Thursday, September 2, 2010

Newsletter Help

With the release date of The Tapestry Shop coming ever closer, I’ve had to jockey my time between writing, and getting the word out about my book. My readers may find today’s blog helpful, as most of us have something we’d like to share, from time to time, with either friends, family, a social group, or perhaps members of your church or book club or P.T.A. For authors, marketing has become a fact of life, like it or not, and we all must look for ways to let our readers know about our newest story, methods that won’t suck up precious writing time, and won’t strain the budget.

Any element of marketing may work for some and not for others, but I thought I’d share with you something I learned this week. If, like me, you don’t know html, I’ve found a solution. I was looking for a template for a newsletter, and ran across a site that compares the Top 10 sites, rather like a Consumer Guide for email services. 
To my surprise, among those top 10, I found one that for $8 a month, will keep your email lists in groups (alumni, RWA friends, etc.) so you can send a personalized newsletter to one group or all. After they send your newsletter out, you can cancel the service until you need to send something again, and you’re not charged for those months. However, your lists are still there, and you can add names or delete them during those cancelled months.

I signed up for the free trial, and during this time, they helped me bring the look of my website to my proposed newsletter. Thus, I have an original design that matches the feel and theme I wanted. But that’s not all. They have a free webform you can put on your website so people can sign up to receive your newsletter (you can also put it on Twitter or FB or wherever). They have instant Chat help, and even made a quick video to show me how to do something. So now I have my newsletter parked on their site until I’m ready to send it out. You can publish your newsletter on the web, too. Your lists can be imported from spread sheets or CSV files so you don’t have to type all your contacts in, or laboriously copy/paste. There are other sites out there that I’m sure do the same thing, but I chose Mad Mimi, and am having fun designing my own newsletter.


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Joyce,

I get quite a few newsletters each week and look forward to reading them. Many offer info about where to submit writing. I find it helpful. Good luck with yours!

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Very informative post, Joyce. I'm certain many who read your blog will find it helpful. I know I did.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Jacqueline: Yes, I want to get news in a newsletter, or learn something new about the author, as opposed to it being a sales sheet. Thanks for stopping by.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Loretta: Glad you found it useful. For myself, I'm always looking for new ideas. Also, lots of people send Christmas newsletters and club announcements. I'm always open to anything to simplify my life, so I wanted to share.

Terry Odell said...

Good post. I've never done a newsletter, but have been toying with one. It's a tough decision, because 90% of the time I delete the ones I get after a very quick scan. I don't think I've ever bought a book based on an author's newsletter. I also don't have any real contacts to send them to--maybe 200 names, so I just send a quick email when I have a new release or a new contract with clickable links. I'm actually more likely to read an email than a newsletter.

But ... this is all biased because I see things from the author's perspective now, and don't know how I'd feel about it if I were strictly a reader.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Terry: I agree, newsletters must offer the reader something they want to know or they'll get deleted, and quickly. Actually, my newsletter won't go to authors so much as old friends, hi school chums, etc. who have asked for it. They want to keep in touch and know what people they know are doing, so it's really geared to readers, or maybe potential authors.

Kathy Otten said...

I just started a newsletter, and I'm still pondering the content. I'm hoping it will help sales and give me some idea of my fan base since I don't have a blog yet. I had a contest in my first one, but no one played. Makes me wonder if it's worth it.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Hi Kathy: I clicked to see your website but couldn't find one. From what I've heard, at workshops and such, a newsletter has to carry some other information too. I'm surprised, though, that no one entered your contest. On a blog, an offer of a prize always draws people. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with your newsletter.