The Author Newsletter
Newsletters are an incredibly effective way to communicate directly with your readers. While not everyone is active on social media, nearly everyone has an email address. A well-crafted email newsletter goes a long way toward keeping your readers up-to-date about book deals, release dates, great reviews, or even a contest you might be running. Newsletters help you give back to your readers. Loyal readers consider themselves part of a community—one led by you.
There are some points to keep in mind as you start. As a communication form, there’s a built-in asymmetry that effective writers of newsletters should bear in mind. From the perspective of the writer, the newsletter seems like a billboard or broadcast announcement. But from the perspective of the reader, newsletters feel more intimate and geared towards them as individuals.
In a very real way, your words are nestled within your readers’ inbox. That’s a very personal place to be and very much unlike website articles, or even your book itself. It goes without saying, you are there by invitation. When readers opted in to receive your emails, they were in effect saving a space for you in their daily lives. The Whole Artist always seeks connection with readers, and works to maintain that connection with authenticity and respect.
Newsletter Title and Structure
Give your newsletter a name. Something short, catchy, and easy to remember. Readers will see this title in the FROM field in their inbox and will come to associate it with you, which drives email opens and keeps your subscriber count up.
Many authors like to apply a set theme to their newsletters as well. For example, if you've written a non-fiction book about investing, it makes sense to stick to topics around the economy and the markets. On the other hand, many authors find this approach too limiting. Honestly, you’ll wind up figuring this out as you go. Since the goal of your newsletter is to serve your readership and foster a long-term relationship, we suggest not being too strict with your newsletter theme.
Some examples of well-known author newsletters include the following. Take a look at each to get a feeling for the form.