Battlementals is a middle-grade fantasy story targeted for boys. It is filled with strange and wacky creatures that inhabit a fantastic land that changes constantly. In the last two years I have been fortunate enough to have stories published that were fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and general fiction. Battlementals has been the most comfortable story for me to write so far. And I am totally stoked about the marketing plan I have developed for it.
But that’s not the topic of today’s post. I wanted to discuss the secret lives of authors. Alright, I’m giving you a moment here to mull that over. What sort of images flitted through your head? Costume parties filled with authors dressed as their favorite book? (That happened at the last writer’s conference I attended.) Did you picture me sitting in my office—talking to myself in funny voices?
In this case I meant newsletters. There are a lot of aspects of being an author that came as a bit of a surprise for me. It isn’t a matter of sitting at your computer for four hours a day, putting words on a page that are entertaining and make sense. An author has to learn several new skill sets if they hope to succeed. It seems to me that half my time goes into developing new and necessary author skills. This week that happened to be newsletters.
I had originally thought that having a webpage (this webpage) would be enough. It turned out that posting articles about what is going on in Randy Land and providing a calendar of events is just the beginning. I still needed to have a way to let my readers know that I’m still around. I polled some of the people that had used the Contact Me feature of this website and found that they did not check it for author events.
Once an author decides he needs a newsletter a lot of work goes into setting it up. I spent hours looking at newsletter formats, trying to decide which one would work the best for me. I spent several more hours trying to format a template before giving up and deciding I needed professional help in this area. Please, don’t mistake my comments as complaining. All of this is part of the author experience that I have not only accepted, but now embrace. I look at it as a forced self-improvement program. A year ago I was terrified of the idea of doing workshops for writers. Now, I look forward to the events.
Are any of you wondering why I’m telling you this? I thought it might be interesting for those who haven’t experienced the author’s life for themselves to have a glimpse into our everyday world. Whenever I have a chance to visit with a police officer, or a rocket scientist, or world-class surgeon I ask questions about the aspects of their careers that the rest of us rarely see.
The second reason I posted about newsletters is to encourage you to signup for mine. If you want to be kept up-to-date on what I’m writing, events that I’m attending, and access to special offers that will only be available to those subscribing to my newsletter then hop on over to the Contact Me tab and tell me to put you on the list.