The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

If you want something, make it easy for me to get it to you

I missed my lunchtime Pilates class earlier this week because I was busy sifting through 96 messages I had filed in my “Follow up” folder for a certain book over the past few months.  (We published the book in hardcover last April and by the time the winter rolled around, the author wasn’t keen to continue doing interviews.)

So there I was, plugging the information from the email messages into our publicity database so I could make sure to send copies of the paperback book as well as follow up with the reporters / producers.  Well before realizing that a sandwich consisting entirely of pate (even a hearty, meaty concoction like country pate) is not advisable, I noticed a trend: people would request interviews and, while most included a few sentences about their story / organization (thankfully!), a good three quarters of the journalists neglected to include mailing addresses.

Eliminating “desire to maintain aura of mystery” as a reason for failing to include complete contact information, I’m guessing journalists don’t want to be inundated with packages, books, press releases and other assorted and unwanted items that arrive in the mail.  All well and good.  Except when they want something.  If I were less thorough, I would likely have deleted  requests that came in without mailing addresses.  (Read between the lines, here, folks.)  But I am thorough, so I either responded asking for an address or looked up the organization online.  I got what I needed, but let’s face it: my time — anyone’s time — could have been better spent in numerous other ways (like doing Pilates, perhaps).

Email signatures — on new messages, responses / forwards and on Blackberries / other PDAs — are vital.  Would you leave a voicemail message for a professional contact without leaving your full name and phone number?  Hopefully not.    So what makes it okay to sign off an email with just your name and not a word about your company or its website?

I know some of you are rolling your eyes and wondering how much more I could possibly blather on about the finer points of electronic signatures, but this is important because it makes business quicker and easier to conduct.  Help me spread the word about the importance esignatures (and then hopefully I won’t have to post about this topic so often).  See, I really can go on forever.

February 26, 2009 - Posted by | Email |

6 Comments »

  1. It’s also important to include your e-mail address in your e-signature because some programs strip out e-mails when they are forwarded (i.e. JoeSmith@xxx.com becomes Joe Smith). At least, that’s what I’ve noticed with MS Outlook. Who’d have thought?

    Comment by Kama Timbrell | February 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Agreed. Many people leave out their email address from the signature, assuming that it appears in the message itself. Sometime it doesn’t, as Kama points out, and even when it does, it can’t easily be copied and pasted with the other contact information (if someone wants to add the information to an address book).

    Comment by Yen | February 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yikes! Yen, you’ve helped me realize how I’ve been doing it wrong, under a set of false assumptions (“Oh, I’ve known them a long time, they MUST have all my contact information at their fingertips…”) I’m updating my signature even as we speak. 🙂

    Comment by Bill Thompson | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. I agree, email signatures are BIG – in fact here’s another idea. Periodically change your email signature to reflect new stuff you’re doing. Events you’re hosting, etc. You’ll be surprised who reads it. Also, if you’re pitching the media, always, always, always make sure your cell number is in your signature file. When they need you, they need you now!

    twitter.com/Bookgal

    Comment by Penny C. Sansevieri | February 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] Jump to Comments Awhile back, Yen over at the Book Publicity Blog posted about including full contact information in e-mail signatures. One commenter suggested always including your cell phone in your e-mail signature when pitching […]

    Pingback by Should we really be reachable 24/7? « Kama’s Musings | April 13, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] If You Want Something, Make It Easy for Me to Get It to YouSpeaking mainly to publicists, Yen Cheow reminds people to include contact information when they expect a response. This blog is a good resource for publicity ideas that could help you (a) land an agent, (b) land a deal, and (c) sell copies. […]

    Pingback by Writing Roundup « Uncategorized « Jen's Writing Journey | January 24, 2011 | Reply


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