Brian, first I want to say that after reading this I have mixed feelings. I feel inspired and hopeful for the future but I also feel like sobbing while eating Ben& Jerry’s and binge watching depressing chick flicks on Netflix.
You are a fantastic writer and I love that you’re so open. I feel that’s the most valuable type of writer. Some people believe that transparency leaves vulnerable. I disagree. I think it makes us confident.
Next, as far as an emailing list those can work for you but it’s a general blast. I emailed the newsletter for Hopes and Dreams yesterday and out of 6,391 people only 546 read it, so far anyway.
For me, I’ve found the most valuable marketing has been sharing my work everywhere and building personal rapport with my readers. I spend the first two hours and last hour of my work day responding to emails from my readers. I also just added Discord to my Patreon this week so I’m able to live chat with readers either through text, voice or video chat.
I recommend reading Austin Kleon’s, Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. Both are enjoyable, easy and quick reads. If you’re interested, email me your address and I’ll mail them to you. He also has a website you can check out. Out of the 90 bazillion things I’ve read on marketing and self promo I feel I’ve learned the most from him.