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I appreciate that this may have passed you by – mainly because it’s all still in my head rather than actually happening – but now that I am giving being a professional author a go, I am revamping my communications with readers.  I have a very minimal Facebook and Twitter presence for Sam Plank (nothing yet for Gregory Hardiman), and then I have this blog and my monthly research updates.  And there’s my website for me as an author, which covers my fiction and non-fiction writing.  My husband has kindly volunteered (that’s not a euphemism – he genuinely did) to update my website, which is looking a bit tired; like everything, websites have their fashions, and my rather static, page-driven one is now the website equivalent of the Ford Granada.  So I’ll leave that to him, and weigh in with praise/complaints/biscuits as required.  But my job now is to think about my more proactive engagement with readers.

This blog has always been ad hoc – in other words, I make a post when I feel I have something to say.  But again, this seems to be a bit passé: looking at the output of other, much more successful authors, the trend these days is for regular newsletters sent to subscribers.  Some of you will already receive my monthly research updates, and I am wondering whether to unite the two – in other words, to send out a monthly newsletter that contains some background research information as well as other updates on (for instance) how my current book is going and who has agreed to play Sam in the Sunday evening drama commissioned by the BBC (well, an author can dream…).  So the blog would cease, and only newsletter subscribers would hear actively from me.  (Signing up to the newsletter would of course be free.)

And so I wondered whether you had any views on the subject.  To make life simpler I have put together a few questions – but you are more than welcome to go off piste and ignore them completeley.  Here goes:

  1. Would you be interested in receiving a monthly newsletter from me, which would focus on my historical crime writing (i.e. both the completed Sam series and the new Gregory series, and whatever comes after that)?
  2. Looking at possible content, are you interested in:
    • The research that I do behind the writing – my current monthly update has only 46 people signed up, so perhaps it’s not as popular as I think
    • My progress on my current book
    • The writing process
    • The self-publishing process
    • Me as an individual and not just as an author – some writers share their holiday photos and pet photos, for instance
    • Anything else?
  3. It is likely that I will work out how to sell my own books – in e-formats only – via my new website.  Would you prefer to buy this way (for about the same price as on Amazon, but with a larger percentage of the sale price going to me)?  And would the promise of special subscriber discounts interest you?

I think that will do for now.  As you can see, what I am trying to do is gauge whether this is the right approach, and – if it is – what would tempt you to become a newsletter subscriber.  Thank you so much for any thoughts.