On Friday I sent out my seventh newsletter.
When I started sending out newsletters last summer, just before releasing The Demon Always Wins, I planned on once a quarter. Current marketing wisdom says weekly, but who has something to say that often? Even book-factory authors who spit out books like they’re running an assembly line take six weeks or so to write and release a book. Also, I personally loathe getting author newsletters that frequently. And anything more often than once a week I consider spam and quickly unsubscribe.
Still, over the last few months, I’ve fallen into a monthly pattern because I have had news to share—contest finals, new covers, good stuff.! And now that I have a few newsletters under my belt, I feel like I have some useful ideas on what works.
- A header/template that reflects your brand. Here’s mine:
2. News. This goes back to what I was grumbling about earlier. It’s only a newsletter if it contains news. In this case, it was the news that The Demon Always Wins won Best Paranormal Romance and Best First Book in the Detroit RWA Booksellers’ Best contest. It included a picture of my (very hard to photograph) awards:
3. It also featured a picture of me at the indie book signing at the RWA National Conference.
4. I’ve begun including a giveaway. In my mind, giveaways need to be rewards for specific actions. This month, the reward was for joining my new Facebook Group. (*Note: I did get feedback from one subscriber that she’s not on FB and was there anything else she could do to qualify? Since I’d already told everyone that was the requirement, I didn’t feel like I could change up mid-stream, but next month’s giveaway won’t require an FB account.)
Lots of authors give away books—either their own or ones they pick up at conferences. But I’ve also had authors tell me book giveaways grow less effective all the time, so I decided to go a different direction. I had a few book-themed bits of merchandise lying around, so I’ve been giving those away. This month, it was a purse:
I also made it a point to explain when and how the winner would be announced—something I didn’t think to do last month, when I did the first giveaway.
5. Then, I gave people the links to leave reviews for the two books I have out. I’ve been really fortunate that all my text reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads have been positive, but more reviews would be good.
6. Finally, I remind people that if they don’t want to keep receiving my newsletter, they can always click the unsubscribe button. I don’t want anyone feeling like they’re being held hostage.
As you can see, I like my newsletter to have some news, lots of pictures, and a fun giveaway.
(If this looks like so much fun you can’t wait to get in on the action, you can subscribe at www.jeanneestridge.com.)
What do you like to see in a newsletter?