I’m inspired today to just (briefly) talk to my fellow readers, and any authors who might be interested, about the phenomenon of author newsletters via email. I feel I am qualified to say a few words on the subject as I currently receive upwards of 100 of these a day and make the effort to at least glance at every single one!
During this process I have learnt a lot about how authors work to hook in readers who will enjoy their work (and how hard they work! I hadn’t realised that marketing your book is more effort than writing it!). And I’ve also learnt about what works on me.
You can get access to the abundant riches of author newsletters via their individual websites, or by using free book sites like Instafreebie and BookBub, which are just the two I use most frequently (there are LOADS). Choosing free ebooks from these sites usually involves signing up to the author newsletters, and the most important thing I’ve found is that EVERY author then tends to hook you up with more free books and offers that they participate in or find out about, so in theory you never have to buy a book again! (Although if you do choose this path, please consider leaving reviews for the books you read so the authors get some recompense for their generosity).
So that’s the first tip: author newsletters tend to be stuffed with things like this:
Which is lovely, and they already have my undying gratitude for my overloaded Kindle!
But what actually makes me BUY their books?
I have recently voluntarily purchased, with my very own money, books by three authors who were previously unknown to me, based solely on their newsletter tactics. I thought I would share these authors with you, and the reasons why I bought their work.
(There are loads of other excellent authors / newsletters I receive which I can tell you about at a later date if anyone is interested, but for now I’ll start with the three I bought this week!)
1. Jamie Brindle. I have Tweeted about Jamie’s newsletters before, but his is the first ‘not previously known’ author whose book I have bought solely based on the merits of his newsletters, and his other books are now on my ever-increasing Christmas wish list.
What you get:
In every newsletter you get an illustrated sample of Jamie’s writing. Sometimes it’s a short story, or a poem, or a ‘Tiny story’, but each newsletter gives you a taste of his style, tone and content.
It only took a few of these for me to get out my Amazon account and treat myself to one of his short story collections (this one). It was an easy decision because I already KNEW I would like his writing, thanks to his newsletters.
You can sign up for Jamie’s mailing list here.
2. Kathi Daley. Kathi writes ‘cosy’ mysteries, and her email newsletter is the ‘Daley Weekly’, which I liked immediately.
Kathi’s email newsletters contain the usual bits about what she’s been up to / working on, some lovely pictures, and the familiar links to freebies and giveaways, but she also does something I haven’t yet seen from any other authors…she sets mini murder mysteries for her subscribers to solve!
Sometimes it is a tiny story outlining the circumstances of death and a handful of suspects, for solving in one go:
Other times it is a weeks-long logic problem:
Both piqued my interest enough to play and respond, and eventually I was so hooked on solving the mini mysteries that I went ahead and paid for one of her many, many full length novel ones (this one).
You can sign up to The Daley Weekly here.
3. Tony Bertauski. Tony writes sci-fi and urban fantasy novels and has multiple box sets available. Like many authors he offers some of his books free, in the hope that if you like the free one you might go ahead and buy some more.
In his case this has totally worked on me!
His first email offered a free copy of the first of one his many series:
Subsequent newsletters then offered the first in each of his other series sets, so potential readers are able to get a taste of the variety of writing he has on offer.
Personally I read Maze, the first few chapters of Claus, and was partway through Seeds of Foreverland when I just went ahead and ordered one box set (this one) and added every other box set he has to my Christmas list. Again, it was a no-brainer because I knew I would like them.
You can sign up and grab Tony’s starter pack here.
If you’re anything like me, and find you are shortly deluged with emails due to an overenthusiastic sign up splurge, you can go ahead and unsubscribe from any author emails at any time. There is always a handy ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email, and there are no hard feelings: the authors want to reach people who enjoy and engage with their work, they don’t want to spam you to death!
This is merely a teeny glimpse into the magical world of new books and authors out there waiting to connect with you and become your next favourite. My advice is to get out there and dabble with as much as possible and you are bound to find something to catch your interest.
And of course, read my blog to see what caught mine!