Newsletters: What goes in them and How Often?
I keep hearing about newsletters. Do I need one? What goes in one? That is a great question! Do you NEED one? Not necessarily. Is it a good idea? Yes! Some type of newsletter, weekly blog post, routine author updates, etc., are all good ideas in this industry. Readers love to find out more about their favorite authors. It can seem like a lot of work to set up and really develop a format that you like, but once you do, it is well worth the effort.
Let’s focus on content first:
Writing updates should be the first section after your greeting. Open by updating fans on your current work in progress. Tease the opening line, a favorite quote, or the cover. Briefly detail what the next few months hold for you. Are you going straight into a new novel? Submitting to an exciting anthology? Taking a break for family time? Let them know.
Artwork/Cover Art/Posters or book related merch:
Are you designing any art for your books or story? Any posters or bookmarks being made? Show them to your readers or encourage them to vote on 2-3 designs. Readers love getting surprises in their book mail. A related sticker, bookmark or magnet go a long way towards keeping readers excited and loyal.
What are you reading?
Share your TBR pile. Tell readers what author you are reading this week and why. Tell a bit about the story or what you like so far.
Use the middle section to promote your latest novel or anthology that you are in. Include the cover image and the link to purchase. The full synopsis is fine to include in the first email promoting it, but will not be necessary in subsequent emails.
Closing- Author Swaps and Other Promotions:
Add in any other promotions that you are a part of, such as those from Story Origin, BookSweeps, Bookbub that include a group promotion. Include the link to it and promo cover image. Follow this with any author swap that you agree to, make sure to include the link to their newsletter.
Finally, add a personal closing:
Do you have any fun or exciting personal news or a funny story?
Share it with your readers. Give them a glimpse into your life. Pet lover? Painter? Triathlete? Let them know who you are as a person, outside of the author. You're a full person, not just an author, let your fans relate to you on multiple levels.
Want to include a free short story? Add it here!
It's entirely up to you what to include, how much to include, and how long you want your emails to be. Keep it interesting but short. Keep the reader moving from one section to the next by using bold font to draw out interesting sections. Add those cover images midway down, which works to keep the reader's attention moving down the page instead of losing interest at only seeing more text.
Every so often, have a giveaway, encourage readers to reply to you, ask questions, run a poll on cover images or bookmark designs. Talk to them like friends and be personable!
Come back next week to learn about building a mailing list...
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