Elizabeth’s reply email to Elena

Others and Elena > Elizabeth’s reply email to Elena

December 12, 2022

Dearest Elena Eleadi,

I want to thank you for your wonderful package which included the letter, which arrived at a most propitious moment. Your package arrived on December 6th and two days later, on December 8th, I had our weekly meeting with staff to outline ongoing projects and your project came up (as it usually does once a month).

To be honest, since we had not heard from you, we were not sure what to do or how to continue. Yes, as you correctly note, some of the explicit content worries management, legal and also even some staff. That discord among staff alone made us step on the brakes a bit. Not just because of the arguments, but mostly because the conclusions were always questions we needed to put to you, to get your feedback on what was essential to maintain as written and what editing possibilities you were open to. There were also style questions, graphical questions, and most importantly, marketing questions, publicity campaign questions, etc.

Of course, you probably would have said that we could do as we thought best. (Dad said the same.) But still, it was important to staff, to Samantha (the sheriff’s daughter), and to me, to have your opinion. Because ultimately, there are a lot of details to attend to when you start a print project, and as you yourself know, the details matter.

So not hearing from you, we just did not know how to continue. And yes, it has been hectic to retool, reorganize the business and continue on. But thankfully, business is good and everyone, including my father, is happy with the new path forward. Thanks!

You’re right. I also had been thinking about the online newsletter format for your project for some months. In fact, it was Samantha who first proposed the idea to me (we frequently discuss your project). In fact, we both thought it might be a perfect platform for your diary, given that you consider (rightly) your target audience to be young women. Having read your work (dozens of times! I’m in love with it and Samantha even more!) I agree that the online venue is a good way to start. The nice thing is the online venue gives us a lot of freedom, and it doesn’t prevent us from going to print in the future, should there be sufficient demand.

But we were not sure you would approve the online newsletter format. And since this project is close to our hearts (Samantha’s and mine especially), we did not want to release it in a format you might not accept. So, we read your identical recommendation in your letter above with great pleasure. It’s really good to know we are all on the same wavelength!

And yes, like you suggest, we can upload your work serially online in small morsels to generate anticipation. And we can upload to the different Parts depending on demand and what seems logical to continue with.

And absolutely yes- images and sketches will be a must. It will be a great way to visually characterize your work and give it an even more unique online presence. Naturally, we’ll need to discuss the webpage style, font, colors, etc. There is a lot to coordinate, and we have a lot of ideas to show you and discuss, not just website navigation but even things like including music, videos, animations, online ads, etc. Online publishing is really a whole different ball game!

And we love, love, love your suggestion for an open-ended Part 4, where we can encourage readers to submit content! That could certainly be part of a higher subscription tier, once our ‘seedling’ gets some more ‘public sunshine’. But we wholeheartedly agree with you that it would be great to start an online conversation! We might even offer essay competitions, where you get to judge the better essay. We think young women would love that. Maybe the Part 4 section will get noisy with a lot of chatter, but we think it has real potential!

The other thing the newsletter allows is immediate reader commentary and feedback. This has less relevance in your case because the bulk of your writing is already done. But maybe you might be open to making further contributions in Part 4, as a result of reader commentary to some chapters.

As example, maybe a lot of readers will want to know more details about breast orgasms (Amazing! We didn’t know either! Thank you! Samantha and I have been practicing them- OMG!- Wonderful! And yes, we’d love to know more! 😂 And maybe you can offer more suggestions about them in a new Part 4 chapter. I know you’ll have a lot more experience about this than any of us!

Anyway, getting back to our staff meeting, everyone was really happy that you had written, that you still wanted to publish, and most of all, that you’d make yourself available to me. I think that was really the lynchpin, because at least now, we can communicate with you. We really have had a lot of questions!

Anyway, we discussed the newsletter format at length and everyone enthusiastically agreed it would be a brilliant way to handle your project.

Later on December 9th, I met with our legal team and they had no issues either, so long as we released everything under your name, without references to our company. Because, yes, we have had serious challenges in the past several years, and as you correctly note, we are trying to avoid any negative blowback from loyal customers, authors, editors, shareholders, etc. for controversial publications. Prior to the merger, we probably would have proceeded with going to print anyway, but post-merger… We have more people we have to listen to…

Your work is truly extraordinary, but there is much in it that our new legal team and management thinks, rightly or wrongly, could cause significant concern among of our readership. And you will have to admit that some of it is a little blush inducing!

I also met with management on December 9th and they love the newsletter format. One of the management team also suggested the essay competitions in Part 4. I think they were particularly excited about Part 4 also. We’ve seen that the key to successful online sites is to generate customer interest and feedback.

Even dad thinks the online newsletter format is a fine way to approach your work. But, as management and legal said, we will have to remain ‘silent partners’ in this endeavor, at least for now. If it does take-off and there is general acceptance, then management will feel safer to put our name behind your project. (If it had been up to me alone, I would have gone to print months ago! I don’t mind saying that here.)

Your additional funds help a lot, thank you! Management liked that especially, as you can imagine. They were quite surprised when I showed them your envelope with the cash. You really stunned them! (A couple of them thought your diary had all been a big vanity joke.)

On a side note, we do accept online transfers too! I imagine you use cash to stay as anonymous as possible, but I have to imagine it’s not easy finding all those $500 bills!

Before I forget, Samantha knows of a non-profit company we can use as a starting platform for the online newsletter. I think you will appreciate that.

Thank you for your concern for my father and for your condolences for the sheriff. Yes, Covid and then the death of the sheriff were significant traumas for everyone, Samantha especially. But luckily she overcame them.

My dad also sends his well wishes. He is recovering slowly but surely from long Covid. The last two years have been quite stressful but little by little he is getting back to his normal routine.

I am looking forward to getting your project finally launched! I apologize for the long delay, but as you suggest, things have not been easy on our end, and we were in doubt as to how to proceed, given the concerns about your explicit content and about all other details related to publishing.

Once we have a streamlined procedure in place for the serial release of your diary, I will email you. But before then, we most certainly should meet and chat because we’ll need your feedback on many of the website details, especially the style and graphics of the newsletter. I’ll have staff prepare some options and maybe we can meet someplace convenient for you and I can show the options to you on my laptop and we can discuss things face-to-face. I’ll email you separately just to start setting up the meeting location. We can even meet via Zoom if you wish, but I think face-to-face would be better.

Plus, I’d just love to meet you! I’m really looking forward to finally seeing you! (Samantha really wants to meet you also.) And please don’t worry. We will keep everything in strictest confidence. Samantha and I are pretty good about that! And we both understand your position perfectly. We’ve often thought ourselves what we would do if we were in your shoes. It’s inevitable to think about you; you’re contagious, but in a good way!

Many, many thanks for your patience!


PS: I love the ‘full disclosure’ idea! Why not? It’s refreshing!