“One of the most embarrassing moments for me is an email flub. I met an agent at a conference and queried her soon after we met. Several months later, I had signed with my agent, then six months later, on New Year’s Day I got an email from the conference agent. She loved the samples I had sent her and was requesting fulls of two of my manuscripts. I then quickly emailed my friend and said can you believe this agent took one year to get back to me! Ah, except I sent the email back to the agent and realized a second after hitting send. I felt so awful, but she was very nice and actually wrote back apologizing for taking so long and wished me best of luck with my agent. So the moral of the story is, always check the address before hitting send.”
“I once wrote an author I admired, raving about her latest book. Which wasn’t out yet. She was lovely about it and told me it wasn’t out yet, not even in ARC form and that I could buy it when it came out. I realized in a major Dolt Moment that I had written the wrong title when I was emailing her. I’d read one of her other books (and loved it), but written the title of the one that hadn’t been released yet.
Of course, I couldn’t write back and say, *embarrassed giggle* “The book I meant I read was . . . ” without it sounding totally lame.
That was only one of my horrible experiences with email. It is an amazing medium and yet, potentially very dangerous.”
“I have my basic query letter that I keep in a word document and copy and paste into the body of an email before sending it off to agents. I always personalize from there. But one time, while I remembered to personalize the body, I left the heading for a previous agent in. It said Dear X, then under it Dear Y. Needless to say it was an instant rejection!”
We’ve all done it. It’s so easy. That itchy, little pointer finger ready and rearing to hit “Send.” I’ve done it. Don’t lie, you’ve done it, too.
So I’d like to prescribe the “Don’t Screw Up” Method:
Step 1: Compose your email in a word document.
Step 2: Check for red squigglies and green squigglies, too. Sure, spell check and grammar check aren’t right 100% of the time, but do make sure you understand why you are disregarding your trusty computer’s sage advice.
Step 3: Paste the text into the body of an email. Check formatting.
Step 4: Re-read your email. I know, it’s perfect, of course, and you don’t want to re-read it because it takes a whole one minute, and you could have done something important like chugged a glass of milk, but do it anyway. For me.
Step 5: Double check your greeting. Don’t say Mr. if it’s Miss (unless you are writing to me because I’m used to it so I don’t care anymore.) Don’t use the wrong name or spell it incorrectly. Also, make sure your greeting makes sense. “Yo” might not be the wording of choice when writing to Dream Agent #1. Just sayin’.
Step 6: Sit on your hands for 10 Mississippi. I know, I know. You’ve spent like two extra minutes on an important email. I’m so strict. But it’s ok. You’ll make it up on the apology email you’ll inevitably have to write afterward.
Step 7: Make your finger happy; hit send!
Now…to get myself to follow my own method….
Any personal anecdotes???
Keep on Fumbling!
Status: Stressed. The end.