Thursday, January 11, 2018

Newsletters by Terri Weldon

I’ve been meaning to write a newsletter to promote my books and to get to know my readers for quite some time. Well, all my good intentions didn’t cut it. No newsletter. 

I subscribed to numerous author newsletters and watched as one writer friend after another produced a fantastic product. I kept telling myself I needed to do the same. 

So finally I plopped my backend in a chair and got busy. Things were going well and much faster than I expected. I could handle this. When I finished I printed it out and took it to the person I trusted to give me an honest opinion. She did. Didn’t like it and thought it looked unprofessional. Ouch! Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful she told the truth. The last thing I wanted to do was send out an unprofessional newsletter that would cause readers to want nothing to do with my books, thinking they might read as poorly as my newsletter.

So I went back to the drawing board. It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to produce a product I was satisfied with. And guess what I discovered? There were still a ton of things I didn’t understand. 

If you have plans to start a newsletter I’ve got several suggestions for you:

1. Subscribe to numerous newsletters.
2. Choose a mix of authors you read and authors you don’t read.
3. Read their newsletters voraciously and see what makes the author seem real to you.
4. What did they include that made them seem fun? This is why it is important to read some from authors you aren’t familiar with.
5. What about their newsletter would make you want to read their books?

Now on to creating your newsletter:

1. Choose which automation service you’re going to use and sign up and familiarize yourself with the program. I didn’t do this first and as a result wasted a great deal of time.
2. Decide how often you plan on producing a newsletter – monthly or quarterly.
3. Use social media or whatever platform you choose to start your list of subscribers.
4. Determine how much of yourself you want to share publically.
5. Create the best newsletter you possibly can.

Okay, I’ve probably oversimplified the process. But hopefully you’ve gained a little insight into creating a newsletter. 

If you’re a writer and can offer some tips I’d love to hear them. If you’re a reader please leave a comment and let me know what you like to see in a newsletter. 

And finally, shameless plug, go to www.terriweldon.com and sign up for my newsletter. If all goes well it debuts next week!

The Matchmakers Anthology

A Match Made in Sheffield (Book Two by Terri Weldon)

Nalie Benton bounced from one foster home to another until she landed on Ellie Alexander’s doorstep. Natalie’s vagabond childhood caused her to yearn for a secure life, which led to Natalie’s five-year plan: complete her law degree, marry the perfect man, become a partner at Montgomery, Haynes, and Preston, and produce one child. Getting arrested wasn’t in Natalie’s plan. Needing a public defender wasn’t in her plan. Falling for Grady Hunter, her public defender, definitely wasn’t in her plan. Can Grady convince Natalie there is more to life than her five-year plan? Is Ellie the only one who sees a future for Natalie and Grady?

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an award winning author by night. Her novella The Christmas Bride Wore Boots won the best novella category in the 2016 Lyra Awards. She enjoys traveling, gardening, reading, spending time with her family, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in the Heartland of the United States. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and RWA. She is a member of the Seriously Write Team (www.seriouslywrite.blogspot.com). Readers can connect with Terri at www.terriweldon.com


 
 

































16 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, Terri! I am going to have to get on the ball and create a newsletter as well. Thanks for the inspiration to do so! I've signed up for your newsletter and can't wait to see it!

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    1. Sally, I bet you'll do much better than me. Thanks for signing up!

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  2. I think I signed up a week or two ago, Terri, and looking forward to studying YOUR newsletter. :) I agree that reading others is critical to deciding how to set up your own.

    I send mine quarterly, because I'm concerned about bugging my subscribers, but I've read time and again that they should go out more frequently. Then last night, I saw a post that talked about readers becoming fatigued with all the newsletters they receive and open rates are going down. It's a crazy business.

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    1. Sandy, thanks for signing up! My plan is to send it out next week. Like you my plan is to send one out quarterly.

      And this is a crazy business. I don't know about you but I always feel like I'm running just to stay halfway caught up.

      Delete
  3. Oh, man ... I understand! I decided to send out a newsletter about every 2-3 months, depending on what I have going on. I include some familiar pieces - like book recommendations and a favorite recipe. I try not to sell, sell, sell - but I talk about my books and try to offer information or sales that will interest or benefit the reader. I think it's important to not have them too long - and because I'm a visual person, I like including graphics or photos. I think readers like a little bit of personal stuff so they can get to know us better, but it needs to be balanced.

    I find it difficult to build my list. I offer a free short story for subscribers. I've included that info in the front of and back of my books. I've also done some joint stuff with other authors. But, it's still tough.

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    1. Dawn, building a list is tough! I have friends who've had success with newsletter swaps.

      Your newsletter ideas sound interesting. And it's important not to just sell, sell, sell. This should be for the reader.

      Recipes are big, but I'm an awful cook so that lets me out. I like pictures - they help me feel like I know the author.

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    2. And I'm so glad you mentioned your newsletter! I signed up.

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  4. What a fun post Terri! I’m a reader - not a writer - but I do read a lot of author’s newsletters. Things I like - news/dates about upcoming releases, pictures and tidbits about what the author enjoys. Good luck on your newsletter! Blessings!

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    1. Hey, Loves to Read, thanks for commenting. I definitely enjoy getting a reader’s perspective. I plan on including a few of the things you mentioned in my newsletter.

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  5. Terri, I'll sign up for your newsletter. Looking forward to it.

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    1. Christina, thanks for signing up. You’re one of the people who inspired me!

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  6. Great information, Terri! I’m a reader/writer thinking about doing a newsletter. I subscribe to some (and signed up for your), but will take your advice to receive more to study. Since I seem to have limited time, I tend to like (and read) the shorter ones. Your quarterly schedule sounds about right, with occasional pop-up ones for some new information, Did you find a service which doesn’t require a physical address be shown on the letter? I’m hesitant to give my address, but I don’t want the expense or hassle of a PO Box. Thanks and good luck with your efforts! Looking forward to your first author newsletter!

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    1. Hi Sherida, thanks for signing up for my newsletter.

      Unfortunately I didn't find one that doesn't require an address. I'm going to use s P.O. Box. I wish they'd just let you leave that info off. If I find a way to do that I'll let you know.

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  7. Hullo Terri! can't wait to see your newsletter! I'm putting mine on my blog until i can get through the tutorial to automate it! yeeps! i subscribe to several and they're as varied as the authors who produce them! happy to add your name to the list!

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    1. Hey, Robin, thanks for subscribing! Isn't all this information hard to learn? Good luck with automating yours.

      I love all the different things people include in their newsletters. So fun!

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  8. Spot on advice. I signed up and can't wait for your newsletter. I do admit to hating the BUY BUY BUY newsletters with nothing else. Buy is good but come one share some fun with me. I want to be entertained too.

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