Kismet-Frank threat

Notes from the Kismet front

I realized a couple of days ago that if I want to have Sun-Cutter books at Senshi-Con (which I really do!), I need to get the files laid out and sent to CreateSpace approximately ... last week. Oops. So I have been frantically scrambling to get the pages formatted, the cover done, and the book laid out.

Also, now that I understand how to use MailChimp and have started using it for my Lauren stuff, I FINALLY did something I've been thinking about doing for ages and created an email list for my comics stuff. At this point I'm thinking I'll probably send about 3-5 emails a year -- updates on things like new books, Kickstarters, convention appearances, etc. This will be ONLY for my comics stuff, not for any of my other projects.

If you are interested, you can sign up for it here:

(Although, frankly, if you follow my LJ/DW, you'll probably get all that information anyway.)

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Honestly, I think putting together a mailing list for new book releases is probably one of the best marketing things you can do. I wish I'd started years ago. Mailchimp is fairly easy to use - the only catch is that you need to provide a mailing address, which is included in all the emails you send out (for anti-spam purposes). I don't mind sharing my mailing address with the world, but I know a lot of people get P.O. boxes for it.

... which isn't really meant as advice of the OMG YOU MUST DO THIS variety, but I really do feel like it is an incredibly useful thing to have, and not something that really costs much in actual time except for the initial list setup and then putting together a post whenever you have a new book. And then put the signup link in all the places you possibly can -- on your bio, in your books, on your blog, etc.

I also think it's very helpful to sign up for a few other authors' mailing lists (successful ones, preferably) and then see what they do.

... by the way, I didn't mean to wander off from that other discussion, after saying I'd give you some tips on marketing, and never come back. I MEANT to! I realized, though, that a lot of what I know about marketing is far more applicable to self-published stuff, since you don't have as much flexibility when you're going through a publisher.

A mailing list is one useful thing you can still do, though.

Also: study what the successful writers do, and then trying to do as much of that as possible. I am vaguely boggled at myself for never having figured this out in all the years I've been trying to sell my creations, but obviously, people who are successful are doing specific things that are MAKING them successful. It isn't magic. And it's possible to figure out at least some of what they are doing, and do some of those things -- obviously you shouldn't jettison your own writing and marketing strengths in order to chase the popular trends, but I am finding it VERY useful to look at it in terms of, what are they doing right? How many of those things can I do too? As opposed to thinking of them as some kind of magical breed apart, whose success I could never hope to achieve. I bloody well am chasing that success. XD And it actually IS worth it, as an investment, to spend a little time analyzing the habits of successful writers to see how much of that you can emulate (and what you can't ... obviously there are going to be things that aren't applicable to what you're doing, too).
I am on a few author lists. Reading them once they're in my mailbox is a different story. Oddly this was a topic of discussion on Queer SciFi's FB group yesterday. I was stunned by some of the attitudes (that for 'real' writers who have day jobs no one can really blog/newsletter etc, and I DID call them on that crap) and 'I would never give my email to an author for a newsletter? Um doesn't EVERYONE have a junk email just for that purpose? strange.

I am definitely interested in hearing what you're seeing that IS working because all I see is authors whining about what doesn't work but no one offering up things that might at least work a little for them. God knows I am not doing as well as I'd like