Engaging the Audience


I don’t have a typical author web presence. Have you noticed?

Most authors have a web site which, correctly, showcases their writing, offers their books for sale by either allowing sales directly through the web site or linking to those books on other retail sites, and provides information about future works and public offerings. Most of them also have a call to action somewhere, perhaps to join a newsletter or mailing list, and also announce public appearances and news about the author, as warranted.

I do none of those things on my blog here. And that’s where you come in.

By “you,” of course, I mean my valued readers. I don’t have any idea how many of you there are, or what it is you come here to find or enjoy. I have been, by all definitions, a poor observer, never mind analyst, of my dear audience. You, by contrast, have been gracious and supportive in continuing to come here and follow along.

While I do try to offer things of value when I can, and share things I’ve learned about writing and indie publishing along the way, I don’t generally have a lot of value to offer. I promised, some time back, to publish short works here, but various life turns and twists have prevented that from happening to the extent I intended. (Yeah…or, y’know, at all.) Still, I try to inform when I have information to share.

I also try to let you know about goings-on in my writing world. (Like how I managed just under 2K words all weekend, and finished another play through of Mass Effect 2 because…well, because Mass Effect, yo.) But for the most part, my web presence isn’t typical of authors.

Yes, I have a page which lists the books I had for sale…back in 2012. I’ve not updated it since then, and have about ten books and stories for sale now. But it’s not really the focus, because here, the blog is the main focus of my site. Probably not ideal, but in the last four years I’ve managed to produce exactly one novel, and that can’t be published because it’s book two of a series…where book one hasn’t been finished yet.

As an aside, I also just realized the changes to the story of book one for that series, which will make the story much stronger IMO, will require an entire rewrite. Not a simple modification as I hoped, and not a few adjustments as might have been possible before I brainstormed those changes. I’ve only today, in fact this moment, realized I forced myself into one more rewrite of a story I’ve become tired of. Great.

So, what I’d like to know from you, my blog followers and readers, is whether you’d like to continue just reading these random spillings from my brain. If so, that’s fine, but I still need to put together a better page for my books, and try to find a way to link them to a centralized page for each bookseller. I’m not sure how other indie authors do that if they’re published across multiple platforms, but that’s a bridge to burn another day.

Do you want me to continue as things are, or do you have other things you want to see from my blog? This is your chance to effect real change in my web presence if you want it. I can keep doing what I’m doing with my site here, or I can make changes (as long as they’re practical and not too hard to implement).

In addition, would you join a newsletter or mailing list if I had one? One that keeps you apprised of…what? I don’t know. I honestly don’t. I can tell you, though, it won’t be spam-y. I won’t send it out more than say once a month, and maybe it will have announcements about new releases (when there are any) and random bits I’ve found around the Internet? Yeesh.

Or, would you be open to joining a mailing list used strictly to give you, my readers and audience, early access to new material and books as they come out? That is, no newsletter, per se. Just announcements of new releases when I have them, or about free material I post on the site here…y’know. If I ever do that.

Maybe exclusive content? Something I don’t share with anyone else, and just put up here? Then I include the password to that page/post in the newsletter? Would that be of interest? Then you get the good stuff I have available and know about new books before anyone else. Does that seem like a good use for a mailing list?

As you can see, I’m still figuring this stuff out, so if you have any insights to share or ideas to float, now’s the time. I’d really like to hear them.

Thanks, everyone, and I hope to hear from you soon.

-jdt-

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