Tips on Creating a Publisher Email Newsletter & Increasing Book Sales
If you think email is old school, think again!
As a publisher, you can provide a lot of value-add information to your readers in a weekly, monthly, or quarterly email newsletter. Although each newsletter won't necessarily equate to an immediate purchase, it will nurture and engage your readers, and that's what leads to increased book sales.
How a Publisher Newsletter Can Help Generate Book Sales
Getting and keeping your author’s names, books, or publishing company in the minds of readers and potential readers takes repeated impressions. Whether you’re using advertising, email marketing, or a variety of other touch-points, having repeated impressions keeps your brand and books in the forefront of your readers minds. Plus, having a string of impressions with engaging content helps build relationships with your readers.
Email newsletters are a great way to get the word out about your books -- and a lot less expensive than pricey ads. Many people who love to read think of authors much like other people think of movie stars or rock stars. A publisher email newsletter is a consistent, personal way to connect your authors with both established and new fans. That kind of loyalty helps sell books. According to a Forbes article, return customers increase revenue by 23 percent.
Email newsletters also offer the unique advantage of marketing analytics, which might sound complicated but really isn't. It's simply a way to target potential readers based on data. For example, after sending your newsletter, you can see how often it was opened or just deleted, whether readers clicked on links, how many times someone identified it as spam, and what the unsubscribe rate is. This feedback enables you to tailor the content and structure of your email newsletter, and to target individuals or groups.
How to Create an Email Newsletter
Creating your publisher newsletter involves some decision-making and a little bit of creativity. It can be a fun part of your overall marketing strategy, but if you're just not into it, consider working with a professional such as your distributor or web guru. Don't feel guilty about it either; no one is good at everything!
- Determine the frequency. Decide how often you'll send out your email newsletter. Whether you commit to a weekly, monthly, or quarterly release of your email, the commitment is the important thing. Be reliable, stick to your schedule, and don't over commit. If you're too busy to write a weekly email, don't say you will.
- Decide what to include. Regardless of how often you send your newsletter, it won't be read if it has nothing to offer. Think about what you look for in other industry newsletters and prepare some value-add content for your own readers:
- Blogs and industry news- Look for news about the publishing industry, including articles about bookstores, bookselling, analytics (e.g., ebook sales vs. print sales), and - of course - books that will interest your readers and keep them engaged.
- Giveaways and contests- People love free stuff, so pony up! You don't have to give away the store, but free samplechapters or author swag keeps readers coming back for more. Hold a contest that rewards readers with a free and/or personally autographed book. Include a survey that poses thoughtful or silly questions.
- Author spotlights- Provide mini-interviews or Q&As with popular authors. Spotlight those who write in a similar genre, or perhaps on a related topic.
- Book recommendations/reviews- Continue building trust with your readers by providing worthy book recommendations and reviews. This also helps build relationships with your readers, and shows you as a credible source.
- Branding and awareness- Because you are the main event, keep your publishing company name, books and brand at the forefront of your email newsletter.
Ask questions like; What is your brand? Do you have differnet audiences or genres you are trying to reach with your authors and their books? Do you want your newsletter to feel educational, super fun, whimsical, technical, free-spirited, funny, or serious? Consider what kind of impression you want to leave with your readers/subscribers and be consistent; that's your brand.
- Offer subscription options.Your subscription sign-up page should include information about what your readers can expect with regard to content and frequency. Allow them to subscribe less often if they want to. A daily publisher email newsletter might end up in the trash folder, whereas a weekly or monthly email is more likely to be read. Add email newsletter sign-up links to your website, other social media, or email footers. Make it easy for new readers to subscribe.
Make decisions about your publisher email newsletter before you set it in motion, and tweak it as your marketing analytics come in. Regularly engaging your readers via email newsletter helps establish your brand, keeps your name out there, and - ultimately - increases book sales. Start yours today!