I spent the weekend doing some research and study as I delve into some business planning. I need to get smarter about the way I do things, and I’ve realized that I’m doing for my own books what I complained about publishers doing for my books — just putting them out there and hoping people find them. The trick is to figure out how to get the word out.
One thing everyone suggests is having a mailing list and a newsletter of some sort. I have resisted because that’s something I’m really not into as a reader. I feel like there’s newsletter overload. You can’t visit a web site without getting a “sign up for my newsletter” pop up. On the other hand, that is a list that I would control. Facebook throttles the reach of things on my page, so even people who’ve signed up to get them aren’t seeing them unless I buy ads. There’s a lot of clutter and noise on Twitter. People don’t seem to be reading blogs anymore (though I guess if you’re seeing this, you’re the exception). People may drop out of platforms like Facebook or Twitter for reasons having nothing to do with me — protest against the companies’ policies, taking a break from social media in general. Having a list of people who’ve said they want to receive information from me makes it more likely that these people will get that information.
So, what do you think about author newsletters? Do you sign up for them? Would you sign up for one from me? Do you just want to be notified about releases or do you want other info on things that might relate to the author’s life and work (things like recipes, knitting patterns, book/movie reviews, etc.)?
Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out where to go next after I get the next Rebels book done (don’t worry, that’s at the top of my list). I’m still playing with that idea of a series of holiday-themed fantasy romances, but I also have some other ideas in the works. One is a fantasy series that’s more of a “world” series, in which there’s one world that all these stories take place in, while each story is self-contained (with some overlap). You could read them in any order and still follow the story, but those who’ve read them all might get a little more out of them. Think Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. The other idea I’ve been playing with is a cozy paranormal mystery series. I’ve noticed that most of the “also boughts” for my books on Amazon are this kind of book, and it’s something I enjoy reading. I have the beginnings of an idea for the characters and setting.
So, what are you most likely to read? Did you come to my books from the paranormal mystery side of things, the fantasy side of things, or the romance side of things?
That’s what makes a lot of this planning difficult. I don’t fall neatly into one area I can really focus on, and my fans seem to be all over the place.