Return of the Newsletter

Yep, you read that right. I’m bringing back something that has gone neglected for far too long, my newsletter emails.

What happened to the newsletter anyway?

Back in 2015, I tried to start up a regular newsletter, with people subscribing to receive updates and book news by email. Well, needless to say I got very mixed results, because I really had no idea how to go about running a newsletter, and I had very little to say.

It didn’t help that between changes at Gmail, and alterations to the services offered by the site I sent the newsletter from, emails were likely ending up in people’s spam folders instead of being delivered. Now remember, everyone on that list had already confirmed they wanted to hear from me, but the open rate dropped considerably, and I lost interest in continuing the newsletter.

What changed?

It all started when I began putting together the events for the Brain to Books Fantasy Genre events, and needed a way to keep in touch with authors who were participating. All of the authors needed to receive the same email, and some of them needed to receive event-specific emails, and so was born a new mailing list.

Through careful planning of the events, and working out ways to send specific emails to the relevant authors, I got a feel for how the newsletters could work. Fast forward a few days, and I come across a service that did what my old one did, but came with the bonus of many of the features I needed being free.

So, I started looking into the details, and wondered if I could get my newsletter back off the ground. And thankfully, there were a number of people who’d already expressed an interest in hearing more from me, after they had completed the Brain to Books Fantasy “First Lines” Scavenger Hunt event.

I had a ready-made list of new people who actually wanted to know more… hmmm… but what to send them?

Well, I was already updating my graphics for my social media sites, so why not try something new with the newsletter. I created some new graphics to us as headers…

And here’s what went out…

Actually, the answer to this question wasn’t a simple one.

In my first email to you, I promised to give you some background information on my favorite lupine (werewolf), Richard Parsons. And then I realized just how hasty I’d been in making that promise.

You see, when you’ve been writing about a character for the best part of eight years, they undergo a kind of metamorphosis. Initially, what you have is a very basic idea of the character, some broad personality traits, and maybe a rough idea of what they look like.

Then you sit down and start writing, and things change. In Richard’s case, they changed a lot. Which meant making sure what you got was actually representative of Richard as he turned out.

So, I dove through my piles of notes, website pages, story outlines, finalized stories, and everything I’d shared with others, and discovered the ideal way to introduce Richard…

Read “A Fireside Chat with Richard Parsons” by A.F. Stewart & Timothy Bateson

Find out who Richard is connected to…

There is a lot of other information about Richard, and the other characters in the “Shadows Over Seattle” series, over on my website.

Now, it’s a little sparse compared to the depth of information that Sandi and I have created over the years of creating this series.

So, here’s an open invitation to find out more.

  • Keep following these emails, my blog, and the website for information as it’s posted…
  • Or, drop me an email, and let me know what you’d like to know more about, and find out information before anyone else.
  • Just don’t expect too much in the way of spoilers…

Join The Conversation

Now, it may look like I’m just giving away a bunch of links to material that I’ve already put out there, and that’s true.. For now!

I want the newsletter to be more than a rehashing of old material. I want to turn it into a way for people to be part of the conversations that go on behind the scenes.

By subscribing, you’re going to have access to me as a writer, and be in a position to ask me questions, show what projects most interest you, and maybe even influence some of my writing. You see, I know that I don’t know everything, so if you have knowledge that might be relevant to one of my projects, I might just be asking you questions too…

You’ll also receive updates from my blog, so you’ll never have to miss a single post, unless you want to.

As time goes on, I might expand the newsletter to include other things, like reviews of books I’ve recently read, or reviewed in the past. Of course, if I hear enough people want to see something, I will definitely try to include it.

B2CyCon might be over, but the fun doesn’t stop!

I just got done with a huge online event (#b2bcycon2017), which I use for networking with readers and authors every year. I’m a three year veteran at The Brain to Books Cyber Convention, and I’m always trying new things.

Trying New Things

My latest experiment was a Fantasy themed scavenger hunt, where I challenge participants to match the first lines of books to their covers. It uses the Amazon “Look Inside” feature to encourage people to actually look at the books featured, and explore the first few pages.

What Were The Results?

It’s proved to be an interesting experiment, because a lot of the participants have agreed to sign up for author mailing lists, and indicated they would do similar quizzes in future.

The event can be found here, for those interested in having a look, and will be available until Saturday 15th April, when I draw the winners

Back Porch Writer (February 21st 2017) – Living The Indie Author Life, Take 4

I had the pleasure of chatting with Kori Miller yesterday, over on her podcast “Back Porch Writer”.

9033c608-0595-481e-9b20-5591a5bdca5b_backporchwriterLiving The Indie Author Life, Take 4

We discuss internet search histories, werewolves, vampires, favorite films, writing, research, the upcoming Brain to Books Cyber Convention…

Listen to the episode here

I’d like to thank Kori for taking the time to chat with me, especially because we had to reschedule, and for putting up my ramblings.

Go show Kori some love, and check out her other Back Porch Writer episodes

Enter To Win A $100 Amazon Gift Card – Check Out This Cyber Convention Sampler

brain-to-books-holiday-banner

So You’ve Seen My Post About The 2017 Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo – Confused?

Well, here’s your chance to get an sample of what you can expect from the main event.

Angela has collected together authors from a number of genres, to bring you some amazing books and events.

I’d love to list all the events and giveaways, but the nice thing about how this is all set up, is that you can go from one event to another, just as you would in a regular convention. So… Here’s how to get everything!

Get Access To All The Events & Giveaways

Enjoy three days of fun, games, and prizes

Click Here!

“Under A Hunter’s Moon” Trailer – created in Powtoons

Quick, Easy & Powerful

Creating Slideshows and Animated Videos With PowToon couldn’t be much simpler than their site makes it.

Step 1 – Register an account at www.powtoon.com

Step 2 -Select a category – Education/Work/Personal

Step 3 – Decide on a template

Step 4 – Write up a script

Step 5 – Figure out when things need to hapen

Step 6 – Add/Remove elements as needed

Step 7 – Check your video out

Step 8 – Publish to PowToons/YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/Vimeo/Google+ and more

And in less than an afternoon, this is what’s possible…

Watch The “Under A Hunter’s Moon” Video Trailer:

Click here, if the trailer doesn’t open first time.

GoIndieNow Presents: A Live Panel Discussion on Book Covers

On Saturday August 20th, I sat down and took part in a panel discussion for GoIndieNow. The subject was Book Covers, and there was a great group of folks on the discussion panel. Now I’m not shy about cover design, and it’s importance in selling a book, so this was a panel I really looked forward to. Everyone had different experiences, and came from different backgrounds, so it was not only interesting, but informative.

Note: This is a long discussion panel, so you may want to grab a drink before you start watching.

Why Is Cover Design Important?

While it is one element of the process, it is an important one.

It’s the first thing that catches your eyes. A good book cover can bring someone in and while it doesn’t tell whether the book is good or not, it is that first impression that an author should be seeking.

It also shows a level of professionalism and care that can be unmatched in even the writing. A good book cover can sell someone something they never knew about. A good book is what they will tell their friends about.

It surprising how much it is overlooked or sometimes overthought. So where do you find the balance? What are some of the key elements to a winning book cover? Join our panel as they discuss.

Panelists:

Joshua Robertson (Owner of Crimson Edge Publishing and Best Selling Author Of Melkorka, book 1 in The Kaelandur Series, and Author of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga)

Heidi Angell (Author of The Hunters Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire.)

Rebekah Jonesy (Romance/Erotica Writer of 8 Romance novels including Melissa’s Men and Safely Begun)

Timothy Bateson (Author of Under A Hunter’s Moon and Expert Blogger of Ramblings of An Author)

Michael J Elliot (Author of Short Stories Collections Portrait of Dread and Choice Cuts and Book Cover Designer).

Hosted By:

Jin Okubo (Romance Author of Love and Kaoru: In Loves Shadow and the Fantasy book Memories, and GoIndieNow Contributor)

An Interview With Me, by Joe Compton of GoIndieNow

12805949_1026533044052486_3660425143880806537_nGo Indie Now – Episode Five – Is Now Available Live

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down on Google Hangouts, for an interview. Joe Compton, of GoIndieNow was kind enough to take more than an hour out of his day to ask me some questions about my writing, blogging, and background.

I’d like to thank Joe for his wonderful comments at the end of the interview, and for helping me to extend the invitation to other indie authors. He’s an amazing advocate for the Independent lifestyle, supporting writers, film makers, musicians and more through his GoIndieNow podcasts, and blog.

Watch the Episode Now!

Episode 5, of GoIndieNow contains an edited version of the interview, along with interviews with several other guests. Joe is joined by Rhett Grametbauer (author and documentary film-maker), myself, and Lauren Michelle (singer/songwriter). The wonderful, Jin Okubo also drops in to do a book review, and overall, it’s just a fun episode to watch.

If you want to go straight to the interview, fast forward to the 25:40 minute mark, or check out the full hour-long interview (linked below). And hang around until after the interview, at the 43:12 mark, to hear Joe’s comments about the interview, and me.

Here’s the full interview!

The full interview ran for over an hour, and you can hear the full audio version of it here.

Love what you saw?

Don’t forget to subscribe to the GoIndieNow YouTube channel for past episodes, and to get notified of new videos as they’re posted.

Also, check out the full interviews on the GoIndieNow PodBean channel

Like The Interview? Want To Hear More?

I sat down with Joe for about an hour, and we covered a lot more than was shown in the episode.

Click Here To Hear The Full Interview!