OK, my old buddy Paul hasn’t gone anywhere, but I’ve talked about him before on this blog, and it’s time I talked about him again. He’s the type of friend that if I make a quick phone call to him (as I did today, to catch up), we end up gabbing for over an hour. Sometimes three.
When people unsubscribe from This is True, they have the opportunity to leave comments. Most don’t, and oddly some think they “have to” (I mean really: “No comment.”?) And of course some use it as an opportunity to protest — like when I tell the truth that they don’t want to hear.
After years and years on this distribution, Jeff in Virginia unsubscribed last week, complaining there were “too many ads for the premium edition — it like [sic] a never-ending pledge-week on PBS.”
“Help Me Promote You”
I’ve asked readers to please recommend True to their friends — that, after all, is probably how they heard about the newsletter in the first place. But a reader wants help to do that: “I’m not a writer,” says Carla in Oklahoma.
YAIBB — Yet Another Internet Business Book — arrived here on Friday, sent to me because it’s YAIBB that mentions me, This is True, and the GOOHF cards.
Looking at its Amazon reviews elicited a chuckle.
Survey Results on Book Compilations
I ran a survey the past week asking what you wanted to see in True’s book compilations. Here are the results.
Update on True’s Book Compilations
I’m getting more and more mail asking about this, and I’ve been dropping hints here and there that something’s up. So it’s time to give you the skinny on where things are with True’s book collections. Exciting things are happening!
Reader Survey: Should True emails Be HTML?
Both the Premium (paid) subscribers and the Free edition subscribers were asked:
Meet Alexander Cohen
I’ve already run interviews with True’s contributors Jennifer Weiner and Mike Straw. I finally got my newest contributor, Alexander Cohen, to take time from has day job and his True sideline work to answer some questions — just in time to get some feedback from him about two stories he wrote that promise to be …controversial. Let’s start with those two stories, from True’s 11 September 2011 issue.
I noted in Friday’s free edition that I received a “take-down” demand from an attorney about an article. The letter was dated August 4, but I didn’t get it until Thursday, August 18.
Florida: Officially the Weirdest
Some interesting statistical analysis on True story locations from Premium subscriber Mark in (yep!) Florida:
A Bare-Knuckles Experiment
It always fascinates me how readers perceive me and the business behind This is True. This is the story of one reader’s …well… “interesting” impression.
Sendai Earthquake and Tsunami
A few thoughts about today’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The video coming out of there is horrific. There will surely be many thousands of casualties.
Meet Mike Straw
As I noted in early October, I came up with a plan to keep True going even though I’m trying to slow down a bit and work less (or, at least, work less on True!) Recently, you met the first outside writer I had hired, Jennifer Weiner. It’s time you met the second, Mike Straw. I did an interview with him over the weekend.
The Origin of “This is True”
When I had to change the name of this publication (anyone who got it under the original title, This Just In, is someone I consider an Old Timer among readers: I dropped it in April 1995!), I wracked my brain for a new title. But I’m not sure I’ve ever told the story about where “This is True” originally came into my life.
Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!
As you probably know, I’ve been looking for a writer or three to help produce This is True. I had announced that I was thinking about retiring the publication so I could concentrate more on another project.
This is True List Break-in
From True’s 17 October 2010 issue.
On the whole, This is True readers are a pretty technically savvy bunch: many of you use “tracking” email addresses — addresses which readers have used only to subscribe to my newsletter(s) — and I’ve had a number of reports this week from readers who have received spam to those unique addresses. That’s obviously a big concern to me.
Not the End of True!
Time for an update on my The End of True? post from about a month ago — which is no longer online because it was confusing people.
Later Lyris: Arrived at AWeber
This week marks the first issue sent solely to the new distribution list. After months of notice, I have shut down the Lyris-based list, even though well over half the subscribers didn’t move to the new list, hosted by industry leader AWeber.
Oh! I just realized it’s an anniversary! When I went to look up what was the best story from 10 years ago, I realized that there were really two: Mike the Headless Chicken, and the story that led a reader to tell me I was, positively and without doubt, going to hell.