This is going to be a long post, which is why I made you coffee.
I have had an interesting couple of months, let me tell you. I’ve started getting up at 5 AM (nearly) every morning, which has thrown the dogs for an absolute loop. (Now, if I sleep in past 6, they are certain that “something” has happened to me, and they go get my husband so he can save me. Sigh)
Getting up early has increased my productivity–or would have if I hadn’t run into the ultimate technological cluster fork a month and a bit ago. (To quote one of my more favourite TV shows!)
I decided it was time to put together a mailing list for myself. (Want to know the hows and whys of an author gathering a mailing list? Check this article out. Or this. But, it all has to do with getting my books into the hands of my readers, easily.)
Before, I was a pretty good on the ground author. I set up lots of book signings and readings, and dashed all over the countryside, selling books left right and centre. (Well, sort of. Numbers don’t lie, and the numbers didn’t really make all the running around worth it.)
People kept telling me about the magic of a good mailing list, but I was honestly too afraid to start. (It was that ‘what if they don’t come?’ scenario that gave me nightmares.) But… I’d started getting up at 5 AM, and when you’re finished writing by noon, that leaves a lot of time to come up with other things to do. One of the things I decided to do was figure out how to actually make some money as an author.
So, I decided to get going on the mailing list.
Here’s the thing, though. For me to do this, I had to get an email provider. I chose Mailer Lite. In order to set up an account, they asked me two questions. One was, show us your website. The second question was–give us your email address from your website so we can confirm you actually have one. (Paraphrasing, because I can’t actually remember what the wordage was.)
This sent me down the worst rabbit hole of all time. I found out I did not have an email address set up that ran through my website. When I got hold of my friend (who had my website on his web host, as a favour to me) and asked him to help me set one up, he let me know that I’d have to get my own web host, because the place where my website was residing was going to disappear.
No problem, I said. I found a web host (I thought it was Canadian, but I was terribly wrong) and started the migrating process. (Moving my website from one host to another. See? I can learn things!) Up to this point, I didn’t realize that most website owners have their own web host. I had a friend, you see… None the less, things got sticky when my new web host wanted access to the other web host. (It wasn’t mine to offer, because I had this friend.) Long story short, it took forever, and for a while it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to save my website.
That’s when my husband came up to my office to find out what I was yelling about, and offered to help me. “Try turning off your machine and restarting,” he said. So I did.
“What the hell’s taking so long?’ he asked after about five minutes. “Don’t touch anything!” I yelled back. “It’ll be done in a minute, I’m sure.” He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “You do realize you need a new computer, don’t you?’ he asked. (By this time, my old machine had been starting up for fifteen minutes. Seriously.)
I whimpered something about just giving me a couple more years with the old girl–but when I finally convinced my machine to shut down, we were in the car and off to the computer store.
I was so depressed, you’d have thought I was on my way to a funeral. But soon I had a new machine, and everything from the old machine was going to be put into the new one. All good and well and soon the new machine was home. Trying to get passwords to work (or even remembering some of them) was a bit of a pain, but I did manage to get that more or less worked out, too. (At least I think I have.)
However… I had a new machine. And a new web host, and I still didn’t really have a clue how any of this worked. So… we ran into more BS and getting anything done seemed to take forever. And that’s when I stopped writing.
Sigh. This is a thing that happens to me. If something goes awry in my life, the first thing to suffer is my writing. So then I started to panic about the fact I wasn’t writing, as I tried desperately to get everything set up for the newsletter I was going to give to every new subscription. (Plus a free story, but that’s another story.)
By this time, I’d been at “building a mailing list” for a month, and didn’t have anything set up to actually start gathering email addresses. So, after all that pain, I still had to do everything that I thought I’d get done in that first week. ( I wish I could show you the to do list I had for that week. It was so hopeful.)
However, I finally got things set up. I put my free “book” (it’s a novelette, and it’s kind of funny) on Book Funnel. Then I connected it to Mailer Lite. THEN I built my first newsletter and sent it to the few email addresses I had managed to collect to that point.
And… I think it’s actually working. So yay, and phew.
(It was about this time that our coffee grinder decided to go into permanent decline, and I was able to do some major avoidance as i tried to figure all that out. Because without coffee, not a word gets written in this house.)
I’m freaking out a bit because I need to write the next newsletter, and I have to figure out how to get people to actually open the emails I send them, and I have to entice more people to sign up, etc etc etc. But hey. I’m one step closer. And I have a new computer and coffee grinder. So maybe this will all work out.
And tomorrow, I will get back to writing Book Seven.
With any luck at all, here’s a link to the newsletter I tried so hard to get out into the world.
If you want to get the free book and sign up for my newsletter, go here.
And here’s a shot of my back yard, which honestly looks more like a jungle than a garden. And I’m really okay with that!