Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Newsletter

Do you have any idea how much I hate this topic? If you've been here before, you may know my philosophical problem with Newsletters. Okay, not so philosophical. I don't like receiving them, so I have trouble with the idea of putting one out. See, they stress me out. I feel like I ought to read them, but would really prefer to seek information at my leisure instead of having it arrive in my in box.

But I've been told a thousand times authors need to do this.

So help me.

* Please provide a convincing argument that will make newsletters less painful as a philosophy.

* Any recommendations on which tool is best? (Mail chimp?) Others?

* Are there any chemical aids that will help me find this activity more palatable?

* How does one build readership?

* What is the recommended frequency? Is there a sweet spot?

* What is recommended content?

Anybody have any answers? I'd love to hear them!

Also... we have just crossed the half-way mark!!! w00t w00t!!!

And don't forget to go visit other A to Z bloggers!


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - a magic wand .. that's what I'd like!! All set up and rarin' to go ... I'll be back to read others' answers ... I know Mary Pax wrote about them just before Christmas I think ... and I'm sure others have too .. cheers Hilary

Cynthia said...

I've bought books from authors who don't have newsletters. Newsletters, for me, are more often consumed when they come infrequently and are fairly short when they do come.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Talk to Elizabeth S. Craig and Chrys Fey, who runs our newsletter. Like you, I never wanted to send one out because I didn't want to annoy anyone - and I had no idea what to say. I'll probably still never do one for myself, but I'm really glad we have one for the IWSG now.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Like Cynthia said short, sweet, and infrequent. I like them when they are linked to in the back of books. My favorite newsletter/mailer comes from a best-selling author who only puts out a newsletter when a new book comes out or he's going to be a signing or something. He uses yahoo groups. He has well over 10,000 subscribers. (And yahoo groups is free.)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

From a reader's perspective, I do feel that short and frequent are the way to go. I do not think that they necessarily help build a following/readership. But that is just this humble fellow's opinion.

Anonymous said...

Dont send me a newsletter, just a reminder to check out your blog. Say once a month, a gentle list of posts - then I can click and see your blog when I have time. Mail chimp seems to work ok.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I get two newsletters and both used to be choked full of contests and markets. One has turned into a book dedication NL for the author, so I may stop that one. If they are not useful I don't want them.

Matt and Lucy SV Independence said...

Humm, newsletters seem like something sent out at Christmas to remind your relatives you are alive and doing better than them! Honestly, I'm not an author, so I won't actually give helpful advice, but short, sweet, tid-bit that the reader wouldn't get from another source, background on your favorite character and a personal update (my cat likes evian water better than Fiji water, isn't that interesting). Visiting from the A-Z challenge!

Rhonda Gilmour said...

Not a clue have I! I do enjoy J.A. Jance's blog posts, which land regularly in my email inbox. But does that count as a newsletter? I think I just signed up for her blog. I'm not sure I understand the difference between a blog subscription and an author newsletter.
@RhondaGilmour from
Late Blooming Rose

Yolanda Renee said...

This is one of those things I'm fighting, but my publisher is pushing. I'm not sure why? We'll see!