A recent conversation with a certain agent we all know is leading me to address an issue I should have looked at years ago, to be honest. So add that to the roster of things for which I'm grateful to have such a good agent looking out for me.
Like all authors I keep an email list. In fact, I keep two email lists--one under my actual name and one for E.J. Copperman, who never checks email and forces me to do it. These lists are comprised of people who have shown interest in books I've written and might want information on upcoming events or releases, which authors know now to classify as "news".
Cognizant of how I feel when deluged with emails from some business hoping to encourage my patronage, I send out emails very rarely. Extremely rarely. Don't expect to hear from me unless there's a new book about to be released.
When two of the Haunted Guesthouse books were sold for translation into Japanese, E.J.'s list did not get a notice. I'm guessing not that many of them were going to buy the Japanese versions anyway, and I figure most of them have already read the books in English. Call me crazy. It's not that I wasn't excited about the sale--I think it's incredibly cool--but I didn't want to bother people who probably aren't as interested in me as I am.
So it's possible that the lists are a little less hefty than they might be if I were a real email list hound. I know authors whose lists go into the tens of thousands. And I admire their dedication and skill in compiling all those names and addresses.
I just haven't got a clue how one does that.
It's true: I have actually tried to grow the lists over the years. I've mentioned them on various listservs. I've mentioned them here. I bring a sign-up sheet to any event I attend (most of the time). I offer free autographed bookmarks to anyone who asks via email, and if you think I don't add each and every name to the email list, you're adorable, but wrong.
And still my lists are, let's say, not incredibly muscular. Remember the commercials about the 98-lb. weakling who needed somebody or other's fitness program to impress girls on the beach? My email lists would lose a fight to that guy. BEFORE the fitness program.
As it happens, I have two books about to be released before the end of this year. THE QUESTION OF THE MISSING HEAD, the first Asperger's Mystery featuring Samuel Hoenig, will be on its way from Midnight Ink in early October. The sixth Haunted Guesthouse novel, INSPECTOR SPECTER, will follow from Berkley Prime Crime in early December.
My email list members WILL be hearing about those. Trust me.
But I'm trying to ensure that there will be more of them. Many more. As many more as I can possibly list. So if you're not already on the list, please get in touch and let me know, and I'll add you. If you know someone who might like to hear about the Guesthouse books or the Asperger's novels or anything else my twisted little mind might conjure up, please tell them to get in touch, and I'll add them, too. If by chance someone you've met might find an autographed (by either me or E.J. or both) bookmark enjoyable, by all means have someone get in touch. I've got bazillions of those things cluttering up the house.
Let's get the lists to look less like the Before picture of the 98-lb. weakling and more like the After picture. I promise I won't clog your inbox with "news" that doesn't really have any information in it, and I hope you'll find the (very) occasional pieces interesting.
Because if you don't, you can let me know and I'll take you off the list. I don't want to be a pest.