Newsletters are a great way for an author to stay in touch with his or her fan base. During the release of my series, The Circle of Friends, I had a monthly newsletter. I had a huge mailing list and it was a lot of fun.
Newsletters are voluntary though—you can’t just send one to everybody in your address book.
Allow fans to sign up for your newsletter on your website, and provide a way for people to opt-out of this service. Remember, sending a newsletter to someone who didn’t request it is called spamming. Send it only to those who sign up, and let people know how often to expect your newsletter. Programs such as Constant Contact allow you to manage and personalize your newsletter. These programs are very valuable as your recipient list begins to grow.
Newsletters require a time commitment. They need to be consistent. If your newsletter is scheduled to go out quarterly, it needs to go out every three months. (Really, really!) Weigh your options and decide if you have the time and enough material for a newsletter.
A newsletter should not contain just advertisements for your books. No one signed up for an endless string of commercials. You can mention your books, events, and latest accomplishments, but that should comprise only a small portion of your newsletter.
You can feature other authors that might appeal to your target audience. Invite authors and experts to submit an article for your newsletter.
Perhaps you can offer links to other resources. You can even call attention to causes and events that are near and dear to your heart.
Do you have a newsletter or are you considering starting one?