Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Biggest Email Fail Ever

I've got 3 email addresses that are related to my blogging/writing/editing:

1.  facelesswords(at)gmail.com  This is my main email address, and the one that's associated with the blog.  All blog-related communiques should be sent here.  I check this email throughout the day.

2.  authoressmail(at)gmail.com  This is my (very) secondary email address, and the one with which I've signed up with Twitter and Facebook.  It's also the address I use for Feedburner--so if you get my blogs posts sent directly to your email, this is the address they're coming from.

3.  authoress.edits(at)gmail.com  This is the address for Authoress Edits, my editing business.  If you want to get in touch with me concerning an editing project, this is the email you should use.

Many months ago, I stopped keeping my "authoressmail" gmail tab open.  It's not an address I actively use, so I figured I could just check it periodically instead of leaving it open (I have enough to look at already!).  And then I promptly forgot about it.

Imagine my horror when, a few days ago, I opened it and saw ALL THE EMAILS.  Many were automatic deletes--like those lovely notifications that someone's unsubscribed from my blog.  But many were emails FROM MY READERS.  And the oldest stretched way back into last year.

Last year!

At first, I felt utterly horrible.  But as I began to wade through the emails, I realized that most of them shouldn't have been there in the first place--they should have been sent to one of the other addresses (or posted as comments on the blog).

Okay.  I still felt horrible.  Because with each non-response from me comes the perception that I am a non-responder.  That I CHOSE not to respond.  And oh, I don't ever want to be that person.

Communication is hugely important to me.  Sure, I drop the ball sometimes.  Usually it's because I'll see an email and think, "Hm, I don't have time to respond properly right now, so I'll come back to this one."  And then I don't.

You guys.  I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU.  I love that you take the time to write.  And what's really cool is that, in this slew of notes and comments, there wasn't a single snarky one.  Not one.

And that speaks so highly of this community.

Anyway, I want to help things be better, so here's what you need to know:


  • If you want to leave a comment on a blog post, YOU HAVE TO CLICK OVER TO THE ACTUAL BLOG.  By hitting "reply", you're sending me an email (that I'm not seeing until weeks or months later).

    So those of you who have written to ask, "How do I leave feedback for the Secret Agent Contest" need to realize that the contest occurs ON THE BLOG.  The email notification is just that--a notification.  (This is also true for drawings I've held.  If it says "leave a comment to be entered in this drawing, YOU HAVE TO CLICK OVER TO THE ACTUAL BLOG and leave your comment in the comment box along with all the others.  Finding entries to old contests in my inbox was very sad.  I never saw your entries.)
  • If you're wondering where the second half of the Secret Agent entries are, YOU HAVE TO CLICK OVER TO THE ACTUAL BLOG to see them.  The email notification system has a limit of 25 post, so the entire collection of 50 entries will never be included.  I've gotten emails that range from "How do I see the rest of the entries?" to "Why isn't my entry included?"  Folks--this is a BLOG CONTEST.  You've got to CLICK OVER TO THE ACTUAL BLOG.
  • If you want to send me an email, PLEASE DON'T HIT "REPLY".  My main email, as mentioned above (and on the CONTACT ME page of the blog) is facelesswords(at)gmail.com.
  • Email me at authoress.edits(at)gmail.com.  Yes, there were emails in my authoressmail box asking about editing projects.  Again, I'm guessing these came from folks who subscribe to the blog via email.  Please make sure you send your editing queries to the proper address!

Honestly, the worst moments of my foray through the emails were the ones where people were asking for help.  One person didn't realize there was a fee for the Baker's Dozen and wanted to know if there would be another submission window (there was, and I hope she figured that out).  One person thought she had to sign in, somehow, in order to use the submission form (no sign-in is necessary).  One person was having trouble with her screen reader (she is blind) and needed my help entering a contest.  (This last one bothers me most of all.)

I want you to have a positive experience here, and I want to be available when you need help.  Please (please! please!) use the correct email address.

(And no, I'm not going to merge the addresses; my inbox is full enough as is, and I have it set up this way on purpose.)

I'm guessing that most of the "oopses" are coming from email subscribers.  I APPRECIATE THAT YOU ARE SUBSCRIBED!  But please remember that hitting "reply" does not leave a comment on the blog or send your email somewhere I'm going to see it in a timely manner.

To all of you who may have been frustrated by a non-response from me:  I'M SORRY!  I hate being at the receiving end of non-response, and it makes my skin curdle to think I've been on the dishing-out end.

Please take a moment and add facelesswords(at)gmail.com to your address book--then I'll always be at your fingertips!  And thanks so much for reading and contributing here.  You're what makes this community the vibrant, thriving organism it is.

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