When you’re just starting out, it doesn’t matter what your e-mail address looks like. But when you reach the point of submitting to publishers or even self-publishing, you need a professional e-mail address.
Make that especially if you’re self-publishing.
The self-published author is a businessperson, and needs a businesslike address. So use Wacky Writer at yahoo dot com all you like while you’re going through the rounds with your critique partner or writing coach. But when you’re ready for the big time, you need an e-mail that’s Your Name at yourname.com.
Maybe you can’t get yourname.com. Maybe it’s taken by an accountant with the same name. Fine. Get yournamebooks.com, or .biz, or what have you. But continuing to use someone else’s domain for your e-mail is like advertising that you’re not sure you’ll be in this for the long term—because you’re not investing in your business.
It costs about $12 a year to register a domain through a domain registrar like Namecheap. The same company can handle your hosting, or you can go to a service like HostGator, which I use, or DreamHost, which I don’t use, but which comes highly recommended by the folks over at SiteSetupKit. Hosting will set you back about another $50-$100 per year depending on the hosting service you choose. Money well spent.
Use WordPress to build your site. It’s free and simple to use. Most hosting companies will install it for you. Having your own site with content related to your genre will help readers find you.
Can you make do with a Blogger blog and a Gmail address? Sure. Those things won’t doom you to failure.
But holding yourself to a higher professional standard will give you a competitive advantage over those who settle for less.
Disclosure of Material Connection: The links above to Namecheap and HostGator are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the service, I will receive a pittance of a commission. Regardless, I only recommend these services because I use them myself and believe they provide good value. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”