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New Structure: The Next 6 Months on the TLS Newsletter
Read at your leisure, details in full
Dear TLS reader,
Whether you’ve been here since I started this merry adventure 6 months ago, or have joined more recently, I’m truly grateful for your attention, comments and support. I’ve been working behind the scenes for weeks, making little fixes and big plans.
Today’s post details the next 6 months, and what Paid and Free subscribers can look forward to.
So, here’s the new structure until at least) 1/2024. From 1 July 2023, you’ll receive 3 unique stories per month (sometimes, 1-2 more).
The key dates are: 1/11/22.
Expect other articles occasionally, in the days between, as I judge best for myself and my readers.
THe TLS 1/11/22 schedule is unique and easy to remember. Here’s a closer view:
From 1 July 2023, the TLS publishes on the 1st, 11th and 22nd each month- plus some extras.
1st: Paid Subscribers will enjoy a story, travelogue or other unique tale inspired by an original, classic travel photos taken during my career as a professional travel author since 2002. These colorful, edifying and entertaining pieces are designed to uplift and help start off your month right. They span all genres, and live in the brand-new 1st Ephemera Section. (free subs will receive an email with the lede extract of these stories on the 1st of each month, and can choose whether to upgrade to Paid at any time).
11th: ALL subscribers will receive one of my new and otherwise unavailable fictional stories; these will live in either the subLit or ÆsubFabulist Sections, genre dependent. It’s been a pleasant surprise to see the positive reaction my short fiction has received, and there will be plenty more to come.
22nd: ALL subscribers will get a unique non-fiction piece relevant to the TLS’ other Sections (History, EastMed and Travel). This is the time of the month for spotlighting literary studies, historic events, research and reviews that make you smarter.
-Under the ‘some extras’ caveat, I will publish occasional article (whether for Paid or Free Subscribers), as events and reader interest dictate. In doing so, I’ll maintain the best practices of never inundating your inbox with more than you can read. And, it’s all on the TLS site, and can be read there, too.
For Other Authors & Publishers Re. Review Requests
Authors and publishers seeking to have a book reviewed in the TLS newsletter can contact me with relevant requests. Reviews are always complementary, and I only require a digital copy. I only review items I find interesting for myself and my audience.
It does take time and effort to professionally review books or even work of music (hooray! another reason to upgrade to Paid!)
On That Note…
Substack is not presently geared up to replacing the kind of book advances that professional writers need. It’s more a volume-of-subscriber business model based on incremental fees- sort of a package-tourism analogy, but it seems accurate. It’s somewhat bizarre and off-putting for both writers and readers to be in this odd position of haggling over a few bucks a month. Some people thrive on it, but I’m not among them. And I don’t have a carpet to sell you, or even tea to ply you with from across the digital ether.
Don’t get me wrong- I truly appreciate the past, present and future Paid Subscribers (and I know many would give more if Substack was built for it), but I must stick with what adds value in the limited model available.
But the new 1/11/22 structure also lets me better explain what both types of readers can expect to get from 1 July.
What Do TLS Free Subscribers Get?
· A fiction and non-fiction piece, on the 11th and 22nd of each month respectively
· Other stories and articles at different times- expect 1 more per month
· Ability to comment on some stories
· Website access to the previous three months of TLS archives
What Do TLS Paid Subscribers Get?
· The exclusive 1st of the month articles from the 1st Ephemera Section
· Follow-up essay explaining why I chose the particular 1st Ephemera photo (upon request)
· Access to full TLS archive
· Ability to comment on the majority of posts
· Invitation to suggest topics for future coverage on the TLS
· Author collectibles! A personalized, unique micro-flash story handwritten on a postcard from an exotic destination, and sent within first 3 months of subscribing (can be sent in the snail mail or scanned and emailed, as you prefer).
From Fall 2023, extra features now in development.
A Final Note- Get to Know the TLS Sections
Okay- I don’t use the Substack App, and I know that many don’t either. But whether you simply get the TLS newsletter in your inbox, also log in to Substack, have the app, or even run a stack yourself, remember that you have control over your settings, whether for mine or any other Substack newsletter you receive.
Thus, you can manually select which Sections of any given stack mailings you wish to receive in your inbox. By default, subscribers to the TLS will receive emails for articles from all of my Sections. If you want emails from certain Sections only, you can select that in your settings.
And, if you’ve never visited the TLS Substack website, you can do so at your leisure and explore the individual Sections. I list them below as currently existing. In future, 1-2 more may be added, as projects continue.
What Are the TLS Sections?
What most of the Internet calls website Tabs is what Substack calls ‘Sections’- the top-level folders on each stack’s homepage in which unique content lives.
All about my History Section, where historical research and reviews live.
The home for both essays on literary greats and some of my own great short stories.
The home Section for most of my Travel-related features and tips.
The home Section for the historic and strategic aspects of the Eastern Mediterranean countries, with a focus on diplomacy, security and intelligence.
The home Section for my surreal, comic and unabashedly fabulist short fiction. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll enjoy it more.
My newest Section contains inspirational first-of-the-month travel, fiction and other hybrid narrations, all graced by a classic original travel photo taken by the author; each story is inspired by the relevant photo, but may in fact have nothing to do with it. There’s nothing to see until 1 July, but from then on, a new article will appear to help kick off your month right on each 1st of the month.
Thanks very much for your continued support, and your attention today- have a great weekend, and I look forward to serving you better through the rest of this year and next.
All the best,