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August 1, 2019



Vicki Whelan-White         Gail Baugniet             Laurie Hanan                           Rosemary Mild                 Rose Tiegarden


AUGUST 2019 SPEAKER – Bob Newell speaking on What You Can Learn From Writing in Another Language/even if you don't speak another language--

  • During a recent trip to Paris, Bob Newell wrote 52,000 words of the first draft of his French-language novel, 'Le dernier couple.' Bob will summarize his approach, experiences, and results in carrying out this effort, and will provide some surprising insights about how such an endeavor positively influenced his ability to write in his native English. Bob will generalize these insights so that they will hopefully be useful to all, whether or not you speak another language or ever intend to write in anything but English.

  • SINC NATIONAL – National checking with all chapters in regards to combing local and national dues.  They have concluded not this year- but will check again or next year

Findings: We have two chapters that do not charge dues and five chapters that do not maintain bank accounts 

  • Forty-two chapters charge dues annually in January. Three Chapters charge dues on the anniversary date of joining, and three collect annually but in a month other than January. There are a variety of partial year and multi-year variations among the chapters. 

  • Chapter dues vary from $0 to over $40, with the largest number (17 chapters) between $25-29. Payment Forms: 92% of chapters accept cash, 94% check, 60% PayPal, and 23% credit cards. 

  • Seventy-one percent of Chapters believe their membership lists were 90-100% up to date on the national website. 

  • The survey yielded very mixed results on the topic of combining dues from 'enthusiastic embrace' to 'we will leave the Sisters in Crime organization'. There were many concerns about how soon National would pay the chapter for its share of the dues. Our Canadian Chapters are presently dealing with the exchange rate between the U.S. And Canadian dollar, and this will not go away with the co-mingling of dues. 

  • Finally, there were concerns about the National Website and how difficult it can be to find content.


  • During the next several months, we will increase our understanding of the technology needs of our chapters as well as those of National. We are planning for a task force to develop a straw-man plan to deal with the multitude of issues like anniversary date, first partial year, membership types and rates, etc., planning on getting specific input from affected chapters. 

  • With information from this review, we will make a go/no-go decision for the 2021 cycle. 

  • If we decide to move ahead for 2021, we will likely recruit a few volunteer chapters to test our co-mingled dues solutions before rolling it out to all of the chapters. 

  • We are also updating the National website to make it easier to find things and easier to use. We will significantly update the Chapter Resources section of the website. 

  • In general, at this point, we believe the cloud-based platform (YM) that runs our member database and website is adequate to our needs. It is our implementation of the software that creates our multiple challenges. (For example, the current issue with the Chapter president’s photo page.) We are actively working to improve our implementation. It is possible that once we find the limitations of YM we could consider a platform change, but that is not within our current scope. 

Some reassurances: 

There was a lot of unease expressed in the comments sections on the survey and in email messages to Alec Peche. We would like to take this opportunity to provide some reassurances. 

  • We are not considering MWA-style “assigning members to chapters.”

  • We are not considering restricting members to join a single chapter.

  • We are not considering asking chapters to give up their current member management systems or websites.

  • We will not make any changes in this arena without clearly communicating with chapter leadership and including you in the process.
    Alec Peche and the CoMingling Dues Sub-Committee

  • SINC NATIONAL BOOK CLUB CENTRAL –Begin to get ready for submissions for September

  • SINC NATIONAL POSITION OPENINGS – New volunteer opportunities! We are looking for a few enthusiastic Sisters and/or Misters to work with the board. Read the position descriptions below and click on the link at the bottom of this email to complete the form to volunteer. All forms are due by July 22, 2019.

  •  National Board of Directors Position (voting member) Joining our dynamic board allows you to help shape the future of Sisters in Crime. If you have great organizational skills please consider volunteering for the position of secretary. 

  • Secretary (voting position) elected for one-year term. Responsibilities include: Keep minutes, record votes, coordinate correspondence with the President and Executive Director as needed, and perform such other duties as may be directed by the Board of Directors,  Participate in weekly board calls with the executive committee and the executive director.   Gather and disperse monthly board reports. Attend monthly board phone calls

  • Education Webinar Coordinators (multiple) The new online webinar program brings engaging and knowledgeable speakers on topics of writing craft and business right to our members' homes. This position works with the Education Liaison.Responsibilities: As a webinars coordinator, you would work with the Education Liaison to make the program easy to use for all participants and the archived content better for all future viewers. Specifically you would-- Help host the speakers online by introducing them, lobbing questions and generally acting a moderator. Perform additional duties as needed Qualities: We are looking for multiple volunteers with the following qualities Comfortable Willing to learn a new, simple program with computers Promotional copy/copy writing skills a plus

  • Education Grants Coordinator (1)  Our Education Grant program assists our members in getting out into the writing world to hone their skills and create their networks. As the grants coordinator, you would keep our applications process responsive and timely so that our members get the knowledge they crave. This position works with the Education Liaison. Responsibilities include: Processes grant applications Makes sure the member and the requested program are eligible Maintains a spreadsheet of applications Tracks reimbursement  


  • KAUAI CONFERENCE - I am excited to tell you the Kauai Writers Conference has just published its complete general conference schedule, including 48 sessions over three days, November 8-10, 2019. The conference is preceded by intensive four-day Master Classes, running each day November 4-7. You can see the schedule by visiting Kauai Writers Conference and selecting “Schedule” at the top of the page.

  • This year’s conference has already confirmed, among other distinguished best-selling authors, Paula McClain, Christina Baker Kline, Greg Iles, Geraldine Brooks,Tony Horowitz,  Lisa Wingate, Meg Wolitzer, Mark Kurlansky, Tea Obreht, Nicholas Delbanco, Richard Bausch and Whitney Scharer. Our growing 2019 faculty of fiction and non-fiction writers is regularly seen on the New York Times best-seller list and count among their many awards and honors: the Pulitzer Prize, fiction; the Pulitzer Prize, national reporting; Orange Prize for Fiction; National Magazine Award; O. Henry Prize; National Book Award (finalist); The Pushcart Prize; Overseas Press Club Award; PEN/Malamud Award, to name just a few.

  • We’re pleased to present members of Sisters in Crime-Hawaii  with a discount of 20% on both the general conference and master classes on various aspects of the craft. The event also offers one-on-one sessions with literary agents, editors and publishers.

  • The “business” of writing is also a significant part of the Kauai Writers Conference. Writers can schedule individual sessions to pitch their work and get personalized critiques from 14 literary agents and publishing professionals. There are conference sessions on navigating today’s publishing landscape, working with agents and publishers, exploring alternative forms of publishing, book-to-screen adaptation and more.

  • Your group members can review all master class and conference sessions by visiting  Kauai Writers Conference. Remember to take advantage of the 20% writing group discount by entering WG789 on the check-out page. Your members can also arrange for a phone/online chat  with our staff who can help fashion a conference schedule and book agent/publisher meetings most appropriate to their needs. They can also call me directly at my number below.

  • AUTHOR NORA ROBERTS: reports 5 of her books plagiarism.  Amazon not removing the books.   Incidents on the rise.  Also AJ Finn. http://fallintothestory.com/plagiarism-then-and-now/

  • EMOJI’S: Are now showing up in court cases as they interpret possible meanings -  https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/18/18225231/emoji-emoticon-court-case-reference

  • TOPICS OF INTEREST – for future speakers 1) Dark Web 2)Deep Fake 3)Medical Examiner-Pearl Harbor 4) Drones

  • RECOMMENDTION – thinking about adding disclaimers to your book descriptions on Amazon.

  • OLLI – any interest in speaking again.  (2 said yes)

  • MEETUP – cancel subscription until we get some good speakers for Sept-Oct-Nov.  Charge a fee for people to come to meeting if they are not a member- it can go towards membership if they join.


    1. Your marketing needs to be done to create a long lasting connection-build community

    2. Build platform to sell your books thru OUTREACH, CONTENT AND PERMISSION

    3. OUTREACH - to let everyone know you’re alive

    4. CONTENT – People need to know what you are about and if they find interest and value in you and your work

    5. PERMISSION - to connect and drive issues, get them to do something


    7. SOCIAL MEDIA – (Outreach-positive, Content-average, Permission-negative) Only .02 - .09 response percent.  Followers don’t usually buy books.  Not reliable to get someone’s attention or drive an action from them. Number of followers does not mean you are selling books

    8. BLOGS - (Outreach-average, Content-good, Permission-negative) Use so your audience knows who you are and what you are interested in.

    9. PODCAST & VIDEOS - (Outreach-average, Content-good, Permission-average)

    10. EMAIL LIST - (Outreach-bad, Content-average, Permission-best)

    11. GUEST BLOGGING/INTERVIEWS - (Outreach-good, Content-average, Permission-bad)

    12. SUGGESTS – you read books an write reviews for authors.  This will help increase all 3 platforms.  You end up with your post on author-page so they can come back to your email list.



Building your email list should be your Number One goal as an author.

It is the power and importance of email marketing for authors.

There is no better way to build long-lasting connections - is the definition of marketing.   It easily trumps social media, for building a long-term author platform and for sheer book-selling power.

It’s how first-time authors are launching New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.  It’s the foundation of your author platform.

We’re going to tackle that in this article, with these five steps:

  1. Choose an email provider

  2. Decide on your “Why?”

  3. Write your first email

  4. Create the two most important email signup forms

  5. Get your first 100 subscribers (this week)

1. CHOOSE AN EMAIL PROVIDER -There are dozens of email marketing providers out there. In fact, way too many to wrap your head around and test adequately.  Sign up with ConvertKit.

2. DECIDE ON YOUR “WHY?” - People already get too much email. Their inbox is crowded, and they’re not actively looking to add more to the pile.  So why will they sign up for your email list?

Because you’re going to give them a really good reason to!

Do not have a bland, unappealing request such as “Sign up for my newsletter” or “Get my updates.”

You have to answer their first and biggest question, which is: “What’s in it for me?”

What is a compelling reason for people to sign up for your email list?

The simplest and best method is to create a giveaway. Here are a few ideas:

  • One of Your Books – “Sign up now and I’ll immediately send you my bestselling book, The Truth About Why You Don’t Like Your Day Job — and What to Do About It”

  • A PDF with Tips, Secrets or Insider Information – “Enter your email address below to download my free PDF 8 Secrets to a Healthier, Sexier You”

  • A Course or Walkthrough – “Where can I send your free 30-day book marketing course?”

  • Interviews – “I’ve interviewed three of your favorite novelists. Where should I send the recordings?”

  • Something is better than nothing. ANY free giveaway is going to work better than “Sign up for my newsletter!” (which is all about you, not them).

  • Let your friends decide. Come up with three ideas, then ask ten to twenty people which one they’d rather have. Go with the popular opinion.

  • Don’t give away the first chapter of your book. Well, you can — just don’t call it that. It’s not compelling enough. Name it something more compelling.

  • Try different things. You don’t have to stick with your first idea. You can always change it later.  The goal is to give people a compelling reason to sign up for your email list.

3. WRITE YOUR FIRST EMAIL-Once you’ve gotten set up with a solid email provider and decided on your giveaway, it’s time write your first three emails. 

4. CREATE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT SIGNUP FORM-Now that you have your list set up with an email provider, have your giveaway ready, and have your first emails written … it’s time to let people sign up!  There are two main online forms you want to create:

  1. Website form(s) – As mentioned above, your Number One goal is to get people to sign up for your email list. This means that your website’s Number One goal is to get people to sign up for your email list.

  2. Link form – When you share your signup link on social media or invite someone via email to sign up for your list, you’ll want to have a stand-alone form ready that they can link to directly. Both of these forms are very easy to create with ConvertKit.

5. GET FIRST 100 SUBSCRIBERS (THIS WEEK) The first thing to remember is you’re not inviting people to join your email list. You’re inviting them to download your free giveaway. Instead of saying “Sign up for my newsletter,” you’re saying “Download my latest book for free” or “Let me send you my free PDF.”Starting from that crucial point, here’s five steps you can take to get your first 100 subscribers:

  1. Invite your social media following. Post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and let people know about the giveaway you have available.

  2. Add it to your email signature. Automatically invite everyone you email to join your list. This is what mine looks like:

  3. Make it the Number One thing on your website. In Step 4, I showed you how to install SumoMe and add a pop-up or slide-in signup form to your website. If you haven’t yet, stop right now and do that!

  4. Put it in your book. Change the last page of your book to include an invitation to join the email list.

  5. Ask new subscribers to share. Individually email each of your first 100 subscribers, to thank them for signing up, ask for their feedback, and ask them to share your free giveaway invitation with their friends.



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