Author email newsletters.
Just the thought of them can make you want to scream into a pillow (or your preferred screaming method of choice). But there are ways to create that newsletter with less stress—and use that newsletter as part of effective book marketing.
First, the essential why am I doing this, Janeen? Really?
- Author email newsletters pop directly into someone’s inbox without needing to play social media algorithm games. Yes, there are inbox filter games, but those are actually easier to play. Just saying.
- People regularly take social media hiatuses, so you’ll need another way to access these awesome potential readers.
- A standard customer marketing principle states that people need exposed to your product at least 5-7 times to consider clicking the buy button (sometimes even more times). Your email newsletter counts toward one of those times—easy repetition!
Of course, as with all my recommendations, I’m not forcing you to do anything, Epic Author. You’re ultimately the captain of your bookish ship. I’m just here to make the ride easier.
So without further ado, let’s talk-
1.) Make a schedule based on your life season and space.
Consistency wins over frequency. If your time is short and writing any kind of newsletter takes a while, then opt for a less-frequent mailing. Go for monthly, bimonthly, or even quarterly. I’d hesitate to go longer than quarterly, simply because readers might forget who you are entirely. It happens. We’ve got a lot going on!
Note: some authors go for a “I’ll email whenever I have news” basis. This can work, but then you’ll have to decide what constitutes interesting news, and if news is in short supply, what are you going to send? Make sure not to leave too much time between newsletters for the reason mentioned in the paragraph above.
2.) Keep your content simple.
People these days tend toward short attention spans, especially on devices (we love scrolling and skimming). There’s no need to clutter things up with 5-6 different newsletter sections.
- Some email filters are suspicious about complicated images and content.
- Other subscribers might not be able to download the images at all.
- And the less content you have, the more impact the content you have will make on a reader.
Note: if you find that your reader base is responding to a long, complicated newsletter, then by all means, ignore me and keep things complicated. But realize that it’ll be on you to show up consistently with all those sections, so if you’re going complicated, I suggest emailing less frequently.
3.) Create an email newsletter template.
When you sign up for your platform of choice, create one email newsletter and save it. Then when you go to make the next newsletter, just use that template. If you must switch things up, then err on the side of a simpler newsletter format for quick updates and changes (such as an unexpected award nomination or book sale).
Note: This doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. But templates really will help. Promise. And they create trust with subscribers who will know what to expect from you.
4.) Reuse content from other places.
One peeve authors often have with newsletters is the pressure to create 100% fresh and original content each and every time. But you don’t have to always be super-original. You can absolutely use author email newsletters to summarize what’s happening on your author social media, video life, and blogging life.
Why does this work?
- Some of your subscribers probably didn’t see that social media post (hello algorithms).
- We forget things easily, especially things we view on social media scroll.
Note: if you hook people into your email newsletter with the promise of original content all the time, then you’d better deliver. And even if you’re summarizing, go ahead and add a little personal, exclusive content to the beginning of your newsletter, even if it’s just a friendly greeting (or…cranky…greeting—hey, I don’t know your brand ).
5.) Show up with your unique words
It’s great to get ideas from existing author email newsletters, but at the end of the day, those authors aren’t writing your newsletter. You are.
So do a little author brand digging and figure out your goals with this newsletter. What do you have time to create? What interests you—and your readers? What are you ultimately trying to communicate? Clarity on your message and purpose will make everything else fall into place a lot easier. Really really.