Another Column at MyShelf.Com

Between the pages, Past
A Mystery Column
By Dennis Collins

All Mystery e-Newsletter
Presented by Rebecca Dahlke


As many of you know, I frequent several of the writer’s forums that permeate the internet. I’m one of those authors who is constantly on the prowl for new and unique ways to promote my work. Somewhere along the line I stumbled across the All Mystery e- Newsletter and saw it as a completely fresh approach. It was free so I immediately subscribed. I asked the hostess if she’d care to explain it to the Myshelf readers and this is what she sent me…

After reading five or six blogs and hearing the same lament over and over again, l realized that as fun as it is to share with like-minded writers, what everyone really wants out of this new medium called social networking is a way to present ourselves to the readers who will buy our books! So, I started noodling with some ideas for using the Internet to maximize my exposure....then it hit me. If I had a dozen books out how would I keep a growing base of fans coming back again and again? Okay, so what if I could present several authors at a time? Lots of websites do that. Then I started to ask fans, "Do you go to this or that website to find books?" Some did and a lot didn't.

How to get people to come to their website? People who like to read but maybe aren't as savvy about where to get the next good book to read? Of course, there's Amazon...but they drive everyone to their house, take their coats and don't let anyone leave...ever! Don't get me wrong, I like Amazon, but there are small book stores, other e-book readers and author websites where you can get an autographed copy of the about to become famous author.

So, because I needed to educate myself on Social Media I attended a college workshop day that included an hour’s introduction to Constant Contact. I used this knowledge to wean the art association I belong to 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 sent out to members and interested parties. The organization now boasts a FACEBOOK PAGE as well, and God help them, Twitter.

It was a natural progression to go from art league e-newsletter to an e-newsletter for fans who love mystery and/or suspense. One that doesn’t review, isn't a blog site where others review, isn't a store, but instead, simply presents the book blurb, the covers, a few reviews, the authors website as a click through and an author specified BUY THIS BOOK HERE link.

All Mystery! e- newsletter. It's permission based on both ends: authors and readers must sign up either at my FaceBook page or at my website; and yes, I had to create a website simply to tell people that All Mystery isn't meant to be a website! There are instructions for author sign up as well as an easy sign-up button for the newsletter. This kind of promotion is totally different than say a magazine subscription and it isn't Amazon either because the authors may designate a small town book store or an e-book site or even their own website for an autographed copy for their BUY BUTTON and best of all, it's FREE! Free to the readers and FREE to the authors.

As for the authors, I like to mix it up with the veterans as well as the newbies; NY publishers and small press publishers, award winning, mega buck authors and first out of the box, some of whom will soon become the darlings of readers everywhere. I keep everyone’s websites up on a left hand column for the duration of the year and I archive the e-newsletters so that fans can look through all of them. Naturally, I keep my writing website address up on this list for when I can feature my books. My first book, A Dead Red Cadillac and it's sequel, A Dead Red Heart, are being shopped by my agent.

I believe that this form of promotion will soon become one of the most important venues for romance, Sci-Fi, Chick-lit, etc, and I expect my e-newsletter to expand and grow into the thousands as it spreads across the U.S. Of course, I also expect that it will promote my next book, and the next, and the next.

So, for all the august veterans who see this form of advertising as an encroachment onto their hard-won personal turf, let me paraphrase one of my favorite movie lines: Saddle up boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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