And to Whom Should I Reply?

top secretI can never understand why so many writers have websites and/or blogs, but do not have their email address or a “contact me” link easily visible.

It’s a frequent source of frustration for me. Why would you bother putting yourself out there without giving people a way to contact you?There are two circumstances in which I come up against this:

(1) I’m following links to various websites/blogs, find something I like and become interested in talking to the writer about whether they’d ever like to be published, whether they have an agent, etc… and there’s no email address.

(2) I want to respond privately to a comment someone has left on my blog, rather than put it out there for all the world to see. I’m interested in engaging in conversation. Yet when I follow the link to their blog or website, again, no way to contact them.

Listen, there’s a lot of dialogue going on out here on the web, and real connections are being made. If you don’t include a way for people to contact you directly, it says you’re not interested in making connections, that maybe you’re just interested in being heard but not interested in hearing from others.

You’re here to network, to learn, to communicate, and to create relationships. It’s not just about putting your blog or website up and commenting on others’ blogs. Let people know how to reach you, too. Just in case.

And by the way, the excuse that you want to avoid spambots getting your email address is so five years ago. You can encrypt or obscure your email address so that people can see it but spambots can’t. If you want, you can also create a separate Gmail or Yahoo address for public use. It’s free and takes 30 seconds.

So, if you have a website or blog, and if you’re leaving comments on others’ blogs, make sure you have your email address or “contact me” plainly visible.

If you’re one of those without contact info on your site—why not? Are you going to add it today?

Have a blog or website? Make sure people can find your email address or contact page!

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Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

16 Comments

  1. Sue Coletta on October 5, 2015 at 5:11 AM

    Totally agree. I use a contact form, but also have my email on my landing page and About.me page. Now I’m wondering if I should put it under my Gravatar in the sidebar to make it more accessible for those who go straight to the blog. Thanks!



  2. […] Gardner reminds us to make sure we can be easily contacted, Janet Reid talks about what it means to be “previously published,” Patrick McDonald shares 7 […]



  3. RuthAnn Ridley on September 25, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    Dear Rachelle,
    I’m not new at blogging but am new at learning to use social media effectively. Thank you so much for this tip.

    RuthAnn Ridley
    ruthannridley@earthlink.net
    inspiringcuisine.com



  4. Heidi Kneale (Her Grace) on September 24, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    Once upon a time I made my contact info readily available on my web site.

    Then I picked up a stalker.

    LSS, I deleted everything I’d put up, changed email addresses, etc, and went dark on the internet for two years for the safety of myself and my family.

    When I came back, I was a bit more cautious about contact info.

    Contact forms are wonderful. Those who truly wish to get ahold of me (for legitimate reasons) can, and spammers and stalkers are weeded out.



  5. Lisa on September 22, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    My favorite part of blogging… connecting with people!



  6. Peter DeHaan on September 22, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    I’ve even seen author blogs that keep the author’s name a secret. The web address gives no clue, there’s no “about page,” no photo, and no hint of their identity. I guess we need to call them Anonymous. (Though Anonymous does write a lot.)



  7. Angela L Brown on September 22, 2015 at 2:54 PM

    Although I have a contact form, you’ve given me something to consider so I’ve added my e-mail address to my About Me page. That gives others options on reaching me, b/c I agree, it’s about networking, not one-way communication.



  8. Amber on September 22, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    I agree! People come to my blog and ask a question. I’ll reply and realize they have a NOREPLY e-mail. Ugh!



  9. Abigail C on September 22, 2015 at 8:55 AM

    You’d posted about this a couple years ago when I was just starting to think about using my blog to promote my writing (I know…I am from the generation that just *blogs* for the heck of it, using it as a platform for my fiction was a slow-blooming idea). Before that idea took hold, I didn’t have my email posted. My email has been up for a couple years now, and I really haven’t seen an increase in spam. Though I do get random emails from recipe websites I’ve never heard of wanting to “highlight my blog” (the http://www.theravenslanding.com site that has a handful of recipes) and I have no idea how legit those are!



  10. Brenda Koinis on September 22, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    Wow. I just read this. ‘Checked my blog. Sure enough, my contact information was almost impossible to find. ‘Fixed it in five minutes. Thanks so much for the great advice!



  11. Micah Maddox on September 22, 2015 at 7:19 AM

    Sorry, Rachelle not Rachel 🙂



  12. Micah Maddox on September 22, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Thanks, Rachel! I had it, removed it and now it’s back! Thanks for the nudge!



  13. Tracy Line on September 22, 2015 at 5:24 AM

    Guilty. Oops. At one point, I had this on my website and somewhere along the line I removed the page. But I have added it back on. Thanks for the reminder!



  14. Iola on September 22, 2015 at 1:47 AM

    Agreed!

    My other pet annoyance is people who don’t make their Twitter handle obvious. I often tweet writing articles and book reviews, and I like to be able to acknowledge the source.



  15. Jeremy Myers on September 21, 2015 at 10:03 PM

    I used to have my email address on my site, but then I started getting spam, and so took it off. But too late! Today I get over 300 spam every day. Someone got my email address and sold it to a bunch of spam factories.

    Anyway, I now have a contact form, but your post made me realize it is hard to find, so I added a link in my footer which send people to the contact form.



  16. Rachelle Gardner on September 21, 2015 at 8:13 PM

    This is a test comment.