I've nearly finished my first Authour's Newsletter, which I will send out at the end of this week. When I was putting the newsletter together, there were a number of things that I originally thought I would include (like a column on sports news, maybe a political corner, etc...) but in the end, what I really wanted was to create something for you, the reader. Something short and interactive.
Now, this may change in the future, but for now, the newsletter will be divided into three sections.
BOOK NEWS: This section will up date you on my books, news or updates anything related to my work that's been published. I'll also update you on current projects and take you inside a bit on what it means to be a writer.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Every newsletter (bi-monthly) I'll recommend one non-fiction book and one novel that I've enjoyed the past two months. The catch is that these recommendations are going to come from you, the reader. Email me your own book recommendations (it can be your own work) and if I choose your recommendation for the next newsletter, I'll send you a free signed copy of THE LAST ANGEL (Due out on December 21, 2015). As time passes, I'll include different prizes, like gift cards. The idea is to expose good authours to other readers and establish a community of sharing. As a reader, there's nothing more exciting than discovering a new authour, right? So here's our chance to help one another find new favourites!
INSPIRATION: In this last section, I'll choose one inspirational story, perhaps even just a quote, something to motivate and encourage you or just make you smile. Again, this is an interactive segment. Send me quotes or stories or something that inspired you recently. If I use what you send me, I'll send you a free signed copy of THE LAST ANGEL.
By the way, if you'd like to sign up for my newsletter, you can click the icon on the top of my page or just email me. And if you'd like an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of THE LAST ANGEL, shoot me an email and include (ARC, THE LAST ANGEL) in the subject line.
A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB
Even if you publish traditionally, every artist now needs to learn a number of skills outside their chosen field. Most of the marketing must be done by the artist, and as Seth Godin says, "we must find our tribe." This creates problems, because while someone like my friend Caitlin Galway is as talented an artist as she is a writer, I have problems drawing stick people. So creating a website (this site is pretty much just a blog, I mean a website where I'll be able to sell my books) in the next month feels like I'm about to climb a mountain. (Seriously, I have no idea what I'm doing. Hell, just figuring out the newsletter was tough.)
But it only looks like a mountain right now because I've never done it. This is true of most things. And so, I'm committing myself to forty-five minutes a day to learning a new skill. The same is true for formatting the book. Again, I have no idea what I'm doing. But the publishing world has changed, and artists need to change with it.
I've never taken a writing course. I studied theology and adolescent psychology (and business and wildlife biology) at the variety of post-secondary institutions I attended. (Yes, I'm a geek, I love school) But writing? Nope. For me, it's been twenty years at the Desk, putting my time in, reading how-to books, and gradually getting better. I'm a big believer in the law of persistence, that if we put in enough time and really work at it, we become water over rock. What that means for this year, though, is that my website, like my skills, will be a work in progress.
Wherever you're at, why not join me in learning a new skill these next two months. Start today, and when I publish my second newsletter (On the day I publish THE LAST ANGEL) send me an email and tell me about it. If I mention it on this blog or in my newsletter, I'll send you a free copy of THE LAST ANGEL.
By the way, thank you to everyone who has shown interest in my work, and to the many people who are now reading an ARC of THE LAST ANGEL. After two decades, things are finally moving, and it's exciting. But I couldn't do it without the help and encouragement of so many people. So thank you all. And thank you for your patience in regards to this blog. As you can see, there are a number of plates in the air right now. Eventually I'll get a better grasp on how to handle them all.