An Internet Time-Out

Twice this week I’ve been placed on a 24-hour Internet time out where I’ve been forced to sit on a virtual stool in a corner, and told I was being a bad girl for sending out too many e-mails.

Guess what?  I’m guilty as charged because I did send out a lot of e-mails.  I didn’t know I had crossed the limit until AFTER I crossed the limit.  At that point, they told me in a virtual sense that my mail wasn’t going anywhere until I had done my time in a cyber-hoosegow.

Here’s how it happened.  While I was off on tour and trying to let people know where I’d be doing appearances, it occurred to me that there were lots of people in my list for whom I had no physical location.  And so, on non-creative down time–in airports, on planes, and living on no known time zones–I decided to do what I could to rectify that situation–by going through the entire list, one record at a time.

Usually when I go all OCD on something, my first instinct is to start at the very beginning–with the A’s which means the A’s are in really good shape, but I never get anywhere near the Y’s.  This time I tried something different and started with the K’s instead.  I went backing and forthing through the entire list, sending out requests for city and state to all the e-mail addresses that didn’t have them.  And people answered–lots of them.  I found some people near locations where I was going in a timely enough manner that I was able to invite them to events–and they came.  I also found folks who lived within a few miles of places where I’d already been, and they missed out.

In the process I discovered people whose records had multiple e-mail addresses.  I asked those folks which address they preferred for newsletter purposes.  Lots of those folks answered, too.

In the process I discovered several interesting things.  My out-going e-mail form lists my name as Judith Jance.  Any number of people wrote to me to say “Who are you and why do you want this information?”  I’ve been J.A. Jance for so long that it didn’t occur to me that some people out there still don’t know that J.A. stands for Judith Ann.  (My original publisher’s marketing team didn’t think male readers would accept a homicide detective  named Beaumont if they knew the author standing behind J.P. was someone named Judy.)

A number of people also complained that when they looked at the schedule on the website, all they could find was a listing of the events in Washington.  That’s because it never occurred to them to go to the map and click on the state where they happen to live.  It turns out some of my readers require a certain amount of cyber hand-holding.

I have a big list.  Somewhere along the way, working obsessively, I crossed the iCloud boundary of too many e-mails, and Apple cut me off.  Twice with a twenty-four hour wait each time.  Even so, I made it through the entire alphabet.  People are responding, and I really appreciate it.  Having that information is vital when it comes time for me to help publishers plan upcoming book tours.  I want to go to the places where my fans are thick on the ground, because that’s the whole point–getting out and seeing the people, MY people, the people in my list.

When I was in the insurance business, we used to call the people who bought small policies and kept them forever the “bread and butter” business.  And that’s what the people in my list are.  They’re the loyal readers–the early adopters, the ones who’ve been reading my books forever, and who pre-order my books as soon as they can.  They’re also the who read everything.

So here’s the deal.  If you received an e-mail from me this week, asking for your city and state, it really did come from me–personally–and from no one else.  My list is MY list.  It’s not a list that gets sold to anyone else. If, on the other hand, you receive an e-mail from me offering to sell you Viagra or telling you that I’m in Spain and have lost my purse, please send money.  Those are scams.  Those are not from me.  Don’t open the e-mail and absolutely DO NOT open any links inside the e-mail.  My list is all about books and nothing else.

A few years ago, my publisher told me, “If you’ll send us your list, we’ll be happy to send out the notices.”  Nope!  Didn’t happen.  My publishers have lots of mystery writers, and I didn’t want to share my list with any of those other guys.  Let them get their own darned lists!

So thank you to all who responded.  Now it’s time to let the list be and deal with copy-editing on Cold Betrayal, the next Ali book.  I also need to get my head wrapped around writing the next Beaumont book, and to answer just a few more e-mails.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

PS: to sign up for my newsletter, just go to my Contact-Newsletter page (comments on this blog won’t quite work).


20 thoughts on “An Internet Time-Out

  1. Thank you for explaining your lists. I’m also so sorry to have missed you when you were in Minneapolis. I look forward to all your books. I got my sister and her husband reading your books and now my best friend. She had heard me talking about your books for many years and found “Betrayal of Trust” at a free library and took it. She just bought bought one. I always look forward to all your books. My sister has been looking for Remains of Innocence in the Phoenix area and hasn’t found it. She has always found your books at Costco. The Costco near me didn’t have it either. I did get it at B&N. Bottom line? Love you books.

  2. think you might have different address for me. Just read Remains of Innocence and have “the Old Blue Line” waiting. am teasing my self. am also rebuilding my library of your books. gonna need a bigger bookcase.

  3. When I read your writings I always have fun. You most always write with lots of humor and entertaining situations.I love ALL your characters and plot lines. I know that sometimes you must (like real life) remove one of your characters and that must hurt you as much as us. Now that your home and hopefully getting a well deserved rest know your fan’s are just sitting around WAITING and Waiting. . Next February is a LONG time coming. .. Thank you for the pleasure you have given ALL OF US …Jan O.

  4. AOL did not like the number of e-mails I was sending several years ago. They lost me as a customer. Another problem was my name for some spam catching software because of the writer of the same name.

  5. Love it that you are a real, hands on, slightly OCD person who cares about her readers! It’s nice you are out here in the trenches with the rest of us. Hope you and Apple kiss and make up or you figure out a work-around. I’m always waiting for the next book for all your series.

  6. I don’t think that I’m on your email list, but please add me. My info is above. I’m in Hoffman Estates, IL, a suburb of Chicago.

  7. I have been a reader of your books for probably 20 years , but have never written you. I love your Joanna books, Beaumont books, and Aly Books. I haven’t gotten into the others yet.
    I am an avid reader of all books, and noticed as I was reading Carolyn Brown’s book “The Ladies Room” she mentions the main character was reading a “J. A. Jance ” novel. Thought that was ironic.
    Just want to tell you I am from Tucson and said some prayers for Bella when she was missing. So glad she was found I have 3 little dogs so know how precious Bella is to you. My address is 3570 Entrada del Sol. 85718. Look forward to your next book.

    • As I said above and above. I can’t add people to the list from their posts. You need to send me a note at giving me your names, first and last, as well as your city and state.

      Thank you for your prayers for Bella. And keep an eye out. Toward the end of November there will be an e-book Novella called The Last Goodbye. It’s Bella’s story fictionalized and put in a mix with Ali’s and B’s wedding. You will love it. I just did the copy-editing today. In our family we call it the Nobella Novella.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing. I always enjoy reading them. I am looking forward to your new book and glad you are thinking about a JP book.

  9. I didn’t get an e mail from you but that’s all right. I will be moving back to Tombstone this winter and I will see you.
    I have a few books left to read.
    You are such a role model for our generation.Maybe I can talk you into coming to Tombstone again.

    Your faithful fan,

  10. I learn something new every time I read something from you. I had never heard of a company saying you were sending too many emails. How silly is that! I don’t want to know their reasoning because it is stupid. I wish the companies would do that to the people who send out spam. How do they always get thru? Hope you and your family are well and recovered from the trip to Europe.

  11. not able to make it to your Cannon Beach book signing. Enjoy that part of the Oregon Coast. They recently had a murder in Cannon Beach, first in like 40 years, they could have used Ali to assist.

    Best of luck on the remainder of your tour.

  12. Moved again, but still in Bisbee. Hope to purchase your latest Joanna Brady from Joanie at Atalanta. You continue to be amazing and wonderful!

  13. I thought I was on your list too. You even responded to one of my e-mails being from Salinas and the song about Bobby Mc Gee. I hope this gets me back on your News Letter. My husband started as a fan way before I did but Dec. 2013 started reading your books. I started with Ali. I read all of that Series then started reading Brady Series. When I finished with that character I started with JP Beaument and finished reading with your Walker Family. Of course as your new books were released I read them too. I have now gone several weeks without reading one of your books waiting for the next book to be released. Please get me back on your list. Even though my husband and I live in CA my Mother and Father-in-Law live in Shoreline WA where we visit every year. My husband and I also visit Corvallis and Ashland OR frequently. I sure would love to attend one of your book signing one of these days. I also love reading your your Blog

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