Newsletter Importance, Part I
There are several positives and negatives that come from putting ourselves out there through monthly and weekly Newsletters (NL). We, as authors, have heard from day one that we need to start a NL and grow our subscribers but we procrastinate. Like me, perhaps you feel shy about posting something that your followers will read, well, something that is not crafted into a book. I admit that Newsletter (NL) and blog posts can feel a bit intimidating for even the most experienced writer. There are several reasons for that:
1) Access to the Internet, a positive
The world-wide-web (www.) is awesome. It connects so many people around the world to social settings, meetings, events, collaboration, ZOOM, YouTube. The list is endless and we would all agree that during the Pandemic, this has been very useful in keeping us connected to family and friends. However, it allows almost everyone to connect. That means that friendlies, like-minded compadres, and well-wishers, and followers have access to our work. However, it also means that we can attract foes, psychopaths, sociopaths, and competitors. Recognizing all the ill-will that can be tossed our way makes me want to stick my head back in my turtle shell and stay out of the limelight. But, we cannot do that because we are authors, we are writers and we have a lot to share with the world.
2) Cyberbullying, a negative
This doesn't just happen to teenagers. All of us can become victims of pissing off someone who has a knack for hacking, intruding, stalking, or bullying us. It has happened to me. It has happened to several Facebook friends. It happens among authors and every group of people out there. Jealousy is a green-eyed monster. I have found that other authors who write the same genre I write deliberately attack my books with bogus reviews, star ratings, and other means to destroy my book's credibility and ratings. Most of these attacks come in waves. They convince several of their friends to "Like" their negative reviews. They send messages to Facebook calling a book post "spam" or "against Facebook community standards." If you have been a victim of false reporting to Facebook, then you know that they act first and it is up to you to prove your innocence. As far as bad reviews on Amazon, they simply will not interfere even though they do say they "will look into it." Amazon feels that a negative review is still valuable even if it is a fake review. Once a book gets a hundred reviews, I find that to be true as well. That fake review or star rating can't hurt me anymore.
3) Dedicated followers that want to hear from you, a positive
Most of the people who sign up for your NL will want to hear what you have to say. Some will have signed up to get a free gift or a chance to win something. They usually unsubscribe right away... and that is all right because you are hoping to build a true fan base. Others truly want to know when you release a new book or when you are running a promotion for one of your books or series. Let's break that down into benefits. If you have 1,000 followers and 25% of them are die-hard fans waiting to get your new release, that might equate to 250 book sales the day your new book becomes available... but only if they know about it from your NL What if you had 10,000 followers, huh? Now, you can see.
I am sure there are many other reasons to have a successful NL. I haven't yet acquired the knack of making mine cutesy but I always share my current and upcoming promotions with my email list because I usually have a book either on countdown for $0.99 or free. If you only have a couple of books right now and can't offer one free each month that is all right too. Work on building up your book portfolio while you are building your NL subscribers.
You want your NL to go to as many people as possible. We all do.
How to build subscribers list:
Well, first you have to have a service to handle that. I used MailChimp's free service for some time but I found it difficult to navigate when creating more engaging NLs. I switched to MailerLite because I found it easier to use. Keep in mind that they are both free to get started and that whichever one you use in the beginning will feel comfortable to you as you learn their system. Both of these services collect your subscribers, both are well-liked and reasonably inexpensive to use, especially when first starting out. You will need a landing page where subscribers can sign up for your NL and you might want to give away a free book, short story, or something else to encourage folks to sign up.
Here is the link to MailChimp - https://mailchimp.com/
Here is the link to MailerLite - https://www.mailerlite.com/
You will have to get that far before I can offer any more suggestions about NL but I do highly recommend that you take advantage of their free courses on how to set up your NL subscribers, landing page, etc.
I will add Part II to this topic when I can. In the meantine, do your homework. :-)
Until next time,