Apparently I’m doing this all wrong.
Oh, not the actual writing. Just the self-promotion.
I had thought that this blog was the way to go: get some words out there, attract a little attention, keep the content fresh, and build up a loyal core of followers.
Unfortunately, the current wisdom in publishing is that blogs don’t sell books. What does sell, I’m told, is a newsletter; something that reminds your fans that you exist. In other words, once a month or so, authors should go around to their readers, tap them on the shoulder, and say, “Hey, just checking in. I’m still here, still writing. Oh, and by the way, I’ll be in your town next month, signing books. Why don’t you drop by and say hello?”
The idea makes sense. I know how easy it can be to forget about a blog when you’re busy with your real life. There’s a niche for a basic reminder, free of random product reviews, rants about baseball, and cat pictures. But there’s a bit of a chicken-or-egg problem involved in getting people to subscribe to a newsletter about some author they’ve never heard of, and whose first book isn’t even out yet.
The best idea I’ve been able to come up with is to keep blogging, and try to convince the thousands of people who come here looking for recipes for leftover sauerkraut* to sign up.
* For those of you who have come in late, that’s the most popular post I’ve ever written. It’s drawn more than three times as many views as the next most popular post. Thank you, Google, for keeping it in the first page of results for more than three years!
Oh, and to offer prizes.
So, no, the blog isn’t going away, nor do I have any plans to change the content. I’ll still ramble on about the cats, the Mariners, the Bay Bridge, and anything else that strikes my fancy.
But if you look over to the right (or down at the bottom of the page if you’re reading on a mobile device), you’ll see a link to subscribe to my newsletter. Or you can just click here.
Standard disclaimers apply: I won’t sell your names and addresses, nor will I give them away. I won’t send spam, I won’t send more than one message a month (barring emergencies), and I won’t keep you on the list if you want to leave.
What I will do is send you monthly-ish updates on my publications and, when the time comes, signings and other appearances.
And, to encourage you all to sign up, I’m going to give away– absolutely free–copies of The RagTime Traveler! (At this point in the narrative, you should picture me doing my best Kermit the Frog imitation.)
I’m still working out the details–how many copies, how I’ll select the recipients (it’ll be random, but I haven’t decided between rolling dice, picking ping-pong balls out of a barrel, or throwing darts), and so on–but I will say this: the more subscribers there are, the more copies I’ll give away. So don’t just sign up yourself. Tell your friends, your enemies, and everyone in between.
And, once I figure out the process, I’ll announce the details–where else–in the newsletter.