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  • Writer's picturecharlottelzang

Building an Author Newsletter List

One of the major topics I’ve seen floating around for years now is building an email newsletter list in order to secure regular readers and connect with them. This is an interesting thing to me, as I’ve been self-publishing since 2012 and have gone through any number of articles on how to do this. The thing I find is, it all comes down to being social and getting people to click on your link…somehow…and getting them to sign up…somehow. But that’s about it really. Just keep driving people to your website or signup form.

Well, huh…?

I mean, I’m trying really hard on a regular basis to reach readers on my social media pages and still that doesn’t seem to draw out a commitment by readers or fellow authors. Of course all things take time, this is not some unknown factor to me. I say I’ve been self-published since 2012 but only since this previous year have I truly focused my efforts on making writing my life. Briefly; this happened after years of working in Medical Billing, me being drained artistically by the daily 9-5 grind and horrors of the changes to medical care, and an opportunity for me to work from home and build up a freelance lifestyle. (By the way there is nothing glamorous about a freelance lifestyle. It takes a lot of work and basically I’m at it from the time I get up until about an hour before I go to bed. So does my husband, who still maintains his day job and takes on freelance and is a new author.)

Last year I revamped my website, published my third novel, Blooding, and made a push to connect via social media. I’ve read so many blogs, listened to so many podcasts and watched numerous videos and they all basically say the same thing which is: ‘get people to click and signup’. I mean, truly, that’s really the only advice people give.

So, what are they signing up for?

This was my next question; I switched to a different mailing system (Mailchimp) and wondered ‘what should I offer people for signing up? Do I need to have an incentive? What will they be signing up for?’

First, the incentive: I haven’t really figured this out yet, so if anyone reading this has some ideas, I’m totally down to hear them. Please comment! I’d love some advice.

Second, what are they going to sign up for: should this just be a newsletter; when new things come out or are coming out or when I have a book cover reveal? Or should they get a weekly or bi-weekly breakdown of what’s gone on in my little writing life bubble and what’s on my blog? I’ve decided on the latter, because really what kind of newsletter would it be if I didn’t make it a more regular thing. That’s what a newsletter is. Or maybe I’m using the wrong term, maybe I don’t need a “newsletter”. The point to me was this, why would someone want to sign up to stay up to date on my writings if they didn’t want to know all the other stuff as well. Isn’t that what makes followers stay connected, reminded?

Following a certain someone’s example (kind of)

The reasoning behind my wanting to do a weekly or what I’ll call ‘when-something-new-goes-up-on-my-blog’ newsletter to my email subscribers was due to Amanda Palmer. Stick with me here. She is so open about her work, what she’s working on, her patrons have access to her all the time! And I think that’s great, that offers translucence. Now, I’m not a major corporation, but as a fan of Amanda and her work, I love being able to see where she is, what she’s up to and know her own struggles. Thats what makes her human.

I do not have a Patreon page, I have a Website/Blog. If I have a fan who wants to stay in touch, keep up with what’s going on in my world, then this “newsletter” is about the best thing I can offer them at this point. Maybe this changes down the road, I can’t say. For now, this is my avenue to offer a closer glimpse at me, as a person, as an artist making art of all sorts, as a working artist that’s not just images or tweets that reveal…well what exactly? On Instagram there may be peeks inside my home and into my basset obsession, but not necessarily my inner thoughts. Perhaps that will increase, perhaps I’ll share more, like Amanda does and direct you onward to my blog.

Logo

I don’t think author logos are highly prized at the moment, not unless you’ve sold tons of copies of tons of books. More or less I’m looking at the logo as another form of branding. Kind of like keeping your author photo the same across all social and publishing avenues. It makes you recognizable. I think a logo, or whatever we want to call it, is just another way to let people know it’s you. Also, what you write. So I write fantasy mostly, with that strange little dive into horror. Sci-fi/Fantasy, Romantic/Fantasy, that’s kind of my jam. Mostly, this is going to be used on my website and across the tops of my soon to be launched newsletters. Anyway, here it is:

logo, banner, author, writing, writer

I think there will be a few tweaks, but I like it overall. And I think I’ll stop fussing too much over it as I’m not some bestselling writer yet and this looks like what I write. To me anyway. So, yeah, if you want to sign up, the newsletters will start soon, I’m still planning them out and really looking at what I want out of them as much as what those signing up might want out of them.

If you do sign up and have any thoughts as the newsletters move on, don’t ever hesitate to express those thoughts. All of this is a learn as I go basis and I can’t learn if no one tells me anything. Also, as an indie author it’s the people and readers who really make everything turn. By your support and feedback I can improve not only my social avenues but my writing.

Thanks ahead of time for all comments or reads! I really appreciate it!

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