Matthew Wayne Selznick https://www.mattselznick.com author and creator at large Wed, 06 May 2015 03:33:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=269 Copyright © Matthew Wayne Selznick 2014 mwselznick@gmail.com (Matthew Wayne Selznick) mwselznick@gmail.com (Matthew Wayne Selznick) 1440 https://www.mattselznick.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/mws_header_image_hd_20140905_a01.pngMatthew Wayne Selznickhttps://www.mattselznick.com 144 144 Author and Creator at Large Matthew Wayne Selznick is an author and creator living in Long Beach, California. Matthew Wayne Selznick Matthew Wayne Selznick mwselznick@gmail.com no no The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 086 — Under Pressurehttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-086-under-pressure https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-086-under-pressure#comments Sat, 02 May 2015 19:50:45 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19690 In this episode: host Matthew Wayne Selznick asks how to continue producing shippable creative works in the face of life-changing stress. Click through for full show notes!

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pressure and stress leading to pulling out hair Nearly a month after the last episode, and what a month (what a month and a half) it’s been. I talk about the pressure and stress brought on by many, many fundamental changes in my life, and how it’s affected my ability to create… and ask you how you manage to continue producing shippable creative work in the face of life-altering stress.

Also, I’ve got a favor to ask, but it’s the kind of favor that totally works for you, DIY, independent creative entrepreneur: I need you to tell me about the DIY, independent creative endeavor you’re promoting in the first half of May, 2015. You can leave a comment here, or call the voicemail line, or even send me an email. Tell me about it! And be sure to give me a link!

Links

Some of the things mentioned in this episode:

Comment On This Episode!

The next episode depends on your feedback! Tell me all about the DIY, independent creative endeavor you’re promoting in the first half of May, 2015. Leave a voicemail, send me an email, or comment right here in the comments section of these show notes.

I’d also love your thoughts on the central challenge of my creative life right now: how do you produce “shippable” creative works when you’re dealing with the pressure of life-changing, highly stressful events?

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. As always I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 (although I’m increasingly, sadly, aware that I’ll probably have to retire it when I can afford to) plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about three hours record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute, for a cost of $225.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar each episode (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-086-under-pressure/feed 0 0:24:23 Host Matthew Wayne Selznick shares how stress is hurting his creativity, and asks how you manage to create shippable works while dealing with life-altering stressful situations. In this episode: host Matthew Wayne Selznick asks how to continue producing shippable creative works in the face of life-changing stress. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 086 — Under Pressure! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
Happy Birthday, Patrickhttps://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/happy-birthday-patrick https://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/happy-birthday-patrick#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 04:55:07 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19610 Thinking about P.G. Holyfield, and the rare gift of love.

Please click through and comment on Happy Birthday, Patrick!

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Last summer a man I liked, a man I respected, a man whose talent I admired very much… a colleague and collaborator.. a man I considered a friend, even if we weren’t as close as some… he died as a result of a very fast, very vicious cancer.

Today’s his birthday. And I’m seeing his memory honored with so much love today, just as he was honored by love when he left.

I know this day must be hard for the woman who was at his side when he passed. But she was there, and they had that, and if you gotta go… well. What a gift for them both.

Love is so rare. Life is so short, and maybe there’s more. Maybe there’s not. No one can truly say one way or another.

The only thing I know for sure, the only thing I know that isn’t gut feeling or hope or faith… is that the love right here and right now might just be the last love you get.

Honor it with your whole heart, keep it safe, and nurture it so it stays strong and binding.

P.G. Holyfield​, I don’t like that you’re not in the world. I mourn the stories you had yet to tell.

You were a lucky, lucky man.

Please click through and comment on Happy Birthday, Patrick!

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The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 085 — Interview Of Scott Rochehttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-085-interview-of-scott-roche https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-085-interview-of-scott-roche#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 01:59:40 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19577 In this episode: a conversation with DIY, independent author and podcaster Scott Roche. Click through for full show notes!

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scott_roche_300x324Scott Roche is an author and podcaster whose story—and actions—epitomizes the ideal that doing it yourself means never having to go it alone.

He’s also my interview guest on episode eighty five of the DIY Endeavors Podcast!

In the course of our conversation, Scott reveals…

  • …a passion for the short story form
  • …the influence of a strong work ethic
  • …the value of a supportive network
  • …the power of mentoring
  • …and a whole lot more!

The Casebook Of Esho St. Claire by Scott Roche

The Casebook Of Esho St. Claire by Scott Roche

Folks listen to Scott nearly every week in his capacity as one of the co-hosts of The Dead Robots Society Podcast, the long running show that focuses on the craft and career of writers… but I bet they’ve never heard him like this.

Enjoy!

Links

Scott covers a lot of ground, both chronological and philosophical, as he tells his story in this episode.

Here are links to a few of the things mentioned.

Comment On This Episode!

Tell me your thoughts! Let’s talk!

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. For the intro and outro segments, as always I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

The interview segment was recorded via Skype and the Pamela Skype Recorder. I used the Zoom R16 as a soundcard to capture both Scott’s signal and my own direct-mic’ed voice. Some recurrent static and other oddness can be heard when Scott speaks; it seems to have been on his end, or perhaps a by-product of our Skype connection.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about five hours record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute, for a cost of $375.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 085 — Interview Of Scott Roche!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-085-interview-of-scott-roche/feed 0 1:12:26 Author, podcaster, and friend of the show Scott Roche in conversation with DIY Endeavors host Matthew Wayne Selznick. In this episode: a conversation with DIY, independent author and podcaster Scott Roche. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 085 — Interview Of Scott Roche! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 084 — Zero Budget, Unlimited Hearthttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-084-unlimited-heart https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-084-unlimited-heart#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 04:23:06 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19368 Don't have the money to bring the polish and the shine? Make sure you bring every ounce of heart you can muster into your DIY, independent creative endeavor. Click through for full show notes!

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Zero Budget, Unlimited Heart TeeDIY, independent creative entrepreneurs and makers, in this episode, I entreat you: make the thing you want to make, and bring it to the world, even if you don’t have the money to do it just as you’d really like.

If you have a zero budget, bring unlimited heart. Your community will recognize the value of your work.

Also: what’s your favorite DIY, independent creative work done on a zero budget, but with unlimited heart? Share the “works of shoddy brilliance” you love with the world… in the comments!

Mentioned in this episode…

Comment On This Episode!

I really hope you’ll share the zero budget / unlimited heart creative works you love… and anything else on your mind regarding the topic!

Declare It and Wear It

zero_budget_unlimited_heart_tee_women_20150317You can get your own “Zero Budget, Unlimited Heart” tee-shirt or other apparel! Your purchase (wouldn’t it be a great gift for the creators in your life?) will help offset the costs of producing The DIY Endeavors Podcast by $2.00!

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about two hours to record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute, for a cost of $150.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 084 — Zero Budget, Unlimited Heart!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-084-unlimited-heart/feed 2 0:22:47 The host of the DIY Endeavors Podcast, author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick, recommends that DIY independent creators deliver with unlimited heart when they have a zero budget. Don't have the money to bring the polish and the shine? Make sure you bring every ounce of heart you can muster into your DIY, independent creative endeavor. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 084 — Zero Budget, Unlimited Heart! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 083 — Distractionhttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-083-distraction https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-083-distraction#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 05:01:57 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19346 In this episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast, host Matthew Wayne Selznick presents an idea you might spend more time thinking about than hearing about: what's distraction really about? Click through for full show notes!

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chaosstar-350In this brief episode, I examine what distraction might be telling me… and you… and every distracted independent creative entrepreneur.

That is you sometimes, right?

I only mentioned a few things in the episode that merit a link…

Comment On This Episode!

Tell me your thoughts! Let’s talk!

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about ninety minutes record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute, for a cost of $112.50, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 083 — Distraction!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-083-distraction/feed 4 0:16:04 The host of the DIY Endeavors Podcast, author and creator Matthew Wayne Selznick, explores the root of distractions and asks how distraction might be hurting your creative endeavors. In this episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast, host Matthew Wayne Selznick presents an idea you might spend more time thinking about than hearing about: what's distraction really about? Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 083 — Distraction! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 082 — Interview Of Jon Crosshttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-082-interview-of-jon-cross https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-082-interview-of-jon-cross#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 03:29:30 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19322 This episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast presents an in-depth, deep-diving, epic interview with DIY podcaster, musician, and comedy writer Jon Cross. Click through for full show notes!

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Jon Cross of the After Movie Diner PodcastIn this mega-episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast, my interview guest is podcaster, musician, and comedy writer Jon Cross.

This is a huge conversation… and it’s worth every minute of your time.

Over the course of answering my “five questions” across ninety minutes or so, Jon reveals himself to be a passionate advocate of the DIY ethic and touches on subjects like…

  • …where to focus your creative efforts if you don’t have a budget
  • …the valuable inspiration found in community and collaboration
  • …the differences between the United Kingdom and the United States when it comes to supporting independent creative entrepreneurs
  • …ways to bring indie creations to mainstream audiences
  • …the core of comedy

… and so, so much more!

This is a must-listen!

Links

Stuff and things mentioned in this episode:

Comment On This Episode!

Tell me your thoughts! Let’s talk!

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. For the intro and outro segments, as always I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

The interview segment was recorded via Skype and the Pamela Skype Recorder. I used the microphone built into my Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 for reasons of convenience, although for reasons of quality next time I’ll probably use the Shure.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took a record eleven hours record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute, for a cost of $825.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 082 — Interview Of Jon Cross!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-082-interview-of-jon-cross/feed 0 1:39:45 Podcaster, musician, comedy writer, and advocate for the DIY ethic Jon Cross in conversation with DIY Endeavors host Matthew Wayne Selznick. This episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast presents an in-depth, deep-diving, epic interview with DIY podcaster, musician, and comedy writer Jon Cross. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 082 — Interview Of Jon Cross! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 081 — Stand For Somethinghttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-081-stand-for-something https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-081-stand-for-something#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:00:15 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19311 You have to stand for something. This episode is all about why it's important for DIY, independent creators to have a publicly available statement of ethics. Click through for full show notes!

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image of ethical principlesIn this episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast: Online shopping cart news! Creative progress! Character-revealing actions…

…and the question of ethics, especially pertaining to the need for DIY, independent creators to publicly share their ethics and principles.

Links

Stuff and things mentioned in this episode:

Comment On This Episode!

Tell me your thoughts! Let’s talk!

Technicals

Recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about four hours to record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute for a cost of $300.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 081 — Stand For Something!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-081-stand-for-something/feed 2 0:26:36 Trust and transparency are essential for a strong community of friends and fans around your work. Let's talk about why you should have a public statement of ethics and principles! You have to stand for something. This episode is all about why it's important for DIY, independent creators to have a publicly available statement of ethics. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 081 — Stand For Something! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
Every Independent Creator Needs A Statement of Ethicshttps://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/indie-creators-need-statement-of-ethics https://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/indie-creators-need-statement-of-ethics#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 03:01:51 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19296 Independent creators: do you have a statement of ethics? Learn how a public statement of your principles and ethics can help build community and attract friends and fans to your work.

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hand_on_heart_300x300 It’s not uncommon to find a statement of ethics on the website of a corporation or other organization. They’re created for legal reasons as often as to declare the intentions or motivations of the body in question. In some cases, an ethics statement or policy might replace or supplant a mission statement.

Independent creators—authors, musicians, crafters; makers of all kinds—need a public statement of ethics just as much as big companies or charitable organizations.

Why Independent Creators Need A Statement of Ethics

I’ll speak for myself, here, but I’d probably be safe to speak for all indie creators when I say, “I am my brand.”

When someone pays what they want for one of my books, short stories, non-fiction titles, music, or other creative endeavor, they’re often making that choice because they’ve encountered me before they pressed “add to cart.”

When someone pays more than what I’ve suggested for my stuff, or pledges their monthly support as a patron, they’re casting a vote of confidence and appreciation in me as an artist, and they’re investing in my future works.

That’s more than commerce. It’s an act of trust and community.

Speaking pragmatically, those customers are much more likely to contribute to an independent creator’s success over the long term. They are, not to be too cold about it, worth more than strangers.

As an independent creator, you want to build real relationships with your potential and current fans. You must build that community.

A healthy community, like any healthy relationship, thrives under conditions of trust and transparency, when everyone involved understands the intentions and actions of everyone else.

Since you’re the one asking for others to join with you, it’s up to you, independent creator, to demonstrate you are transparent and trustworthy first.

That’s why you should have a statement of ethics on your website.

What Should Independent Creators Include In A Statement of Ethics?

Simply put:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What promises can you make regarding your behavior, especially as it pertains to your interaction with customers and clients?

I recommend not trying to cover every possible situation. Rather, state the high-level values that dictate how you live your life. You should be able to extrapolate from those.

If you don’t know the high-level values that dictate how you live your life… you have some thinking to do, I reckon.

You Statement of Ethics Is A Living Document

Don’t be hung up on trying to make your statement of ethics a perfect, fully-realized expression of your morals and values right out of the gate. It’s more important to make the statement, and make it public.

You can go back to refine and restate from time to time. In fact, it’s likely that the very act of writing down your statement of ethics will help you better understand it, and yourself.

I’ll Show You Mine…

My statement of ethics and principles is right here.

It includes my creed (the high level values) as well as several specific items.

It also includes mention of how I expect others to act if they’re going to interact with me. You don’t have to put that in your statement if you don’t want to, of course.

…You Show Me Yours

If you’re an independent creator, I challenge you to craft a statement of ethics, publish it on your website, and leave the link in the comments of this post.

Already have a statement of ethics? Excellent! You’re a real forward-thinking, transparent so-and-so who probably already has a strong community of friends and fans. Share a link to your statement in the comments.

Let’s see what you’re made of!

Please click through and comment on Every Independent Creator Needs A Statement of Ethics!

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The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 080 — Get Helphttps://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-080-get-help https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-080-get-help#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 14:00:38 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19236 Maybe you're totally awesome and can do it all yourself... but doing it yourself should never mean going it alone! Let's talk about the different reasons and ways to get help. Click through for full show notes!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 080 — Get Help!

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I’ve said it for many years: doing it yourself means never having to go it alone!

But… it’s not always easy for a DIY, independent creative entrepreneur to know when it’s time to get help. Or how to find it. Or how to afford it.

After a quick overview of my own recent progress, that’s the topic of this episode of The DIY Endeavors Podcast.

Links

Stuff and things mentioned in this episode:

Comment On This Episode!

Tell me your thoughts! Let’s talk!

Technicals

Another episode recorded and produced in the lush and lavish studios of MWS Media in Long Beach, California. I used my thirty year old Shure SM58 plugged into a Zoom R16 digital multitrack recorder.

Raw audio was edited in Audacity with finishing touches applied in Hindenburg Journalist.

This episode took about three hours to record, produce, write the show notes, and distribute for a cost of $225.00, a figure that represents what I would have earned doing freelance work for clients for the same amount of time, and provides an approximate and somewhat arbitrary measure of the value of this show… or, perhaps, its cost to me! If you’d like to offset that cost for as little as one dollar every month (more if you can afford it!) consider becoming a patron of the show, with my grateful thanks!


Can’t see the player? Download this episode directly!

Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 080 — Get Help!

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https://www.mattselznick.com/podcasts/diy-endeavors-podcast/diye-080-get-help/feed 0 0:33:49 Maybe you're totally awesome and can do it all yourself... but doing it yourself should never mean going it alone! Let's talk about the different reasons and ways to get help. Maybe you're totally awesome and can do it all yourself... but doing it yourself should never mean going it alone! Let's talk about the different reasons and ways to get help. Click through for full show notes! Please click through and comment on The DIY Endeavors Podcast Number 080 — Get Help! Matthew Wayne Selznick no no
A Snapshot Of My Email Newsletter Communityhttps://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/tap-your-email-newsletter-to-know-your-fans https://www.mattselznick.com/scribtotum/tap-your-email-newsletter-to-know-your-fans#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 02:35:49 +0000 https://www.mattselznick.com/?p=19213 How well do you know your community of friends and fans? Here's what I found out about mine thanks to a recent survey...

Please click through and comment on A Snapshot Of My Email Newsletter Community!

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Survey Your Email Newsletter Community To Understand Your Best Friends and Fans
I’ve maintained a community of email newsletter subscribers for many years. Until a couple of weeks ago, I’d never formally surveyed that community to learn more about them.

In this post, I’ll share the results of that survey for two primary reasons:

  1. I’d like my email newsletter subscribers to see themselves, as it were.
  2. I think the lessons of the survey have value for all indie creators.

The Pool

The email inviting folks to take the survey went out to 562 email newsletter subscribers. About 180 people opened the email (32.2%); 57 of those who opened the email clicked through to the survey. 33 of those folks took the survey.

Boil it down, just under six percent of folks receiving the email newsletter opted to take the survey.

A Qualifier and A Cautionary Tale

I ran the survey from a Tuesday through the following Monday.

On the Saturday before the end of the survey period, my website took a dive.

For the last two days of the survey, the site was either intermittently or entirely down.

You can only imagine my frustration if you’ve gone through anything similar.

Be prepared for things to not go perfectly well.

The Results

I asked a little bit about my email newsletter subscribers and also took their temperature regarding my creative endeavors.

A Snapshot of the Community

Here’s what I learned about the fine subscribers to my email newsletter:

  • Most (79%) community members are in the United States.
  • More than half (64%) identify as male.
  • 48% are between the ages of 35 – 44, outnumbering other age groups by a very wide margin, and of that group, 63% identify male.
  • Nearly everyone (91%) consider themselves creative people. I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, but I was!
  • Most (73%) buy or rent audiobooks.
  • Nearly everyone (91%) reads e-books, and of those folks, they prefer the MOBI / Kindle format vs. the EPUB standard two-to-one.

The Community’s Relationship With My Work

I asked a few questions about how the community feels about my various storyworlds and their awareness of my work. The results:

  • Nearly everyone (82%) has purchased at least one of my creative works since they joined the email newsletter community.
  • Most of the respondants were aware they can set their own price for my creative works.
  • More than half (67%) haven’t purchased any of my creative works since I adopted that pay-what-you-want model in October of 2014.
  • Of those folks… over 40% didn’t know I had anything new to offer.

The Big Ouch

Let’s pause for a moment, because this is a big take-away for me, and it might be a lesson for anyone attempting to make their living selling their creative works:

Most of the most responsive members of my email newsletter community knew about pay-what-you-want-pricing, but more than a quarter of those folks haven’t taken advantage of that model because they didn’t know I had anything new to buy.

Thing is, I’ve released three products in that time.

I don’t expect everyone to buy everything.

But… damn. If my most engaged community members don’t know I’ve got new stuff, I’m Doing It Wrong.

Indie creators: how well are you informing your community about your new works? Is everyone who wants to support you given every opportunity to do so?

How can you do better?

Me? First of all, I’m going to be more proactive (is “aggressive” too strong a word?) spreading the word myself. I already mentioned this in my creative plan for 2015.

I’m also going to work harder to make it easier for others to spread the word, and be more, well, clear, that I want folks to do just that.

Finally, I might invest in some advertising. That’s a slippery slope I won’t sled down without a heap o’ research first; and not without some solid discretionary capital.

Back To The Results

I classify my fiction according to storyworld (think setting / milieu). I asked respondents how they felt about each one so that I could glean some insight into what they’re into, and to maybe help me decide where I should put my creative energy. Here’s what they said:

I’m not surprised about the love for the Sovereign Era, since it’s through that storyworld most people first discovered my work… although I am a little disappointed those folks aren’t open to other stuff from me.

It’s a bit of a bummer there isn’t more interest in my Daikaiju Universe storyworld or in my literary fiction, since that’s where my personal creative interest is strongest right now.

The take-away there? Don’t ignore the core Sovereign Era fans (I’ll be delivering more regular installments of my Sovereign Era serial, Hazy Days and Cloudy Nights, and there’s at least one new short story in the works), but if I want people to be into what I’m into, I’ll have to work on bringing new folks into the community.

Since I want to do that anyway… it’s all good, I reckon.

More Good Stuff

The realization that I’m probably not doing the best job possible promoting my own work aside, the thing that excites me most about the survey results is that there are so many creators in my community, and the variety of creative endeavors they’re engaged in!

There are writers, as expected, but also woodwrights, weaponsmiths, crafters, artists, actors, filmmakers, dancers, cooks… it’s wonderful. If all goes well, you’ll hear some of those folks interviewed on The DIY Endeavors Podcast in the coming months!

I asked the creators about their biggest challenge right now, and the uniformity of their response has me thinking there’s a big opportunity waiting there. I’m mulling that over; it’s exciting to think about.

Next Steps

Thanks to the results of the survey, I have my orders:

  • Be better / bolder with self promotion when I have new stuff to sell.
  • Stick to the plan of creating audiobooks for my existing fiction and make sure an audiobook is released for every new fiction work.
  • A significant percentage of my email newsletter community share a common problem. I can help them… so dedicate resources to the particulars of how.
  • Write what you’re passionate about, but don’t leave money sitting on the table. Release at least one new Sovereign Era title this year.
  • Reach out to the creators in the community who’ve expressed an interest in being on The DIY Endeavors Podcast and get interview commitments from them.

Creators: How Well Do You Know Your Community of Friends and Fans?

You should already be thinking of the fans of your work as a community you’re engaged with, not an audience to which you broadcast.

Ideally, you’ve got permission to engage with your community directly through email, not just via social networks that limit / restrict your access. (If you’re not building an email mailing list and want some help / pointers, mention that in the comments section and I’ll get in touch).

The question remains: do you know your community? Are you sure you’re not missing opportunities and / or operating under unsupported assumptions?

Have you run a survey? How’d it work out?

Are you planning to run one?

I’d also love feedback from my email newsletter community on the survey, and its results, whether they took it or not!

Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Please click through and comment on A Snapshot Of My Email Newsletter Community!

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