Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Share Your News! by Ann H. Gabhart

A popular marketing tool for writers is issuing a newsletter through email subscriptions. I asked author Ann Gabhart to share her experience with this way of reaching her readers. -- Sandy

Ann: Somebody once called me a storyteller. I loved that, but to make a story circle complete, a storyteller needs readers. So how do you get readers to discover your book in the great flood of books published every year? Jump up and down waving a copy of your book in your hand? That might work for your neighbor, but you want thousands of neighbors when you’re waving that new book around. So you climb aboard the internet.   

I’ve been writing for years, but I didn’t venture into the world of social media until after I published my first Christian novel, Scent of Lilacs, in 2005. Facebook. Twitter. Newsletters. I’ve done all those, but writing a newsletter sounded like the most fun because I enjoy talking to people in person and on paper. My starter list of friends and readers wasn’t very long, so I began signing up more readers at book events.

At first, I used my own e-mail until somebody pointed out the rules for sending news updates. Rules? For writing letters? But it turns out you can’t just send anybody a newsletter. They have to sign-up in person or on-line that they want your newsletter to land in their e-mail boxes. So to stay on the right side of spam rules, I found a newsletter service. I put a sign-up link on my website and Facebook page. Then I grew my list more through giveaways that stated contest entries were also a sign-up for my newsletter.

Having names isn’t enough. I need to make these new friends want to read my “letter.” It’s a given that you need entertaining content or some great offers. I use a mix of down home news and book news. My newsletter friends get the bonus of first knowledge of a giveaway or information about free e-book downloads. In hopes of keeping my mailing from being marked spam, I put “how to unsubscribe” at the beginning. I don’t want to be in their e-mail box if they don’t want me there. But I do have many readers who like getting my news. After sending one out, I set aside time to read and answer the responses I get. That shows I appreciate them reading my letter. Plus, I often ask readers entering my giveaway contests to share a story with me. Since my recent giveaway was during my birthday month, I requested memories of special birthday celebrations. I am always touched by the stories shared with me.

So while my newsletter isn’t the average author’s newsletter (we never like to think we’re average, do we?) and it breaks some of the rules for a successful newsletter, it works for me. I get to know my readers better as we share stories and books. 

Here’s a link to a recent newsletter.

Happy writing!! 

Do you have an author newsletter? Do you subscribe to other authors’ newsletters? What do you like about them?  


ANN H. GABHART, the author of several bestselling novels, has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. She’s published twenty-six novels for adults and young adults with more stories on the way. She keeps her keyboard warm out on a farm in Kentucky where she lives with her husband, Darrell. They have three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit Check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, or follow her on Facebook, , Twitter,, or Pinterest,