Being an avid reader means that most likely you have subscribed to more than your fair share of author newsletters. Am I right? If you had to guess, how many authors send their monthly (or weekly, or bi-weekly) epistles to your email Inbox? Myself, I’d guess about a dozen.
Using that dozen authors as a test group, I’m going to ask … and answer … a few questions. I welcome you to include your own answers in Comments below!
- How did I come to subscribe to the author’s newsletter?
In order of volume, I’d say: most often: I responded to an ad or giveaway. Second, I met the author in person or at a conference and third: I read and loved one (or more) of their books. (Isn’t that interesting that the fact that I loved one of their books came in last …)
- How often do they arrive?
This question is a little weighted in my case because I really don’t want to get a newsletter any more frequently than once a month. Why? Because I already have enough trouble keeping my Inbox under control and receiving a newsletter from a single author three or four times in a month is akin to the doorbell ringing every few days and seeing an unexpected guest on my doorstep! “Oh hi, did we have something on the calendar?” Uncomfortable chuckle.
So honestly, if I subscribe to a new newsletter and find that it comes too often for my taste, I generally unsubscribe.
- Did I get a reward for subscribing?
Sure, sometimes I did. But honestly, that’s not why I subscribed. Okay, in theory it’s nice to receive a free e-book, but in reality, my poor Kindle is overloaded with so many free or discounted books that were impulse downloads, that I don’t stand a chance at getting to them all promptly. Sometimes what I prefer in a subscription reward is a printable graphic that appeals to me, a cookbook or a “only available to subscribers” item such as a deleted scene or short epilogue from the author’s book I just read.
- What do I enjoy about them? What keeps me from Unsubscribing?
Personally, I like it when the author includes me in a little bit of her everyday life. Where did she go on vacation? Has there been a big family event – wedding, new baby, graduation? I don’t mean in a creepy stalker way. Just a brief mention or picture of a significant event. I love hearing about not only new releases but also works in progress. What is that author that I enjoy working on? Have they had any issues with coming up with a plot? Have they travelled for inspiration? That kind of thing.
- What do I dislike?
Assuming I’ve whittled away everyone except the ”once-a-monthers” I will unsubscribe if I find the whole newsletter, month after month, filled with promotional pleas. “Buy this! This too! And this!” Of course, I want to hear about this author’s new books, and about their backlist books that I may have missed. But I start to lose interest when that’s all they use the newsletter real estate for — promotional links of their own and other authors’ books.
I think of it this way: when I subscribed to an author’s newsletter we formed somewhat of a “friendship,” albeit an electronic, mostly one-sided one. I want to keep in touch with my new friend, not be inundated with requests from her.
How about you? How would you respond to these questions? Answer in Comments. I’ll choose one random commenter to receive a free e-book – any book of your choice from my backlist.
While we’re speaking about newsletters, I should inform you that I have one. (Of course, I do!) And I incorporate all my likes and dislikes into my own newsletter. I send one once a month like clockwork, never more. I usually start with a personal story of something that’s going on in my life. I include some book news, a new release if there is one that month, and if not, a link to a video or interview I’ve done or maybe some news about a past book. I also have a fun feature called Weezer’s Corner where my feisty rescue dog writes a column from her own perspective.
I invite you to allow my newsletter to join the others gracing your inbox! And I do have a couple gifts for you when you do. A free novella start to a series, and a cookbook accompaniment to the series. If you’re interested please sign up here!