As a mystery writer, I was interested in Rebecca's newsletter, "All Mystery e-Newsletter" so I asked her to return and talk to us about her journey as a writer and the newsletter.
Six months later, I was finishing my second in the Lalla Bains mystery series, when my forty year-old son died in a tragic accident flying a crop-duster. I thought I’d always write, but, as many of you who’ve also lost children already know, there is a season of purgatory for which there is no going around. It has to be dealt with. And so I did my time, stuffing my world with busy things, putting on a happy face for friends and family, but I could no longer write.
Then, because I needed to educate myself on Social Media for an art league I belong to, I attended a college workshop that included an introduction to Constant Contact which specializes in e-newsletter templates. I used this knowledge to wean the art association off the huge bucks we’d been spending a year for local newspaper ads, and instead, for a fraction of the cost, set them up with an e-newsletter. The organization now boasts a couple of spiffy new websites, a FACEBOOK page and, God help them… Twitter.
Like writing a book, I started with a premise: By now, I knew that websites can sit and gather dust in this fast-paced new world. Blog? Well, maybe. I didn’t want to review or sell books, or review or discuss books, either. I wanted to engage readers with a colorful and interactive page that came to their e-mail in-box offering them new books and new authors and a buy link to the author’s Amazon page where the reader could buy the hardcover or immediately down-load the e-book.
Out of these ideas I developed a fan based, free monthly e-newsletter that has grown from a few authors a month to ten-twelve mystery/suspense authors. I’m pleased to say that the readership is steadily growing and it’s less than a year old.
Now, although All Mystery e-newsletter is free to the authors, I do request that they forward their issue to ten or so of their fans, who can either sign up—or not. If not, they will never get another issue; so there are no worries about spamming. And, yes, this e-newsletter is also my platform developing a readership for my books, which answers the question as to whether my efforts are entirely altruistic.
Setting up All Mystery e-newsletter a year in advance of the publication of my first book has meant that I get a shot at increasing new readership of my books … just as all of the participating authors get to share in the readers that I brought to the newsletter.
A DEAD RED CADILLAC is now up on kindle and should be up on Amazon in trade paperback with that nifty “look inside” feature by the end of April. This book will be one of the featured books in the June issue of All Mystery e-newsletter Murder @ Work… and yes, it was a challenge to squeeze my books into an issue!
A DEAD RED HEART is the second in the Lalla Bains series, and it should be out on Kindle/Amazon by mid-April, then in trade paper back on Amazon with the “look inside” feature by end of May. This book will be one of the featured books in the October issue of All Mystery e-newsletter Murder @ Work
You asked where I got my idea for A DEAD RED HEART. I get my ideas from newspaper stores, and this one was a doozy: A prisoner who got a heart transplant… which led me to the question: What would you do if your loved one lost their chance at a heart transplant because the donor heart went to a convicted felon in a California prison?
There are first chapters on the website: http://www.rpdahlke.com/
You can see samples of All Mystery! e-newsletter and sign up to get more at: http://www.allmysteryenewsletter.com/ or contact me: email@example.com