Elle Griffin: The Digital Novelleist with ideas for Deliberate Growth

Writing a book as a serial, helping the writers’ community to grow, all at the same time.

Matthias Bohlen
3 minutes reading time

Today was one of the rare mornings of “total discovery”.

Since I decided in January that I wanted to establish a daily writing habit, this was the second day where life challenged that decision. I woke up with my mind going “Hmm… I have to write something today – again!”

I didn’t feel like wanting to write but more like having to write.

Fortunately, Newsletter Crew’s community manager, Esmé Ara’resa, had made me aware of an amazing woman: Elle Griffin. Elle Griffin’s work made me want to write about her. Problem solved! 🙂

Going digital from the get-go

Elle would be an author of fiction books, but she quickly realized that the publishing industry has some issues in this digital world. She decided she would be much better off as a newsletter author: The Novelleist was born. Elle wanted to do it like Charles Dickens and publish her novel as a serial.

This was by design. I was completely amazed at how clearly she sees and articulates the role of writing in this digital world. Read this: No one will read your book – And other truths about publishing.

And I was even more amazed at how she reacted to what she had observed.

Let her speak for herself:

But if most books have only 1,000 fans, then charging $10 every three years when a new book comes out isn’t the right way to monetize them. A better way might be to charge those fans $10/month to subscribe to an author, earning readers behind-the-scenes access to their favorite writers, while earning authors a $100,000/year salary in the process.

Elle founded a newsletter as if it were a startup

In September 2021, she debuted her gothic novel as a serial, still releasing one chapter per week exclusively for paying newsletter subscribers, today.

Then, in December 2021, Elle debuted another experiment: this time she crowdfunded a novel using cryptocurrency, writing a new chapter for every 0.25 ETH raised.

Now buckle up for the most interesting part: She defines her newsletter “The Novelleist” as

a community of writers figuring out how to publish our work on the internet together

Every Monday and Friday, she delivers:

So she’s not the “poor lonesome writer, a long way from home”. Elle has decided to grow!

Clear indicators of Elle’s success

Elle does something special that I would call “deliberate growth”. She set up clear goals, a strategy, and tactics to accomplish what she wants: Make a living from being a writer, and lead a community of writers by example.

Her newsletter had 3,723 newsletter subscribers in January 2022, with 96 paying subscribers, and $6,184 in annual revenue. By the end of 2023, she wants to reach 2,000 paying subscribers and $100,000 in revenue. Elle publishes these numbers regularly and tracks the results meticulously. As a paid subscriber of her newsletter, you can even look into her spreadsheets!

Building a small media company in public, that’s what she does.

As of today, she gained one more paying subscriber that I know very well. 😉

Note to self: I need to contact Elle Griffin and ask her to give me feedback on my own upcoming growth platform for paid newsletter writers: News Bundler, democratizing newsletter bundles for all writers on the planet.

Want more?

Go get ‘em here:

Want your own small media business, together with another author you trust?

Download our FREE eBook called "2 Writers Making Money". It shows you exactly how to raise your income as a paid newsletter author by teaming up with a buddy, selling a bundle of your newsletters, and splitting the revenue.

Set this up once, then forget about it and get back to writing.

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