In today’s Publetariat Dispatch, Savvy Book Marketer Dana Lynn Smith discusses why it’s important to keep yourself available to your readers, and how to do it without compromising your privacy.
Author websites and blogs are an essential book promotion tool. But far too many websites lack contact information for the author or make the contact information hard to find. This seems to be especially true of author websites that are on the Blogger platform.
What if someone wants to ask a question about you or your book, interview you, request a review copy, invite you to guest post on their blog, tell you how much they enjoyed reading your book, or suggest a joint venture? How will they find you?
While it’s important to make it easy for people to contact you, it’s a good idea to protect your email address from spammers who harvest email addresses online. One option is to use a contact form on your website. There are various plug-ins that work with WordPress.org sites, or you can use a service such as EmailMeForm.
Another option is to use an encrypted email link. I use the Enkoder form from Hivelogic. If you click the “email me” icon below my photo in the right column, a blank email addressed to me should automatically pop up. Encrypted email links are not entirely foolproof, but they work well.
However, I have found that there are a few email programs that are not compatible with the Enkoder, so I have also added an image just below it that contains my email address. Because this is a JPG image, rather than text, it should not be visible to bots that are harvesting email addresses.
Some people try to disguise their email address by inserting various characters such as myname*at*website.com. According to my research, many bots are sophisticated enough to see through that tactic. Probably the worst thing you can do is to place an actual link to your email address on your site. That would be highly visible to bots that are searching for email addresses to sell to spammers.
Take a look at your website now and see how easy it is for people to find you and whether your email address is secure.
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