Marketing

Author Newsletters: WOW Your Readers with a Stellar Newsletter

Author Newsletters

Want to download the PDF guide for future reference?


Ever pick up a book and flip right to the “about the author” section? I know I do!

As humans, we have an inherent curiosity about other people, especially the writers who pen the words that move us, entertain us, teach us, and excite us.

And your readers are no different! They want to get to know you, and one of the best ways you can connect with your fans is through your email newsletter. The newsletter is a great place for you to share a bit of yourself, giving your followers VIP access to you and the products/services you offer.

But sending out an email with a pasted blog post or slamming your readers with sales pitches is not going to work. In fact, that’s a great way to build your UNsubscribe list.

Instead, you want to make your newsletter stand out from the rest by filling it with value and giving your fans a reason to click on it.




So What Content Does a Stellar Newsletter Contain?

Here are some of the things I see in my favorite newsletters (in no particular order). See what might be a good fit for you and your audience.


  • A sneak peek behind the scenes

  • Where you are in the writing process

  • Motivational/inspirational quotes or advice

  • Videos (of your day, your writing space, a walk, or even a chat with your readers)

  • Share how you became a writer. What’s YOUR story?

  • Sneak peeks of book covers, blurbs, or chapters

  • Share book reviews of books you love

  • Interviews with other authors or publishing professionals (editors, cover designers, etc.)

  • Your interviews

  • Contests or giveaways

  • Share your favorite books, podcasts, TV shows

  • Launch team invitations

  • Book release announcement

  • Beta reader request

  • Your hobbies outside of writing

  • Photos of places you visit

  • Research process and interesting discoveries

  • The publishing process

  • Deleted scenes

  • Involve your readers in the writing process by asking them to name a character. Could be a contest or a poll.

  • Tell us about a mentor you had/have

  • Fun facts about a character (not shared in the book)

  • Tell us where your ideas and inspiration come from

  • And, of course, anything that shows off your unique personality!



BE YOU!



Getting Started


1 |  Choose an email service provider & create an account. The first thing you’re going to want to do is sign up with an email service provider. There are many options for this and you can shop around to see which one fits your situation best. Personally, I’ve used Aweber, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp (which is what I currently use). While they were all strong platforms that I highly recommend, I found Mailchimp to be the easiest one to learn.


2 |  Create an opt-in form on your site. This is the form where subscribers can enter their email address to join your list. You want to create a form that is eye catching and that entices people to sign up. Be clear on exactly what they will be getting if they sign up, i.e., freebie, newsletter, frequency of emails, etc. See the section below for freebie ideas to give away. (Be sure to share your privacy policy.)



3 |  Create a newsletter template. Each email service provider will have their own process for creating a template. Having a template in place will make your job a lot easier moving forward, and will help you maintain consistency in appearance of your newsletters and frequency of delivery.


4 |  Add your bio and photo. People get tons of email in their inbox every day. Remind them who you are by including a very brief bio and your photo.


4 |  Add social media follow buttons. Social media is another way to engage with your audience, so be sure to invite them to your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter...wherever you hang out!


5 |  Use your name in the From Field.


6 |  Send yourself a test email to be sure everything is working properly. You always want to send a test email to be sure everything is working properly. Glitches happen, and sending a test can help you catch problems before your newsletter gets sent out to your entire list. (Also, remember to proofread your emails!)



7 |  Create a unique headline for each newsletter you send out. You want to create a unique and interesting headline for each newsletter you send rather than a generic one like “Jenn’s Author Newsletter.” A unique headline will pique your reader’s curiosity, increasing the chance that they will open and read.


8 |  Be consistent. Decide how often you’ll send your newsletter and stick to it! Consistency is key.




Spread the Word!

Now that you’re all set up to deliver your newsletter, how can you let people know about it?



  • Create a freebie to give away in exchange for an email address. Freebies can include free chapters, book, short story, video series about your topic (nonfiction), checklists (like my Indie-Publishing Checklist). Be creative!

  • Put your freebie and link in the header or bio of your social media accounts. You can also pin a post to the top of your feed letting readers know about your freebie.

  • Place an opt-in link or image at the end of blog posts. (See below.)

  • Include an opt-in in the front and back of your book.

  • Participate in group promos. Just be sure to hyperfocus on your specific niche. For instance, if you write clean romance, include your book in that specific category rather than general romance for better results.



The most important thing to remember about author newsletters is to be intentional in your approach and be yourself. Have a plan in place, create a template, send your newsletter out consistently (i.e., same day weekly or monthly), and engage your readers on a regular basis by asking questions and responding to all replies and comments.

I hope you found this guide helpful! Have any other tips? Share in the comments below.


3 Takeaways From My Recent Book Marketing Experiment - Guest Post

The struggle is real. We authors like to spend our time writing, not marketing. I get it. I’d much rather be at my standing desk deciding how my suicidal character offs herself or designing a new world for my dragons to romp in than spending my precious time marketing.
But the hard truth is we self-published authors have to market our work, and to a degree, ourselves. Sure, you could have written the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it’s irrelevant if no one knows your book exists.

Author Interview: Amanda VanDeWege

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Today I’d like to welcome author Amanda VanDeWege of ResetYourWeightBasics.com. Amanda has taken a five-year passion and turned it into the book, Reset Your Weight - Be Obsessed With Life, Not the Weight of Food, to help others on their way to a healthier lifestyle. She shares her knowledge, her journey, and mistakes along the way, so we don’t have to make the same ones. Her website is an amazing resource for food preparation techniques, recipes, and articles. She has also taken her passion one step further and has developed the Reset Flush Challenge. With this challenge you receive a free companion guide, Email support, and membership to the exclusive Reset Flush Challenge Facebook group.

While Amanda is not new to writing and publishing, having ghostwritten numerous books, this is her first adventure publishing under her own name. Join me in welcoming Amanda as she shares with us a bit of her writing journey.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

I want to be skinny without exercise.  They say that your weight is 80% diet and only 20% exercise.  I wanted to maximize that 80% with the easiest methods since I love finding the best of the best strategies for doing everything.

2. How did you get started as a writer? 

When I was little, I would write stories where I would find my twin sister; I was an only child!  In college, I majored in Literature and Writing, but didn't pursue any of those careers.  Instead, I traveled down a path of working directly with people, finding ways to strengthen their talents and learn new vocational skills.  I loved it.  In a way, I was simply narrating people's individual dreams and helping them find strategies and develop skills to accomplish their goals.

When Jenn and I became friends, she drew me back into reading fiction through final pass reads for her authors.  Get paid to read? Absolutely!  From there, I moved into writing jobs online as a freelance writer and editor.  I was awarded a ghostwriting job to outline and write an entire book on homeschooling, which I have done for over 8 years now.  I set an impossible deadline and ended up with a 43k word manuscript.

Since Jenn and I had previously worked on a music rehabilitation program using my love for cognitive neuroscience research, she continued to nudge me to write and publish under my own name.  I had several ideas, but Reset Your Weight materialized as the main focus and passion.

3. What has been the most surprising discovery while writing your book?

The most surprising and frustrating thing about writing a book is not the writing and editing, but the marketing.  I thought I'd have time to learn each step as I researched what needed to be done. Absolutely not.

4. What has been the hardest part of writing your book? How did you overcome it?

While I am a hard core researcher, you can't possibly learn everything about the whole process and still live life and enjoy it.  I overcame these frustrations by leaning on Jenn's expertise.  I learned to ask for help from a real person, not just from Google.

I also isolate a task and find resources for that specific task, gaining a working understanding of how to accomplish X, and then I move on.  There's much to do and much of it is cyclical.

5. How did you choose the subject of your book?

I had finished the ghostwriting book and Jenn asked what I was going to do next.  She told me to think about what I'm passionate about.  At the same time, she and I were both gung-ho about losing over 20 pounds in order to feel better-emotionally and physically.  Well, she is a runner and a highly self-motivated person, so she when she lost it all in like 8 weeks, I wanted to as well.  But, without all that running.  And with food.  I took all of my research and passion and put it in a book.

6. You are just now beginning the pre-release marketing phase, what has been the biggest hurdle? How did you overcome it? 

There is a huge, enormous To-Do List that just keeps appearing and growing.  It's been difficult to get ahead of that list without Jenn's help, especially with a full-time life that takes priority over writing and marketing.  Keeping the long-term goal of living life and then organizing my daily priorities has been how I've managed that hurdle, which has helped to overcome the stress associated with managing home life and all the facets of writing and publishing.

7. What is your favorite part of being a writer? 

I absolutely love the self-exploration and the interaction with other people through this medium.  I really enjoy research and analysis, using writing as a means of finding uncommon connections.

8. Share an interesting fact about yourself? 

I've been told often that I'm "quirky...in a good way."  I'm going to translate that as: creative, funny, lovable, and a tad bit abnormal.  I'm an out-of-the-box type of person and enjoy finding interesting tangents to explore like tapping and purifying my own maple syrup on my front porch, owning a litter trained, free roaming house bunny, homeschooling four kids, and snuggling babies as often as possible as a foster mom to infants.

9. Advice for other writers? 

There are big differences between writing for personal satisfaction, contracted writing with listed expectations, and self-publishing.  Too many, in fact, to make navigating the chasm successful without a good guide.  You will make less money for the time.  Get help and consider recommendations from other professionals.

For example, I thought I could design my own book cover.  I'd worked in MS Publisher for years and am a pretty good photographer.  I wasted too much time being futile in an area that is not my "professional" strength and learned a good lesson in the time:money management ratio.

10. Where can people learn more about you and your book? 

While I started a blog last June as an outlet for testing my book content, I am very happy that I made the switch to my own domain, resetyourweightbasics.com.  You can also find me on Twitter at @ResetYourWeight and on Facebook at https://facebook.com/resetyourweightbasics/.