Talking to You

By Julie, grateful someone else shovels the snow here in Somerville, because we got a lot on Tuesday

WHICH ONE_Dear Readers,

Do you have any idea how much your support of this blog means to all of us? A lot. That’s the answer. We love that you respond to our posts, we love that when we meet you in person we feel as if we know you already, we love the support you give our guests, and we love that you celebrate each new book with us. This year we will hit the fifty book mark (and go past it) on the blog, so there’s been a lot to celebrate!

Today I’d like to ask your opinion on a few things. There are so many paths to communicate with folks these days, but I wonder which are the most effective? Do you mind if I ask some questions, and you can let me know what you think in the comments?

First of all, do you like newsletters? What kind of content do you enjoy in the newsletter? Most of the other Wickeds do them, but I haven’t done one yet. Thinking I should, so I’d appreciate your thoughts. I’m thinking about a quarterly newsletter, BTW.

How would you feel about the occasional video post rather than a written one? I’ll admit, I had never been a video fan, but lately I’m rethinking that. I’m taking a class online right now, and like the video format. It makes me feel more engaged with the instructor. For my work at StageSource one of our interns has been doing videos for us, and they are getting great responses. Also, I needed to fix something so I did a search on YouTube. What a great resource for walking you through projects. Anyway, it’s made me wonder about doing short videos once in a while for all of you.

For the past few months I’ve been using Instagram more and more, though I’m not great at it. I’ve also started a Instagram for my writing life (@JHAuthors) which is separate from my personal life (@JAHenn). I am not a visual thinker, so it’s been a little tough, but I am trying. I am also on Facebook and Twitter. While I love these platforms for connecting with folks, I wonder if there is a preference for all of you? I am on Pinterest, but unlike some of the other Wickeds I don’t use it well.

Final question for all of you–I wonder if the Wickeds should try to Facebook live sometime we’re all together. Would that be fun to try? We’re all going to be at Malice–maybe we could pull something together there. Again, until recently I didn’t understand how compelling these could be, but now I see how much fun it can be to interact with folks.

Let me end this blog post the way I started. Thank you all for being part of the Wicked Cozy Authors community. I love blogging with the others, and interacting with you.

Thank you for indulging my curiosity. I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments!

53 Thoughts

  1. I love newsletters and enjoy hearing about worksvin progress, your personal appearances, and your everyday life. I’ve seen videos from other authors and think they are fun. As far as social media goes, I don’t use Instagram or Twitter. I use FB, Pinterest, and Goodreads (not sure Goodreads is considered social media). I love the FB live idea!! It’s such a treat for me to able to connect with my favorite authors!

    1. I forgot about Goodreads! A great way for readers to connect to each other. I will confess I do not go there often, but will reconsider. Stay tunes for Facebook Live updates. Thanks for reading the blog!

  2. I like newsletters, but with 10,450 emails waiting, I wish some of the others (not yours) were less frequent. My data allowance is too small for videos. I only do Facebook and that only when I have time (back to the 10,450 emails).

  3. I’m watching the answers with great interest because I find myself asking the same questions, Julie! As a reader, there are very few newsletters that I actually open and read. The one(s) I do (Craig Johnson’s) ENTERTAIN me. I’m still working on making my (mostly) quarterly newsletters more fun, but so far I think I’m failing. I’m dabbling with videos, but there’s only so many hours in a day! And YES, let’s do something live from Malice. I’ve been toying with that idea too!

  4. I’m not a fan of videos. I like to read things. I love this blog and a couple of others. I do FB, Pinterest and Goodreads also.

  5. I enjoy the newsletters and love the blog. A video once in a while might be nice, but like you, I am not so much on videos as I am the written word. I enjoy your books and always buy the paperbacks or get any hardbacks from the library. I like holding a book in my hands, though I do use my Nook when traveling.

  6. Love this, Julie and am looking forward to what people have to say! I’m not a big fan of videos and get annoyed when I’m trying to read an article online and the video keeps popping up. However, I’m intrigued by the Facebook live idea. I happened to be on FB the other day and the writers of the TV show Timeless did a FB live. People could ask them questions via the page. It was great.

    1. I love TIMELESS, sorry I missed that. Nice thing is that they get saved so folks can go back and watch them. I totally agree about the pop up video issues. I close the site. You and I could FB live before our Malice panel…

  7. A quarterly newsletter is just right. I am inundated with information so more often than that feels like homework. I gave up FB a few years ago (who cares who went to Walmart??) and I don’t miss it at all. Personally I like Instagram. I never post but just scroll through others post and maybe leave a quick comment. I feel like Instagram has more thought put into it- less spontaneity which means higher quality posts. I admit I mostly follow pugs! A video is fun but can’t be too long. I think videos are appropriate for announcements or if you are all together celebrating something. Other than that I probably wouldn’t watch it especially if they are too frequent. Honestly- I LOVE this newsletter where you rotate authors and every morning I get to read it. It’s my relaxation and the way I start the day.

  8. Love the quarterly newsletter idea. I try to not use Facebook. I must for some occasional volunteer info but really am not a fan, although I do recognize the platform aspects. Quarterly newsletters keep people in touch with their favorite things without being overwhelming. I want to read something when I have time or have made time for the things I enjoy. This blog/newsletter is great, can be read when I have the time and I can catch up.

    Subject matter: WIP, scheduling, good questions to discuss, opinions, reaching out to fans across the country and to other writers are all good reasons for newsletters/blogs.

  9. What great questions! My newsletter has become almost monthly. I focus on the region I write about, Cajun Country, with tourist-y tips, a recipe, other books about the area… and contests, in addition to stuff about my actual series. For me, as a reader, I’m embarrassed to say that if I see big blocks of text in a newsletter, I tend not to read them, which is why I make mine visual with lots of pix, even though that’s not always recommended.

    As to other social media – and I’m writing this as an author, not a reader – I’m really Team Facebook. I feel I learn more about people’s lives there, and I’m a very nosy person! I do Twitter because I have to, although now I use it as more of a political outlet, something I try to avoid on FB. I just started Instagram, which I like, but don’t do that much of. I feel like I’m repeating posts on it, and don’t take that many interesting photos to share on my phone. Also, I find the problem with Twitter and Instagram is people often create a user name so I don’t know who I’m following. On FB, I know you’re Julie Hennrikus. On Instagram, I might see @jhh and go, wait, who is that again?

    1. I agree about the Instagram names. That’s one reason I trying to brand behind JHAuthors. For the first time in this past year, I am separately myself a bit so that folks can follow the author, and not have to see the advocate’s posts. One reason for this post is to see how I can best reach the readers we have. I think that perhaps Instagram is the new reader frontier, but that Facebook is for our existing readers, which is fab.

  10. Sometimes worth doing it in word processing and then copy and paste! I had one computer at work that was having issues and I started doing that regularly!

  11. I really like the idea of a Facebook Live event. I do really enjoy reading the blog each morning.

  12. I do Facebook and Twitter. Not on Instagram so guess I’m ancient. πŸ™‚ I’d love to do videos but some times can’t due to internet usage – again ancient I know.

  13. I’m iffy on newsletters. I know why they are valuable, but I don’t really read most of the ones I get. Generally, I get the information in them somewhere else.

    Videos…I’m not sure. Only if there is a transcript, maybe. The reason is because I’m often reading blogs in a public space and I can’t have a video running. Maybe that will change when I get some new headphones.

    But a Facebook Live at Malice sounds awesome!

  14. I like newsletters, as long as they’re not too frequent. I think monthly is good, even tho a lot of times I’ve already seen most/all of the info that’s in them somewhere else online. I’m not really a fan of video posts, unless for a special event. I like looking at everyone’s photos (especially of pets) on Instagram.

  15. Newsletters that are once a month or quarter are about right unless there is some breaking news (a sale or special appearance) that we would want to know about. The ones that come more frequently when the author really doesn’t have anything interesting to say are annoying.

    I’m not the person to ask about Instagram. I have an account, but I never use it. I really need to figure that site out, but it just isn’t happening.

    I keep thinking about dipping my toe into videos, but that hasn’t happened yet either. I’m not sure how I’d feel about a vlog here since I’m often in a hurry and running late for work (like now) when I stop by. (Yes, this is a confession that at times I skim. Sorry.) However, Facebook live would be fun if the timing worked to join in.

  16. Newsletters are great, you should do one monthly or quarterly. If you & the other Wickeds did videos together I would watch them but otherwise I’m not particularly into them.

  17. I love receiving the newsletter. I’m very selective about the email I receive, but facebook etc is a free for all. So I feel more connected to Wicked Authors because of the newsletter.
    I’ve had an instagram account for years but really only started using it because my nephews are more active there than on facebook AND because of MarchMysteryMadness on youtube. A lot of that is on instagram, so I’m engaged there.
    Videos show a different, more spontaneous side of you. The newsletter can be as polished (or deliberately unpolished) as you want. I think there is room for both.

  18. Love the Blog and newsletters are great as well! Not so sure about Facebook and video (trying to curb my FB and Youtube time!)

  19. I don’t mind newsletters as long as they’re not too frequent and contain book news. Quarterly sounds perfect. More often is fine if you have news too. But when I start getting one every three days from the same author I tend to just delete. I’ll admit I’m not a video person, but I think a lot of people like them. I also don’t do much social media. I used to be on Facebook more, but they’ve been annoying me with only showing the posts they deem important so I don’t check in as much. Wow, rereading this I’m not sure how anyone finds time to write with all the social stuff to keep up with!

    1. Great insight on the newsletter. I am definitely gearing up for one.

      I am really, really trying to keep my social media time down. I agree about the Facebook algorithms. But, still, a great way to connect with folks.

  20. When I retired I joined Facebook and signed up for some authors’ newsletters. Am enjoying them all. I tend to be watching the news while I’m on the computer so videos conflict a little. I do watch some, especially if they are short. I don’t do Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

  21. πŸ™‚ You know I read the newsletter, or I wouldn’t be here now. xxxx I would enjoy an occasional video taken during an event that one or more Wickeds take part in. I would likely not enjoy a video of a table discussion done at a book fair led by a third party. I like attending them in person, but on video, I haven’t found them to carry off well.

    1. One more comment: I might be the only reader who feels this way but thought I’d mention it. I find WordPress awkward to use with the hoops you must jump through to check comments etc. and keep those that are helpful or interesting to access later.

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