Friday, July 20, 2012

Interview with RP Dahlke: All Mystery E-Newsletter

RP Dahlke is the author of A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Heart, A Dead Red Oleander and A Dangerous Harbor. Dahlke writes wonderful mystery books with engaging characters and a great dose of humor. I recently discovered that she is also starting a brand new venture: The All Mystery E-Newsletter and was able to interview her about the new site. MB: Hi Rebecca and welcome! I'd like to ask you a few questions about The All Mystery E-Newsletter. RPD: Great, Martha. I'm here to share this really exciting new project. MB:Since you are already the successful author of several excellent mysteries, I am really curious about why you would take the time to develop a website to promote the work of other mystery writers. Tell me a little about how this started. RPD: In 2010, I started an e-newsletter for mystery and suspense authors. It ran, free of charge to the authors until December 2012. I decided to let it go because: 1) authors just weren't with me on how effective this kind of advertising could be, and 2) I had my own books to write. So I put the website in mothballs, but kept the Facebook site, the yahoo group (which is where authors meet to talk about promotion, and readers come to see what authors are talking about.) and Good Reads group for Indie and small press promotion, and a Twitter account. Since then, I have put four mysteries up on Amazon/Kindle, and because I understand that this my book is a product, I also began a six month quest for the best, and most effective, form of advertising my books. MB: What did you find out? RPD:I discovered that with a combination of inexpensive paid and free promotion, I could sell more books. I thought the results of this were interesting enough to share with my writing friends. So the first thing I did was put together a 7 page handout and speak on this subject with my local Sisters in Crime chapter in Tucson. The handout was necessary because I had a lot of powerful, and helpful information to share, but cautioned my grateful listeners with the following: The only thing I could guarantee about this information was that some of it would change. That was in June, and sure enough, things have changed… again. One of the sites I listed as smart and creative just bit the dust, and another site, Digital Books Today, has taken a giant leap after only 18 months in the business. MB: That's a huge leap. RPD: Yes it was. Of course, my first thought was, "Eighteen months? Gee, All Mystery e-newsletter had started before Digital Books Today… so that meant…" MB: What it meant was that you were a bit ahead of your time, right? RPD: Yes, it did. When I investigated it more, I found out that the founder of Digital Books Today, Anthony Wessel, said, and I quote: "Traffic on our Sites: March: 8,000, June 16,000" and in their "The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List: November 2011: 600+ and June 2012- 10,000+ with 38,000 click outs to books on Amazon." It is obvious that Indie and small press authors are now using paid book marketing as part of a successful campaign to sell their books. I know, because I was using them too, and the results have been gratifying — except for one thing. As a mystery writer, all of the best e-newsletters had mystery squished in between vampire and memoir. MB: But mysteries are hugely popular books. That seems odd and like mysteries aren't being promoted in a way that will make them easily accessible to readers and marketable for authors. RPD: Exactly!It didn't take me much more than a nano-second to see that All Mystery e-newsletter was needed. I ticked off the possibilities for resurrecting this e-newsletter against the fact that it might take some time to gain momentum. Then realized I already had all of my requirements for a good promotion site: Facebook page, Yahoo and Good Reads groups, and Twitter with a small army of Re-Tweet pals. MB: So that was the birth of The All Mystery E-Newsletter? RPD:That's right, Martha. The website is now up and running. Better yet, September is already SOLD out, but I am accepting submittals for October through December 2012. The ad insertions for this e-newsletter are reasonably priced: $10.00 a book insertion. MB: So, how can my readers find The All Mystery E-Newsletter? Is there a cost for a subscription? RPD: Readers can access the site and subscribe to it free! In the weekly e-newsletter, they will find information about the latest new mysteries and thrillers. There are new authors and new books with colorful click through to the book on Amazon, book descriptions, reviews, featured authors and giveaways. MB: Thanks for all of the information, Rebecca. Friends, here's the website where you can sign up today for The All Mystery E-Newletter:

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