Tips for Creating an Author Newsletter
You've worked hard on writing and publishing your book, so what's next?
Connecting with your fans and potential readers should be a major component of your sales and marketing plan, but by this point you already know that. You're on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe even Pinterest. You've got your author website and a regular blog up and running. What else is there? Your email author newsletter!
Benefits for an Author to start a Newsletter
Author newsletters help you build relationships with your reading audience. Relationships are all about creating connections, and sending a regular email newsletter is a fun way to do just that. But building relationships with your readers doesn't happen overnight; it happens by making meaningful and regular connections. Frequent emails or a constant barrage of tweets that link to outlets selling your book is not endearing to potential readers. In fact, you might get blocked if you don't try something different. A monthly newsletter can help you cultivate relationships with current - and future - fans.
Newsletters are very inexpensive to start and maintain. When you consider other expenses that are, or could be, part of your sales and marketing strategy, the cost of sending email newsletters is minimal. You can more or less build an email list for free and there are several email marketing platforms that are inexpensive compared to your return on investment.
You can gain analytics that improve your marketing efforts. Sending a newsletter through an intuitive platform gives you valuable data on reader engagement. Data analytics are instrumental when it comes to reaching the right audience, at the right time, in the right way. Sure, you can count the "likes" on a Facebook post, but that's nothing compared to kind of data feedback you'll get from sending an author newsletter to a targeted list.
How to Get Started with Your Author Newsletter
Determine the frequency of your newsletter. Will you and can you send your email newsletter weekly, monthly, or quarterly? Don't commit to more than you can handle and be consistent. Tell your readers what they can expect and follow through with the plan.
Determine what information to include. You have a myriad of options when it comes to content, some of which will remain fairly static (such as your social media links) and some that will always be fresh. Are you stuck? Consider the following ideas:
- Information on upcoming events including conferences, readings, signings, interviews and new release dates gives fans and potential book buyers a way to connect with you in person.
- Pictures from recent events, especially those that were particularly successful and/or fun, encourages readers to learn more about you - and your books.
- Contests, giveaways, and reader surveys help engage your audience and offer something of value. Consider giving away excerpts of your next book, conducting a survey in exchange for a deleted scene or bonus chapter, or creating a contest where the prize can be anything from a signed copy to a personal interview.
- Links to purchase backlist titles will spark interest in all your work - and sell more books.
- Personal information about your life is always of interest to fans. No, you don't have to give out your home address! But you should include a line or two about yourself in your newsletter and consider sharing stories about your hobbies, personal milestones, and family events such as a weddings or births. If that's a stretch for you, write about your dog or other pets.
- Pictures that relate to your book including personal photos, alternative book covers, and places where scenes in your book occur make your book (and you!) seem "real" and readers appreciate that. Appreciation leads to connection, which leads to a relationship, which leads to more fans and book sales.
- Writing inspiration helps readers feel connected to you. Share what inspired you to write or real events that informed scenes in your book with your readers. Additionally, pictures, videos and stories about your writing space, writing process, struggles, and achievements encourages readers to invest in your brand both emotionally and financially. Readers want to buy great books from authors they feel they know.
Use data analytics to perfect your newsletters. Track how often your emails get sent to a spam folder or are deleted without being read. Pay attention to the content that garners the most attention and click-throughs. Use data science to improve and update your newsletter where necessary.
Now it's time to put your plan in motion! Keep your author newsletters short and keep them coming. When it comes to selling books, author-reader connections are paramount to sending readers to the checkout page. Author email newsletters are a great tool for building connections; why not start yours today?