Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lessons from a Newsletter

I emailed subscribers of my Horror with Heart Newsletter a new issue yesterday, The Vermont Issue. I enjoy emailing out the newsletters for several reasons. For one thing, I like to be read, and the newsletters spread the word about my novels. I also like connecting with friends and readers, and the newsletters give folks a reason, or at least a prompt, to write back and say howdy. A couple dozen subscribers reply after each newsletter -- more if I specifically ask for input about something -- and I love that contact. It's the only direct connection I have with some friends.

This newsletter was especially fun to write because it was about the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, my former home and the setting of my new release. I included an "Insiders Info to Above Haldis Notch" section, and writing it led me to remember living in Vermont. Remembering led me to share some pictures. I set a limit of eight, so I wouldn't overwhelm anyone. I'm not much of a shutterbug, but after a decade in Vermont, surrounded by so much natural beauty, I have enough photos that selecting only eight was difficult.

I'm happy with the way the newsletter came out. If you don't subscribe, you can view it online by clicking this link: Horror with Heart Newsletter 9 - The Vermont Issue. Go ahead and take a look, see the pictures of Vermont I mentioned. I'll still be here when you get back.

Now that you've seen it, I'll tell you what I learned with this newsletter. Include enough beautiful photos of Vermont, and folks won't even notice there's no cover image for the new novel, the one the newsletter is supposed to be promoting. Yikes!

When I was readying the newsletter to send out, some glitch in the program I use made some pictures disappear, so I had to reload them. I didn't notice the cover image for Above Haldis Notch had gone missing, and I sent the newsletter out without it. I got my usual flurry of replies. All mentioned how great the photos of Vermont were. Several mentioned they purchased my new novel (yay!). NONE mentioned the lack of a cover. I finally asked a few people if they'd noticed. Nope. Ha. Just another way the beauty of Vermont continues to impress me.

Did you notice? Post a comment if you did.

I've posted pictures of Vermont and my cabin there before, so if you liked the pictures in the newsletter, here are links to earlier BLOG posts with more photos: Coincidences you couldn't get away with in fiction, Spot the dog, and Remembering Vermonters and Vermont.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Release day for Above Haldis Notch

WooHoo! Release day is finally here, and it feels great to have a fresh novel on the market. It's been over two years since the original release of my second published novel, Dark Knowledge. But Now Above Haldis Notch joins the marketplace. And believe me, it lives up to the brand, Horror with Heart. There's a lot of heart in this novel, and it just might scare you too.

I've always loved this novel and the characters in it. It's kind of my tribute to the decade I lived in Vermont, a great time in my life. There's been a lot of work going into getting the novel all gussied up and ready for sale. Musa Publishing did a great job. As mentioned in an earlier blog, I was very pleased with the editing. I love the formatting, the way it looks on an e-reader (or in .pdf if you read on the computer screen), and the cover's fantastic.

It's available for $4.99 at Musa Publishing's website, where you can also read a summary and an excerpt. Same price at Amazon's site, where you can read a nice long excerpt using "look inside." You can read the prologue on my website, and today, my BLOG post, A Tale of Two Notches, is up on Musa Publishing's BLOG to give a little background and insight into the novel.

So there are plenty of opportunities to sample before you turn loose of that $4.99 to purchase. If it looks good to you and you read it, I'd love to hear your impressions.

I'll email a new issue of my Horror with Heart newsletter to subscribers in a few days, sharing some inside information behind and inside the novel. If you're not subscribed but want to be, look at the top right portion of this site and use that gold box to sign up. I'll also post a link to view the newsletter online once it's been emailed to subscribers.

Thanks for letting me crow. Release Day is a BIG DAY for us authors. WooHoo!