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Of Webinars and Newsletters

So the world didn’t end yesterday, which is good because I spent a lot of yesterday prepping for the future.

I took part in my first webinar: 7 Secrets For Amazing Author Websites. The webinar was free (the best price of all) and ran by Thomas Umstattd of Author Media and Rachelle Gardner.

Easiest way to keep your child quiet for an hour (to be used sparingly)
Easiest way to keep your child quiet for an hour so you can join a webinar (to be used sparingly)

Never having done one before I was very uncertain of what to do, and with my modem being older than my son I thought I should test the connection as early as possible so logged into the link half an hour before the start time. I was surprised that about thirty people were already logged in and one of the hosts was there. It took me a while to get the sound working loud enough to be heard over Toy Story 3 (the only way I could be certain Xander would be still and quiet for an hour), but I had everything ready with time to spare.

For something free there was a lot of quality information, which is a surprise sometimes, though with Rachelle Gardner’s name attached I assumed a certain level of quality (hence signing up and making the time for it). I know there were a few things I was already doing (or planning to do) but there were also plenty of things I had not yet thought about but now will.

I appreciated the fact they also looked at websites for authors from the perspectives of different types of authors and how they would need to address matters, eg/ fiction vs. non-fiction, traditionally published vs. indie published, published vs. not-yet-published. That they took the time to address these matters shows a lot of thought and I’m sure everyone was grateful for the extra consideration.

The thing that keeps popping up WHEREEVER I go on the net about author sites, book promotion ect, an idea everyone praises as the second coming and that is the newsletter. The newsletter is where you (literally you, not me) give me(the website owner/writer) your email address so once a month I can send you a newsletter updating you on what I’ve been posting and doing. Most sites offer people some incentive to give up their email address, like a free ‘how to self-publish guide’ or ‘how to be a better writer guide’. I don’t want to be one of those people giving advice on a field I’m not an expert in, so I thought perhaps it would be better for me to offer an exclusive short story. Free of charge, only available to newsletter subscribers, this short story will serve as a sample of my writing as well (since most of my blog posts are written in a different style to my actual novels).

Does that sound interesting to anyone? Would such an offer encourage you to sign up (as well, of course, as the promise I don’t spam you or sell your email to anyone)?

To wrap up, the webinar was detailed and fun. I loved how the organisers stayed on after the official finish time for quite a while answering questions. Sincerely, thank-you Rachelle Gardner and Thomas Umstattd. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for other webinars.

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