The Power of Communication…and the Weaknesses

Lately we’ve been having some difficulties with our server. It seems that some, but not all, emails from gmail or yahoo accounts are getting lost. Not dropped into our spam folders, just lost. A few years ago we switched servers because of similar problems. What I’ve come to learn is that no server is perfect and now I wonder if maybe the problems we had with the old server were less problematic.

These types of things happen all the time. Technology is not perfect and spam filters can sometimes be a little too overly aggressive. I know one publisher, for example, I had to call when we changed our domain name from bookends-inc.com to bookendsliterary.com in order to make sure we were cleared in their filters.

What’s more concerning to me when things like this happen is how many people (authors, agents, editors, my mother included) can’t or won’t bother to pick up the phone when repeated emails have gone unanswered. The assumption always seems to be that we’re being ignored, when I think the assumption should always be that the email was lost. It happens. All the time.

I can’t speak for other agencies, but I can speak for BookEnds agents. We answer everything. We answer queries, we answer all client communication, we answer emails and phone calls. If you’re a client or editor and you haven’t received a response in two days time (and you know your agent is in the office and not on vacation or at a conference) email again. If that email doesn’t receive a response, call. There’s probably a very logical explanation and ignoring you is not one of them.

We are all guilty of becoming too reliant on the ease and convenience of email and assume everything works when we all know first hand that it doesn’t always work; that submission requests get stuck in spam folders, that emails disappear into the ether, and phone call slips get dropped under filing cabinets.

We are currently working with our server to correct and fix some of the problems we’ve been having, but I also know from previous experience that sometimes servers (Yahoo was a past example) create some of the problems themselves by not updating certificates or security thingies, or whatever it is. Please bear with us and if you don’t get a response, pick another of the many ways you have to reach us (except through Facebook, we don’t check that often either).

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5 comments

  1. What about receipts for full manuscript requests?

    If an agent requested a full, and the manuscript was sent, would the agent follow-up with an email acknowledging that the manuscript has been received? I assumed not, but now I’m wondering if my manuscript was received at all!

    1. if it was submitted through our form you will receive a receipt. If not, once the posted time periods are up feel free to check in.

  2. Don’t use Facebook we don’t read it.
    (FB like button) 11 people like this.

    Sorry, I’ve been listening to hubby reading the twitter feed about our shiny new PM and her new government. All in his best BBC voice. Now everything seems funny.

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