Newsletters are important in the writing industry, for authors. Newsletters are a quick and easy way to share with your readers / subscribers about your work, upcoming releases, and book news that you may have. You might think that you don’t need one, but the secret to successful authors is this: a following / fan-base. With readers on social media, sometimes they may not see your Facebook statuses (unless they interact with you regularly / click the option to see your posts.) Therefore, even if they have read your first book, they might not even see any news of the second. Twitter is another huge marketing platform, whereby people just tweet until their heart is content. There is so much going on that it can be overwhelming, and hard to keep track of people on there, unless you spend hours scrolling through the home feed, or clicking on each individual profile, but again, unless you interact regularly, who is to say they will check out your profile? Instagram is great for showing who ‘you’ are and posting book content, images of your life / adventures etc and Pinterest can be used for pinning book related stuff. Although, are you connecting with these people on a personal level? Are you talking to them? Probably not.
I’m no expert at all. I’m not pretending to be one, but I do love helping other people out in any way I possibly can with things that I have learnt. I have been blogging for over three years. I’m also a book manager for Booktrope authors, and we research and discuss ideas always. Today I’m discussing newsletters. I hope you find it of some use.
Benefits of a newsletter:
- You can build your list. Your subscribers will always be kept up to date on your content. If readers / subscribers don’t care for your content, they will unsubscribe. Not a problem, as they probably wouldn’t have purchased your book in that case.
- You can send 1 email to a group of hundreds of subscribers, which hides the other recipients emails. In Hotmail to do this, you would have to send 1 email to hundreds of people ‘individually,’ by forwarding it continuously. Very time consuming.
- If a reader has purchased one of your books, and enjoyed it, you certainly don’t want them to forget about you and your future material. With so many authors and books out there, this is easily done. By having them as a subscriber, you can alert them of a new book, release date etc. A newsletter providing this content may remind them of the book they once read / enjoyed in the past.
What to include in a newsletter.
So, what content can be included in a newsletter? ANYTHING! It’s your newsletter, although probably best to stick to you and your books. You can post exclusive content, to your ‘loyal’ subscribers. Let them see a new cover one day before everyone else, a book excerpt, teasers etc. When I held a FB release party, I invited those on my newsletter and sent the link. Again, these sort of events are easily missed on Facebook / Twitter. You can include important news, such as signing a new contract for a book, hitting a top spot on Amazon, attending a book signing etc.
Think about it – Once these subscribers have been receiving newsletters from you for months, they will have gotten to know ‘you’ as an author, followed your journey, and read all about your books. These readers may then stick with you, and want to read more of your material.
I love Jackie Collins! Why do I follow her newsletter? I want to read all about her glamorous life, her books, then new releases, media coverage, the lot. These readers want that from you too! (R.I.P. Jackie by the way. Such a talented and ballsy writer.) ❤
How do you create a newsletter?
Most newsletters can be set up within the platform you are using, i.e. WordPress, Wix, Blogger. Although on blogs, ‘followers’ tend to receive an email with every blog post you write, so it’s not as personal as a newsletter sent from MailChimp or Wix. I use Wix for my author website, although I prefer to use MailChimp for newsletters, as it’s quick and easy, like using Hotmail. It even allows you to embed it into your website, (which I have done with mine) and add as a tab to your Facebook author profile (I have also done this.)
So, setting up. Go to http://www.mailchimp.com. Sign up for free. Enter your details. You’re ready to go. Now what? You don’t have any subscribers. You can get subscribers in many different ways: posting giveaways online, promising certain content to subscribers, offering a FREE eBook, short story, anything.
You will then hopefully start to get subscribers. After you have got around 20, why not send an email? To send an email in MailChimp, it’s called a ‘campaign.’ You click on it, select the list you’d like to send it to – ‘i.e. your 20 main subscribers.’ You then choose whichever design you’d like, and write it. It’s SO easy. It’s a case of writing text, and uploading images. Click send, and you’re done.
It helps to send one newsletter a month to subscribers. Don’t send too many or unimportant stuff and spam people as they will unsubscribe and you don’t want that.
MailChimp allows 2,000 people before you have to pay for the package. But, it’s so good that you will probably want to. It sends you notifications of who subscribed, who unsubscribed, who opened the newsletter etc.
Another newsletter, if you have a Wix website, is pretty easy too. On the log-in page, you just click your ‘newsletter’ section and send the newsletter / email as normal, and seek subscribers as exampled above. Maybe have a ‘newsletter’ page on your website to direct people to, if they want to sign up.
Using WordPress as a way of sending content to followers is great. Everything you blog, they receive an email on, so you don’t even have to type an email / newsletter. Although, is it as personal? Do these followers feel special? Are they receiving exclusive private content? No. It’s good for promoting your books, new material, upcoming releases etc, but I believe a newsletter (once a month) stands out more than weekly emails on content that anyone can see.
So, there you have it. I hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions, comment below or message me on Facebook. I also have other posts on ‘marketing tips from authors.’ I also have author interviews whereby authors explain their self or traditional publishing route, their TOP promotional tips, how to build a fan-base and more. You WILL learn something from them. I have interviews with: Lindsay Kelk, Alessandra Torre, Eden Summers, Kendall Ryan, Rowan Coleman, Megan Hart, Carole Matthews and many many more!
Here are some useful posts I have written in the past. There is also a search bar in the sidebar if you want to jump to a certain topic / author etc:
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