This may sound stupid, but do editors or agents think less of you if you have an e-mail address from a freebie place like yahoo or hotmail? I know I've seen "writer's tips" that give several reasons why "you should invest in a professional sounding e-mail address" -- agents and editors taking you more seriously being one of them -- but I wonder...as long as it's a professional, real-sounding name before the @ (not something juvenile or silly or scary), does the e-mail address make any difference?
Talk about perfect timing on a question. Miss Snark has just slunk back from a late afternoon of revelry with her drunk and debauched colleagues, and one of the topics of the evening was ..tadaa...email.
One colleague, who gets quite a bit of email said that anything remotely spammy (ie anything other than your proper name) got deleted. Others were a tad less restrictive but not much.
It's not so much the @hotmail, or @yahoo, it's the "prettyfingersflexing4u" kind of NAME.
I believe that to be true as well. I get quite a bit of email from folks coming off my website and the only ones I answer are clearly real people with real names. I avoid "firstname.lastname@example.org" although Killer Yapp swears the pictures aren't of him.
It can't hurt to invest in a good name and a website with email based on the site. That way too, if your server or ISP changes, your email address does not. I can't tell you the number of times I've had email to someone bounce back cause they aren't on aol anymore or something like that.