Friday, May 28, 2010

The Great E-Mail Debate, Continued

I got an incredible amount of support and helpfulness and booyah!s on my question about the Great E-mail Debate of 2010, and since you guys were nice enough to help me make my decision, I am going to tell you what I've decided.

1. First of all, no, I'm not going to stop replying to blog comments on a regular basis. I love the blog, I love discussing things in the comments, and I feel like the blog engenders all kinds of talk which is about everything, not just about me. It's what I enjoyed about the reading and writing LJ community way back when I started and I'm loathe to give that up.

2. I'm still planning on directing readers as much as possible towards the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Places where it's speedy for me to reply. Plus a lot of questions can be answered by other readers on those places.

3. I'm keeping the snail mail address on my website. I designed and bought postcards for the express purpose of making snail mail work. See, le postcard?

4. Finally, I've reinstated an e-mail address that goes to a separate folder. I'm having my website updated to reflect this. and the mighty big disclaimer on it that says that I read them all but can't reply to all of them. Because yes, it's true. I've gotten some intensely private reader mails that have basically made my month as a writer, and if I don't have a place for those to be sent in confidence . . . then they just wouldn't get sent.

5. Part of this is because I read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and loved it and wanted to send a message to Neil Gaiman saying so. I found his email on his website, with a big I CAN'T ANSWER THESE -- and it didn't bother me. I just wanted him to know that I loved it. So I sent off the e-mail, glad that I had a place to send it to. So there you have it. The Great E-Mail Debate of 2010.

Thank you EVERYBODY who commented and helped me make this extremely ulcertastic decision. I didn't think it would ever come to this and I feel simultaneously very lucky and a little sad that things have to change.


Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

Glad to hear you made a decision that not only makes you happy but also your readers. :)

Love the post card. :)

MeganRebekah said...

I think that's the best decision for you situation! I hope it all works out for you :)

Ella Press said...

I agree. Even if we don't get replies, I'd still like to e-mail the author, specially when I know they'll at least read them.

Glad you found a solution!

And I love the postcard! I don't have money right now, though, but later. Save me one :D

Donna Gambale said...

I wouldn't be surprised if you now get more snail mail simply because of those gorgeous postcards!

And I completely agree that readers want to send heartfelt emails that won't necessarily get a response just so the author KNOWS. Because if a book touched them that much, a response won't matter. In a way, the author contacted them first, and this is their reply!

Wow, that was kinda cheesy. But true.

Marn said...

I'm so happy with your decision!
and I'm happy you're happy too :)

I love Donna's interpretation: "In a way, the author contacted them first". I totally agree.

The postcards look great!

Melissa said...

Donna Gambale said it perfectly. I just want the author to know that they connected with me in some way. Is it great that they might write back? Yeah but do I expect it? No. I have trouble keeping up with my email, facebook, twitter, work email, etc. Why would I think that an author would be in any better place than me?

I also agree that you mat get a lot more snail mail just for the postcard!

maine character said...

Great solution. As said above, when you feel bad for not replying, you have to remember that they're replying to you. To what you sent out in the world. And often they just want to say thanks, so to know you care enough to be open to their notes is great.

Just don't do what one author did - I sent in a note recommending a book about something they'd said in an interview, and then a half year later got back a form letter saying, "Thanks for enjoying my book, and thanks for being awesome!" I'd never mentioned his book and hadn't even read it, so I knew he'd never glanced at my note.

A few other times I've seen embarrassing typos and other glitches on authors' sites and gone to tell them, and yet found no way to reach them. So they come off as arrogant (I don't need to hear from you) and end up looking stupid.

So yeah, I think this will work for you fine.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Win-win all around, well done!

So not kidding, my word ver. is dissus

Maggie Stiefvater said...

I love that reply, Donna!

Thank you guys . . .

zonagirlie said...

You kick ass, 'nuff said. :)

Audra said...

This is a tough choice to make, I'm sure, esp in this era of 'instant access'. I know that blurs the lines for many (myself included) who feel that online connection allows for mandatory back-and-forth. This is a good reminder and a good boundary to have -- one I want even for myself in my decidedly-less fannish life! ;)

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