We have all seen, read or subscribed to another author’s newsletter in one form or another. When making the decision to create our own there are a few decisions to make first.
- Firstly, why do you want to produce a newsletter?
- How often will you publish it?
- What content will you share?
- And probably most importantly – do you have the time for it?
Stick to a Schedule
Newsletters take time to create and format, so decide on a schedule that works for you and your other commitments, whether that is writing time or your personal life. Don’t make it a too frequent chore – you will quickly discard it altogether. (Or run out of content, which is disastrous). Once you have a workable schedule – stick to it! A newsletter a week is a great deal of work, so I would suggest once a month. Make sure you are not mailing out your newsletter too frequently, or it will become a chore. I send mine monthly (most of the time!) If you have a specific promotion, then you can send ‘special’ newsletters.
Create a Catchy Title and Imagery to Make Your Newsletter Unique
To attract attention, decide on a unique and personalized title. Then create a banner or typeface that will catch your reader’s eye. Once you have it – stay with it. The more often it is seen the more people will realize this is your newsletter and become familiar with it.
Go for Quality
- Always proofread and edit
- Add relevant images when necessary
- Limit links
Make It Easy to Read
- Adding subheadings
- Using bullet points
- Highlight (bold or italicize) vital information
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
Every now and then, offer a reward to your current and potential subscribers. The prize need not be worth a fortune but relevant to your book’s topic or theme (or somehow related to the story).
What do you put in an author newsletter?
When it came to my author newsletter, I asked my subscribers what they wanted to hear from me. I also looked at other newsletters for ideas. It is a great way to formulate how you want your newsletter to look and to give you ideas on your content and frequency of transmitting it.
Tip: You can pre-write your newsletter and schedule it. I find this gives me the ability to drop content into the draft throughout the month, so I don’t forget something.
My newsletter is Musings from Mandy Eve-Barnett – to distinguish each newsletter I add the month and a sub-title – Sneek Peeks & Glimpses.
Here is a list of possible content you can include: (it is by no means all-inclusive though).
- Personal anecdotes and photos of your everyday life. You can include your writing space.
- Behind the scenes peeks – what you are currently writing, ideas formulating etc.
- Exclusive content like a cover reveal or a sneak peek at your next title
- Excerpts from upcoming books and free bonus chapters from past books.
- Launch dates of your new book
- Events you are attending, whether in person or virtually.
- Your writing processes.
- Report writing progress on novels.
- Request feedback on a current manuscript/project
- Interviews you have participated in with links
- Spotlights/interviews of guest authors
- What you are reading
- Your book reviews
- Include book research and photos.
- Tell what sparked book locations, plots, or characters.
- Interview an author in your genre.
- Recount your experiences at book events.
- Recount personal experiences that appeared in a book in some form.
- Include a photo of your writing space.
- Share writing milestones: signing an agent, book contracts, book releases, book awards.
- Display book trailers.
- Hold character interviews
- Offer installments of short stories
- Create a contest.
Remember the goal of any newsletter is to promote, so make sure to include:
Your author bio
Insert links to blog, website, Amazon and other sales sites and your Goodreads author page, and reviews.
Tip: Even unpublished authors can create an author newsletter. The sooner you start to grow your subscription list, the bigger your platform will be when you have something to sell.