Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Blog, A Newsletter, A Website

Good Morning. With THE CAPTAIN'S COINCIDENCE ready to be published (March 15th), I've been giving a lot of thought to promotion. I don't generally do any. I usually blog about the release once, post it on Twitter a couple of times, and that's about it. I don't like it, I'm not good at it. I hate wasting my time doing something I don't like and am not good at. However....

Making my rounds on the blogosphere the last couple of weeks, I've noticed more and more writers are promoting newsletters. Some writers espouse we HAVE to have them. Me not so much. Yes, I can see their point --
A newsletter allows for fans to know when the next book will be released before the general public, thereby building steam with a pre-purchase.
A newsletter can have many little tidbits about the book that the general public might not ever know.
A newsletter may also contain little tidbits about the author that the general public might not ever know.

A newsletter is also just another piece of email waiting to go into the trash.

I have exactly one subscription to a newsletter that lands in my mailbox every other month or so. I skim it and then trash it.

A website (to me) is a static site about the author and his/her books. Covers, where to buy links, maybe a blurb or two, maybe a review or two, and that's about it. Now sometimes a website, if built correctly also has a blog attached. That's okay. But if you don't land on the blog, then you have to click around.
When I go to a website, I click around to see what I can see, and then leave. I hardly ever go back, especially if there is no blog. It's just a page taking up cyber space.

I've resisted having dotcom after my name, well, quite frankly, there are quite a number of Anne Gallagher dot coms out there. A few writers, a chef, a lawyer. So a website for me would have to be something like Anne Gallagher writer dot com. Too long. Anne Gallagher author dot com -- sorry, already taken. Anne Gallagher Regency writer dot com. Way too long and who would remember it anyway.

A blog is something else. Short for web-log, it's a kind of cyber diary, at least that's my understanding of it. I can say whatever I want, have whatever I want on its pages. Nothing is set in stone, I can change it at will. If I don't like my header -- Poof, I get a new one. I don't like my pages -- Poof, I put new content up.

As for the newsletter, I already pretty much spill my guts right here. Why would someone want to read it twice? (I know an author who sends a newsletter and then puts the same content on his blog. What's the point in redundancy?) I put excerpts from the books on the blog. I post pictures of who I think my characters should be on the blog. (And on Pinterest if you want to see everyone all at once.) I post content on my research on the blog.

What's not to love about having a blog as a website and newsletter? And if you really want to see what I'm up to every single week, all you have to do is subscribe to this blog via email. The little sign up thingy is right on my sidebar. Try it once or twice, see if you like it. If not, then all you have to do is cancel the subscription. It doesn't cost you a dime.

In this new publishing dynamic when everyone is fighting for readers, it's all about being seen and heard. It's MORE MORE MORE, not less less less. Do we really need to have all those things? I can barely keep up with the social media I do take on. Why would I want to do more? Will it get me new readers? Will it make fans of those readers?

I don't know. They say this business has a long tail. People will be able to find my books twenty years from now. With the ebook revolution, books will never go out of print. So, will I be the next Jane Austen being read 100 years from now? Who knows. But will a newsletter still be read 20 years from now? Probably not.

Tell me -- How do you feel about newsletters, blogs, websites? Is it okay to have a blog as a website with newsletter content?

Anne Gallagher (c) 2014

6 comments:

  1. I 100% totally agree with you, Anne! More is not necessarily better. I have yet to figure out what a website has that my blog doesn't.

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  2. Thanks Bish. Yeah, this whole new publishing dynamic is just a whirlwind of cyber junk as far as I'm concerned. Just write the next book is pretty much all you need to be noticed.

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  3. Blogs, yes, I read those to find out what's coming as far as books, and to get to know the author's voice.

    'Dead' or static pages with no links, I never go back. Google plus pages with no blog link evident - don't hang around long looking for hidden links.

    I don't sign up for newsletters, and very few subscriptions. I shouldn't have to look at your blog and your newsletters. My time for reading is limited.

    I think we should use what we enjoy doing, and not force it because some ambiguous 'they' said it must be so.

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  4. D.G.- I wish I knew how to use Google +. That seems to be the "happening" place these days, but I wonder if like everything else, the popularity will fade when something else comes along. (Like so many before it.)

    I've always liked blogging. I don't see any other platform that can do as much in one place. That's still free, that is.)

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  5. Anne, such a coincidence - there must be something in the air, because in the last two weeks, you're the fourth author-friend who has raised the issue of a news letter. I finally succumbed and on the top right hand side panel of my blog you'll see I've put in a link to people who want to receive "release announcements" Truly, I am so swamped with marketing and social media as it is I'd crack if I had to add another marketing tool, so I added that and intend to use it only as an announcement tool. I'll only worry about doing more if necessary later on. But at least readers have the option if they want it.

    And I see today (15.3) is release day! CONGRATULATIONS and wishing you many sales! :)

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  6. Judy -- These kinds of things seems to come in waves, everyone had to join Face Book, then it was Linked In, then Pinterest, now everyone has to have a newsletter. However, I've always maintained that what may work for one author doesn't work for another. See, you might have fans/readers who don't read your blog but want to know when your next book comes out.

    I'm glad you had such a wonderful time on your retreat.

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