Announcing: This Could Help 10.23.2013
Today I’m launching a new subscription-based newsletter called This Could Help. I really think this could help you in some way. A way that will be useful, and valuable, and meaningful. Sign up today for only $5.00 a month. If you’d like to know more, you can read a bit about it here.
For the story on how it came to be, please read on…
It started, as many things do these days, with a simple post to a social network:
You see, I used to have a subscription based newsletter called Reflections that I really enjoyed doing. It not only helped me share sneak peeks and get feedback as I was writing my book, enough, but it also was a place where I felt obligated to deliver the most value to my readers. After all, they were paying me a small monthly fee for exactly that. Whenever money changes hands, no matter the amount, the obligation becomes higher. Even to this day, I feel like I can look back on that effort and be proud of both the work I did there and feel like my patrons saw the value too. I delivered.
Then Letter.ly, the service I was using to run the business and delivery end of the newsletter, abruptly shut down with very short notice. And, while there are certainly other services out there that I could have used, none were as easy to use — for either the publisher or subscriber. And, switching to something else meant a hassle for my patrons. So, I made the decision to end the newsletter completely. Not only was this an end to a way for people who value my work to support it directly, it was an end to work that they told me really helped them. It was heart breaking but seemed best at the time.
But I never forgot.
I would, occasionally, lament its closing and the lack of appropriate service to replace it. I did this hoping that someone, somewhere, would either point me to some other service I was not yet aware of or decide to build something like it themselves.
Well, just seven days ago, my friend Andy Parkinson answered that challenge. the new service is called HappyLetter and it’s perfect (at least for me and likely for others too). It does what no other newsletter service seems to do. It allows publishers to quickly set up, price, and launch a subscription-based newsletter. It allows subscribers to sign up easily and get billed monthly for that newsletter. It makes delivering that newsletter to those subscribers as easy as sending an email. It handles the business so the publisher can focus on delivering their best work and get paid for it. And, he built it all in a week and live blogged the whole process so that others could see and learn from the work.
I helped a fair bit with feedback during the development process but to go from nothing to private beta launch in only a week is an amazing feat that deserves a look all by itself. There is a lot there to learn about the choices one must make when building any web based service. It makes one wish all developers were so transparent about their choices.
So, here the plan. My new newsletter is called This Could Help. It is where I plan to deliver my best work. You cansign up today for only $5.00 a month. I will publish as frequently as I feel it is helpful (but will aim for at least once a week). My work here and in other places will become less frequent and often be an extension or replication of the work I am first doing there. Some of the work I do there will be part of the work I’m doing for my next book. My patrons there will get early access and opportunity to participate with feedback on that book. They also will get a free eBook copy of whatever future books I release as well as other rewards I can conjure up. They also will get priority attention from me via email. After all, money is being exchanged. The stakes and obligations are thus higher.
As always, I remain very appreciative of anyone who reads any of my work, paying or not. After all, as writers we are simply happy to be read. Anything else is a tremendous bonus. Thank you so much for being here and making me happy.
Of course, if you feel my work here has helped you, yet you do not wish to subscribe to the newsletter, you can support my work by a free will contribution of any amount. It is very much appreciated.