!