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Book Giveaways and Other Stuff

SF Signal’s Libriomancer giveaway ends tomorrow, July 3, at 9 p.m. CST.


Twelfth Planet Press is giving away 10 copies of Kaleidoscope over at Goodreads. This is a collection of “fun, edgy, meditative, and hopeful YA science fiction and fantasy with diverse leads,” and includes my story “Chupacabra’s Song,” about Nicola Pallas (from the Libriomancer books) as a teenager.


What are your thoughts on author newsletters? For authors, do you think they’re worth it? For readers, do you subscribe to any? What do you want from an author’s newsletter, and what don’t you want?


I’ll be heading up north tomorrow, so blogging will probably be light until I get back. Or nonexistent. There shall be family time and relaxing and fireworks and working on the Secret Project of Doom and trying to catch up on some reading, including:


Thus endeth the random blog post of stuff.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 2nd, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)

Do you mind if I mention that my publisher, Hadley Rille Books, is doing an Indiegogo fundraiser? We also have a lot of giveaways, but no tote bags!

(If this is off-topic, please delete me.)

Edited at 2014-07-02 01:33 pm (UTC)
Jul. 2nd, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
No problem at all, Chris!
Jul. 2nd, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
I loved Radiant.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
I'm about halfway through it so far.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 02:06 pm (UTC)
What are your thoughts on author newsletters? For authors, do you think they’re worth it? For readers, do you subscribe to any? What do you want from an author’s newsletter, and what don’t you want?

I'm friended to your LJ. Does that count as a newsletter?

I want to know whenever you have a new book coming out. I want to know when you're making a public appearance. That's pretty much all I want to know. I'm completely cool with any other info you care to share.

I don't want to see proselytizing, political stumping or hear about illegal things you may have done. I also don't want to know about it if you are opposed to fanfiction. I quit reading authors for all those things.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
I wasn't thinking about LJ, which I use to talk about pretty much anything, so much as an email that went out maybe quarterly with updates on books, stories, appearances, contests, etc.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
I think that a newsletter with just that stuff is fine for the people who only want that. However, I can't imagine that if someone meets you in person at a signing or whatnot, they'd only be satisfied with just getting that info. You're way too engaging for that.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
Have lots and lots of fun!
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
What do you want from an author’s newsletter, and what don’t you want?

If we're talking about an e-mail newsletter, I want news - new releases, appearances, information about sales and special deals, updates about works in progress, etc. I want it in a form that is easy to read. Plain text or text with relatively small images, perhaps cover images for the books mentioned, is good. Fancy graphics and formatting like a web page aren't necessary and sometimes interfere with my ability to quickly see that the information that might cause me to go buy a book.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:40 pm (UTC)
I follow exactly two artist newsletters, both for authors whose work I love that *isn't* sf/f, so just hanging out in the fandom won't get me notice of upcoming new books/stories, and who don't have twitter/lj/rss capable blogs.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
I subscribe to the relevant blogs for author news, so I probably wouldn't subscribe to a newsletter. It would have to be the Hines/McGuire/Bujold/Briggs/McKinley/Andrews newsletter of AWESOMENESS for me to read it consistently.

I look forward to your calendar pose of Wickedly Dangerous.

Enjoy your family time!
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
I personally am meh about author newsletters per se; I prefer the LJ posts by authors instead. Perhaps it is the interaction with fellow authors/fans/passersby that I prefer, and I suppose the thoughtfulness of a post (and subsequent conversation) on LJ is more apparent than on FB/Twitter.

I've learned far more about you and other authors via their LJ/blog posts and comments than by any other media. It has far more the feel of an ongoing conversation --begun via a presentation (aka post) by one of the group-- than FB or Twitter. FB/Twitter emphasize immediacy over content, which often leaves me feeling that both are far more unfiltered in their signal/noise ratio than a blog such as LJ has, and items that would never have passed a person's internal filter routinely show up on both of those social media platforms.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
I've signed up for a few author newsletters (usually to get freebies) but I almost never read them after I've signed up. I'd rather go to their blogs or have Goodreads tell me when they've got a new book coming out--they do a "new books by authors you've read" email once a month, and I do read that. Good for non-sff authors I like, along with sff authors I've lost track of online due to me/them being busy.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
I get newsletters from a few of my favorite authors. I follow so many, I find it is handy to get reminders when they have new books coming out, or are giving a contest.

I tend to put out newsletters around 4 times a year (theoretically spring, summer, fall, winter).
Jul. 2nd, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I like that funny-looking book in the middle :-) I hope you enjoy it! And the relaxing.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
I think it's the dog on the cover that really makes that one stand out :-)
Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mention that to Barbara, who is standing next to the dog. You might develop a distinct tendency to say ribbit...
Jul. 3rd, 2014 12:26 am (UTC)
I only sign up for an author newsletter if both 1) I don't follow that author elsewhere online, and 2) the newsletter is *only* about things like new releases (and possibly book tours / discount sales) when those things happen. I will unsubscribe from any author newsletter that issues regularly regardless of whether there's news, like, "Here's the quarterly newsletter; I don't have any new releases but I've been working hard on the next book!" I can follow the author blog if I want that -- if I'm on the newsletter I want as few updates as possible and only with information I really want to know. I have a very twitchy unsubscribe finger. ;)

As an author now, I have a mailing list and I use it as I've described above, since that's what I'd want. :) I do think mailing lists are worth it, not because I know that from experience (having had only one release and thus only one newsletter sent out), but because mailing lists have gotten a lot of discussion in self-publishing as the thing people find to be the single most effective marketing tool. (I'm wary of some veins of self-pub Kool Aid, but I try to sift through to find the useful pieces of data from the level-headed self-pubbers, and as far as I can tell this is one of them.) It seems people experience an exponential effect with their mailing lists and some people have built entirely successful business plans around that. (Note, I'm talking about a mailing list giving important release announcements and such in this case, not a regularly delivered newsletter. I don't know anything either way about regularly-scheduled types of newsletters from the self-pub side. :) )

Hope that helps!
Jul. 3rd, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
It definitely helps, thank you! And it kind of matches up with my impressions as well. I feel like I've got the social media stuff pretty well covered, but there are a lot of people who aren't as active online, and who just want to know when the next book or story is out. This would also let me sign folks up at bookstore events and so on, and maybe keep up with people who might otherwise fall away between releases.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
Author newsletters: kinda boring. Formalness usualy abounds. Havent liked those I've signed up to in the past. Pretty much all of which are now defunct because everyone got bored of em including the authors
Author blogs: Pretty much universally awesome.
One general tendency within SF/F author blogs (and pre blogs, given the amount of time i used to spend hanging on local author infested dial up BBSes) is that of being a total nerd and enjoying nerding out with other people online... which, say for example enables you to have wonderful conversations with the local author who does not believe in bathing (oh hai jo) And read the bits they couldnt get published they threw up for general consumption (oh hai rob) or even discover what the weird heart shaped blob was on the map in book one (oh hai iz)

Cutting out the anecdotes, I tend to find author newsletters formal. You all cant help yourselves, spending all that time writing things for submission flips the switch in your brain.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Have fun relaxing with your family! :)

Author newletters are nice, but not neccessary.

The cover in the middle is cute and hilarious. What cover *isn't* improved by having dogs at the front? :) Dogs give me life.

Ooh, Kaleidoscope sounds intriguing. *bounces off to check it out*
Jul. 4th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
Coming in late...

I have 311 names on my mailing list. I only send out msgs when there's something new for people to buy, which isn't that often.

In fact, I just released a short fic collection, but I'm hesitant to promote it on the newsletter b/c there well be other books soon and I think I'd rather combine them into one announcement.

That said, sending the emails can be a pain. My ISP won't send to more than 80-some recipients at a time, so I need multiple open msgs and I take great care not to duplicate any email addresses. I almost wish I'd gone with MailChimp or whatever.

Still, it's super useful if you use it sparingly.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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