I’ve been keeping this idea under wraps for a little while, but after discussing it with a few trusted people (including my fourteen-year old bookworm), I’ve decided to move ahead with it. I recently updated some things about my website, including a way to connect and provide more content to my readers (ahem, you) that felt more special. I love to interact through posts and articles, but I wanted to go a bit farther.
Let me tell you a little bit about where this idea came from and what it entails. I don’t think I speak without basis when I say most writers have some form of newsletter or email list, at least most writers I know or follow. But the more writers I follow, and the more I connect with, either through their email lists, newsletters, or plain old social media, the more I wish there was another way to connect with them on a more personal level. One that made their content not just valuable to me, but also provided me with an extra degree of exclusivity. Instead, what I have discovered is that the sacred privacy of my email, which requires a higher level of trust to give and should provide content in par with that trust, is only seen and used as an avenue for self-promotion that receives way less value than other platforms.
Why should anyone trust their email to someone who will only exploit it when convenient? True, we can unsubscribe if we wish. That’s our prerogative. I know I’ve done it plenty of times. But that doesn’t address the root problem I’ve encountered. If I am a fan of someone’s work, and I want to connect with that writer, and take that extra step to give them a direct avenue to connect with me, why should I be treated the same, or often times worse, than the tens of thousands of other people that didn’t take the step? Following someone on social media requires almost no commitment. You click a button, and maybe every once in a while you’ll see the person’s content and keep up with what they’re up to. But the nature of social media is cluttered and often ineffective, especially if the end goal is a long-term relationship with the reader.
My daughter gave me a great example. She loves to read, and there are some YA writers whom she loves so much, she would buy anything they came out with. But she doesn’t have access to social media, and even though she is subscribed to their newsletters, she feels that she is missing out, or that she has been forgotten when bonus materials, giveaways, and other extra fun and book related content comes out, because there is hardly any emphasis on rewarding those who have taken the most committing steps. I am not saying one is more important than the other, only that each have a purpose, and varying degrees of trust and commitment from a reader should be taken into consideration, and never abused.
Writes write because we love to share stories, and there is nothing we love more than when a reader loves the stories we have written just as much as we do. Their trust is sacred. Their email addresses are, too. This line of thought landed me on the idea of a VIP Circle, a periodical email that not only provides members with valuable, wholesome, and uplifting content, but also respects their time and truly seeks to enhance their reading experience. I believe this was, and should be, the primary purpose of newsletters. But it seems somewhere along the way newsletters turned into blasé advertisements only sent when a book is coming out or a how-to journal and pay-per-view on writing. The lost potential of what it could be instead is nothing short of a tragedy.
This is why the idea of a VIP Circle is so exciting to me. I created it because I want to build a pathway for subscribers to find meaningful value, genuine and uplifting content with every email. I want them to know that their trust is important to me, and that I value their time and personal space. I also love the idea of engaging with people in such a way that friendships can sprout, be nurtured, and deepened along the way.
My VIP Circle emails will include life-uplifting articles, inspirational quotes, wholesome and clean book recommendations, bonus material from blog posts and author interviews, giveaway entries, bookish freebies, and additional content aimed only at enhancing the reader’s experience. I hope you join me.
This month of December I am starting a round of giveaways targeting the new year, as well as mentor recommendations that have made an impact in my life. I will be sharing details on my blog soon, but if you don’t want to wait until then, you can join my VIP Circle now. Click here.
Want to collaborate with me? I love to work with fellow writers, spotlight authors, and host writing challenges. I’ve also been known to swap short critiques on occasion. Don’t be shy, reach out to me here.
And if you like this post: subscribe to my VIP Circle and don’t miss out on all my additional content (monthly quotes, inspirational articles, book recommendations, giveaways, bookish goodies, and more!). Click HERE.