Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG #10: What's The Deal with Newsletters

It's that time again for sharing with the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
What is that you may ask, well their mission statement is this:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.

The first Wednesday of each month, we blog about our fears, insecurities, or even an accomplishment we had. 

This month's post I'm hoping to gain some insight on the newsletter thing. When I published three years ago part of my research was about how to gain a following. That's the end game right? Write books that people enjoy and build a fan base and get that multi-million dollar movie deal. (A girl can dream right?) 

One of the things a lot of the places I stumbled across mentioned were newsletters. It seemed like having one was the 'it' thing to do. When I go to some sites, at times I'm hit with pop-ups asking me to sign up for their newsletter. Freebies are offered (in some cases) if I do like links to special short stories or novellas. I'm told I'll get the latest and most update information, sometimes earlier than others that aren't signed up. Does it really help? I admit I don't fill out the pop-up. My first instinct is to close out the box. Instead I follow authors via their blog or twitter accounts.

I feel like I'm missing some important key factor to this whole thing. I know, like with anything, building up a following takes time. I created an account with one of the companies talked about. Put the links on both my blog and my website, but other than that, I remain at a loss on how to promote the fact that I have a newsletter, not to mention trying to figure out what to write if I did have subscribers. I have one book out and have been slowly writing (or not writing as the case was for a year) my second book. I hope that when I finish book two, book three doesn't take me three more years to write. So I have nothing to say and therefore the newsletter account goes unused. 

Is the newsletter supposed to be a marketing tool or just a way of keeping your readers updated in between releases? I honestly don't get it. In my mind anything I'd put in a newsletter I'd most likely post about on my blog anyway. So for those of you that use newsletters I'd love to hear what I'm missing. How have you guys effectively put them to use? I welcome any and all insight as I continue to learn more tricks of the trade for this business.

Thanks for stopping by
~Meka 

12 comments:

  1. I don't have a newsletter. My biggest reason is that I don't feel I'd ever have enough news to sustain one. The few newsletters to which I do subscribe do things like inform readers of new releases—both their own as well as other authors, do giveaways (of both their books and other books), tell you interesting facts about the author, things like that. I like to subscribe because I like to know what authors put in them. But I don't think I'll ever have one of my own.

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    1. Yes that's me. I don't feel like I have anything to share in the newsletter. After I'd written up this post I got an email from Mailchimp saying I had a subscriber. LOL Now the pressure is on to actually put one out. I've seen the giveaways and things like that some authors do in order to get people to sign up. Maybe I should subscribe to a few so I can see how they are run.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  2. Here's the deal. Writing is about connecting with readers. The more often they hear from you, the stronger a connection they feel to you. Plus, a newsletter keeps you in the forefront of their minds. So, while newsletters can be downplayed, they are an awesome tool for building relationships, marketing, and finding your CORE support base. And there are tools out there--contests, sites, etc.--to help build your newsletter quickly. Or you can build organically.

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    1. Thank you for that. I'm trying to be out there more on my blog and on twitter. Most people that I've come across talk about the importance of the newsletter. For someone like me, I am mostly at a loss about what content I'd put in one. Looks like I have more research to do on the subject so I can get the most out of all the tools I have available.

      Thank you, you've given me a lot to think about.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  3. Hey Meka,

    I have an author's newsletter. I give my subscribers news before posting on my blog, like cover reveals, book sales, excerpts, etc. there's only 4 subscribers so far, but it means a lot that they signed up to hear news from me.

    No one technique works with newsletters, just like book promotions. You've got to tweak things to see what gets your newsletter open clicks and what doesn't.

    Meka, don't sell yourself short. Readers will find you and will want to hear what you have to say.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

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    1. I guess that's one way to do it. Give the subscribers first notice before making a blog post. I have one and it's recent. It is nice to know that someone wants updates from me. Now I feel like I need to come up with some updates. Hopefully a cover reveal for Not Broken will be in the near future.

      Playing around to see what works, that I know about. Guess I have more to add to that to-do list on the networking/marketing thing.

      Thanks. :) And thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  4. I have the same questions. I don't feel like I have enough material to do a blog AND a newsletter.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one. I feel the same, I just don't think I have enough material to support a newsletter. I'm just not getting into blogging on a regular basis.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  5. I hate those pop-ups especially if its a site I read often and already signed up for.
    I have an email sign up and after 2-years finally sent a newsletter. I was devastated when the result was 8-people unsubscribed. I am not going to do another newsletter until my next book comes out.

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    1. I exit out of the pop up. The ones that really annoy me are the ones that pop up more than once while I'm still on the site.

      On no. Sorry you had people unsubscribe. Think I'll attempt my first one when I'm ready to have my cover reveal.

      Thanks for stopping by

      Delete
  6. One of my designers gave me the best advice a while back, which I promptly ignored for years. She told me to make my blog my newsletter. I stubbornly insisted they had to be two different mailings, and as a result, my newsletter subscribers got a whole lot of nothing last year. Now I've combined both lists, and it's perfect! I put a lot of time and thought into my blogs, so my subscribers get good content, and they get any news from me that they need. And they hear from me once a week, without fail, so they don't forget who I am.

    One reason to build a list of subscribers is it gives you control over the communication. Social media sites and Amazon, etc., are always changing the rules, so it's worth your while to communicate with your readers directly. You also know they've seen they have a message from you, unlike on Facebook and Twitter.

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    1. So how does that work? Combining the two. I don't have many followers on my blog and with the recent URL change I'm not sure how many of them actually see my posts now. LOL I haven't check to see if I have any subscribers to my newsletter. Haven't even logged into that site in years. Something I need to check on now.

      I agree over the control of communication. Facebook seriously doesn't reach many. Of the 100 or so followers my post will say it reached like 3. Twitter I'm just now getting into using. I want to connect with my readers, just have to figure out what to put on a newsletter. Something I'm looking into.

      thanks for stopping by

      Delete