Substack. What the heck is that? Basically it’s an online platform that enables writers to send digital newsletters to subscribers, for free or pay. Yes, there are other options but this one caught my imagination after a recommendation by a writer friend Frederick Fullerton.
With the advice of the same friend and family, I tinkered for a few days with its name and the subtitle. I came up after much deliberation with “Joan Livingston Writes.” My subtitle? “A bookish mix of mystery and discovery in rural New England.”
Then, yesterday, I spent time setting up my account and publishing my first post: Yes, Dammit, I’m a Wordsmith. Click on the link and read it yourself. There’s a button so you can subscribe.
By the way, the photo above was taken by Beth David, of Fairhaven Neighborhood News, at a reading I did recently at the Millicent Library in my hometown.
I’ve got a lot more tinkering to go, plus exploring what and how other people write on theirs. Many people do paid subscriptions. That could be a possibility. For now a subscription is free to hopefully build a following.
As I write this, the post has 27 views. I’ve got a ways to go.
As for frequency, I am doing research. I’ve heard weekly so you’re not bombarding people. Twice a week? We’ll see. For length, 200-300 words is recommended. I wrote 300 for the first. After reading one longer than that and losing interest, I can see why. The writing and subject would have to be compelling.
So what will I post in my newsletter? I will post about writing, publishing, my books, and real life — basically whatever I’ve observed or experienced that I found interesting enough to share.
I already post twice a week on my website JoanLivingston.net. I certainly have lots of material there to share, including my Hilltown Postcards series. I would likely revise them a bit as I did with my first post, which appeared on my website last year. I will also create material that would be Substack only.
Interested? I hope you are.
See you on Substack.