That bloody bandwagon

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

What I’m about to write is probably going to piss off a few people, but fuck it. I’m going to say it anyway. You are more than welcome to disagree.

You’ve probably all noticed the latest must have thing for all writers to have these days is a newsletter. If you haven’t noticed you’ve probably been living under a rock. You may want to crawl back under that rock until this latest phase ends.

Somewhere along the line an industrious author declared that the latest and greatest marketing tool is the NEWSLETTER and now it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and if you don’t, most writers look at you like you’re nuts and say, “What do you mean you don’t have one!”

As a result every author and their cat is trying to get their readers to subscribe to the latest marketing trend. Every time you click on an author’s website or blog an annoying box pops up that asks you to subscribe. In an already pretty busy day, you first have to fill in your email address etc before you can get to the post you were actually there to read. Thankfully there’s that lovely little X in the top right hand corner that I rather enjoy clicking while I mumble “Fuck Off,” and then continue to read the post that I was interested in in the first place. But while I read it I’m slightly annoyed with the author.

At first it didn’t really bug me, I even subscribed to a couple, got a few free books that I still haven’t read. But now every time I click on an author’s website there’s that fucking box demanding that I sign up. And then there are the messages being deposited in my inbox. I now just hit the delete button. Don’t even get me started on the emails demanding to know if I’ve read that free book yet and why I haven’t left a review on Amazon for it.

I get that there are some authors who genuinely see the newsletter as a way to say thank you to their fans and who want to make it an epic experience for their readers. A way to give back for the support they’ve experienced. If you’re one of those authors then good for you. But unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the majority.

There are now so many authors jumping onto the Newsletter bandwagon, and doing it badly, that’s it’s lost its whole reason for existing. It’s lost its power and has become spam. It’s now like those authors on Twitter and Facebook shouting “buy my book.” Instead of doing it on Facebook and Twitter they’re now trying to do it in my inbox and I’m sorry but to that I say Fuck Off!

I have enough emails to deal with every day. I don’t need any more spam.

Besides, my readers can already subscribe to my blog and there’s plenty of free stuff to read here, I don’t need to now also bombard them with a newsletter as well. It’s just over kill.

How about instead of jumping on the bandwagon and doing what everyone else is doing, we try to figure out something else. Something different. Something that works just for you. Something that makes you unique. I know that’s what I’m going to try. I haven’t got a clue what that is yet, but it’s certainly not going to be what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is telling me I have to do it.


Edit 10 August 2022.

So … a lot has happened since I wrote this in 2016. I’m still not a fan of newsletters, but in order to participate in certain book promotions and to use tools like StoryOrigin, I’ve had to start a newsletter. I’ve been experimenting with it for about a year now. I’m using ConvertKit in conjunction with StoryOrigin. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, but it seems to be working. So now, instead of subscribing to my blog, readers subscribe to my newsletter and receive a few freebies. I still provide content on my blog for the original blog subscribers, but all new visitors are pointed in the direction of the newsletter instead of the blog. I’m trying to streamline things and prevent overkill.

The one thing I have learned in this business is that you sometimes have to change your mind on things and adapt. You can’t be too rigid in your stance on anything. Even if you kick against something really hard, eventually you’re going to have to try it, and in a few years’ time, there’ll probably be something else that everyone says you have to do, and chances are I’ll kick against that too. I don’t do well with change, and what can I say? I’m stubborn. But there it is. I now have a newsletter. Fuck it. I’ve joined the bloody bandwagon.

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