Author newsletters. Every author should have one. I hear you groaning about unnecessary extra writing, but trust me, it’s necessary. Why? Because social media is great, but your account reach is always being changed and tampered with, while your email reach is entirely within your control.
You want a direct feed to your readers, right? You want to be able to easily tell those book buyers about your sales, your offers, your newest books? Your email newsletter is the best way to do that.
Newsletters don’t have to be scary, or a lot of work. Let me walk you through them.
Step 1: Set up an mail service account.
If you’ve never set up an account before, the possibilities may seem daunting. I’d recommend starting with a simple free program to start. My favourite is MailerLite. They offer a free account up to 1,000 subscribers, and it comes with free landing pages, free automation, and a bunch of other features. It’s also quite simple and easy to use.
Step 2: Put that sign up form everywhere.
Create a sign-up form and put it everywhere. On your website. In your Twitter feed. On your Facebook page. In the back pages of your e-books. Get it out there and tell people to sign up.
Step 3: Plan your newsletter strategy.
Strategy? That’s right. You outlined and planned your book, now do the same for your newsletter.
Decide how often you’re going to send it out. Bi-monthly? Monthly? Quarterly?
Pick a timing that you can commit to consistently. I suggest monthly for most authors.
Decide what to share. This is the scary part, right? Here are some suggestions:
- book launch information
- in person events
- sales and promotions
- something special that is unique to you
People don’t usually sign up for author newsletters just to get news. They want a connection to you. Give them something that matches your branding. Something that will help them recognize your name the next time your newsletter lands in their inbox, or your book title crosses their path.
Your newsletter doesn’t have to be long, actually, you should keep it short. But even short, it should be beneficial to your reader, not just a pitch for your latest book.
So write something special in each newsletter, and make that the main focus. Everything else is secondary, and even shorter.
Step 4: Design your newsletter
Now that you know what you’re going to put in each month, create a template you can use over and over for every month. Create the section for your main story. Create your news section. Create your bio section. Create all your sections, so you just need to add or change the text in each specific spot before you send it out.
Design-wise, you don’t need to get fancy. Simple is always better.
Special note: Make sure you have your name in there prominently. Like as the header at the top. Don’t make readers scroll to find out who is sending them this lovely note, they may not make it to the bottom.
Step 5: Hit send.
Once you have your newsletter ready, and you’ve proofread it, hit send on your scheduled day. Don’t be scared if you only have one subscriber. That subscriber wants to hear from you, and they don’t know they’re the only one. Everyone needs to start somewhere.
Be you, be confident, be consistent.