What Do You Think?: E-Newsletters by Writers (Plus, A Quick Survey for You)

One of the most talked-about outreach tools for writers today is the email newsletter (or, e-newsletter). In fact, “start a newsletter” has been among the most suggested advice I’ve heard at Writer’s Digest Conference for the past two years – from authors, publicists, and publishing professionals alike. It seems valuable, especially since other writers have found success with them. Yet despite all the positive buzz, I’ve hesitated to create one.

Why? Well, up until now, it hasn’t been a priority. I’ve had enough going on that starting an e-newsletter would have taken time away from blogging and (more importantly) novel-writing. But now, with a slower blogging schedule and edits on the WIP’s third draft coming to a close, I have time to give it serious thought.

So, what are the benefits of an e-newsletter? What cautions should we keep in mind? Plus, I’m offering readers – yes, YOU – a chance to help me decide whether I should start my own e-newsletter and what content I may want to include. More details on that shortly.

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Looking for Advice: Upcoming Website Facelift

Pardon The Dust

Yes. It’s about time. This website has had the same layout since 2011 (or maybe earlier). Yet it has evolved drastically since then, especially in the past year; and even though I still think the theme and color palette are gorgeous, I’ve been daydreaming about what I could do differently – and, after researching my customization options, I realized how limited this theme, and a free WordPress account in general, really is.

The last straw in all this was this recent article by Juliet Marillier at Writer Unboxed. It’s a wonderful piece about author websites evolving over time and the challenges of keeping pace with technology, social media, etc. About one-third of the way through, Ms. Marillier wrote this about her website’s current format:

Lovely as it is, this website, too, has outlived its usefulness.

That line made me sit up straight. It perfectly captures how I feel about my own website – and I can’t ignore that feeling any longer. Continue reading

New Writing Article at Grub Street’s Blog!

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Great news to share with you today: Grub Street, a creative writing organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, has published an article I’ve written for their blog! “Hello, My Name Is…: Using Journal-Writing for Character Development” explores one possible method for getting to know your protagonist (or any character for your story). I discovered this method during a one-day workshop on character development at – where else? – Grub Street last summer, and I’ve enjoyed the journal-writing experience for my novel-in-progress’s protagonist so much that I wanted to share what I’ve learned with other aspiring writers.

Click here to read “Hello, My Name Is….”

Coming Soon: Apart from next Monday’s Mini-Review on Elysion’s Someplace Better, I might have a new Chronicling The Craft article online within the next couple weeks! I’m already 1,600 words away from the 45,000-mark on my novel-in-progress. Yippee!