The Advantages of a Newsletter

Who doesn’t know that old adage, “if a tree falls in the forest, but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Well, for writers, often when a new story or novel comes out, this becomes more than a philosophical thought experiment—it becomes a very real concern. It’s heartbreaking when something you’ve put so much time and effort into surges out into the world, only to disappear into the abyss of social media. Twitter flies by at the speed of light, so unless you spam your feed, or you have a posse of re-tweeters, people can miss what you have to say. And Facebook… who knows how or why anyone sees anything on Facebook?

Of course, you can (and should!) blog about any new releases, but not all readers check your blog every day, unless they have a reader, or you’re George R.R. Martin and people really do check your LJ constantly. And, if you blog regularly, by the time the people who want to know about your new story or novel come to your blog you might have posted a new recipe, your latest cosplay design, or a review of a friend’s book.

Never fear—there is a valuable tool out there for writers who want to keep their readers informed about their publications. It’s a newsletter. Yep, a newsletter—you read that right! But not a paper ‘zine, like you used to make in the 90s. No, an email newsletter your fans can sign up for, delivered right to their inbox when you want it there. People may not check your blog every day, but they check their email frequently, so it’ll be just as current as a Facebook post, and more likely to reach their eyes as soon as possible.

Opt-in marketing is one of the best strategies out there for keeping people up to date (and inspiring purchases). A newsletter isn’t spam—it’s something your readers want to see. They signed up for it, after all!

Clockpunk Studios has tools to create a newsletter sign-up for your website. We use a plugin that creates a sign-up window, in the form of an unobtrusive banner at the top of your site (but there are other options too). We suggest our clients use Mailchimp, which is free for under 2000 subscribers.

If you think a newsletter sounds like a lot of work, keep in mind that a once-monthly roundup of your writerly news is plenty. You can document any publications, with helpful buy links, but keep in mind your readers are curious about who you are, not just what you do! They love to hear about your adventures, even if it’s just that you found a new coffee shop to write at, or visited an inspiring art exhibition. A newsletter can also help you cross-promote. If your writer friends have something new out that your fans are sure to love—let them know! Generating some good karma never hurts when it comes to publishing.

Interested in getting yourself an exciting new website, with built-in functions to help you generate a newsletter to keep your fans informed? Contact us today!

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