Monday, October 5, 2020

Don’t Underestimate the Value of Your Newsletter By Cynthia Herron

 

Cynthia Herron

Part of an author's platform is having a newsletter that goes out regularly to our readers. But where to start? Fellow Mountain Brook Ink author, Cynthia Herron, is here today with some tips to get you started and help you build momentum and a following. Read on! ~ Annette

Dear writers, do the words “author newsletter” strike fear in your heart?

Depends who you ask, of course. To our readers, we certainly hope not! We love you. We want you to love us, too. We hope you enjoy hearing from us.

To my writing friends who tremble at the mere thought of adding yet another thing to your must-do list—no worries.

I’ll admit, when I started my newsletter several years ago, I really didn’t have a clue what to do or where to start.

I just knew, pre-published or not, that building relationships and fostering those relationships seemed to make sense.

• I loved to create.

• I loved to encourage.

• I loved to motivate.

• I loved to share good things.

I also hoped to eventually chat about my books. But it all started with relationship first.

I’m so glad I nailed that early.

Until we care, others won’t share.

Is your newsletter’s sole purpose to market? *a-hem* Best to step ten paces back and rethink that. You may have missed the point of having a newsletter.

Sure, authors hope to connect with readers. We hope readers will buy our books and share our books with others. That’s one reason to have an author newsletter. As with any career, we must make a living. To be successful at what we do, we must write and sell books. No shame in that.

Still, if all we do is “market,” we dilute our intended message. We devalue our readers.

As I mentioned in this blog post Does a Newsletter Scare You? Five Ways to Rock It! our newsletters aren’t all about us.

By now, we get that, right?

Why, then, are newsletters important?

• Newsletters bring value to the table.

• Newsletters communicate concern for our readers.

• Newsletters multiply good thoughts!

• They make others’ lives better.

• They offer something that can’t be found elsewhere.

• They say I like you.

We don’t have to be like Annie Author and share similar content.

That’s not why readers subscribe to author newsletters. Readers crave variety. They also want to feel like an author’s content is specifically geared toward them—and what they (our newsletter family members) care about.

Copying Annie Author’s style, format, and content won’t score brownie points. Again, that dilutes an author’s message, brand, and art.

Don’t be that author.

Sail your own ship.

Create content that matters to your readers and does something for them. Whether that’s sharing a favorite recipe, a time-saving tip, or an encouraging story, offer something uniquely you. Maybe toss in a cute kitty pic and a book recommendation. Share your book news. Offer a monthly giveaway for newsletter subscribers only.

Remember, we expand our reach by “growing” others first. Paying it forward always mushrooms.

We don’t jump on the bandwagon because it seems like the thing to do or because everyone else is doing it.

Again, creating something new, uniquely you, will generate interest in what you have to offer.

Folks will ditch fake, but a genuine heart resonates.

Now, something to keep in mind. In addition to word of mouth, newsletters are authors’ most influential calling card. They carry far more weight than an update on a platform that we don’t own—updates that eventually gets lost in the vast social media abyss.

As we continue carving out our paths in today’s writing world, a reader-driven newsletter can’t be underestimated.

What do you like about newsletters?

Anything that causes you anxiety?

Questions/Comments?

"Until we care, others won’t share." @c_herronauthor #writingcraft #authornewsletter #authorlife

~~~~~ 
 
His Love Revealed

Will revelations of the past hijack their future?

Since childhood, Ida Mae Hoscutt, the beloved proprietress of the Come and Get It Diner, has loved Charles “Chuck” Farrow from afar. Now on the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday with no marriage proposal in sight, Ida Mae mourns past mistakes and contemplates a makeover. When a radio commercial wrenches Ida Mae’s heart, will a sudden turn of events sabotage her chance for happiness or will a long-held secret be the answer to love ever-after?

As Ida Mae’s right-hand man at the Come and Get It, Chuck yearns to shift gears and start over. He’s ready to shelve bachelorhood and blunders in favor of possibilities and new beginnings. When he prepares to move forward, two things challenge his objective. One is the father who walked away and never looked back. The other? A decades-old question that only Ida Mae can answer.

And Ida Mae isn’t talking.

~~~~~


Cynthia Herron writes "Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction" from the beautiful Ozark Mountains. A hopeless romantic at heart, she enjoys penning stories about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. Her Hope Discovered, her debut novel and the first in a three-book series, released December 2018 with Mountain Brook Ink.

Cindy loves to connect with friends at her online home. She also hangs out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

For love, fun, and encouragement, sign up for Cindy’s monthly e-NEWSLETTERS

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your tips, Cynthia! I've been using an author newsletter for about 6 years, and I send out an average of 6 letters a year.

    It did feel a bit daunting at first, but once I established a template and the type of info I wanted to include, it got easier. It does take time, but now I enjoy creating the letters.

    I try to share some encouragement and a little bit of chit-chat, but I don't make any segments lengthy. I think visuals are important, so I include a few pretty or personal photos.

    Besides writing about what's going on with my own books, I also include a book recommendation and a favorite recipe. I occasionally get an email response from newsletter readers, and that always feels gratifying, whether it's a comment on my books or they're interested in trying the shared recipe.

    Although I don't have a huge list of subscribers, I hope those who do receive the letters enjoy them.

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    1. Dawn, it sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with your newsletter! Like you, I've sent out newsletters about six or so years, and I try to share wit, wisdom, humor, and slice-of-life vignettes. I love the creative aspect and the sense of "community" that newsletters afford. It's taken a while, but I've honed my content and colors to my brand so readers know what to expect.

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  2. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, Cynthia. My newsletter is one of my biggest challenges but mainly because of everything else that's calling me. :-) I actually enjoy the process, but carving out the time is the challenge. Plus, coming up with something fresh each time.

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    1. Linda, yes, newsletters are a definite labor of love. Years ago, I created a personal template with my brand and colors and that does make the creative process go quicker, but it still takes time. A time-saving trick for me is to work on my newsletter a little each week, so when it's time to send it out, a lot of the work is already done.

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  3. Hi Cynthia! Thanks so much for sharing this great post with us today - - I so agree with what you said. :)
    I will also confess that I don't yet have a newsletter (*GASP*) but that is my next project. I have my personal blog and a pretty active Facebook Author page, but still need a newsletter. Thanks for the inspiration today! :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, I so understand having multiple projects on our plates. Carving out time is a juggling act, sometimes. The thing is -- newsletters are our own creative medium not owned by another party that can go away on a whim. Having a personal platform other than FB, Twitter, etc. (which are always changing their algorithms) assures us our voice won't get lost in the vast social media abyss. Author blogs and newsletters are great ways to communicate with our readers.

      Hugs back!

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  4. Thanks for visiting with this helpful post, Cynthia! You're so right about caring for our readers and newsletters being a primary way to connect with them. Thanks again!

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    1. My pleasure, Annette! Thank you for hosting me!

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  5. I love your newsletters and your stories. :-) "His Love Revealed" is a wonderful story.

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    1. Melissa, I'm so happy you enjoy my monthly newsletters! And I'm delighted that His Love Revealed struck a chord. You are such an encourager! xo

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  6. You do such a great job with your newsletters, Cynthia! I always enjoy them.

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  7. Helpful guidance, Cynthia. Thanks much.

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