Just for the record, you do not want to open your mailbox one day and find this waiting for you:
I know it’s odd to receive a hand-written letter in 2011. Strange as it is for you, you have no idea the trials and tribulations I went through to send it. I had to go buy a stamp. Yes, they still make stamps. Then I had to go to my mom’s house and ask her for an envelope. Then I had to call my 4th grade teacher from 30 years ago and ask her how to actually fill out the information on the envelope that the post office needed to traffick this letter to you.
Why did I do all of this? Because finding your email address was an impossibility. I checked your blog. I checked your Twitter account. I checked Facebook and LinkedIn. They all link to each other and a dozen other properties. But nowhere on any of those properties did you bother to leave a good email address for you.
So you get a letter. Because it was easier to track down your physical address than figure out your email. And with all this effort, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to say to you. How ironic.
An ex-reader who’s moved on to easier pickings.
Want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you? Follow these easy steps:
- Search for your name on Google.
- Click the top search result that you own. And by “own” I mean “are able to make edits to”.
- On that site, find your email address. What? You can’t find it? Add it. Prominently.
- Go back to #1 and repeat for the rest of your owned pages.
Worried about spam? Stop. It’s almost 2012. There are ways to obfuscate your email address, but the best line of defense is getting a decent email program that fights spam. I’m a Gmail user and rarely have to deal with it. And my email has been public and exposed in un-obfuscated ways for years.
I also suggest a bit of investigation on the social media property you engage with most of the time. What links are you providing for someone who wants more information? You should have a common landing spot for all that stuff, and that landing spot should have an email address for you. Not a contact form. An email. Again, it’s almost 2012. Time to get savvy about this stuff and stop making it hard for people to get in contact with you.
No, I don’t want to send you a DM. No, I don’t want to message you on Facebook. Those are fine methods of communicating, but they pale in comparison to the original killer app — email. Do it. Now.
And you do know we’ve got a kick-butt author’s conference coming up in a few short weeks, right? It’s a day-long intensive that will give any author a comprehensive look at the digital publishing world. This post is the type of thing we’ll cover — real-world ideas, tips and techniques that you can walk away with and implement immediately. Because the future isn’t going to stop knocking on the door. Make plans to attend, or forward the link to an author you know who needs to be there!