Back To Nuts And Bolts

nutsandboltsPreviously on Betsy’s Blog –

In a meeting with Harry, the white gerbil who is the Guide for her Quest, and Skipper, the chipmunk who is a Habit Formulation Specialist, Betsy realizes her overarching life goal is to always choose her own Path, follow her own Guide, and seek her own Grail. Working to achieve this goal effectively changes her Quest from that of becoming a successful indie authorpreneur to that of becoming a successful human being.  Which is kind of the point of all Quests anyway, isn’t it?

However, Harry is about to remind Betsy that being a successful indie authorpreneur is still extremely important to her and a huge goal. And these kinds of goals aren’t going to achieve themselves, are they?

Now that the tender moment has passed and Skipper has returned to the International Muse Council, Harry wants to tackle some nuts and bolts issues. What does he want to discuss? Can he get Betsy’s head out of the clouds and pin her feet to the ground? In other words, can he get her to do something…productive?  Let’s see…


Hi, Harry. *Betsy walks into Harry’s office in her brain* *settles on comfy sofa* You wanted to see me?

Yeah, doll. Thanks for coming. *Harry pulls out gPad and hops down from gerbil habitat* *runs up sofa* *perches on arm* I know you had kind of a big deal moment in the last blog post.

Yes. *Betsy shrugs* I’m still trying to figure out what it all means.

You still want to be a successful indie authorpreneur, right?

Oh, yes! *Betsy claps hands* *bounces on sofa* That’s like the bestest thing ever!

Sheesh, calm down. *Harry waves his paw*  You’re scaring me.

Okay.  I mean, *Betsy clears her throat* *deepens voice* Why, yes, Harold. Becoming a successful indie authorpreneur is a very important goal. *relaxes* Actually, I think focusing on that goal is essential in working towards the independence I’m trying to achieve in my life overall.  It’s like, symbolic, you know?

Yeah, I think so too. *Harry taps on the gPad* Okay, then I think we need to move away from the touchy-feely crap for a minute and talk about some nuts and bolts things.

Oh. *Betsy makes face* Really?  Do we have to?

Your goals ain’t gonna come true just because you wish they would, kid.

Oh. *Betsy slouches on sofa* Okay.

Suck it up. *Harry taps* First, how’s the writing coming? I want to document your progress.

Okay, I guess.  *Betsy straightens* I had hit a snag last week with the real-life stuff, but I’m at the very end of the second draft.  I’m not lying.  I really am.

I believe you. *Harry types* And what will you do after you’re finished working on Handling It? *glasses suddenly appear on his nose*  *he looks at Betsy sternly over them*

I’m going to work on the next book, Losing It. *Betsy crosses her heart* I swear. I’ve learned my lesson. You’ve got to keep going. I even know how I want it to start out and who the main characters will be.

Wonderful. *Harry swipes paw to open another screen on gPad* Now, you know you have things you’ll need to learn before we can actually publish.

*Betsy nods* Yes. Like how to compile in Scrivener and how to upload files onto the different ebook sites. But that’s not big deal. After Handling It is out to the beta readers and edited, I’ll get that under control.

There’s something else you should be thinking about now. *Harry turns gPad around so Betsy can see the screen* You need a newsletter.

*Betsy wrinkles her nose* A newsletter?

Do you see this article? *Harry points at the screen* You need a newsletter so you have a way to talk directly to the people who want to read your books.

Okay, yes.  *Betsy waves hand*  I know it’s important for an author to be able to communicate directly with their readers without the middle-men, but why can’t I just use Facebook and Twitter?

Did you see the “reach” your last Facebook post got?  *Harry frowns at her*  Pitiful.  You can’t count on a platform not to change and you sure as heck aren’t important enough for them to care if it bothers you.

*Betsy pouts*  Well, thank you very much for that.

*Harry shrugs*  Just being honest, kiddo.  With a newsletter, you have more control.  Plus, the people who’d sign up for the thing are probably the ones who actually care about what you’re doing.  

Well, yeah.  *Betsy throws both hands up in the air*  But it’s one more thing to do!

Tough.  *Harry turns gPad around and taps on it some more*  It’s important.

*Betsy frowns*  What would I even say?

*Harry rolls his eyes*  I’d say you could send out one whenever you have a new release, but we want it to go out more frequently than every three years.

Oh, ha ha.  *Betsy thinks*  That is a point, though.  If I say it’s going to go out monthly or bi-weekly or whatever, I want to make sure that happens.  I’ve signed up for newsletters where they were supposed to come frequently and I haven’t gotten one yet.  It’s really annoying.

Even more important, we have to make sure people WANT to sign up for it.  You have to make it worth their while.  *Harry frowns*  And that means, it has to be something special, not just news announcements once in a blue moon  You have to be freaking entertaining.

*Betsy sighs*  But no pressure.

I know kid.  *Harry pats her hand with his paw*  Tell you what, you go away and think, I’ll go away and look up the deets on how this thing works, and we’ll get back together and brainstorm.

Okay.  *Betsy thinks*  *slowly smiles*  You know, this might be fun.

*Harry beams*  There’s my girl.  Now go finish your book!  That’s an order.

*Betsy salutes*  Yes, sir.


To be continued….





  1. I thought blogs were the ‘modern day’ newsletters, thus making the latter obsolete. On the other hand, if the newsletter taught people things, like how to publish something, notes on publishing ins and outs, websites and sources, etc., it might be very useful to a lot of people. Again, though, why is it any better than a blog?

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Athena: When you do an email newsletter, you build up a group of people who have given you their email addresses and want to hear from you. Then you can have direct interaction with them and let them know when you have something important going on. With a blog, you have to depend on a person coming to see you. With the newsletter, you’re going to see them. Now, mind you, people have to open your email and not think you’re spam – so you want it to be entertaining and worthwhile. But it’s just another way of reaching out to your readers and reminding them you exist. 😀

  2. You are hella entertaining! Put me on the newsletter mailing list, STAT!

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