So I emailed an author last week, and I never got a response. I think this is the second time. I don’t suspect any malice here; I simply think it is another unattended author email account.

I got a solution for that.

Believe me, I understand. It can be depressing to check an email account day after day, and nothing’s ever there except spam. Daily becomes every few days, then weekly, then you barely remember to check once a month. When I was running Fantasy Debut and Debuts & Reviews, I often had to turn into a detective in order to discover an active email account for an author. I’m going to have to do that now.

But here’s how I ensured I’m always responsive on my own author account.

When I set it up, I gave this problem some thought. I suspected that fan mail would be as rare as a personal letter in my snail mailbox. (However–funny thing–I do check my snail mailbox every day.) At about the time I was setting the account up, my personal email account was getting inundated with author loop emails. Emails from RWA, our Carina Press author group, another author group I was invited to, and another … emails every day, even with them all set on Digest mode.

Then, the solution hit me. Have all those loop emails sent to my author account. That way, I could keep them from cluttering up my personal account, and I could be responsive to the occasional email from something that is not from an author loop. Like … maybe … a fan.

Hey. It’s happened.

It works great. I have them all going to my author account, where I have some filters set up in Outlook. Anything from Yahoo goes straight into a folder. Everything else (except automagically handled spam) goes into my inbox. I even check that spam folder because important mails have ended up there from time to time. Any account I that set up as an author now uses that email account. And there are a few accounts–such as Goodreads and my author Facebook–that I really should switch over.

I highly recommend this approach for all writers, published or not. It doesn’t have to be a domain; it could simply be yourauthorname@gmail.com. Or Yahoo. Use it for queries and submissions to keep it active.

Because that’s the important thing. It needs to be active for that very occasional, very important email.