7 Tips to Create Your Perfect Author Newsletter

Author NewsletterI hear parrots squawking the same mantra constantly: “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The best way to drive book sales is through a subscriber list.”

Its that thing where you: create a newsletter, do book updates, bonus content and give your hard work away for free.

If you got books to sell, you need that list.

This made me do one of those gut busting groans. Seriously? I spend enough time writing posts instead of my novel, do I actually have to add something else to my seven hundred and forty-eight page to do list?

Apparently I do, and that means you do too.

I heard that message loud and clear, especially as I’ll be releasing books this year. So I made a subscriber list one of my goals and I’ve been busy rolling up my ‘bonus content’ sleeves. Finally I’ve created one and it’s ready and chock full of just that: bonus content, round ups, writers tools, recommendations, writing inspiration and book updates. If you want to sign up for it, you can here. And actually, once I did create it, I got kind of excited. The customising tools and fancy schmancy things you can do are quite exciting.

Here’s what I learnt in the process:

The thing is, I’m new to this. I’ve never had a mailing list before and I’m not going to profess to be the Einstein of newsletters, so I want to hear from YOU.

What makes you subscribe to a mailing list in the first place? What turns you off a newsletter? But more importantly what content do you like to see in them? Let me know in the comments below.

You know me, I never do anything without sharing what I’ve learnt.

I found this perfectly timed Nozegraze article through Debby. The post is wicked, it explains at length how to get your mailing list up and running as well as giving a list of providers that run mailing services. I chose Mailchimp. It’s supposedly the best value for money given the customisability factor and that up to 2000 subscribers it’s free. #LoveABargain

7 Tips to Perfecting Your Newsletter

1. Research

Like anything these days, doing your own research is compulsory. Much as it physically pained me not to dive straight in, I actually read a bunch of articles and reviews on these mailing list whatnots. As a result, I changed my mind approximately thirty-four and a half times, before settling on Mailchimp.

There isn’t a one size fits all and each provider interfaces with blog platforms slightly differently. I know. Fucking annoying, isn’t it?!

2. Personalise it

At the end of the day, if someone is following you and they decide to sign up for your newsletter, then they must like what you do. Use that. Carry the same voice and style you already have into your newsletter. After all, its that, that got them to sign up in the first place. All I’m saying is, if you blog about the intricacies of oriental stamps found in Botswana, then it’s sensible to customise your newsletter content in the same way.

3. Branding

Author branding is another one of those irritating number one songs played on repeat…

Who are you, Damnit?

Seriously? how the fuck am I meant to know? I’m a sixteen year old teen stuck in an ageing (almost thirty year olds) body. You ask me that question and I’m liable to spontaneously combust, spewing out an all too public mid life, quarter life crisis all over my blog.

Lets focus. What do I know?

Use my superhero name: Sacha Black

Use, where possible, the same: styling, imagery, language and content.

Finally, use the same look and feel in the newsletter as on your website. I use a lot of black and purple. So if I start using pink and fluff, that shit ain’t guna fly.

4. Consistency

See point two and three. If one month you talk about the macrobiological benefits of ape droppings when the previous month you talked about Scrivener, people are going to get bored real quick and unsubscribe from your list faster than I can neck tonights wine.

That’s all great, but what am I actually blathering on about?

I’ve sectioned my newsletter out. Just like in a magazine, I have sections you’ll see every month, like writing tool recommendations or unusual word of the month and then some new sections with the same style of info. It’s consistency without boredom.

Being consistent means people will know what to expect when your letter drops into their inbox. That’s a good thing.

5. Bonus material

How Much?This is a sticky issue for me. I don’t believe you get anything for free in life and I don’t believe in giving hard work away for free either. I know how much blood sweat and tears goes into creating a book. So I’d rather pay for a fellow authors book than be given one for free. And I do.

But. The last mantra I hear and this one sounds like finger nails on a chalk board to me is: ‘give something away for free to get people to sign up’ a book, a PDF, a limb, your kidney, whatever.

Umm. No.

I like my all too chubby legs and I find kidneys particularly useful thanks. So no, I’m not giving anything away for free. Sorry folks.

I would rather grind away and build a list of people who are actually interested in my content than give something away for free just to get subscribers to sign up. Cause lets be honest, half of them will probably unsubscribe as soon as they have your magical freebie and the rest? They might not even bother to read it.

Before anyone hops up and down cause their knickers gave them a wedgey. I’ll be clear. I am all for book sale tactics and marketing methods, I am just talking about subscriber lists only.

Besides, I love a bargain as much as the next person. In fact I love nothing more than feeling jammy cause I got something at a good price, or I paid good money for good quality.

So what else can you do to give value for money for an email subscription?

Most of my views come from my Monday posts; lessons I’ve learnt on my journey to publishing. Therefore, it makes sense to me to do more of the same. Give content away in the newsletter that I don’t publish on the blog.

6. Round ups

Newsletter subscriptions are traffic drivers. If I click through to dozens of posts from emails, then so will others. So make sure you include popular posts from the week and links to wherever you want to drive traffic.

7. Book updates

If you’re already a published author then it makes sense to link to book sale pages or marketing campaigns. It’s like I said in point six, these bad boys are traffic drivers. Use them.

If you’re not published, give updates and countdowns to launches. It’s the prime opportunity to keep potential readers in the loop.


Don’t forget I want to hear from you:

What makes you subscribe to a mailing list in the first place? What turns you off a newsletter? But more importantly what content do you like to see in them? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you happened to like this or any other post, and you’d like to get even more content straight to your mailbox, you can sign up for my brand spanking, shit hot shiny, glitter covered newsletter right here.

167 comments

  1. Agreed, agreed, agreed. I do want to add to the point about offering freebies… I fully agree that making a decision to offer your book for free if you’re self-publishing is not one that should be made lightly. Ultimately, the more you know about your subscribers (whether they’re readers, writers or hoarders) should feature prominently in your decision to do so.

    In addition, your inventory (books published, available for sale) will also determine the pain of offering one for free. Having spoken to several aspiring and new authors, I am learning that some are finding success with offering “deleted scenes” as newsletter fodder for conversation, because they are still working on Book #2.

    For my part, I am chocoholic–and when I’m struggling with my writing, I often resort to baking. In one of my newsletters I offered a “free” recipe to my perfected chocolate chip cookies. Believe it or not, it was one of my most opened emails and the recipe was one of my most clicked links. (I can only assume that my readers are chocolate chip cookie lovers as well!)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I saw your cookie recipe, thought it was a good idea, if a little random, but hey, I bow down to you. The fact it was number one opened. That says A LOT. I really really like stats and provable things, so if it works then hey, maybe I’ll pinch the idea from you! :p I’m a mean cake baker – did my own wedding cake, and I love cupcake art so you never know. I think for me, I would prefer to offer a book for free as part of a campaign, not part of a subscriber thing. I think its more trackable if you do the freebies via amazon. Perhaps I could have clarified that. I am all for marketing tactics. But like you say, I don’t even have one book published yet, so I am not about to give it away for free… yet!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess that’s where the whole branding thing comes in, right? I mean, we’re more than just our blog and our books. We are each unique patterns of swirls and loops. We are random, have passions and propensities in other areas than just sharing our words. Basically, we’re more than our jobs. We enjoy watercooler conversation about the things we enjoy, learn and know.

        I think those who subscribe to our lists want a glimpse into that–what motivates us, what drives us, what inspires us, what takes us off the beaten path. Your writing about Atlas in his terrible twos may seem unrelated to a writer’s blog and more appropriated for a “mom blog”–and yet it was this glimpse into your reality that had folks chatting, reminiscing, and giving you support. You’re not “just” a writer, not “just” a mom, you’re so much more…❤

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Absolutely Cynthia, couldn’t agree more. That’s why after I thought about it, I realised what a good idea it was of yours😀❤. We are more than just one facet or hobby and I guess if people are signing up they might want to see more of the other sides like you say. You've given me lots to ponder and I might just add some other tidbits to it as a result.😀

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I already subscribed last week! I think it’s a great idea, and really, you say you’re giving nothing away for free, but really, you are; all that exclusive content that people won’t find on your blog but only in your newsletter. I’d say that’s giving away something of value for free. I totally agree with not giving away our work for free. I dont mind setting up an offer, or a gift to say thanks to my supporters now and again, but I think Indie authors have really shot themselves in the foot with all the free giveaways. Readers now expect it, and it has lost all value. I suspect your newsletter will be fab… and if it’s not, I’m bloody unsubscribing!!! Lol!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually Ali, thats a jolly good point. Exclusive content is a freebie too. I hadn’t really thought of it that way:):)

      Yes I agree about setting up offers or campaigns, but I find the pressure and assumption you have to give books away for free a real problem. It should be author choice.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve signed up! I shall also be referring to this blog post multiple times. I’ve recently created my newsletter and have a ‘hello and welcome’ email ready to go but then…ummm…then…I’ll be…you know…umm. So far I’ve got a smattering of subscribers but I’d love to entice a few more, so HUGE thanks for posting this. *rolling up my get-on-and-follow-Sacha’s-advice sleeves*😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Shelley, thanks for subscribing, you haven’t appeared on the list yet, did you get a confirmation email?

      lol to the ummm, I actually sat and scratched my head for about two weeks before I could actually create one. Ended up with a big piece of paper and physically sketched it out! Sigh, the lengths I go too :p lol.

      Bravo on the subscribers, I actually put the links in the last couple of posts, and only got a couple of sign ups. I do wonder how all these blog gurus get thousands of subscribers just cause they give free content away, where does all the traffic come from?! hmm.

      Anyway, I shall trot over and sign up for yours too:)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Right, off I pop. Ahhh yes, the other thing I am dreading doing! the author website. thats on my goals for this year too. Figure I’ll launch that the same day I launch my first book. *sighs* adds to own to do list! Hey, are you going to come to the bash? Am I right in thinking you are this side of the big pond?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fab, really looking forward to meeting you😀 – p.s. gooooood idea on the wallpapers and images for your book as a give away – bloody genius. I actually got someone designing some bits for me now😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sacha, this is such a great post! I love your natural and authentic way of writing, that 16-year-old who got stuck in a 30 year old body. You are really cool. Looking forward to meeting you in person! Wow, only about 3 months to go!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. All awesome tips! I tried to start a newsletter back in January. I had a ton of great ideas for it, but I have yet to find a host that doesn’t need your personal address.😦
    To answer your question, I sign up for newsletters because I love the bloggers and can learn a lot from them. Newsletters usually have content that’s not published on the blog, so I sign up for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, have to say, that reallllllly bothered me too. I left out the number of my house as I figured that was the only thing I could do for anonymity.

      Thanks for the info though, I too, sign up for extra content, so thats encouraging.❤

      Like

  6. I have tried to improve my subscriber list, and used Mailchimp. After several failed and confusing attempts, I gave up. You have just rekindled the desire to try again, but on your head be it, I’m no fun when I’m frustrated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now, I didn’t say it was easy!! lol. It took me SEVERAL evenings of wine and swear words to figure it out, and I considered myself to be fairly tech savvy, so I don’t blame you for giving up before. Keep going, you can do it😀❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Signed up, and bookmarked. Keep meaning to get my subscriber list sorted, but it’s up there with “really ought to hoover the crunch out of the living room carpet” in my list of “things I should do but haven’t … yet”. Not that the carpet is THAT crunchy… *shuffles away*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha, Al, you just made me spit out my juice! Totes hoovered my crunchy carpet this morning…. Shuffles away sheepishly and tries not to admit how long it was crunchy!

      Thank you for signing up❤ glad you liked the post.❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve got two younglings… the house is only “properly” clean about four times a year (before the Xmas decs go up; when they come down; spring clean; pre-holiday clean-up)… if the (slightly judge-y) in-laws didn’t come round once a fortnight, I dread to think how bad we’d let it get!

        Looking forward to the newsletter. No pressure now…:-)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. For a long time (over a year) I had no communication with my subscribers because I had no idea what to say and didn’t want to hit them with “Buy my book!” crap. I do give away a freebie, 60 Ways to Murder Your Characters, and many only want the freebie, and then un-subscribe. No matter. It won’t be free for long.:-) I then started a second list, so I had one for writers and one for readers. For my readers I have the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers get a secret key code to unlock the door to the lounge. In the lounge we crack crime puzzles and have a blast (no book promos allowed). I finally smartened up and connected my writers’ list to my blog, so they get used to hearing from me every time I post new content. So far, it’s working beautifully. Hope this helps! BTW, good choice with MailChimp. That’s what I use too, and love it. What irks me the most in newsletters is when authors stick me on their list when I merely comment on their blog. It’s so underhanded and wrong. I also hate the never-ending webinars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue,

      I’m like you, I don’t want to be gimmicky or constantly say buy my book. I genuinely want interaction, although having a list of people who are interested in your book never hurts.

      I love that, 60 ways to murder your character – hilarious!

      Really good idea about having two separate lists too, that’s genius.

      P.s. I am with you on the webinars and being put on lists. VERY annoying and I’m fairly sure, illegal?!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Double check the little tick boxes when you comment on a blog. I think it’s the “comment luv” ones that automatically select “sign up for the newsletter” when you comment and you need to untick the box so you don’t sign up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have comment luv on my blog and it doesn’t automatically sign you up to my email list. That’s not how comment luv works. I installed the plugin so my audience could gain exposure for their blog. Don’t uncheck the box. You’re losing free exposure.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I do like the free giveaway, but I don’t think it has to be an entire book. I know several authors who have exclusive short stories you can only get for subscribing. Writing a short story doesn’t take that long, and the right short story can give a “drop by” visitor a taste of your writing style, which might encourage them to both sign up and go buy a book. Like many bits of advice, if you can make it work for you, go for it. If not, don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m terrible at this, Sacha. I have a mail chimp sign up and haven’t sent out one newsletter. Ugh. Even figuring out how to do it feels like another thing on my toppling tower of to-do’s. This post was really helpful and you’ve made me a little braver. I really like the idea of consistent sections. I hadn’t thought of that (among everything else I’ve ignored). Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah but you write your books while I procrastinate! I wouldn’t worry, we all do different things. I have to say, Mailchimp was quite hard to do, but once you got it, it was easy. Glad I could help though, this one felt like a massive mountain for me to surpass too, I put it off FOR AGES. Hope you sort yours, let me know when you do😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I know. I feel your pain it’s a struggle as it is. And I’m the worst for procrastination! Sigh. I figure one every month or 6 weeks is more than enough. I guess the list is useful to have for lots of reasons tho.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Landed here because of Sarah Brentyn… and now I’ve got to sign up for your newsletter to see what you’re doing.😉 I’ve gotten accused of making mine “too complicated,” but I think it’s still a reflection of me (I’m complicated).:)

    I love all your tips. I agree, if someone has something I want, I’ll sign up for it and then hang around for a little while, but if the newsletter gets too “sales-y” I’ll unsubscribe in a hurry. That usually happens with the infopreneur-type newsletters (How to create a hashtag strategy, that sort of thing.) I stay on them for as long as I think I’m getting useful information, but if they start pushing something too hard, I’m done.

    It’s actually interesting to consider your point in light of what *I’m* doing… which is offering free art downloads every month. (I’m a artist/writer.) The art is a way for me to play with a new concept and have a little fun, but it’s not something I’d necessarily sell. Maybe I should change my approach though, and try to get people to sign up for the newsletter so that they are notified when something goes up, instead of asking them to sign up in order to get the things in the first place. Hmmm.

    For writers/artists, I’m much less likely to unsubscribe. But I regard their newsletters as a quick way to keep up with them. I’m terrible about keeping up with my feedly reader, so I always hope that the newsletter contains the highlights that they’ve had over the past week/month/whatever.

    And now I see this has turned into a thinking out loud comment… well, I hope at least some of this was entertaining. Thank you for the thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there Dakota, love your name by the way, and thanks for hopping over from Sarah’s hood. I 100% agree, I have signed up to some of the big blogging stars newsletters, and found that underlying every newsletter was by this or that. The ones I have left, genuinely care about subscribers and do give added bonus content away, which means that when the occasional – my new books coming out drops into my inbox, I don’t mind. I find more and more these days, I am interested in genuine authentic people than being sucked in by good marketing copy.

      Agreed – sometimes I delete posts because I just get too many in my inbox, but if someone does a round up in a news letter well then, that sorts that out for me, its a prompt and a reminder in case I did delete a really good post.

      Thanks for your thought bubble, I loved it😀❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh, yes, so with you there on the interested in only in authentic people position. I am really turned off by a website that’s “too slick,” or a brand that’s too polished, and yet… that’s what the “gurus” push these days to “be successful.” But then in contrast, look at GRRM or Jim Butcher or Jacqueline Carey… none of them are so polished, but they’re pretty successful. (I’m not as familiar with artists’ websites as I am with authors.) Or maybe it’s just the target market? There’s a strata of people that resonates with, and a strata of folks that prefer… well, more DIY honesty. *laugh*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah I agree, that whole too slick thing just takes away any trace of personality, if I am going to follow someone its because their unique or interesting, too slick = boring in my eyes. Chuck Wendig is the ultimate example for me, he’s hilarious and outrageous and swears like a trooper shows bags of personality and is still popular. That’s my kind of author!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tess, thanks so much for subscribing *blushes*:) like you, I cleaned mine out too, I was well over 100 once, my inbox was horrific, I’d start the day behind. Had to cut RIGHT back. But I find the ones that are monthly are ok, they don’t stress me out as I know its only coming once in a blue moon so to speak.

      Like

  12. As an author myself, I like simple to-do articles like this one. Giveaways and book excerpts are fine but they usually don’t entice me to sign up since I follow so many sites. I’ve never even tried to create a mailing list so I’m interested in that (hence following your blog). I know that sounds boring but I love finding blogs and mailing lists that are actually helpful. I read several years ago that people liked bulleted or numbered sections of articles (i.e. 1. call to help…2. write everyday…etc.,)but I don’t know now whether that’s still true even though it is for me. In any case I am signed up for your blog. Hope that helps!
    Patti

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Patti, lovely to meet you, and thank you for following. I have spent so so many years reading writing blogs and how to’s and I found that half of them never actually said anything. It was a huge frustration for me. So I vowed I wouldn’t do that. I’d always share anything I learnt on my journey in a clear and genuinely tangible way.

      I agree about the helpful thing. At one point I was subscribed to hundreds, literally, I have cut it right back to less than 30 now. All of which are super helpful and share things I can actually implement. Or are super interesting! Thanks for your thoughts, appreciate them:)

      Like

  13. How could I forget? I adore sites that post photos and ask their writer/readers t write something even if it’s just a caption. I belong to one of them and I am obsessed every Wednesday with writing up a fast fiction. JFYI.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sacha, I don’t know how you find time to be a mom, write, blog, and now a newsletter! You have a lot of energy.
    What do I look for in newsletters? Links to authors blog or website. Information about new books in the works. Stories about the author’s writing journey. I think there is some general misconceptions about writers that can be addressed from your perspective: a. writers are rich, b. writing a book is easy – all you have to do is sit at your desk and whip out a book, c. writing is your life – that is to say you do nothing else, writing is glamorous. You get the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. umm… I neglect my wife! lol. I joke. Sort of. Mostly, I drink too much caffeine, don’t sleep enough, and NEVER watch TV. You know how most people get home, eat put the kids to bed and then watch TV till bed? well once the terror tots down, I write, write, write, and then continue writing till my eyes bleed and my fingertips blister.

      Okay, so I do do other stuff, but having a toddler confines you to the house most evenings, so it makes for an easy excuse to whip out the laptop!

      Thanks for the tips though, I think there are a number of people who have said that they look for (amongst added info) a bit of you (i.e. the writer, who are they and where did they come from)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ll sign up. Hope you have more luck with newsletters than I ever have. Mind you, I haven’t had any luck with ANY promotional activity. Not enough persistence, probably. I think you have to be inventive, put out a lot of books, spend money on promotion, giveaways etc. You need two lives really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah who knows, I figured I’d try it and see, it might not work out. Or it could end up being too much of a time suck. But I guess you have to try these things. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. :s like you say tho, everything costs. Sigh.

      Like

      1. I gave up on it all. It seemed to me I was doing what the gurus said but I was still selling sod all. A friend of mine was making thousands a month while she was spending 25 hours a day promoting. When she stopped, her books stopped selling too. As you say, you have to give it a whirl. Some writers actually do get to make money.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No way? thousands a month, blimey, I thought only JK Rowling and jeff goins did that!

        But there’s the magical catch… 25 hours of promoting each and every day!

        Like

      3. I nearly dropped through the floor when she told me. But it slackened off to what she called peanuts and I called a nice little income. Since the promo binge ended she sells a couple of books a day. Still more than I do but it’s not JK.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. well a couple a day is more than a lot of people. this bloody industry is so SO hard to break. I wish I had the answer. More and more I think its just luck.

        Like

      1. Lol 😍 I have no doubt it will be amazing. I feel your pain though, in just about to break 20,000 edited words, and so far it’s been mostly bloody rewrites. Sigh.

        Like

      2. My editor thinks it’s a right bloody mess. Rewrites are fine after a first draft, but they’re a real grind if you have to start unpicking the whole ms when you thought it was more or less in order.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Funny you assume it’s a him! It’s a she and it’s because the rule is, keep it uncomplicated because the under 30s have trouble with multiple POV and omniscient. I like omniscient and multiple POV but if I have to untangle some of the knotty bits I will. Untangle but not remove:)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. FFS. I HATE THAT I DID THAT. Maybe its because I secretly hate men and assume that anything bad must have come from a man…. lol. Ironic given that my supposed unconscious bias puts women in the arts not men. God knows why I did that.

        Hmm. I see her point in some respects, a lot of YA or NA or whatever its termed now is 1st person. but rules are made to be broken and we don’t all want to read the same shit time after time. Glad you’re retaining some of it😀

        Like

      5. Actually, I guessed that was your line of thinking:)

        The editor said that there was less to unpick than she’d thought there would be and I might get away with just tweaking a few scenes. SO FAR. She’s only half way through.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dylan has a mailchimp from last summer; I signed and never received anything so maybe I didn’t sign properly. We spent a big past of a day at the cricket talking about it (shows how interesting the cricket was!) and I thought, what more material than the blog and the books? Not sure I can stomach that. Still always game so I’ll see how you get on and if you implode with the effort I’ll know it ain’t for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. HAving been in sales, you are on the right track. Must have a subscription/potential customer list. A polished newletter that offers the reader something/info they can’t get elsewhere (and a reason to return for more) sent out consistently but not so much that it’s annoying really does work.
    Readers like to see the person behind the writing sometimes – which may be why the recipe worked well ( also searchers on Google bring in people who otherwise wouldn’t be reached.)
    Give away too much free stuff, and the items lose value.
    Good idea! (but how any writer has the time to do all this and still write or have a real life is baffling)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that’s encouraging😀. 100% agree about the not too often, I have unsubscribed from several because they were either too pushy or too frequent. I suspect monthly or 6 weekly will be enough for me, or else like you say, I won’t get any time to write!

      Like

  18. Hi Sacha!! You’re new to me and I love that I’m finding so many other authors out there. I’ve been writing for years, LOVE LOVE MailChimp (yes it took some getting use to, maybe I should do a class on it-LOL) and I use webs.com for my website. I’m subscribing to your newsletter because you made me laugh several times! LOL For those not wanting to leave your personal address anywhere, the best thing I ever did was get a PO Box – that solves the problem and is so worth the $60 or so a year it costs for anonymity!

    I pick one subscriber a month for a $10 gift card of their choice and have a fairly good open rate but I love the recipe idea! Will consider that also. I live in the US but one of my historical romances takes place in London and Scarborough. I look forward to chatting with you again!

    Oh wait…..I sign up to newsletters if the author has good blog content and what turns me off to newsletters is if they just ramble on in paragraph after paragraph and don’t give me sections. I follow a few authors who are not yet using Constant Contacts (too expensive!!) or MailChimp ($10/month).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Deanna, lovely to meet you. Ha, mail chimp was such a chore to learn, once you got it, its fine, but the set up is horrendous. And it doesn’t really tell you its up and working, very annoying.

      Aww, shucks *blushes* thanks for signing up:) I hadn’t thought of a PO box. I will have a look into that and see what the costs are this side of the pond.

      Like the idea of a gift card too, will have to have a think about that.

      100% agree about the sections, I struggle with detail, so I like the newsletters that make it easy for my eye to read. So lovely to meet you:)

      Like

  19. I have a list, and I’m giving away a collection of my short stories for free to anyone who joins (it’s normally $2.99). I’ve actually had it since sometime in 2013, but it’s only been since about April last year that I’ve used it. I send out recommendations for books I’ve enjoyed, or films that I think people might like, or I write updates if I’ve been somewhere cool or found something awesome online. I do that monthly, so that I’m not all “BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK!” My sales emails are maybe once every six months or so, so subscribers get cool content in between that has nothing to do with commerce!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Short stories is a good idea, anything bonus contenty I think is a good idea, I just wince a little at the prospect of giving away free books – but maybe that’s because I haven’t published one yet! I think thats a great ethos to have – not too sales oriented but just enough you still get a bit of a bang for your monthly hard work. Like the idea of film recommendations I hadn’t thought of that.:)

      Like

      1. Ha, that’s on my to do list. Or at least there are three versions of that on my to do list. I want to add more than whats on my blog, thats half the problem! Can’t do anything by halves. But maybe for a freebie you’re right…. hmm *scratches head*

        Like

      2. Lol, I wish I could know when to stop. That’s half my problem! I collated my villains posts as they get a fair amount of views, with the intention of doing just that, (theres only 6 posts) Im now tens of thousands of words into a book!!!!!! If only I could just shut up! :p lol

        Like

  20. Good gracious woman, you are hysterical!!!! You have the magic touch already! Thanks for mentioning me here Sach, and glad I can offer up good ideas with my posts. You’re already doing everything right. You’ve gained your following, you’re Sacha fierce, and that’s how everyone knows you here, so maintain your Sacha name on all your media (that means Linkedin too my friend).
    Admittedly, I don’t push anything around with my subscribers. I signed up a mailchimp form 3 years ago, and those who enjoy my blogs sign up for it in case they miss my posts. I have to clamp down this year and utilize my subscriber list better for marketing, so I’m proud of you for having gone gung ho on that already, Soon I’ll be on you for help on mailchimp campaigns which I can’t seem to wrap my head around. So glad I have such a techy and enterprising pal in you.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Your newsletter looks great and you’ve shown all the important elements. However, I have t go do some deep breathing right now because I have serious, serious issues with “free.” The free idea comes from marketing and driving a call to action, like subscribing. We write so much for free already, our blogs, newsletters, fiction we post online. That’s part of building a platform and giving readers a taste of our ability. It’s a strawberry farmer who samples a taste, but she never gives away the whole field of her work. Be careful what you give away for free. Give a taste, not the whole farm.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi, Sacha. Really enjoyed the post. I feel the same way you did: add something else to my already overwhelming list of things to do to become successful? Ummm. . . let’s see, write, no, email, no do interview–maybe but what will I say? Ummm. . . newsletter. . .ummm, how many subscribers do I need to start? I found Kim at YourWriterPlatform. She has lots of worksheets, downloads and stuff to teach you how to build your platform, develop an email list, etc. Can’t wait to get started. But first I’m whittling down my email. Lol. Following you. I’ll sign up for the newsletter when I’m sure I’ll take the time to read it.

    Like

    1. Hey sorry for my appalling delay. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. I know right… just one more thing to do. Sigh. It really is endless. I will check Kim out, thank you for the suggestion😀

      Like

  23. Signed up and I’m really looking forward to seeing what you put in your newsletter. I’ve just started doing one and I am planning on giving away a short to those already signed up (if I can ever get the damn thing written!) I do tend to wonder why anyone is going to be interested in anything I have to say though and like blog posts fret about content. Plus it’s another thing keeping me from actually every writing another book.

    Like

    1. Ah wow, thank you❤. Let me know how the give away goes. I am wondering whether I maybe need to try one just to see if it makes any difference. I am reluctant to believe it does. But maybe it just is one of those 'catchy' marketing phrases that still grabs people. hmm….. But I totally feel your pain on the 'its another thing to keep me from writing' I feel exactly the same!

      Like

  24. Hey Sacha, I’m loving the Newsletter – looks absolutely bloody fab. Haven’t got round to writing one myself yet (thought I do have a mailing list), but it has to be said, your superhero efforts have given me a few things to think about. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I started a newsletter late last year and I think I’m incorporating most of these tips. I send it out monthly and include highlights from blogging, reading, writing and life.

    I signed up to yours because I like your style. I sign up for newsletters if I’ve built online rapport or like the blog. I prefer more informal newsletters that are broken into sections so reaper to read. I unsubscribe of they’re too frequent, once a month is ok. Free books don’t entice me to sign up for a newsletter. I have too many books to read already.

    Like

    1. Hi Renee, thanks for stopping in. Good to hear you are already doing these things. I think a lot of them are intuitive, but I always forget something! Thank you for signing up😀 I promise not to send too often! 1 a month😀 I agree about the sections. I personally have a habit of unsubscribing if the newsletters become too dense in text. Time is precious and I think its our prerogative to make it easy for readers. Lol to the too many books, my TBR pile is disgusting at the moment! *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

  26. This was great Sacha, especially as you know, I am trying to build up a mailing list, My main problem is also giving stuff away. I do not want to do that with my book, and the winners of my poetry comp didn’t contact me to get them so I am a bit stumped!!! I have already signed up for your lovely shiny newsletter so please keep the tips coming!:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So there are some issues with mailing lists and going into Junk – do you send from a gmail account? it might be that they didn’t open the email. You can check who opens the newsletter you send in your stats. So if you check and see that they didn’t open it, it will tell you that they didn’t get it and you should email them direct.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I am still stuck at the groaning stage where the groans keep repeating when I think about creating a newsletter for subscribers, but I do have followers to my 4 blogs. After all, the followers do get notified every time there’s a new post and at the end of each post I mention briefly who I am and showcase an image for one of my books with a buy link following the image.

    Does that, sort of, count as a subscribers list? How do you add a sheepish, hopeful grin to a comment?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol, just like that! Your sheepish grin made me laugh.

      To answer your question. No. It does not count. Not everyone who is subscribed to you, (i.e. when you get an email of a new follower) will have a direct email to their inbox when you post. Some will have weekly some will just send you to the reader.

      If you have books, and want to promote DIRECT to peoples inbox, then you need to seek ‘permission’ so to speak. You couldn’t for example, run through your followers on wordpress and pick out all their email addresses and email them that you have a new book out. That’s illegal.

      so you build a subscriber list instead. Where you specifically ask people to sign up to your mailing list. Perhaps it is only about your books, or perhaps you give extra tips, or content related to interesting things. But the beauty is, you can then directly email them when a book comes out.

      The reason this is so important is because it is THE best most effective type of marketing for authors. Its the one with the highest correlation of sales.

      If you’re interested I have a post on newsletter creation: https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/02/29/7-tips-to-create-your-perfect-author-newsletter/

      AND one on mistakes to avoid: https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/04/11/4-mistakes-to-avoid-when-using-mailchimp/

      Hope that clarified the difference😀 thanks for visiting.

      Like

      1. Thank you. The newsletter will have to wait until I finish installing the hardwood floor. Half done. Lots of work. Earlier this year I bought a house that is a fixer upper. I bought it in early February and moved in two weeks ago after a few months of renovations to get it livable. I had some of the work done and also did a lot of the work on my own. Now I’m living in a construction and storage zone. Even the bedroom I’m sleeping in is slated for renovations after I move down the hall to the larger bedroom I’m working on. The rest of the house is either being renovated a room at a time or has stacks of boxes piled high.

        Like

  28. I found you through your contest along with a ton of bloggers I haven’t met. BONUS! It’s amazing how large the blogosphere really is.

    This post is incredible timing. I plan to publish a book in the next year or two. I’m querying it right now. I have a lot of blog followers, but have to get a newsletter going to roll out my book. You answered all of my questions! I didn’t want to give something away either.
    I’m all signed up and will look forward to your letter.:)

    Nice to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

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