Monday, April 21, 2014

How Authors Can Benefit From Offering a Newsletter

Today I am at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, discussing reviews for R.


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.

Give your recipients information they can use. Write articles offering tips or in-depth details regarding your book’s subject matter. Pass along news that would be of interest to your readers. Talk about trends, new findings, and changes in the industry.

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.

The possibilities are limitless. Have fun creating the angle and style of your newsletter. Make it a reflection of your personality.

Do you have a newsletter or are you considering starting one? 


41 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

So agree that if you're going to do a newsletter that it shouldn't just be a commercial.

Bish Denham said...

I don't think I could add that extra layer... Besides, I wouldn't know how to begin to work one up.

Mason Canyon said...

Great tips for newsletters. I know the ones I read completely follow these tips. I've subscribed to several newsletters, but after a couple of them I unsubscribed. They contained nothing but a rehash of what was sent in earlier newsletters.

randi lee said...

I've been considering starting a newsletter for a while now, I just haven't had the time to fully engage in one, so I haven't wanted to start-and-stop. We use Constant Contact at work for our even blasts and it works amazingly well!!

Robin said...

Until I actually publish something, I am not in the market for offering a newsletter. But, I think the idea is a great one!!!

Karen Walker said...

I don't have one and have never considered one, but that might change after reading this post, Diane.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I don't have one but I have considered it. I receive a few that I consider good examples.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Mason, it always needs to be fresh.

Susan, I enjoyed it when I had one.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, L. Diane,

Great advice and suggestion! When the time comes and my book is finally published, I will certainly have a newsletter.

Thanks for sharing the link with us...

OFF to IWSG for your post!

Milo James Fowler said...

I'm starting small with mine, but I'm enjoying it. Hope my subscribers are too! 3 monthlies out so far; looking forward to sharing my novel's cover art with them as soon as my publisher gives the nod.

Tamara Narayan said...

It's a great idea. I probably should consider it since my published short stories come out every few months. It would be a good way to let my family and friends know when a new one is coming out.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think my blog is already a newsletter...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Diane, some great tips. It's a time commitment and one that requires thought as to layout and info. I've done some for business. It doesn't have to be long but does need to be interesting. That takes some thought.
I agree, it shouldn't be all about you, as the author, and all your books. I've read a few of those and unsubscribed. That's not to say you can't have a small section in it about your news but it shouldn't be the main focus.

When and if I do one, I'm talking to you. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

cleemckenzie said...

I like the idea of a newsletter, but my email overfloweth already. I can't imagine adding more to it.

I've already been at IWSG. Great list of places to find reviewers.

Maurice Mitchell said...

A lot of newsletters get spammy, but I love the ones that bring value.

Jay Noel said...

I did a sign up and promoted it, but got maybe 3 people to do it! I think people are tired of spam, despite my promises.

Can't blame them.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tamara, that would be a great idea.

Sia, if it's all about you, pretty soon no one cares.

Jay, that is the downside - some of us already get a ton of newsletters.

Julie Luek said...

I like the idea of a newsletter if I could come up with a theme that would really tune into a reader's interest. Thanks for this great information.

Karen Lange said...

I am considering starting one. In the early stages, trying to get my head together about it. Appreciate the info!

klahanie said...

Hi Diane,

I had my own newsletter and magazine on a site named Zimbio. It no longer has that application up and running.

Might consider setting up another one. In the meantime, we have the "IWSG" aka "I Was Seeking Gary" tribute page.

Mark Means said...

I think newsletters are a great idea and add a 'personal' touch between the fan and author, in my opinion.

Donna Hosie said...

A newsletter is something I want to get going this year - I just need to find more info.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've considered starting one. I didn't really want one around the time of my first book, because I didn't have much to post, but once I have several books out, I think posting news about old and new releases would make an interesting newsletter.

kmckendry said...

Great tips! I always learn so much from your posts. :)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I agree. Newsletters are fun and helpful. I've done this in the past, but never thought about a writerly newsletter. It's a good idea. Thanks, Spunk.

xoRobyn

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

Thanks for the info. I have a mail list, now, but had no idea what to send them.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I just had this huge revelation. I'm lazy. I didn't use to be. Now I'm struggling to get thru the day without taking a nap. I know that's more than you needed to hear. LOL. Diane, great post.

Romance Book Haven said...

Great advice and tips. I have one but very irregular!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Medeia, with several books now, you should consider one.

Joylene - LOL!

M Pax said...

I do. I no longer send on a schedule. They go out when I have something to offer my fan base. Only then. I have multiple releases a year now, though, so they hear from me.

Chrys Fey said...

Right now I don't have enough readers to offer a newsletter but I definitely want to start one in the future. And I'll bookmark this post for when I do. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Great tips Diane! I'm bookmarking in case I do decide to have one :)

celinejeanjean.com said...

I really like the idea of a newsletter. The only challenge for me would be to find stuff to write in there that would be relevant not just to other fellow writers, but to non writing readers too.

I'm still in the trenches of first draft writing so I have time before I need to start thinking of that, but I definitely think it's important for a writer to have one!

Misha Gericke said...

I have considered it, but I'm not exactly sure about what I should put in, since everything goes onto my blogs.

debi o'neille said...

I used to have one that was targeted for middle schools, and I had quite a few schools (around 300) subscribed to it, but that was around 15 years ago. It was published for six years. I've considered starting another one, but I can never decide if I would want it strictly an online newsletter or something to go out the old-fashioned way is well, snail mail. Because decisions are not my strong point, I suspect it'll be a while before I actually commit to either method. :-)
I'm your newest follower, and I'm glad I found your blog. It definitely gives me some to think about. I'm looking forward to your future posts.
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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LD Masterson said...

Thanks for the tips. At this point I don't have the time to put together a newsletter that's worth reading and a poorly done newsletter would definitely not be better than none at all.

Rhonda Albom said...

Great tips. I am going to bookmark this post for later :)

randi lee said...

Hi L! Just wanted to let you know that I linked to your blog today as part of my "Sunday Series: Meet a Blogger!" campaign. I hope you don't mind and also hope you get some added traffic!

Sherry Ellis said...

I remember reading this in your book. Newsletters are a great idea. They're a bit of work, but if you have relevant, useful tips, they're a win-win for everybody.

Diane Carlisle said...

I love newsletters! Sometimes you do have to unsubscribe because as you grow and move on, the content doesn't pertain to you and your interests.

Biggest thing I respect when I get a newsletter I'd forgotten about, is that link to unsubscribe. I hate not being able to unsubscribe!

LOL

Great post!