A reader’s thoughts
First of all, let me say that, at times, I like getting newsletters from my favorite authors- but it can be over done!
Most of the time I am the one who seeks out subscription on their newsletter but I am definitely not a fan of being “forced” to sign up when visiting a website.
Pop ups that require you to sign up for the newsletter to allow you onto the website really annoy me – not what an author wants! I actually think this may discourage some people who are just browsing and getting to know you as an author. Getting an email for your list is not as important as winning a fan! I have found that sometimes I sign up just to get a look at the authors website and his/her books and then when the emails come pouring in, I unsubscribe, and I am sure I am not alone.
The big question is Do Newsletters turn into sales? I’m not sure. I don’t think that forcing subscribers to sign up for your subscription is helpful and too many emails is soon considered spam. Where I do think it is helpful is when readers who have loved your previous book or books can learn about you, what you are doing and when the next book arrives. But even for those people, too often can be a killer.
I have personally subscribed and unsubscribed to many author newsletters. Here are my reason and I would love to have your thoughts on this.
- When I go to a website that requires me to sign on to check out the author and their books, I no longer will do that. I feel that I am being forced to sign up without seeing the merchandise. If I am really interested, I may sign up, take a look and most often soon unsubscribe.
- One of the major reasons for “unsubscribing” is receiving too many emails! I love an occasional (maybe once a month or even once a quarter) newsletter that fills me in on what the author is doing and about the author’s other books. I get too many emails to bother with being inundated with something I am not really dying to know.
What makes a newsletter enjoyable-? Here are my suggestions and, of course remember, these are just mine.
- Plan your newsletter well, don’t use it to oversell. Not much is more annoying than “Buy, Buy, Buy”! remember that most people reading your newsletter have already read one of your books, so you probably are not attracting new readers. However, you will be getting those readers who are fans, to buy your next book!
- Pictures are always fun and information about upcoming books or perhaps some anecdotes about previous books and the writing experience can be interesting. Share pictures of book signings or events.
- Make it interesting- after all, you are a writer! Add humor, fun facts, personal pictures and not just landscapes of your vacations. Silly or comical can make you more human.
- Be sure to include where readers might be able to find you – book fairs, bookstores, you know the kind of things. Readers who like your books, will like them even more when they feel they know you!
- As you can tell, a very important point for me is -limit the number of times you send out your newsletter! You may feel that weekly or even daily will keep your reader’s attention. I think it does just the opposite. I get so many emails each day that these become a bit of a nuisance and I just don’t have the time to read them. I most often opt out after constantly deleting emails. However, if they came bi-weekly or even monthly, it might be a nice reminder to see what is happening with one of my favorite authors. Too many postings quickly become spam and you will find readers unsubscribing.
- You can have a sign up on your blog or website but, please, make it voluntary- no pop-ups blocking the screen or preventing you from proceeding!
- One place to put info about signing up for your newsletter, is at the end of your book. Thank the reader for reading and let them know that you have a newsletter and what it will contain and how they can sign up. This is how I have most often signed up for newsletters. I liked the book, want more from the author and the newsletter sounds appealing.
So what makes an appealing newsletter?
- Perhaps you can add a section in the newsletter where your characters can talk to the readers and engage them
- let the reader know how they can find more information or short stories about the characters on your website. I call these short stories (very short) ‘Super Epilogues”. After finishing a book in which you feel attached to the characters, it is fun to find out more about them. One recent Historical Romance I read, offered a “Super Epilogue” which told of the sad but poignant death of the Duke in his old age having had a lifetime of love and a large family. It was the best finish to a wonderful romance.
- Be sure to let a fan know when your book might be on sale or about free promotions.
- Giveaways or prizes can be mentioned. Offering prizes however may not be the most economical way to entice subscribers. One author told me that he had a surge of subscribers before the drawing and a surge of unsubscribes right after and no significant sales peek!
- Historical events or current news that relates to your story is often interesting to readers. One author whose book was on space travel, shared some interesting info about the anniversary of the moon walk.
- Perhaps you can offer some information about a charity you support which might interest your readers. One author of a fantasy about whales and dolphins did a joint promotion with an ocean conservation organization and invited fans to help support them.
So, in conclusion, make you Newsletter “Newsy”, personal, fun and interesting. Don’t make it all about selling and don’t send it so often that the recipient takes one look and hits delete!
An indieBRAG Reader
Please share your ideas and thought on Newsletters, we all want to hear from you-
An excellent post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have a newsletter, but I really don’t want it to annoy readers. I love the idea of the “super epilogue.”