A First Year Rewind | Future Musings
July 2022 Storyletter
Feels Weird…But In A Good Way
As cheesy as it sounds, the folks that have been reading, commenting and contributing to The Storyletter have made this such a worthwhile experience. I’ve never been as enamored with something as during the times when I’m creating graphics, writing posts, talking with each of you, or recording audio for the Substack. It’s basically a second job, sure, but not once has it felt like “work”, which is saying something. I hope to continue the momentum through the next year of publishing by bringing you awesome, entertaining stories by incredibly talented writers.
But before we can look to where we are going, we must appreciate where we’ve been and the accomplishments that got us to where we are!
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The Evolution of The Storyletter
The Storyletter was born out of a coalescence of coincidental timing, hopeful ideas and a dash of naivety—or more like when the salt shaker cap falls off. The truth of the matter is that I had no idea how to run a newsletter, manage a publishing company, or even how to network with writers 12 months ago. Here’s a link to my very first monthly newsletter post and you can tell how much has changed since then.
I dove head first into the deep end, and although the overall experience has been me treading water to stay afloat, I’ve had a smile on my face the entire time. Granted it can be self-indulgent at times, but that’s part of the territory when following creatives who focus specifically on the things they enjoy most. I’d like to think this approach offers some semblance of honesty and truth to sharing what we consider to be artfully-crafted entertainment, or at the very least, an attempt at it.
The most important part of our newsletter evolution stems from the readers and contributors themselves. I don’t see the entirety of what we’ve created amounting to much without each and every one of you sharing your thoughts and reactions. I love interacting in the threads and reading the fiction on your own Substacks. And nothing has topped the feeling of hitting ‘Publish’ on another writer’s story to share their work with our ever-growing audience.
So, What Did We Accomplish?
Here are our current stats:
Subscribers - So far we’ve reached (200!) free subscribers, 15 of which have converted to paid subscriptions.
Fiction - The 37 free stories published on the Substack have reached a combined total of 7,801 views.
Substack - The Storyletter Substack received 2,122 unique visitors from over 50 various sites.
SRA Podcast - We managed to produce and publish 8 audio recordings resulting in 159 downloads (listens). This is especially noteworthy given that the audio versions are behind a paywall.
Contributors - 5 writers published their work via The Storyletter.
In the first year of The Storyletter, we achieved the following:
Incorporated a publishing company as an LLC
Created an official logo and commissioned banner artwork
Rebranded the About page and the Wordpress site
Opened a submission form with guidelines and a contract
Participated in the official ‘Substack Go’ program
Set up a merchandising store called ‘The Gift Shop’
Commissioned unreleased artwork from Shivana Brhamadat
Started an audio series called ‘Storyletter Read Aloud’
Completed a serialized novel
Appeared on the Arthadian Anthologies Podcast
Met with Elle Griffin
Launched a writing contest with cash prizes and judges
Made some awesome new friends along the way!
Where We Go From Here
We’ve launched our first writing contest to cap off an already great year. I’m very excited to read your submissions along with our wonderful judges who will be grading them individually. Based on how this contest goes, I think we will move forward with various types of contests for our paying subscribers to win prizes and get published in the process. Honestly, due to the lack of interest from the general public on submitting for free, this might be the best way to drum up excitement for all future submissions.
Currently, submissions are open for everyone to share their work with The Storyletter audience. We don’t attempt to hold ownership over your work once it’s published, so you can proceed to use and submit your work elsewhere since you hold the rights. Our mission here at The Storyletter is to offer a platform for independent creators looking to grow their own audience.
The next project I’d like to tackle is “interviews”. There are some very interesting and talented people out there that I’d like to get to know better, while sharing their story in the process. So I’m working on a unique template that will allow me to interview you all and still afford me time to work on other projects. Should be developed soon, so stay tuned!
I’m currently formatting The Storyletter Anthology Vol. 1. It looks like it will be close to 50k words after I sneak in some exclusive content. I hope to feature most of the stories published from the first year of running the Substack (with each of the contributor’s permissions, of course). It’ll be so neat to have a physical and e-book edition of these stories out there, plus I’m considering having the Founder tier get these books delivered. Anyway, I’ll keep you apprised of new updates as I navigate the publishing process.
Thanks for reading! Check out the links below if you’re looking for some great fiction to pass the time. And until next time! ~ WM