Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Up close and Cathy Ace

Business: Talk about newsletters. Do you or do not have one? If you do, how often do you send it out? On what venue? How did you get your newsletter list? If not, why not and how do you contact your readers instead? Are there any authors whose newsletters you think are particularly good?

Yes, I do have a mailing list, and I’m incredibly grateful that those who’ve signed up for it have done so. I use the MailChimp platform, and have to say I found it pretty easy to use from the beginning. But I know what it’s like to face a groaning mailbox every morning, so I try to not overload recipients – I send a newsletter every few months, or when I have a special piece of news, or a special offer to share…which means (I hope) that folks don’t get too fed up with me!

This is the header I use for all my newsletters - it reflects the style of my website, and I hope it encourages folks to OPEN the newsletter, rather than just delete it! 

I use my Cathy Ace Facebook page, where I have Friends who follow me and interact with me on a daily basis, and I very much enjoy that; I reserve my Cathy Ace – Author Facebook page for news and insights that are related to my work, and pop up with the occasional bit of personal insight too, on occasion. That’s the page where folks LIKE my page and follow along, but there’s a good deal less interaction there. Twitter is something I use more sparingly, and I've just joined Instagram…so I'm learning how to use that in the best possible way. However, there are a good number of people who don’t use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at all, and I’m able to share my story with them via my newsletter. (If you'd like to connect with me on social media, please scroll down for links.)

That said, there are also hundreds of people who do follow me on social media who have also signed up for my newsletter. Why? Well, I think it's because the newsletter differs from my normal "interaction". Each newsletter will contain a few recurring “features”, and I try to make the entire experience more about photos than about words: I’ll have information about my latest release, of course, and any special offers about to happen/happening; there’ll always be a bit about my garden, where I’m able to show off how it’s looking; I used to have an item called “Paws for thought” which featured my furry family members, but we’ve been without a dog since Christmas, so I have dropped that, with a heavy heart (maybe I’ll feel able to revive it when I’ve stopped grieving, but I’ve a suspicion that might take a while); I’ll usually have a “throw back” photo feature, where I can reflect on a part of my previous life; I always feature a “postcard” that highlights somewhere in the world I have visited; there’ll always be something for book clubs, and I allow myself to introduce special features – for example, in my last newsletter there were photos of me celebrating my 60th birthday, and my husband and I shared a wedding photo to mark our anniversary.

Recipients of my newsletter know which of the stories in MURDER KEEPS NO CALENDAR was inspired by my first ever trip to Italy in 1979!

My mailing list has grown over time; following an initial spurt of sign-ups, the number of people who subscribe to it has slowed to a trickle each month…which is something I must address, and why I’m glad that this blog has given me a chance to try to entice you to sign up…LOL!

In my August newsletter I'll be talking about why the photograph above, and the one below, mean so much - especially now. 

I think the main reason it’s worth signing up for my newsletter – as opposed to necessarily anyone else’s – is that I share different things there in a different way than I do on social media platforms, because it’s “just us” in a newsletter. And, yes, I do make sure newsletter recipients know about things FIRST, even before I post to social media; recipients have taken the time and trouble to sign up, so they should receive special treatment…that’s what I believe, in any case. My newsletter recipients are my VIPs.

I’ve been on the receiving end of many authors’ newsletters over the years and what I’ve found I prefer is what I’ve tried to incorporate into my newsletter: relatively infrequent delivery – too many means I stop reading them; sharing insights into the writing and non-writing life of an author; sharing special news and deals early, and when appropriate; keeping it mainly visual, rather than wordy. 

If we don’t already connect on social media and you’d like to, here are all my links:

Facebook - the page where I invariably post several times a day, and where I share the posts of others too:

Facebook - my "proper" author page which you can "Like" then follow along with my less frequent, more "authorly" posts:

Twitter: @AceCathy 

Instagram: @cathyace1 

If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter (there’ll be one going out mid-August!) then please sign up here: CLICK HERE!

If you’d just like to find out more about me and my work, check out my website: CLICK HERE!


Paul D. Marks said...

Good post, Cathy. It's interesting to see how everyone does it. I signed up for your newsletter via your website just now, the direct link wouldn't load. Don't know if that's just me or a general problem.

Cathy Ace said...

Hi Paul - thanks for signing up....and for the heads-up about the link not working. I have now removed the rogue link, and folks can click through to my website where the sign-up link is available :-) Much appreciated!

Susan C Shea said...

You make good arguments for a newsletter and share some ideas for a superior one. You have more books out than I do and maybe when I have more to add to my shelf I will decide it's time!

Dietrich Kalteis said...

I like the personal approach that you take to your newsletter, Cathy. It's a great way for fans to get to know the real you.

Cathy Ace said...

Thanks, Susan and Dietrich, for your kind words :-)