Three Reasons I am Aggressively Building my Email List

And why, if you are a writer, you should too.


I am working hard on building up a strong email list. By working hard, I am re-writing my appeal, creating a more central space on my website for that appeal and most importantly, I am giving away copies of my next book for free.

Why am I trying to build my list. Here are three simple reasons.

1. An email list is yours.

Email lists are platform independent. Many indie writers are too dependent on social media or a web platform (like a blogging site or retail site.) What happens if those sites change or disappear? It’s happened before and likely it will happen again.

Jeff Bezzo has said so. In an interview about’s disruption of traditional publishing he admitted that it was not only likely that some new site would someday disrupt and replace Amazon, it was inevitable.

These disruptions can be painful for both writers and readers. When Facebook changed the algorithm it uses to show posts, many bloggers and authors saw their page views plummet. But we aren’t the only ones who suffer. Fans who want to see our posts now don’t.

If you leave Facebook for whatever reason, there is almost no way to take your fan base with you. A tiny change in Google’s search engine could downgrade a popular website to obscurity. Amazon could change its royalty payouts (as critics keep fearing) and make it no longer profitable for Indies.

An email list is insurance against such disruptions. It’s the one thing you can download and walk away with. You can change social media focus, website and even retailer without losing those fans.

2. An email list takes a long time to build

Statistics show that authors with large email list make more money. I am more than a little suspicious of that statistic because it takes a long time to build a good email list, so those authors have likely been around longer and written more.

As I stick around longer and write more, that excuse is wearing thin. The fact that email lists take a long time to build is the best reason to get started now. Even if all you have is a half dozen emails and a short story on Wattpad to direct them to, start now. Your future self will thank you. When your books start coming out you will be ahead of the curve for once, not running to catch up.

3. Everyone’s doing it.

I don’t normally approve of peer pressure or doing what everyone else is doing, but I am making an exception here. One of my goals for 2014 was to learn book marketing. I’ve read dozens of books by successful Indie authors. They all agree on one point, email marketing is the most important first step.


So there you have it, three simple reasons why writers should have an email list. If you need more reasons, you will have to think of them yourself. I’ve got writing to do.

For readers, you can sign up for my newsletter and get a free copy of an epic fantasy.



A Quick Update on 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s almost summer. I had the goal at the start of this year to publish four new novels, two YA novels under Rachel Eliason and two fantasy novels under R. J. Eliason. Here’s the quick update.

The Best Boy Ever Made came out towards the end of January and it’s doing nicely. I have had several good reviews and sales are good. A huge thanks to all my YA fans for making that happen.

Continue reading

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp

The follow up to Bear Naked is out and available on Amazon.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp follows the saga Amanda Burnson and her friends as they grow and develop their shifter powers.


Wolf Camp is not your typical arts-and-crafts summer camp. It’s a training ground for future 
werewolves, where their mental and physical limits are constantly tested and honed. 

There are many hurdles to overcome: Amanda, an adolescent werebear, can’t control her 
transformations yet; and Connor and his pack are the camp misfits. Then they discover a new 
threat from the Sons of Garm, this time from within the Leidulf tribe. 

Will Amanda and her werewolf friends be able to navigate these new waters? Maybe with a 
little help from a couple of old friends? 



Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Cover Reveal

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp will be out sometime in March. For now, here is the cover and blurb. Comments welcome, of course.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Coming Soon

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp Coming Soon




Wolf Camp is not your typical arts-and-crafts summer camp. It’s a training ground for future werewolves, where their mental and physical limits are constantly tested and honed. There are many hurdles to overcome: Amanda, an adolescent werebear, can’t control her transformations yet; and Connor and his pack are the camp misfits. Then they discover a new threat from the Sons of Garm, this time from within the Leidulf tribe. Will Amanda and her werewolf friends be able to navigate these new waters? Maybe with a little help from a couple of old friends?


Any feedback on the blurb would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.








What’s to come in 2014

As we all journey into 2014, here is a quick update on my writing progress and what is to come.

Bear Naked

Volume one of the Bear Naked saga is currently available for free on Storycartel if you are interested in checking out the series. If you are coming to this blog late and the promotion is past, don’t despair. I am eager to see as many reviews as possible of this novel, so send me a quick email and I will probably be glad to get you a copy in return for an honest review.

Bear Naked 2: Wolf Camp

Is well on it’s way. I am working on draft five now. What does that mean? Check here for how I write novels. The short answer is this, it will be ready for my editor within a week or two. The cover designer is back after a short hiatus with the company. She is already hard at work on a cover that matches the first one beautifully. We are not quite ready for a big reveal, but the samples I have seen are gorgeous.

I hope to have Wolf Camp released into the wild this spring sometime.

There is a five book story arc at work in the Bear Naked series. Bear Naked 3: The Hunter and the Hunted currently exist in the form of some scrivener notes. Hopefully I can write that this spring and summer. I hope to release that in the fall some time.

Other Novels

What else is coming down the pipeline? The Mage Chronicles, an epic fantasy set in the world of the Gilded Empire is virtually finished and waiting for editing. The hold up, its nearly twice as long as anything I have published so far. Freelance editing is by the page or by the word, and either way, it’s not cheap. I am waiting to see how sales and personal finances fare before making more certain plans for this novel.

By popular demand of beta readers and friends, my first novel, a post apocalyptic science fiction novel, is back on the docket. I will be rewriting One Strange Utopia this spring and getting it ready for editing.

Rachel Eliason

My other pen name has a busy year ahead of her as well. I have a contemporary YA novel that is virtually ready to go. I am quibbling over the title now, there are titles similar to the working title “Country Girl” and I am trying to find something more unique.

I am planning on releasing another contemporary YA this summer in honor of pride. Rosie and the Slenderman, the story of a gay youth forced to move to a small town to help care for his demented grandmother, is nearly completed and ready for editing.

I am part of a local critique group and they are helping me get my first memoir in order. This one, The Agony, The Ecstacy and the Buddha, One woman’s month in Thailand having a sex change, is slowly coming together.

With four novels and numerous short stories out under at least three different pen names, I will have plenty of marketing and promotions to do as well. Still with what I have in the pipeline I can confidently plan to publish at least four new novels this year.

For long standing readers and fans, what would you like to see me explore? Have you heard me mention a work in progress and thought, I wish she’d hurry up and finish that. If so, leave a comment.

What’s Coming in 2014?

Here is a quick peek at the works in progress I intend to publish in the near future. Three have tentative release dates and two do not. I am not sure when those two will be published, but they are relatively close to being finished.


Contemporary YA released as Rachel Eliason:


Country Girls: Alecia Mueller is a seventeen year old country girl from a conservative family. She knows exactly how she wants her life to turn out, she will meet the one, get married and settle down on a farm in the country. When her best friend Sam (Samantha) comes out as a female to male transgender, Alecia decides to put personal loyalty to her friend ahead of whatever politics lie around the issue. But what if the boy that Sam is becoming is the one?


Tentative release date: Soon.


I am essentially sitting on this manuscript. A local writer friend hung her shingle as a freelance editor recently and I had to check her services out. So I have a finished and edited manuscript. I just need a cover and some formatting working. The biggest thing that’s been holding me back is Bear Naked’s release. One of the things I have learned about marketing a book is that your book is only new once. I don’t want to distract from Bear Naked’s release with another new book. Maybe towards the beginning of next year I will get this one out.


Rosie and the Slenderman: Two stories with one powerful ending.

2013: Fifteen year old Aaron has his life turned upside down when his mother takes him and his sister back to the small town where she was raised, to care for her mother. Fearful that the kids won’t accept him, Aaron decides he must go back into the closet. But when he meets Nicholas, his crush on the boy may be his undoing.

1960: Twenty year old Robbie has just arrived in Chicago, intent on becoming a famous illustrator and on losing himself in the city. He soon discovers that Chicago has a booming underground gay community. He must decide, did he come to Chicago to escape his homosexual tendencies, or embrace them?


Tentative Release date: Pride. I have had the thought that it would be interested to write something and time the release to go along with pride, both in theme and timing. Luckily I have a mostly completed manuscript and several months to finish it.


Fantasy to be published as R. J. Eliason:


Bear Naked Volume Two: Wolf Camp: Amanda is invited to the Leidulf summer camp with Connor and his pack. She quickly finds out that her position is more precarious than she had thought, the wolves hunting her have powerful allies, including some within the Leidulf tribe itself. The camp is no picnic either, it’s a constant competition to determine pack and tribal hierarchies. Connor’s pack are misfits and this summer they are furthered hampered by Amanda’s inability to shift at will and the fact that she hasn’t cemented her role as alpha female. Hopefully with the help of a couple of friends the pack can turn things around.


Tentative release date: Sometime in the spring. I am through the rough draft, but there’s still a lot of work to do before I pass it off to my editor. I am hoping to have it passed off by the early part of the year and release it mid spring sometime.


Mage Chronicles: This is the first stand alone novel in the Gilded Empire Saga.


The Gilded Empire: It is a place of great magic, a multiverse of world tied together by magic gates. An empire so old and so powerful that no one recalls it’s name, because it’s been that many centuries since there was another empire. For the inhabitants of the empire, it seems to be in its golden age, at the peak of its power. But already along the edges, one can see the signs of decay.


The Mage Chronicles: Mary, a mage level healer with untapped magic potential, is sent on a long mission by her former teacher, the famous mage Ashley La’Margin. Her mission is to end a border dispute in some distant province. She arrives to find evil forces at work. Someone is testing some new kind of soldier, the Juggernaut. Some say they are demons disguised as men, some say they are invincible. What can a healer, even with mage level powers, do against such a threat?


Tentative release date: ??? I am on my fourth draft. Typically around the fifth draft I am ready to show something to an editor. Free lance editors generally like to get paid for their services. And since they charge by the word or by the page, this 100,000 plus word novel is going to be nearly twice as expensive as my other books were. So when this book gets to an editor depends a bit on the success of my other books, like Bear Naked. Fantasy fans take note. I have the manuscripts to keep your entertained. I just need to be making enough money to afford editing and cover design services.


One Strange Utopia: Amy Beland has grown up at Freedom Ranch, a white supremacist enclave in a post apocalyptic world. After seventeen years of rebelling against the Ranch she is now their only hope of salvation. A small detachment is sent down, out of their mountain retreat, to search what remains of civilization for critically needed supplies. The new society that has appeared on the plains thirty years after the collapse of the United States will shock and challenge Amy’s fundamental beliefs about the world.


Tentative release date: ??? This is actually the first novel I ever wrote. I have struggled for some time with what to do with the manuscript. I look at it and I like the story, but I have grown as a writer. However every beta reader that’s read it has agreed, it’s worth publishing. I am going to run it through one more round of edits, have it proofed and put it out, when I can get around to it.