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.
- Why do you want to produce a newsletter?
- How often will you publish it?
- What content will you share?
- And 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 that you will quickly discard (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
- Add subheadings.
- Use 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 – Sneak 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, 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.