Stories on the edge of familiarity

It’s Time to Look Behind the Curtain…

You may have noticed that I didn’t put up a single blog post all of September. That was unintentional.

If you don’t know already, I’m a university student who also works. My schedule is, for lack of a better word, interesting. In September, I was putting myself under stress that was unrealistic for my situation, as well as trying to deal with this rather special schedule of mine (which I do love, despite its challenges because LIBRARY). This past month has been somewhat the same except I was also trying not to freak out about the idiotic self-imposed stress while also freaking out about the fact that I still was freaking out. It wasn’t until Tuesday this week that I finally realized that said stress really was both unrealistic and self-imposed, so October has also been… interesting.

I did write those previous blog posts during October and I love them to bits. That hasn’t always happened. There have been several points in this blog-writing journey of mine where I had to drag myself to the computer to write something, and then only did so out of a sense of duty, not any kind of playfulness or fun. Which means that, sometimes, that writing didn’t get done on anywhere near a regular basis.

Which all comes down to you not getting a blog post from me every week. Because I really do write for you and to you, even if I do gas on at length about myself. My point is always about you and something I want to communicate/give/teach/ask/ponder. Sometimes, it’s less than clear, but it’s always there.

Because I’m self-publishing my books, I read as much as I can find about marketing. If my books are going to sell, I don’t have a publisher to rely on, after all. And, in my research I keep hearing about things like being consistent and making it all about you, my reader. On one level, that advice assumes people are self-centred and selfish in ways that I’m just not interested in attracting to this website. On another level, it reminds me that my writing is about more than just me talking to an empty room/internet/what-have-you. So, you know. It operates like every advice ever. Your mileage may vary.

That said, though, I do want good things for you. That’s why I made this website, why I write, and why I keep making changes and tweaks to how I do things online. It’s so that your life can legitimately be improved by your visit(s) here.

There. There I am, the person behind the curtain. Granted, I operate behind a laughably thin curtain here, one which has far more in common with Schrödinger’s Cat than any actual curtains, but still.

Maybe it’s just that I don’t like secrecy. I can keep a secret, certainly, if I see the purpose of it. I can hold off until the right moment to reveal certain information. But marketing? Let’s just talk about that one.

Yes, I seek out the advice of marketing experts. No, I don’t always follow it. Yes, I use what I can here. So that you may know how you may benefit, and so that you may stay long enough for that benefit.

That said, life is an odd thing. Distractions, legitimate or not, external or internal, sometimes become too much to handle. And, while I continue to learn how better to live, I do occasionally trip up without prior warning. Or, in this case, I put up a cautionary sign about the possibility of my falling flat on my face.

Here be rough terrain (pretend that’s a sign) (held by a dragon, for kicks).

So, I don’t know how often I’ll be able to get a new post up here until mid-December. And then, after Christmas break is over, until April.

BUT!

Even though this is the state of things right now, I don’t want to leave you out in the cold. Or, rather, in the dark.

If you’re already signed up for Backstage Passes, you already know about what I’m going to mention. And that is the fact that, no matter how crazy my schedule is, I send out an email every single week to everyone who’s subscribed. Every. Single. Week.

Why?

Because people who’ve signed up for Backstage Passes have shown that they’ve got more than just a passing interest in what they’re getting from me, and I honour that.

If you sign up for Backstage Passes, it’s like getting VIP tickets. Not only do you get unskimmable emails from me (description taken from a reader who apparently tries to skim every single one, but just can’t because he always gets hooked), you also get:

  • Excerpts from my books, up to and including a complete ARC version of Dreaming of Her and Other Stories
  • Artwork I’ve done for either covers or other purposes
  • News and sneak peeks about my progress on any and all projects I’m working on
  • Early notice about new books, sales, promotions
  • Seasonal coupons
  • Occasional poetry (especially if I go off on a trip)
  • Access to any and all future goodies… comic strips and poster-sized cover art are on the agenda for 2014
  • You will know the instant The Illuminated Heart finally comes out in paperback.

And more. So much freaking more.

In this industry (gosh, everything’s an industry nowadays), the email open rate is 10-20%. That means that only about 15% of people will read any given email they’re sent from a list they’ve subscribed to. The average for Backstage Passes is 50%, with a low of 28% and a high of 89%.

(Gosh, who let the weatherman in here?)

In other words, signing up for Backstage Passes means you’re getting good stuff that you’ll want to read week after week. It’s all there in the numbers; they’ve been consistent ever since the first official email on June 25th, 2012. Which has been incredible considering that it took me until this August to figure out what the heck I was even doing. But the confidence has finally come.

Backstage Passes is just that: Special access to all the behind-the-scenes action of Expected Aberrations, my books, and any projects that may or may not already be in progress. Plus a healthy dose of teasers and extras as release dates come nearer.

You’ll also know when I write new blog posts. :)

 

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How would you describe your experience with Backstage Passes? What would you tell someone who’s thinking of subscribing? Leave a comment and lend your voice to the conversation. :D

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