by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson
I’m not good at decisions. The way I dither over a menu when we eat out drives The Husband absolutely wild. Neither do I like doing publicity – for myself; I used to be in the advertising industry and am very good at it – for other people. Like? I loathe doing publicity, either for myself or for others. I was raised in a time and a place and a family that believed blowing one’s own horn was both vulgar and classless.
However… with the world the way it is and – more importantly – with my assistant (also known as The Husband) and my webmistress (the talented and irreplaceable Jane Akshar) suggesting (i.e., demanding) I become more involved with the rest of the world, I have caved in and decided to do a newsletter. (There will be a button on my website in a few days where everyone can subscribe, or just let me know and I’ll have one of them add you manually.)
Believing in research, I immediately subscribed to a big bunch of authors’ newsletters at random – and was absolutely astonished. I always thought newsletters were for important news, or at the most a monthly affair where the author could keep in touch with their fans. Apparently I was very wrong, for very many of these authors think nothing of sending out ‘newsletters’ or ‘friendly contacts’ or ‘updates’ as often as 3-4 times a week, often flogging the same book over and over!
My Lord, how can anyone think of so much to say about themselves and their work? (To tell the truth, most of it was kind of boring…) And so much of it was about giving away their books. While I recognize the occasional freebie campaign is an accepted marketing tool, isn’t that much freebie giveaway contraindicative to the concept of being a professional writer?
And most of all, how do they find the time to do all that and still have time to write?
I don’t get it.
So – if you do decide to subscribe to my newsletter (and I hope you do) please be assured that I won’t stuff your email box. I intend to send one only when it contains something truly newsworthy – a new novel release, for example, or a major event.
For example – if I had my newsletter already up and running, I would very happily publicize this :
On December 14, the Boekhandel De Kleine Johannes (which in my nearly non-existant Dutch/German means Dear John Bookseller – if different, please let me know) in Louvain, the university town of Belgium, is having a literary evening featuring my dear friend Dr. Dirk Huyge, Director of the Belgian Archaeological Mission to El Kab and Curator of Prehistoric and Early Dynastic Egypt at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels. Dirk will be talking mostly about his work as an archeologist in Egypt but also about how he became a character in my traditional Janis Patterson mystery A KILLING AT EL KAB. I am even invited to participate by Skype! (The Husband and I even looked into going over so we could attend the event, but it was just impossible, both financially and scheduling-wise.)
Yes, I will mention this again in my newsletter! When it comes out.