Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

I’m The Slayer, Ask Me How!

Written By: Tracy - Mar• 24•14

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I decided not to delete my Livejournal account.  It’s not like I’m paying for it anyway, and apparently some people out there read it.  Then again, I never got around to deleting my Myspace account either.

But that’s not what I want to write about today.  Instead, file this under “things I really should have known all along,”. Or possibly “well, Duh!”

One of the many things my husband and I do in our little bit of extra time is that we are business mentors.  Now I’m not about to slap on a badge that says “I’m the slayer, ask me how.” This isn’t about that. I bring it up because through doing that I learned that one of the things that most businesses have among their assets is a client list.  I’ll digress a little bit, then come back to this notion.

About 4 years ago I attended a convention alongside Dave Wolverton/David Farland. He mentioned that the most important tool he used to market his books was his newsletter. In short, he’s developed a client list. (Told you I’d come back.)

I’ve known this abstractly, yet I’ve relied on Facebook and my blog to keep my fans and friends up to date on my publishing schedule. And lately, I’ve not always been thrilled with the results for several reasons:

1. Facebook picks who sees my news on my regular page, and my fan page.  Although I have a number of “Likes” for the Facebook Tracy S. Morris page, whenever I post something, less than 1/16th of my fans ever see it.  If you haven’t sacrificed an avocado under the last full moon, you might not know that Medieval Misfits: Renaissance Rejects launched last month, even if we are friends on Facebook.

2. Twitter:  Am I doing it wrong? I feel like Twitter is the social media equivalent of being in a party where everyone is talking at once. The problem is, how can anyone hear you? It takes more than sacrificing an avocado for your news to get heard. This one might take a watermelon.

3. Blogging: at one point I was a dedicated blogger. Three times a week people could check back here and find new content.  Then I had kids.  These days, I try to actually write fiction in my limited computer time. So why should anyone check in with my blog on a regular basis when it just sits there . . .sitting there . . .

4. Newer platforms:  I write ficiton, which typically isn’t picture intense.  Newer platforms like Instagram and Tumblr seem to be visually oriented.  I’m not quite sure how to approach them.

To that end, I’m going old school and starting a “let me know” list.  (Technically, it’s a newsletter.  In the same sense that my Christmas card is a newsletter.  But I think of newsletters as being sent out monthly, with lots of all caps and multiple exclamation points. That’s not what I have in mind.)

Fans of my books and short stories who want to know when the next one is out can subscribe. I post only when I have news (which for me is once or twice a year.  So not spammy).  Facebook can’t decide for you that my news is not worthy of your time.

Friends who want to hear how the writing is going can also seek me out, so it’s not like I’m shouting into the crowded twitter aviary along with every other writer out there.  And if my fans and friends decide that once or twice a year is more than they want to get an email from me they can opt out.

I’ve always had a notification sign up form on my page, and I’ve never done anything with it.   I think it’s time to change that.

I plan to maintain my current activity level on twitter, Facebook and my blog (which mostly consists of posting cute pictures of my kids, and the occasional “this is a thing I wrote that is now a thing that is published.”  But now I will also have the this option.

So if you want to know when the next Tranquility comes out, or if I have another Medieval Misfits or Celeste Ingram or Dennis and Betsy short story published, then subscribe to my not-a-newsletter (which will be devoid of cute-kid-pics, for those who are annoyed by that kind of thing). Whenever I have publishing news to share (usually once or twice a year) I’ll send you a note.

I hate spam (outside of my Bubbas of the Apocalypse stories) so I promise not to share this information with anyone else.  I’m maintaining this list through MailChimp, so you can be sure that I’m handling it professionally.

Or, you know, just keep checking in on Facebook, etc.

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