Every email I send includes an invitation to subscribe to my author newsletter. I have amassed a pleasing number of subscribers, and I appreciate every single one of them. But I have no idea what to do with them.
I get the idea of sending out newsletters to people who are interested in my books and, I guess, in me. But I rarely publish newsletters because I don’t know what to say. I mean, let’s face it, a self- aggrandizing look-at-my-shining-new-book email is not exactly an engaging communication. It’s self-promotion. And there’s a place for that.
But I think a newsletter should be something people find informative, interesting and engaging. This is where things fall apart for me. I recently broke a toe. It hurt like the dickens, my foot swelled to the point that I had to wear one of those stupid boots, and now it’s getting better. That was very much the focus of my attention for a couple of weeks, but do people want to read about that? They have their own problems, after all, and many of them would trade theirs for the relative nuisance of my hurts-like-hell fractured toe.
My wife and I are building our dream home in West Virginia. That’s interesting to us, but the books I write are all about heroics and high stakes. Is the new house interesting for others to read in a newsletter from a guy who writes thrillers?
Dear TKZ family, this blog post is all about your comments. What would you like to see in an author newsletter? Not necessarily mine in particular, but in the larger sense? First-time authors and decades-long veterans are all seeking to grab the attention of readers, but I think it’s destructive to bang one’s own bell continuously. So, where’s the balance? What would you like to see? Are there any author newsletters that you think knock it out of the park? If so, share the links.
On the flip side, what kind of newsletter sends you straight to the mark as spam button? (No need to share those links.)