Monday, June 13, 2016

My Newsletter Le Coeur de l’Artiste, and Why I Created It.

I'm happy to  have D.J. Adamson as my guest today on Make Mine Mystery. Diann is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series. She is also the publisher of Le Coeur d'Artiste, a monthly newsletter that reviews books and interviews authors. I was lucky to have her review my YA horror-suspense, The Devil's Pawn. 
Marilyn Levinson

As writers, we're told you must write a blog so people can get to know you.  I tried that. I've had  many blogs. I’ve written about writing, positive thinking, and my life. Boy, was that a mistake. I ran out of things to say. I felt I was forced to take on an additional job for the sake of my writing. I already have a day job I love and my writing schedule.

Some authors have a group blog. Well, no one asked me to write one with them. Since I’m pretty shy, I didn’t ask to join one. Another idea ditched.

Instead, I started a newsletter.  The first newsletter echoed lectures from my classroom. I began including students’ creative work. I published my first poem at the age of twelve, but there are few outlets for students/beginners to publish. I wanted to offer that accessibility.  They began offering their poems, photography, song lyrics. Some told me it was the first time they’d ever shown anyone their work. One student excelled beyond my newsletter and published in a UCLA literary journal.

It was a great start, but I was promoting myself to a small audience.  Two hundred a semester, but still relatively small. I closed down that newsletter and started Le Coeur de l’Artiste. I took on the mantel that to do for others is to do for yourself. I review an author’s work and interview them to a readership of almost two thousand.  I have interviewed celebrated Indie authors like Hugh Howie, Edgar Award nominees and winners. At the last conference I attended, writers came to me saying, “I know you.”  Of course, I thought they were referring to my Lillian Dove Mystery series. Instead, they said, “I read Le Coeur every month.

Every month. I think that is the key. I publish the newsletter monthly. I read at least five books to review, reviewing those I feel are 3+ stars. You don’t have to be a great writer to get into my newsletter, but you have to have the potential to be a good writer. I don’t ask for money. I don’t ask for a book. Generally, authors send me a pdf or mobi file to read.

I started reviewing only mysteries, but my audience and reading expanded. I review fiction, genre and literary, and non-fiction. I review authors I know, dead authors considered classic writers—it's good to remind people of their talents—and authors I only know from the covers of their books. The newsletter is launched on the 15th of every month.

I have learned more about writing from reading books and interviewing authors than from reading books on the craft. Though I don’t promote myself in the newsletter, more and more people know my name. I believe it's my responsibility as a writer to extend a hand to other writers. I do this by  promoting them.

There’s a saying:  Give Service and Receive. That’s what my newsletter has done for me. I have received knowledge, friendships, networking, promotion, and maybe a few sales.


D. J. Adamson is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series and the Deviation science fiction-suspense trilogy.  Suppose, the second in the Lillian series has just been released.  She also teaches writing and literature at Los Angeles colleges. And to keep busy when she is not writing or teaching, she is the Membership Director of the Los Angeles Sisters in Crime, Vice President of Central Coast Sisters in Crime and an active member of the Southern California Mystery Writers. Her books can be found and purchased in bookstores and on Amazon. To find her, her blog L’Artiste, or her newsletter Le Coeur de l’Artiste, that go to Make friends with her on Facebook or Goodreads.


writerchick said...

Thanks for sharing this Marilyn

Mar Preston said...

I appreciate the amount of work that goes into your newsletter, Diann.

Thank you.

Maggie said...

Thanks to Diann and Marilyn for sharing this thought-provoking post.

Marja said...

Thanks for telling us about your newsletter. It sounds like you're a very generous woman, and multi-talented.

Marilyn Levinson said...

I'm glad you all stopped by. Check out Le Coeur d'Artiste. It's really a good newsletter.


D. J. Adamson Author said...

If not now, when?
Thanks for coming by. Writing is lonely, satisfying, exhilarating, tiring, energizing, and validating. Just like life, the artistic act is full of irony.
I wish you all a million words with only 5 adverbs. Really!


Linda Thorne said...

I don't know how you do it. Reading that many books and reviewing them when you have a day job and write your own books has to be all consuming. I'm going to look for your newsletter. Sounds interesting. Thank you for the information.

D. J. Adamson Author said...

You forgot to put grading papers in there. I teach college English.
How do I do it? I don't know. I guess I never think of it as work. Plus my mom always said you can get a lot done in an hour. She's right. Plus, when I am working on promotional items, I do it in front of the television, grading papers, too, and I can read with the TV as well. My husband does like to see me now and again :)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Diann is a fun person to be around and very giving when it comes to helping other writers.

Morgan Mandel said...

I used to have a newsletter, but I let it slide. Too much Facebook instead. I should probably give it a try again.