Do you subscribe to author newsletters? I subscribe to my fair share of newsletters, however, I read only a handful of them. I tend to open them, skim them and if something catches my attention I will read them or if not, just file them away. There are several things that I look for in an awesome newsletter. And by awesome, I mean the ones that cause me to mention it to a friend or share it on social media (which I only recently realized I could do and authors LOVE).
What makes an awesome newsletter? Well…
Layout. An eye-pleasing, easy to read layout – not too busy that I don’t know where to start reading. I tend to like the one column ones best, because it is a natural progression to read down, but some might argue that people won’t scroll so they try and cram it all in on one screen to hit the reader with all of it at once.
Giveaways. I don’t subscribe to newsletters for this reason, but they can help readers that are on the fence about subscribing to a newsletter.
Exclusive content. This is the big one for me, especially if the author does not plan on publishing the content (for free) anywhere else after the newsletter is released. A deleted scene, an extra story, an exclusive interview or photos are all things that I love to read about and if they are not listed on a website or social media, I feel it is a privilege to receive that in a newsletter and I will subscribe or stay on the list for that reason alone.
Information about your books. This would be outside of the standard book release and buy links (that is a given in any newsletter I think). Did your book win an award? Is it being translated into another language? Did it hit a bestseller list? Is it now being offered in places it wasn’t before? Any of this information is good to know and can make the newsletter a little more exciting. It shows the book popularity, too, and everyone wants to read that popular book.
Frequency. I really don’t mind how often they are sent out, but if you send them…
- Monthly – change the content enough to make it a different newsletter each time
- New Releases – if you release books every other month, a short and simple one works well because I will be expecting it and will know what to look for. If you release books only once per year, make it a little longer to let your readers know what you have been up to, what you are working on, etc. This will engage the reader that hasn’t heard from you in awhile.
- Quarterly – this is a mix of monthly and new releases in my opinion. It depends on if you are combing it with a new release or just posting quarterly to stay in touch with your readers. Changing the content and updating your readers on what has been going on with you is key for me personally.
Personal Extras. In addition to exclusive content, how about getting to know the author a little? I love it when an author shares something personal about themselves. Use this as a way to share something about you – a funny YouTube video, a favorite song that is getting you through your writing days, anything that makes it more personable.If a newsletter is more personable it seems less like an advertisement and more of an author wanting to get in touch with a reader. The personal extras are important for those that are not on Social Media interacting on a daily basis with their readers or blogging for their readers.
I know it isn’t realistic to have all these things in one newsletter and it would be very long if you did – these are just things that stand out to me when I read newsletters.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think makes for an awesome newsletter?