Last time, I blogged about why writers need a newsletter.
What I’ll share with you now is what to put into it because this seems to be the single biggest hurdle facing writers when it comes to newsletters.
(I love the excuse, “If I only knew what to put into my newsletter then I’d have one!)
Let’s discuss this!
Allow me to first disabuse everyone about the one thing a newsletter is not and that’s a plea to buy your latest book.
Too many writers, don’t worry I won’t name names, only remember to publish their newsletter about the time they launch their latest book.
By then, it’s too late!
A newsletter should come out regularly and have a standard format.
How regularly should a writer’s newsletter be published.
I recommend seasonally which allows a little wiggle room due to the vagaries of most writers’ calendars.
Seasonally (That’s winter, spring, summer and autumn so I don’t get a bunch of emails asking me what I meant.) also lends some help for selecting a theme or content for a newsletter.
Regarding format, have a simple masthead for the header and employ a two or three column format.
(Mailchimp has several excellent templates.)
Next up is the newsletter’s content.
The main article should be about you the author.
Now, I know many writers can’t stand to write about their existential lives as writers.
I get it!
But, a writer still has a lot to write about.
Your hobbies or your research for your books are potential sources of content.
Discarded material from your books is another source.
Deep character backgrounds for the characters in your books is another opportunity.
The possibilities are limitless.
You can also use your newsletter to let your readers know about the progress on your next book and when they can expect to pre-order it or see in on the shelves of bookstores. (Yes, there are still some of those around.)
The idea here is to have your readers look forward to receiving your newsletter and not just trash it without opening it.
Your newsletter can also talk about your upcoming events and post updates and pictures from past ones.
Links to sites to buy your books should always be included.
Seasonal greetings are another source of content.
Make your newsletter special for those readers who made the effort and took the chance to give you their email address.
As for length keep it down to one or two pages.
While I recommend seasonal newsletters, don’t be afraid to publish a special edition for something extraordinary like receiving a major award or announcing a film deal for one of your books.
Even personal news, such as the birth of a child, can be the reason for a special edition.
The goal of a writer’s newsletter is to take the readers along on the writer’s journey.
Then, and only then, can you say, “Hey, by the way, my new book is out would you please buy it and leave a review?”
Earn the right to ask for that favor!
That’s it for now!
Please check-out my 8 step approach for developing a social media program to get some more ideas on how to use social media.
Also, never forget to reach out to either ask questions or to ask for help from someone like myself!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.