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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5 on the 5th: Five Fantastic Speculative Fiction Blogs

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On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives you and me an opportunity to bond over other subjects that I don’t normally blog about. If you have suggestions about future 5 on the 5th topics, feel free to suggest them in the Comments section at the end of this article.

This month, I’m featuring Five Fantastic Speculative Fiction Blogs. Like last month’s writing websites, these five blogs are places I regularly visit, and each has a unique twist on their genre coverage. While I love “big-name” sites like Tor.com or TheOneRing.net, I wanted to showcase a few other favorites that readers might not have heard of before. So, if you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, this list is for you!

Visit any of these sites by clicking on their respective logos or on any of the article links provided.

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5 on the 5th: Five Awesome Websites for Writers

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Welcome to the first edition of 5 on the 5th! This is a new monthly meme where, on the fifth day of the month, I’ll share five of something. It could be a group of items (books, writers, tea, websites, etc.) with a common theme, or a a list of five items (again, all sharing a common theme) that doesn’t fall under other post categories at this blog.

To kick things off, I’ll start with Five Awesome Websites for Writers. They’re all blogs I visit regularly, and each has a unique spin on the tips and resources they offer. Most importantly, the content they offer absolutely blows my mind! Their breadth of knowledge, and how well they understand the important aspects and minor details of writing… I don’t know how these ladies do it, and so I want to express my gratitude and admiration – by telling you about them. 🙂

If you’re interested in visiting any of these sites, you can click on the site’s respective logo or any of the article links provided.

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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