Are Your ISP’s Spam Filters Harming Your Business?

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It happened again today. I received a query from a freelance writer, and sent an acceptance email to her. Her ISP immediately kicked back an automated message saying my email to her was rejected as spam. The writer never received it because it was hard filtered by her ISP. That means it was killed by them before it never got to her in-box. Frustrated, I then logged into a gmail account I use just for times like these, and sent the email to her again. Her ISP kicked that one back, too, saying it was also spam.

Unfortunately, the writer does not appear to have a website, and did not provide a secondary email address. Not only did she not get the assignment (and won’t earn the check I was going to pay her on acceptance) but she also probably thinks I’m one of those mean editors who doesn’t respond to submissions. So, her ISP’s spam filters are harming others, too.

Last week, I accepted a book by an author and it was a title I was very interested in publishing. The author was using AOL, just one of the large ISPs that hard-filters legitimate emails as spam. That email was kicked back to me, too. I once again used my gmail account but that was also rejected as spam. Awhile back, AOL tried to make companies pay to be white-listed by their filters. Of course, we won’t play that ridiculous game with them.

Most of the large ISPs have spam filters but they are often too aggressive. At BookLocker.com, we use a “gray filter.” What that does is send a message back to the server that sent the initial email to us. If that server responds (legitimate ones do), the email is then sent along to us. If it does not, that indicates the original email was spam. Subsequent emails from that person are then immediately delivered to us. We, of course, can also set up paramaters for things we know are spam…like those companies that want to sell male enhancement products to me, or ones that want to transfer large sums of money to us from overseas. You know the ones I’m talking about.

The free email services seem to be the worst for hard-filtering legitimate emails as spam. If you must use a large or free ISP, you should also use an email signature in every email (these can easily be automated), and provide at least two different email addresses for recipients to reach you (from different ISPs), as well as a fax number just in case both your emails are bouncing back to them. If you have a website, include that in your signature as well. On your website, you should have a contact form that is safe from your ISP’s spam filters.

While email is great for instant communication, it can also completely prevent communication. Don’t let spam filters harm your business. Take steps to avoid being cut off from your clients by including alternative contact information in your email signature.

Angela Hoy is the co-owner of WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com. WritersWeekly.com is the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, WritersWeekly.com and BookLocker.com is: “As close to perfection as you’re going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I’ve ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can’t go wrong here. Plus, they’re selective and won’t publish any manuscript just because it’s accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors’ books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know.”

Read a price comparison of the most popular POD publishers HERE.

Our POD Secrets Revealed Series is HERE.

COMPARE POD PUBLISHERS!

(More details about each firm below appear HERE.)

>> BookLocker: $517 (Deduct $200 if submitting your own cover) <<
Rated “Outstanding” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.
**(If you want to bypass the formal submission process, you can email your manuscript to Angela directly for consideration at angela -at- booklocker.com).

>> Trafford: $624.00 <<
Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

>> CreateSpace: $978.00 (Deduct $299 if submitting your own cover) <<
Rated “Just OK” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

>> Lulu: $1248.00 (Deduct $450 if submitting your own cover) <<
Rated “Pretty Good” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

>> iUniverse: $1299.00 (includes 5 “free” copies) <<
Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

>> AuthorHouse: $1593.00 <<
Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

>> Xlibris: $1972.00 – (includes 5 “free” copies) <<
Rated “Publisher to Avoid” by Mark Levine, attorney and author of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing.

***Prices above based on least expensive package offered by each publisher on similar offers targeting U.S. authors. Fees include interior formatting (based on a 200-page book), original cover design with up to 5 images, print proof, ebook creation, up to 25 interior photos/graphics, an ISBN, barcode, a listing on the publisher’s website and distribution by Ingram, all within 6 weeks.

NOTE: All publishers above currently offer distribution through Ingram (the largest book distributor), as well as inclusion of their titles in the major online (amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, etc.) and physical bookstore systems.

NOTE: Many companies offer perks that others don’t, some try to upsell authors on extraneous services, and a few even claim ownership of files the author has paid them to create. Study each publisher and contract carefully before making your choice.

To find out what BookLocker.com can do for you, see:
http://publishing.booklocker.com/