Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com

By Cindy Sproles

Platform, platform, platform. Where do we begin? It’s easy. You begin with your email address.

Texting has overtaken the phone while email has breezed past the post office. When email came into existence we found it fun, never anticipating it would become the businessman’s way to communicate. Who would have thought?

Families set up email accounts and from that, individual accounts, whose addresses became as unique as the people themselves. Now we stand at the threshold of a new era. One where instant gratification is most important. So what does that mean to the writer? What is the impact for you? It could be devastating.

There are many pros. Just the fact a manuscript can be sent electronically within seconds – cover letter, proposal and entire manuscript in one transmission, definitely makes the cost of postage null and void. Editors no longer have to carry large briefcases filled with submissions when, with the flip of a switch, they have them at their fingertips. Technology has made paper clutter manageable. What a plus for the writer. Correspondence has become instantaneous. Writers can submit to multiple editors, agents and publishers with one simple email. It’s wonderful.

But what about the editor or agent receiving the email? With the creative mind of writers, email addresses become a true headache for the editor or agent.

Imagine this:
You’re an agent. You’ve just left a conference and asked for 15 writers to send you their work. By the time you arrive home and turn on your computer, here’s what you see.
kissandtell@….uh….you get the idea? Right?

Not only are these email addresses less than professional, they appear somewhat…well…risque’. As an editor, I can tell you first hand, I’ve received some pretty questionable email addresses. Though there is humor in these addresses, it’s time for the writer to grow up and meet the publishing world with professionalism. How can we be treated as a professional if our branding comes in the form of lollipoplickinggal…?

For the editor and agent, these emails are a disaster. Here’s why?

*Scams come in various forms from sneaky ploys to get money to less than desirable websites. Junk fills our email box and it’s hard to know what to trust and easy to delete what seems “questionable.”
*Viruses are attached to some of these emails. Some spam programs pick out obscure email addresses and dump them into spam, simply because phrases or key words raise a red flag. And if a virus is attached, it can destroy an agents full list of stored work.
*It’s hard to respect a writer who’s email address paints an unpleasant picture in your mind.

So how do we fix this?

Start by thinking of yourself as a professional. As a writer you are in business for yourself. It’s important you have an email address that is both professional and respectful of the work you do. Develop an email address that is recognizable to you as an individual. Begin with your name. For example, years ago, when I began my own email, I set it up under my ministry. i.e. mountainbreezeministries@… Though this is a respectful email address, it doesn’t identify me to an editor. More than likely, they don’t know who Mountain Breeze Ministries is. Not only that, but by the time you add the remainder of the email address (the carrier), it’s way too long.

As I became an editor, I learned the importance of sending an email that identified me to the receiver. I developed a professional email address that clearly stated to the receiver who was sending the email. cindyksproles@….

For those  people in the professional world who worked with me, it was easy to identify my email. They can remember Cindy when Mountain Breeze easily slipped their minds.

Most email carriers allow you to forward your email to a secondary account. And I do that. I allow my cindyksproles email to forward to my mountainbreeze account which is the workhorse account. For those on the professional side, there is no issue in locating me when they need me and I’m respected among my editor and business peers.

For me, it’s almost too late to change the mountainbreezeministry email. For years peers have finally grown to know who mountainbreeze is, so by the time I figured out the importance of an email that was easily recognized, the retraining process became difficult.

Your assignment this week is simple. It’s all about looking at your personal branding. How do you want people to identify with you? What do you want them to picture when they think of you? And more so, when you send that manuscript to an agent, will they remember YOU?

Perhaps you have a website and your email runs through that. Develop an email address through that site that identifies you in a professional light.
i.e. cindy@cindysproles.com

Utilize your name or first initial and last name into an email address that makes it easy to locate. Of course there are tons of John Smith’s. So the chances of getting johnsmith@….com is slim but you can become creative. JohnSmithDevotions or J.Smith100@… Use your imagination to make a name for yourself.

Look over your personal branding. What is the theme of your blog or website? Is your name clearly stated on the site other than under ABOUT? Is there an email address that matches you and your branding. SusieSmithWrites1@….

If you don’t have a website, blog or a professional email your assignment is to begin to research and develop this all important first step to building a platform.

Blogs from Blogger.com are relatively user friendly for the beginner. WordPress blogs are a bit more advanced but again, fairly user friendly. Companies such as GoDaddy.com offer web building tools that teach you along the way and provide support should you get stuck. There are individuals who specialize in building websites and blogs you can easily maintain keikihendrick.com.

The point is, your platform as a writer begins on this very basic level. Your email address. If you do not have a business email, get one now. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, ComCast, Charter, all provide free email addresses. When you type in your email address, if is says something on the order of sassygalinboots (I got this once from a writer), then get a new one.

Begin to build your platform with a professional and recognizable email address. By the end of Boot Camp, we want to know you’ve all made this move.

Christian Devotions Ministries - www.christiandevotions.us - A 501c3 non-profit organization.
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