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Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #24 (Pandora and the Laptop)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #24 (Pandora and the Laptop)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #36 • View online
This week has been pretty good here at Hermetic Library World HQ. The weather has been a bit hot, but not deathly so. And there’s not been constant rain and storms! There’s been some more progress on eventually getting the new roof; and I found a neat bug in the lawn, of which I include a picture below.
Because Christeos Pir mentioned off-hand that someone should do it, I spent whole minutes sweating over a hot computer messing with a classic painting of Pandora to replace the box with a laptop. I intentionally left the stock photo watermark on the laptop because I thought that was super funny, especially since I slapped it together so quick; but there’s part of me that did contemplate licensing the laptop image in order to do this for real. Maybe at some point! (I admit I did spend a little extra time this morning doing a bit more touch up on the version I’m adding as a featured image to this newsletter below.) Still, silly though it may be, I’m kinda pleased with myself for how that one turned out, actually.
The new issue of the Zine officially released on July 5th, for Aphelion! As I approach a 3000 followers milestone on Pinterest, I spent some time thinking about Instagram and Pinterest, and my old “Iconomancy” sub-blog; and decided to try to put in a little bit more effort on Pinterest. (We’ll see how that goes!). I also talk a little bit about my overall goal for this email newsletter, and what I hope to accomplish with it, and where I hope to be with it at the end of this year and beyond.
I’ve also added a new section for “reminders” about ongoing things, like calls for submissions and such. These are things I post occasionally to social media, and I wanted a way to also talk about them in this newsletter. Let’s try that and see!
Finally, another mail call!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Pandora with a Laptop
Pandora with a Laptop
Zine
On July 5th, the next issue of the Zine officially released!
Introducing Hermetic Library Zine, Perihelion, July 2021, Issue #4, a publication of Hermetic Library.
Each zine is a wild and wooly whatever of occultura and esoterrata compiled together, generally related to Hermetic Library’s overall mission of archiving, engaging and encouraging the living Esoteric Tradition, Hermeticism, and Aleister Crowley’s Thelema.
Contents of this issue are:
Richárd Lukács—Babalon #2, Aiden Reese—O Chaos O God, Richárd Lukács—Esbat #1, David Raffin—Switzerland is nice, as they say in Switzerland, Maevius Lynn—Demiurge, Jonathan Korman—Esoteric Cultural Appropriation, Frank Ra—The Renaissance Mantegna Tarot: History Meets Applied Psychology, Johana Reuter—Ritual Beads: Gate-Key to Magick, John Griogair Bell—Caption Contest, John Griogair Bell—Advancement is no guarantee of attainment, John Griogair Bell—Meme, John Griogair Bell—The shocking truth about magic talking cats, Richárd Lukács—Babalon #1
Hermetic Library Zine July 2021 by Hermetic Library
It’s very modestly priced at just a buck minimum. Also anyone with the Digital Publications perk on Patreon can grab a gratis download, of this and all past publications, using their special link.
You know, I realized that I haven’t posted a thing to the blog about this. I just forgot! I usually would have had a post scheduled for the day of release, but missed that. Welp. Okay, now I’ve done it!
Of course, that also means that I’ve got a completely empty layout for the next issue … so, you know, send me something!
A bug in the lawn at Hermetic Library HQ
A bug in the lawn at Hermetic Library HQ
Iconomancy
Meanwhile, over on Pinterest, I’m on follower milestone watch as I’m just a few away from 3000.
I’ve still not ever been very active or interactive over there, but a whole lot of people there see pins of Hermetic Library stuff. It’s gone down a little, but it was up to ¼ million pin views per month for a while, which isn’t nothing!
Unfortunately, not much of that appears to translate into clicking through to the site or blog, so … idek. But, a lot of people are looking at things, apparently. I’ve kinda been thinking about that and wondering if and how I might be more active there, in a way that might translate into more people clicking through.
I vaguely wondered for a moment if I should do an Iconomancy board on Pinterest, but then remembered that I don’t even keep up with Iconomancy on Tumblr … Occasionally I ask people if there’s interested in participating in the latter as a group tumblog.
Yeah, idek if I’ll use it at all, but I made it to see if I do.
Bit of back story. I originally created Iconomancy on Tumblr because people kept getting confused when I reblogged other people’s posts, thinking they were mine. So I now use the main tumblog only for my content and used to use Iconomancy and the other sub-blogs for other stuff.
Nowadays, and since, I have tried to be more clear everywhere about what content I post is Hermetic Library stuff and which other stuff is elsewhere. For example, that’s another reason why I tend to keep general links to other people’s stuff confined to Omnium Gatherum or other “aside” posts, unless it’s in a featured post about them, or something like that, where I also talk clearly about the content being elsewhere.
By the by, I’ve also created on Pinterest a board for other people’s pins of Hermetic Library stuff that I’ll add to occasionally when I see something people are looking at posted by someone else.
This list
I’ve talked a bit before about why I wanted to start this email newsletter, and all of it pretty much boils down to wanting to have a way to reach people with news and updates about and and posts from Hermetic Library without being submarined by social media company algorithms, extorted for exorbitant fees to reach people already following Hermetic Library accounts, or having the signal otherwise drown in the noise.
But, I haven’t really talked too much about my ideas of what success looks like for this list beyond that. Obviously, I’d like to reach people that want to hear from me about Hermetic Library and things related to the subject matter.
My modest goal for this free newsletter, which I don’t recall if I’d actually said aloud before, is to have just 1% as many subscribers as I have followers across social media, by end of the year. Across all my social media accounts, I actually have a huge number of followers, to be honest, even if I don’t regularly reach them. So, getting to that number seems like it’s going to be a struggle to get there, but is still possible!
Eventually getting to 10% would be bonkers awesome though … at that kind of numbers, if we maintain 30% open and 20% click rates, that’s a fully armed and operational battle station. It might sound mercenary to talk about metrics, but that’s a way I can show the impact of the newsletter to others.
One tenth of the followers on social media being subscribed to this newsletter is a lot of people, and since the newsletter actually goes out to everyone, I’d already be reaching more people than I do on social media with orders of magnitude more following! It’s wild how bad it is on all the social media platforms for site like Hermetic Library, indie sites without any marketing budget to cough up to platforms shaking us down for wads of cash on every post, trying to reach people, but that’s what I’m hoping to fix by getting to people more directly through email.
And, the weekly free issues of the newsletter are available online too so people can lurk before subscribing, but ultimately I hope to reach those people that want the hear from me about the library and related things and have them subscribe for more.
I really feel like that’s when things might start cooking. I would expect at that point, and maybe leading up to that point, I will be able to point to the metrics as proving there’s an audience that I actually reach to artists, writers, and other creatives across the town-gown-tau spectrum. I think if I can show that then there’s a big chance that there’d be a lot more interest in participation with submissions and guest posts, book excerpts and new essays, and more.
So, ultimately, when I think about what the success of this email newsletter looks like, it really is about finding ways to offer even more interesting and awesome content for everyone!
I suppose I could also mention that you can help! If you enjoy what I’m doing on the site, in the newsletter, and so on, you can help by spreading the word. Consider who you know that might be interested in this also, and let them know. You could ask if they’d be interested, and then forward a newsletter or send them the link to it online so they can check it out for themselves. If you’ve got social media accounts, consider mentioning the site and newsletter to people you know there. And, you know, if you’re safe and sane, and avoid the plague like … um, the plague … yeah, and find yourself starting to socialize in person again, you probably know people that are interested in the subject matter of the library, and may not know about the site (how can that be?!) but moreover may not know about the newsletter.
If you enjoy this newsletter, consider helping out by letting others you know, who might be interested, in on it too! The more people subscribed to the newsletter, the more chance this newsletter has to become even better for everyone!
Reminders
Call for submissions to Magick, Music, and Ritual for 2021
Call for submissions to Zine #5
Ongoing call to pitch new ideas
Century Guild archival reproduction antique poster special offer collaboration
Stuff at Hermetic Library to check out
Also over on the blog
Hermetic Library Zine July 2021
The Drug and Other Stories
Là-Bas
And elsewhere
Hermetic Library Zine July 2021 by Hermetic Library
Mail call
A letter 💌 with a bunch of stuff for Postal Exchange 🎁 arrived at the Reading Room! It really is that easy to participate 🏆 Also, they included a little bit to help with postage, but that isn’t required; though appreciated!
OMG that last photo is so blurry! I swear I couldn’t tell when I took it. Ugh. My eyes! 👀 Need new glasses! 👓
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