If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.













July Interview Schedule:
7/3 Jean Stone A Vineyard Summer
7/10 Mark Bergin
7/17 Christin Brecher Murder's No Votive Confidence
7/24 Dianne Freeman A Ladies' Guide to Gossip
7/31 J. C. Kenney A Genuine Fix

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 7/6 V. M. Burns, 7/13 Joe Amiel,

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 7/20 Gloria Alden, 7/27 Kait Carson

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Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:


Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.


KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology will be released on June 18th.

Congratulations to Margaret S. Hamilton for being a finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier contest. Margaret competes in the Unpublished/Mainstream mystery/suspense category.

Congratulations to Shari Randall for WINNING the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interview about the book here. Yay, Shari!

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.

James M. Jackson extends the Seamus McCree series with the May 25th publication of #6, False Bottom.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trials and Tribulations of an Author Newsletter


On Monday I sent out my second quarterly newsletter to everyone who signed up to receive it. I haven’t harvested email addresses; everyone had to click on a link and sign up with Tinyletter (a free service to manage newsletters), so the list is modest (but select). The process has been frustrating, and I wonder if anyone reads author newsletters?

I consider my subscribers to be my best supporters and want to give them value. I filled the first issue chock-full of what I hoped would be good stuff. I had a drawing for a free copy of Bad Policy (Gloria Alden won); I had an exclusive interview with Seamus McCree, main character in Bad Policy; I added an audio short story that featured Seamus and was published in the first Guppy anthology, Fish Tales.

I wanted to make it attractive and use colors and sidebars, but I couldn’t do that in Tinyletter. Instead, I created the newsletter in Word and converted it to a pdf file that people could read wherever they wanted. I copied the email address into my own address book and mailed the newsletter using one of my email accounts. Unfortunately, most spam filters decided all this rich material must constitute junk mail, meaning people had to dig it out of their junk or spam folders.

Not exactly ideal.

For the second newsletter, I initially decided to skip the fancy formatting, skip the pdf format and stick all the good stuff into one giant email. When I was all set, I sent a test email to myself—and it ended up in the junk bin!

I changed the email title—same result. I tried a tiny email without any links—went through no problem. Large email, no links—junk. Small email, one link—SUCCESS.

I ended up using Tinyletter to send a short email with a link to the newsletter as a pdf file download from my website. In the newsletter, I included information about life in general, past and future appearances and an exclusive interview with Seamus McCree’s son, Paddy, who plays a major role in Bad Policy and is also involved in the second in the series, Cabin Fever.

BTW, if you want the newsletter but didn’t sign up, send me an email at jmj [at] jamesmjackson [dot] com and I’ll get you this quarter’s newsletter and sign you up for future editions.

I am my own publicist, so creating the newsletter uses time I could spend writing (or reading). I’m interested in your guidance. Do you read author newsletters? What do you like best? What bores you? What else should I know to make mine better?

~ Jim


P.S. On the day of this blog, I am appearing along with Sasscer Hill and Agatha award winner Susan M. Boyer at the SC Book Festival in Columbia, South Carolina on a mystery panel moderated by Paula Benson.

3 comments:

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I don't know how I'd fit a newsletter into everything else I have to do. I like that yours doesn't come out that often, and I read the last one and enjoyed it, but in all honesty, I get so overwhelmed with too much coming in to my inbox, that I tend to delete almost all of them unread.

Enjoy the SC Book Festival, Jim. It sounds like a good one.

Warren Bull said...

Hang in there. It takes a while to work out the bugs in any new process. I rarely read author newsletters. Especially if I have been out of town, the inbox gets stuffed and when I get back I purge it.

Elaine Will Sparber said...

Most newsletters I end up deleting because of time issues, but I do try to read those from friends and favorite authors. I've read both issues of your newsletter, Jim, and I enjoyed them both.

When the day comes that I need to think about an author newsletter, expect me to knock on your door for advice.