Author Newsletters

Author Newsletter

 

WHY? – To create a relationship with your readers and build a fanbase

 

Platforms:

Each one has its own costs and pros/cons. Check each one’s details for which one works best for you. Shifting from one to another is usually pretty easy.

  • Mailerlite (free up to 1000 subscribers)
  • Mailchimp (free up to 2000 subscribers)
  • Tinyletter (free up to 5,000 subscribers)
  • Revue ($5/month for 200 subscribers)
  • Constant Contact ($20/month up to 500 subscribers)
  • Campaign Monitor ($9/month up to 500 subscribers)
  • AWeber ($19/month up to 500 subscribers

 

  1. Set your newsletter’s goal
  2. Gaining readers – of course, we all want this. That’s OUR whole purpose in this exercise.
  3. Sharing information – We want to keep our readers up to date on new releases, projects, and such
  4. Send traffic to your website – You have a website, right? Tell me you have a website. Please have a website. It doesn’t have to be complex. A page with your books, a contact page, and a landing page to sign up for your newsletter.
  5. Creating a relationship with your readers – This is what YOUR READERS want out of your newsletter. It’s a way to make a connection, form a relationship. If your readers feel as if they’re your friend, they are far more likely to jump on any new releases, be your advocate to others, and recommend your books.
  6. Gather content
    1. Passive content – cool things you stumble across, shared at random
    2. Active content – searched and curated content, planned and coordinated
    3. Special events – giveaways, freebies, contests, events of your stuff or other author’s stuff
    4. Updates on personal life – this doesn’t have to be super-personal, but a few tidbits go a long way
    5. Updates on book life – what are you working now? What’s on the horizon? Build up buzz now for the work coming out in the future. If your readers are waiting on new work with anticipation, you get a rabid fanbase.
    6. Buy Links for books – very important! Every. Single. Newsletter. Have a permanent section on the bottom with all your links, as well as links to your website.
    7. Personalization tokens (first name, last name, etc.) – ‘smart content’
  7. Design your newsletter
    1. Get familiar with the capabilities of your newsletter platform, what it can do, what it can’t do. Sure, there’s a learning curve, but it’s time well-spent
    2. Many platforms have design templates. Avoid anything too flashy, but find a theme that works with your books. I have a green background (Ireland) and designed a header with my book covers.
    3. Create a title, a tagline, a theme. Mine is ‘Green Dragon’s Cave’, and my tagline is Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore.
    4. Make sections, and keep them consistent
      1. Greeting – Greetings from upstate New York!
      2. Short bio – what you write, why you write, etc.
  • Books update – News and updates.
  1. Main Story of the Month (what’s happening with you as an author) – this is your chance to connect with your readers on a personal basis, the WHOLE REASON for a newsletter. IF they consider you to be a friend, they are much more likely to snap up any new releases you have.
  2. Trivia on your theme, background research goodies you’ve discovered
  3. Memes or jokes – a few are fine, don’t go overboard (unless humor is your theme/genre!)
  • Questions for readers to answer – having trouble with a character name? A book title? Take a survey or a poll!
  • Creative content – poems, short stories, excerpts, prequel scene, deleted scenes, playlists, character sketches (this is another important element, a reason many people sign up for newsletters in the first place, especially if this is exclusively shared here)
  1. Launch team or ARC invites (you might want a subset newsletter for ARC and review team members, a dedicated group who ask to be there)
  2. Freebies/giveaways/contests – yours or others
  3. Event calendar – are you going to be at a book signing? Giving a lecture at the library?
  • Books you’re reading – research or pleasure, share a bit!
  • Resources – Does your book contain a particular scientific concept or historical event? Share a place readers might find more information if they want
  • Reviews from readers – Show those glowing words of praise!
  1. Recommendations of other authors’ work
  • Social media links – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, wherever you haunt
  • Opt out information (legally required) – a link on how to opt out of the newsletter
  1. Make sure any chosen template looks good on mobile as well as desktop – most platforms allow you to view this
  2. Set up a landing page on your webpage where people can sign up for your newsletter
    1. To pop-up or not pop-up? Some people find these pop-up signups to be highly annoying
  3. Scheduling disbursement
    1. Monthly? Semi-monthly? Weekly? Semi-annually? Monthly seems to be the sweet spot between annoying and forgettable
    2. Which day of the week?
    3. What time of the day – some platforms have smart release times (releases at 8am local time)
  4. Legal matters
    1. GDPR
    2. CAN-SPAM
    3. Complaints can shut you down
  5. Analyze results
    1. How many people open the email?
    2. How many people click each link?

Periodically clean users who don’t open in several mon

Celtic Fairies, Fables, and Folklore! Bestselling author (top #100 Amazon Canada, #1 in Paranormal Fantasy, Amazon Canada) Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, is an author, artist and accountant. After she failed to become an airline pilot, she quit her ceaseless pursuit of careers that begin with 'A', and decided to concentrate on her writing. Since she has Project Completion Disorder, she is one of the few authors with NO unfinished novels. Christy has her hands in many crafts, including digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She wants to expose the incredible beauty in this world, hidden beneath the everyday grime of familiarity and habit, and share it with others. She uses characters out of time and places infused with magic and myth. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad. Facebook: www.facebook.com/greendragonauthor Homepage: www.greendragonartist.com Blog: www.greendragonartist.net Twitter: www.twitter.com/greendragon9

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