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.


  1. I never noticed the cover missing either, until you said so. Boy, observant bunch, eh? LOL. But what stunning photos. I think you're right, it's because we were all blown away by how beautiful Vermont is.

  2. I wish I had your eye and skill as a photographer, but if the setting is great enough, even I can snap off a good picture or two.