Insomniacs Newsletter - What's in a Newsletter [July 2020]

Wake up Insomniacs (I'll work on that intro),

I don't know how to start this. I write my employer's newsletter, but this is different. This is what every author, publisher, and book reviewer says is necessary; the thing that can make or break an author's career. A weekly author newsletter. Except, I'd rather be writing about shootouts, vampires and superheroes instead. Meaning, this is the very first issue, almost two years after collecting the first few names. Primarily because I couldn't figure out what to put into an author's newsletter, and I really tried, hard.

For almost two years I subscribed to other authors' newsletters by the dozen. What I found was, no certain answer. Fashion ideas, stock tips, recipes, vacation photos and marketing ideas all found their way into different newsletters. I thought that newsletters were to talk about books, but clearly that was not the case and I must have been thinking of a book club. These were personal blogs, general discussion and sometimes dad jokes. But that is why people use Twitter, tumblr, FaceBook and so on, micro blogging. So, I thought I would break it down into fiction writers. There were plenty of fiction writers with newsletters, millions of other fiction writers.

Unfortunately, almost nobody was writing newsletters. I am serious, I've gathered close to 100 free books by signing up for newsletters, and I've gotten maybe three actual newsletters from fiction authors. All three of these came from authors who dabble in the romance category of books, I was too scared to walk on the erotica side of the aisle. I just never know what I'm going to get with dealing with them. A night of romance and cuddling or a raunchy and rough abduction, with consent.

Newsletters are primarily a marketing tool. Used to reach out, build some kind of relationship with readers, eventually turning them into fans. Fans buy more books, the author makes more money. That sounds disgusting when written that way, but I majored in finance with a minor in accounting, the degree was talking.Despite the great marketing uses, fiction authors just don't use them.

I don't have any proof, but it seems as if most of us write for different reasons. For me, it provides an emotional outlet. I have a friend, she writes as well, because writing is a cheap hobby and you might make a little money on the side. Some people simply love to tell stories. I'm not saying this is a more noble cause than someone who writes non fiction. Some of them may very well write for the same reason. I'm only stating the average fiction author, chooses something besides money. Because of that, we're a real mess on the newsletter front.

I sell a few books every month, buy lunch a few times from the royalties. Still, I give away hundreds, sometimes thousands of free books. If you're reading this you got at least one book, maybe even three depending when you joined. I've given away books anywhere you can think of, word of mouth is the best advertising, at least that's what I think. Yet, I'm not an outlier in the world of fiction. I'm certain maybe 90% of the people subscribed to my newsletter, are subscribed to at least one other author.

It seems the days of scratching and clawing to be as wealthy as Stephen King or JK Rowling are long gone. Most of my favorite authors from childhood and my teen years are on Twitter. As a child I believed that if your book made it to book stores, a public library or The Scholastic Book Fair, you were rich. I'm talking big money, multi-millionaire, never have to work again. As it turns out, majority of my favorite authors complain about the same things I do on Twitter. Family issues, getting your car dinged in the parking garage, not enough days off work, or being cooped up in a pandemic.

Still, they keep writing even if the days of publishing deals and library tours are long gone. From free short stories, to multi-book deals, and back to free short stories, before self publishing. They're still writing. I enjoy planning and writing of novels like Phantasmagorical and SWIFT. The chaotic and unplanned nature of Exsanguinate brings me joy. If a story pops in my head 12AM Fiction lets me blurt it out no matter what the genre might. I'll keep trying to do the newsletter thing monthly. But if I don't, forgive me for being one of the millions of fiction writers who can't seem to find a purpose for sending these each month.

If you've read my book SWIFT and thought it was okay or you enjoy Gangsters, Bikers and Bad@sses it is being featured in a giveaway alongside several other books. Check it out, and see if there's something you like.

Favorite Things I've Read This Month: 

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