Ask Daphne’s Readers! About the Name

November 4th, 2010 • Kate

notfuglyshoesGot a bit of a turnabout for you today — instead of answering one of your questions, I have one for you. Can any of you explain why the name on the email address you use to send a query would be completely different than the one you use to sign your letter?

I’m not talking about getting an email from “The Wilsons” with a query letter signed from “Mary Smith Wilson.” I do understand maiden names (says the person still sometimes going by Kate Schafer Testerman) — although I’ve said before that if you’re going to send out emails as a professional writer (or someone with hopes to be one), you should have your own email address.

No, what I’m talking about is an email from “Mary Smith” with a letter signed by “Sue Jones.”

Are you using someone else’s email address? Is someone else sending out your queries for you?

Or are you thinking you want to use a pseudonym, and you’re starting early? You all know why that’s a silly idea, right? If you want to use a name different from your own for your books, that’s fine, but your agent needs to know your real name. That’s the one the contracts will be drafted in, and the one the checks will be made out to.

The only other possibility would seem to be that you’re just not tech-savvy enough to change the name that’s associated with your email address. And that’s not likely, right? You all use the internet regularly, you can figure that out, right?


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12 Responses to “Ask Daphne’s Readers! About the Name”

  1. ajkulig Says:

    I have one friend- who is afraid the internet might eat her soul or something. I real conspiracy theory lover I guess. She uses completly faux names for her whole fam online her email addy is under those names. So perhaps that one is fake and they are giving you the real one.

  2. Julie Weathers Says:

    I couldn't. When I set up my new email account after my divorce I told them I wanted it in my name. For some reason, they reset it to my ex's name. A friend asked me why I was using his name and told me how to reset it.

    However, I would have figured that one out before I started sending out queries.

    I would have to guess they are

    1. Using someone else's email.

    2. Having someone else send them out.

    3. It's an account they set up just for queries and that is their special name.

    4. They didn't have a good zombie plan and someone got to their account.

    In the case of 4, you may want to ask if they have any interesting undead memoirs in the works.

  3. Jenn Says:

    I don't have an answer for you, Kate. This boggles my mind too.

    But I do have a question for you after reading your comments on married/maiden names. Would you recommend changing your email address to reflect your married name?

    I got married about a year ago and my email address is still my maiden name. I haven't really wanted to get a new email address because I was afraid it would cause a hole in the space-time continuum or something. I did change the name in the "from" line that pops up– so now it looks like the email is from Jane Doe whose address is JaneSmith at whatever. Is that enough or should I get a new email?

    On the subject of names … I've heard agents say they Google people they are interested in. So do you need to also make sure the name your using is the same for all your work? (Again, all my old stuff is in my maiden name but I have my new name on my novel)

    Oh the joys of changing your name…

  4. Anon Says:

    What if you write everything under a pseudonym already, have Facebook, blogs and Twitter — the whole nine yards? If your Email is also in the pseudonym. Should you give both names, because the agent should know? Should you still send from your regular name?

  5. Noelle Pierce Says:

    I use a pseudonym and my email is set up with that name. As is my website and blog and most of what I type on the internet when I comment on other people's blogs. *grin*

    I do, however, sign my real name on queries and even my business cards show my real name larger, then underneath I have "(writing as Noelle Pierce)" with the hope it reduces confusion. Most of the agents who respond to my queries use my real name, so I think it's straightforward.

    I can't say why other people do it, but that's my reasoning.

  6. Ann Finkelstein Says:

    Some of us have names that defy spelling. When people insist on retyping email addresses instead of simply hitting reply or electronically copying it, they often mistype. Their responses are lost in cyberspace. Also email addresses sometimes have to be given out over the phone, and not everyone listens carefully when I spell it. I now use an email address that’s my first name, second initial and some numbers. I realize it’s less professional than my full name, but it’s easier. Probably I should get a second email address with my full name for writing-related messages.

  7. Shannon Says:

    I have 3 email addresses and I think my family has 7. Yep. (:heart: Thank you hubby for being so tech savvy)

    I have to be careful to use the correct email address. But, using a completely different name – that's strange.

    I will say that I live locally and one of my favorite morning radio shows (Mix 100) complains about that all of the time. They say it makes it difficult to know who to respond to.

    I wonder if it's just a matter of people having one email address for their entire family so the husband is using the wifes email, or the other way around.

  8. Kate Says:

    To clarify, I'm not talking about your actual email address — the part. I'm talking about the Real Name associated with the address. My work email may just be (please don't spam me — queries still need to go to, but when I send an email to someone from it, it says the email is from Kate Schafer Testerman.

    That's the name I'm talking about.

  9. Olivia Says:

    If they're young, their parents might not let them use their real names in public things like email accounts, but they're okay with signing their real names to specific people.

    Now, obviously most people sending you queries won't be under 18 (I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority), but it's a possibility.

  10. Lorelie Brown Says:

    *raises hand*

    I used to have an email address name that didn't match my real one. It kind of evolved weirdly. I was living in a very small American community over-seas and started blogging. A lot of it involved how trapped I felt, etc, so I went anonymous.

    I hung on to the email after I'd grown past that stage. But it didn't occur to me for a long time that I should probably change that.

    The very first set of queries I sent out, about three years ago, probably didn't match.

    I've since created a real-name address for the express purpose of querying. I'm even pretty sure it was because of something I read on this blog. 🙂

  11. Sandra Cormier (Chum Says:

    I have two email addresses: my married name and my writing name (which is my maiden name). I correspond with writing industry people using my writing name, and deal with family and friends through my married name.

    I already have 3 novels published with e-presses using my writing name and everyone who visits my blog and writing forums know me through that name. I feel comfortable conversing with agents, publishers and writers using that name.

    My publishers know my real name and I do all legal contracts with that name. If I 'win' an agent, I'll give him or her my real name.

    I sign off with the same name as in my email address, so there's no confusion at the other end!

  12. Jennifer Says:

    A friend's daughter is in high school and has a different name on her email account. She does this because she doesn't want her identity stolen. Overly paranoid for a teenager? Maybe. 🙂