30 Days of Fika Books: Ten
Morning! IT IS NEWSLETTER DAY!!
Naturally I'm in a flap and wondering if I can actually manage to get it out today but I WILL BY HOOK OR BY CROOK! (Check your email at midnight tonight, folks 🤣)
It won't include every single bell and whistle I've got in mind, but I finally realised last week that if I wait until absolutely every last bit is perfect and ready then I will never launch it. I've got plenty to launch with today, and it will grow over the coming weeks and months. Please let me know what you think, and what you'd like more of!
The issue that I've always had with author newsletters is that I don't especially enjoy them myself. There are loads of authors I adore, whose books I will read the instant they are printed, yet I'm just not fussed about getting regular emails from them. To be honest I feel the same way about most marketing newsletters: if I've just bought a couch from you, I have no need for weekly emails about all the other couches you have!
So I've always kept mine to a minimum, just emailing to let folk know when there's a new book out... and sometimes forgetting to do even that.
Then, a few months ago, a wee idea started skittering about my brain.
I started picturing a newsletter that was more than just a newsletter.
I'm old enough to have been a part of the original wave of blogging, back when it wasn't about influencing and selling, but about community. One of my favourite things to do was a round of my favourite blogs every few mornings, not just to read the posts but to chat. There would be a group of us all commenting on each other's blogs, and it felt like an ongoing conversation.
I'd enjoy how the blogs would be a mix of personal and recommendations that were useful, and more than anything I loved a good ongoing drama. That was partly where Life is Swede came from -- I'd followed so many relationships, breakups, dramas amongst friends, that I got excited about trying to create that experience, but with a fictional story. So many of them unfolded in real time, so you would be going back for days or weeks hoping for updates -- and that was part of the fun.
I know we all love a good binge, but to me, there is something maddeningly exciting about a good old cliffhanger! We all know the story of Scheherazade and how she saved her life by telling a story over One Thousand and One Nights, and I can still remember the horror of Neighbours finishing on a Friday night and realising I had to wait THREE WHOLE DAYS for the next instalment! Actually, for me, it goes back even earlier -- I loved going to school on Thursdays because it was the day the Mandy & Judy came out. I would buy it on the way to school and it would sit in my satchel all morning, taunting me, just waiting for playtime so I could read the next chapter of the ongoing stories.
While I've very happily lost entire weekends to gobbling up books and series in one go, I miss that sense of occasion of today's the day! The community that comes from speculating about what this might mean or how that will turn out. That little bit of deliciousness of knowing there's a wee something to look forward to each week.
So that's what's at the core of the newsletter. I'm going to be running 2-3 stories and each newsletter will contain the link to your weekly chapter.
They work much like seasons of TV, so we will get season finales (at which point they will be published, for those of you who prefer a good binge!). Some might go directly on to Season Two, others will 'rest' a while to let another story run -- and a lot of that will depend on how much you've enjoyed it, so please keep letting me know what you think! Basically it will be like a little miniature fiction Netflix delivered to your inbox every Friday.
As I've discussed before, they are all in different genres because I can't keep myself to just one! I know that some of you are butterfly readers like me so you might enjoy two or three (plus of course they're all me, so if you've enjoyed one of my books you might just like another even if it's not exactly your usual taste), others will only ever click on one -- but that's kind of the fun of it. Plus of course it's an easy way to explore different -- you can take a quick peek of the week's chapter and it might just catch your interest! If not, no harm done. The idea is that there is something for everyone and you can pick and chose what you like.
And if you're not interested in weekly chapters at all, then fear not!
Each newsletter will also contain the Bookish Life of Someone I think is Cool, which is just what it says on the tin -- a delve into the reading life of a cool person I know (or wanted to know, so I got in touch with them for the feature!). Some of them are authors or actors you might have heard of, many are nothing to do with the arts but people I happen to think are cool.
There is also a Fika Picks section, which features book recommendations -- not reviews, but genuine I loved this and I think you might too. I'll also mention new releases I'm looking forward to, and a few memory lane nostalgia recommendations. Eventually I plan to start introducing buddy reads and turn it in to a proper ongoing book club.
Finally there will be a section of deals and newsletter signups with other authors -- I won't necessarily have read all these myself, but I am careful to include only books in genres I know you'll enjoy.
And that's it... for now. I've got loads more ideas for features to add, but I realised I could easily go mad and send you a novel-length email every week, so we're going to start there and see how we get on!
Sooooo the very first Fika Books Newsletter will be going out in the next few hours.... stand by!!