We’ve talked before about the advantages of a newsletter, but it never hurts to remind people of easy things they can do to effectively promote themselves. One of the most common questions we’re asked, either when talking to new clients, or when we go to cons, is “What are some results-oriented ways of promoting myself and my writing?” Well, of course there’s no magic bullet, and if everybody knew how to do it, there would be helpful online guides with specific instructions. The truth of the matter is, no one’s entirely sure what works and what doesn’t, at least not across the board. But, there are some things that have been proven to be more effective than others, and a newsletter is one of them.
Social media promotions are a minefield. Tweet too much about your new releases, and people unfollow you because you’re annoying. Never tweet about anything, and people may scroll past when you do have something to say. Pay to promote your account… who can say? And Facebook is another kind of mess. Sure, you can pay for posts, that maybe more people will see, but the fact that it’s an ad may counteract its visibility with resentment.
Sure, social media is “opt-in marketing” insofar that people choose whether or not to follow or friend you, but using it as a self-promotion engine may actually generate hostility towards you. No one likes a writer who immediately sends a request that you like his or her author/book/fan/whatever page after you become friends. That’s bad manners, and you may find that people opt-out just as quickly as they opt-in.
Blogs are often better for longer self-promotion, in that you can get into why people ought to buy your stuff. But, how many people read your blog? Sure, if you’re Chuck Wendig or John Scalzi, you have a built-in audience… but when you’ve reached that level, people are just going to buy your stuff.
For those of us who aren’t yet mega-stars, a newsletter is one of the most effective ways of generating interest in your work, and much-coveted sales. A newsletter is quintessential opt-in marketing—people literally choose to sign up for it, or not. Those who do sign up for it are interested in your work. They want to know when you have a new book, short story, chapbook, anthology, whatever. And they don’t have to remember to check your blog, scroll through your specific social media outlets, or go to Amazon to see what’s up. No, a newsletter is delivered right to their email inbox, so they see it right when they wake up, before they go to bed, or as a pleasant surprise (AKA distraction) while at work.
Unlike irritating your social media followers by trumpeting “buy my book!” until you burn out, a newsletter is a succinct, elegant method of delivering the good news that you have something new to people who want to know. A newsletter isn’t spam, it’s a way of supplying readers with helpful knowledge about what you have to offer.
Clockpunk Studios has developed a plugin that generates an unobtrusive sign-up window across your blog’s banner (or wherever you want it). This will allow your readers to sign up and get access to a newsletter you can write as often or as infrequently as you choose. We pair this plugin with the suggestion that you use MailChimp, which is free for any newsletters under 2000 subscribers.
We know that as a writer, you’re busy… and a newsletter might sound like more work than it’s worth, but we assure you—that is not the case. Trust us, everyone here at Clockpunk Studios has had the experience of talking to someone who likes our work, and mentioning some story or other, when the person exclaims “I didn’t even know your story was in that anthology” or “you mean you had a collection out last year?” A newsletter prevents that sort of ignorance on behalf of your readership. They’ll know about it when you tell them. Even if you’re busy, it pays to let people know what you’re up to. Why put all that work into a story or novel or article only to have it sink like a stone?
Interested in getting yourself a newsletter to keep your fans informed? Contact us today!