I write a free weekly newsletter for writers. It’s called Doing It Write. I started it 13 years ago (if I’d started it now, I probably would have called it Straight From Hel). It’s a text-only, no html, no bells and whistles newsletter that’s sent straight to subscribers’ email boxes each Thursday. And it has pretty much a set list of content: a short opening from me about something to do with writing, a quote, an upcoming contest, an upcoming event/conference, quotes from an article about writing, books or the publishing industrty and then two writing-related links. If a subscriber sends me an announcement of something writing related, like a new book coming out, I’ll put that in.
Until this year, I’d never missed an issue. Then the service I use to send it out, Topica, went down over the weekend for maintenance…and didn’t come back up for two weeks. Hey, I’m not complaining since Topica sends Doing It Write out to subscribers around the world for free. But I hated to miss a week. Then my computer crashed. Really crashed, as in I have to buy a new one. That air-rendering screech you heard? That was me. So I missed one more week. I still don’t have the new computer, but I’m getting by with my iPad and, when I can get on it, my husband’s computer.
This isn’t a call for you to subscribe, although if you want to, just send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and Topica will sign you up. If, for any reason, it doesn’t work, send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll ask Topica to send you an invitation to join the group. Okay, that turned into an invitation to sign up to receive Doing It Write. Sorry.
What I was really leading up to is to say that my subscribers are the most patient people. Not one person emailed to complain that they hadn’t received their issue. I get emails asking about a conference or an agent I listed, or wanting to verify a link they can’t get to work, or just to chat. But no complaints. Isn’t that amazing? I once asked subscribers to tell me where they were from and I found out I had subscribers on every continent except Antarctica. That’s amazing, too. And when I asked if they’d like me to move to a full-color html newsletter, no one said yes. Amazing. (Although I’m still considering that last one since all-text seems pretty bland in today’s world.)
So, if you’re a Doing It Write subscriber, now you know why a couple of issues didn’t show up in your e-box. If you’re not a subscriber, tell us what information you would want in a newsletter.
5 months ago