New Book Releases Announcement List

Mailbox in DublinI’ve waffled between paid newsletter services and doing-it-myself for over a decade.

The last time I used a paid service I was about ready to kick heads in by the time I pulled the plug — not just because I found the service so frustrating, but because I also discovered, quite by fortuitous accident, that some of my readers were getting shitty customer service from these people, too.  That was the last straw.

I have been doing it myself ever since.  Running a newsletter from your own email account isn’t a major issue if you are mildly competent at keeping a squeaky-clean IP address reputation.  But it grows horribly time consuming as your subscriber list builds.

The pay-for services are all oriented towards the on-line entrepreneurs and businesses whose core business tools are their subscriber lists.  You can tell that by the fact that when you sign up as a user, and have to pick a category to describe your business, there is no category for authors or writers.  You have to pick between Entertainment, or Other…or perhaps Art & Artists.

Because of this orientation, the pay-for maillist services can be horribly expensive, especially for authors.  MailChimp offers a free service if your subscriber list is under 2,000.  (Alas, mine is far below that lofty line).

Because I’ve been getting denial-of-service notices far too often lately, I figured it was time to transition to a mail service and clean up my home email address’s IP reputation by ceasing the big lump mail-outs and letting someone else (MailChimp) do the heavy lifting.  Because it’s free, I’m hoping I don’t get too much in the way of high pressure sales tactics to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.  It did come highly recommended (so I know who to blame if it becomes too much of a pain to live with).

The real point of this post, though (yes, there was a point!) is that I’ve changed the focus of the newsletter a bit.  Well, it had already migrated there — I’m just making it official.

For a while now, the newsletter has diminished by reader and IT requirements from a 32 page 3 colour fully-laid out and graphic-filled newsletter to a short, text-only email with bare, headlines only announcements.

In the meantime, this blog has become the primary stream for news about my life, graphics, long stories about my books, and a huge archive for articles and stories.  It’s also a resource for readers, writers, and more.

So.

With the shift to MailChimp, I’ve also made the newsletter a purely New Books Announcement list — with a twist:  News about new book title releases will hit this list first.  Usually by days, sometimes by up to week.

This was actually already starting to happen; I write and schedule blog posts in advance (as purely a sanity preserver), and as I don’t always know to the day when my next book is going to go on sale, I can’t schedule those posts.  Squeezing them into the post schedule becomes problematic, and it could be a few days before I can shuffle things around, adjust the book’s page on the site, etc., then properly announce it on the blog.

But I can blast out a newsletter announcement inside twenty minutes.

bookstackSo the newsletter will now become the advanced book announcement list.  You’ll still get your two free books when you subscribe (I’ve had to do some manual jiggery-pokery to pull that off), too.

All other news, gossip, rumination, insight., etc, will show up here on the blog.  Only.

If you’re reading this post on a social site (Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, or one of the other dozen or so sites I channel the RSS feed through to), or on my site directly, then you might want to consider signing up for either the RSS feed through your favourite reader, or to have it delivered directly to your email inbox.

To subscribe to the RSS feed via an e-reader, click here.

To subscribe so the posts are delivered to you via email, click here.

If you want to be the first to hear about my latest books, before anyone else, sign up for my New Books Announcement List.

To subscribe to my newsletter, click here.

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