This is an update regarding PROJECT REBIRTH, my codename for getting things up and running in a new way after stepping back for a season. PROJECT REBIRTH was first announced here. Here are the status updates in list form for easy reading.
Comics – Sketchbook work has begun. This is me getting down how I want things to look for my yet-to-be-announced comic project.
Resumption of The Canister X Transmission – A couple issues have already gone out and a new one will hit this Saturday. Archives are here. Subscribtion box is on the right or please go here. You get a free novelette as a thank you.
A Patreon account with special content just for patrons – This was recently launched. A serial novel is part of the deal starting at $1. Other goodies at the higher tiers. New chapter of GIGANTIGATOR DEATH MACHINE airs this Friday. Please join my Patreon journey either via the button to your right or by going here.
Order fulfillment of the Axiom-man/Auroraman: Frozen Storm Kickstarter – For those who missed the Kickstarter, the book is available on the left. For those waiting on rewards, the Lettered Edition has come in (see this video) and the paperback is being printed shortly.
Publication of projects that were temporarily put on hold – These are still being sorted through. Announcements to come once I’ve got them figured out.
Bigtime expansion and growth of The Axiom-man Saga and associated products – Still in the planning stages.
Revving up public appearances and media again – Once a couple things above are settled, this will be looked into.
More – Ah, the ever-mysterious “more.” This encompasses something that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but haven’t been able to for different reasons. Part of this was settled upon when I was at the bookstore the other day. That’s all I’ll hint for now. Super vague, I know.
I’m also pleased to report this blog has had a surge of traffic since I’ve gone regular with it again. Thank you to everyone for coming by. Some say blogging is dead. I disagree. I think it just fell by the wayside for a few years while everyone was focused on their social channels, but now that many are complaining about the problems of social media, I think newsletters and blogs will make a comeback. Websites in general are the foundation of the Web. We used to surf for hours going from one site to the next. I still bookmark pages for easy access. Websites will never go away.
Thank you to everyone for your patience as I get things back in order. As I’ve said elsewhere, it takes a lot of time, especially if you’re a one-man band.
Every writer’s inbox is different. Mine is sitting at 1883 unread messages as of this writing. Some are from fellow creators, others from family, others from friends, and others from fans. That’s just from people, as in, people who took the time to contact me. Then there are the emails that help me with marketing in publishing, emails on my spirituality, folks’ newsletters, and emails pertaining to my business. I’ve pretty much maxed out Gmail’s space since I’m an archivist and archive everything. To keep up with it all, all I can do is read my email when I can and, hopefully, eventually catch up.
It’s both a burden and a blessing to have that many unread messages in my inbox.
My favorite emails are from fans, of course, like any other creator.
The Internet is a painfully crowded place, especially these days. I remember in the late nineties when the Web was starting to take shape. There were some basic websites and, well, that was about it. Communication on-line was pretty much email. Now look at us—everyone’s on-line, we’re all shouting, and social media is the main form of communication.
Unfortunately, there’s just too many people and these days, with every one and their monkey writing a book, there’s too many authors and it’s near impossible to get noticed. Sure, it happens, and some authors build a sizable and—keyword: pragmatic—social following, but for the most part, many struggle in this area.
Newsletters bypass all the number games associated with social media, the whole like-for-like and I-follow-you-you-follow-me tactics, and all the rest. (Which are pretty much useless because those are about quantity not quality.)
Productive numbers are where it’s at and newsletters, by their very opt-in nature, cater to that. Do you want to know who is truly invested in what you do? Start a newsletter.
It’s focused marketing: sending out communication and information to people who have chosen to hear what you have to say. Actually, I don’t even like to use the word “marketing” in this case because that totally devalues the point of a newsletter, which is connecting with readers who genuinely care about you in return.
Look at the word itself: newsletter. It’s a letter, not a brochure.
Sure, your newsletter numbers might be smaller than your Facebook likes, but they’re quality numbers, which have more value than just a high like count. The people who have chosen to receive a newsletter from you are the same people who are more likely to get a copy of your book because a genuine interest in you has already taken place.
There are so many ways to go about doing a newsletter, some of which are:
▪ The Plain Jane promo newsletter.
This is the kind that only goes out when an author has a new release. It’s not about communicating with the reader, but simply selling to them. I find these shallow; see the newsletter work breakdown above.
▪ The monthly update newsletter.
Typically something sent out once a month, this is the newsletter where the author says what’s going on with them, where what project is at in the production process and to promote a book(s) or event or something.
▪ The weekly newsletter.
My personal favorite and the kind I run, which I’ll get to in a moment. The weekly version can be like the monthly one, just sent out weekly. Or it can be about creating a dialogue with the readers and talking points of interest, usually to do with writing or books or entertainment.
My weekly newsletter, The Canister X Transmission—presently in its second year—has four main points: writing/publishing/marketing tip of the week; book/comic spotlight from my catalog; creator spotlight focusing on indie and mainstream creators who’ve impacted my career; rant of the week, which is basically a positive or negative thing depending on what’s been heavily on my mind for the past seven days.
I also offer a free thriller e-novelette download if you sign up.
▪ regular connection with readers who actually want to hear from you
▪ exercise in self-discipline to maintain the newsletter schedule, which then trains you to keep deadlines for other projects like, um, your books
▪ an opportunity to market work to readers without spamming, which can lead to sales options outside of the usual channels
▪ a chance to encourage and inspire others
Ultimately, newsletters make the on-line world a smaller place and, frankly, in today’s obscenely overcrowded rat race society, it’s sorely needed. It’s a chance to quiet down, meet with a reader, and open up about what’s going on on your end. And you’d be surprised. Readers respond to newsletters with their thoughts, questions and more.
Beats an overcrowded social media channel any day.