Posted on 05/13/2022 at 02:52 PM by Guest Author

If you’re struggling to maintain your subscribers’ interest, don’t worry. You’re not the first. Discover some author newsletter ideas to keep readers engaged. 

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The Truth About Having an Author Newsletter

Chances are, you already know how valuable an author newsletter can be. It allows you to nurture relationships with readers and grow your fan base.

Moreover, it gives you the chance to speak to and, eventually, promote to a captive audience. After all, when people sign up for your newsletter, they permit you to take up space in their inbox. That shows they have a lot of trust and interest in you. 

When you combine all that with the fact your email list is a marketing resource you own (unlike social media), it’s clear that a newsletter is well worth the effort. 

But the truth is that having an author newsletter isn’t easy. And we’re not just talking about getting people to sign up. It’s keeping readers engaged month after month that many authors find challenging.

Here are some of the most common problems/concerns that come up and ways to address them:

There’s a lot of temptation to focus on selling instead of inspiring and educating.

No rule says you can never use your newsletter to sell books. Including a brief blurb and CTA (call-to-action) button at the bottom of your newsletter is perfectly fine. And you may want to dedicate a special issue to promoting a new release before it comes out.

But when the entirety of every issue is pushing for subscribers to buy, they won’t see any value in it and opt out. So, it’s important to focus primarily on providing valuable content that inspires, educates, entertains, and engages them.  

It can be tough to find the time to put together a newsletter every month.

If you decide to have an author newsletter, you need to commit to it. Block out a chunk of time every week, month, etc., to work on creating and sending out your newsletter. The good news is that once you have a template down, you’ll be able to produce new issues much faster. 

There’s often a fear that people on your list will get annoyed with you. 

People subscribe to your list because they want to hear from you. They expect to see messages from you in their inbox. Unless you frame your newsletter as a sales pitch or go overboard with the frequency, they’ll probably look forward to receiving each issue.  

It can be discouraging to see people unsubscribe and drop off your list. 

The fact is that no matter how great your newsletter is, some people will eventually unsubscribe. And that’s okay! It just means that those who aren’t really interested are weeding themselves out. Those left are more likely to become fans if they aren’t already. 

Of course, if you see a lot of drop-offs, you may want to check that you’re not making any mistakes that could cause readers to unsubscribe

Trying to develop fresh, interesting content each month can be difficult.

Finally — the problem that brought you here. There’s no question that coming up with fresh content regularly can be difficult.

But there are plenty of author newsletter ideas you can try out, build on, and tailor to fit your needs. And that’s what we’re going to cover next...

9 Author Newsletter Ideas to Try Out

Whether you’ve recently launched your newsletter or just hit a creative block, you’re probably struggling to figure out what to include. You need content that will keep readers engaged. Fortunately, the following author newsletter ideas can help.  

Let’s dive in!

1) Offer Bonus Content Related to Your Book.

If there’s one thing readers love, it’s bonus material. Who doesn’t enjoy getting something extra from a book they’ve read and enjoyed (or plan to read)? That’s why this is at the top of the list for author newsletter ideas. 

The best thing about offering bonus content is that the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t even have to be anything you create from scratch for your newsletter. As long as it relates to your book, your subscribers will likely be thrilled to receive it.

Here are some examples:

  • A chapter you scrapped before publishing

  • A map of where your story takes place

  • A family tree connecting your characters

  • A list of discussion questions for book clubs

  • A profile sheet for each character

  • A prequel or epilogue to your story

  • A playlist inspired by the main character

  • A companion guide (great for nonfiction) 

2) Include a Q&A Portion. 

Having a Q&A section in your newsletter is an excellent way for subscribers to learn more about you and your work. You can create questions yourself, grab a few from social media, or ask those on your list what they want to know.

No matter how you go about it, your subscribers will likely enjoy having a peek into your life as a writer. 

3) Talk About What You’re Reading.

If you’re an author, then you’re probably a reader too. And that’s an interest you know your subscribers share.

So, engage those on your list by talking about what you’re reading that week, month, etc. Tell them what you think of the book so far and why you like or dislike it. It will help build a connection between you and your subscribers.

Plus, it may introduce them to a new author, which they’ll appreciate.

4) Write an Exclusive Article.

The concept of writing a subscriber-only article may not be the most interesting of all author newsletter ideas, but it’s one you should strongly consider. 

Why?

Because when readers sign up for a list, they generally expect to see more than what’s available to everyone. Otherwise, they could just visit your website or follow you on social media. So, prove that subscribing to your newsletter was worthwhile by providing them with an exclusive article. 

The article you write doesn’t have to be particularly long or formal. You could write about a topic you’re an expert in or share a personal anecdote. What matters is that it’s written for subscribers and engages them somehow.  

5) Discuss Relevant News or Events.

If there are any goings-on in the world relevant to you or your work, talk about them. You could even grab a news clip and explain your thoughts on what’s happening. Just be sure to steer clear of any sensitive issues (unless that’s part of your brand). 

6) Share Content from a Fellow Author.

When you’re having a hard time filling up your newsletter, consider enlisting outside help. For example, share content from a fellow author by linking to a blog post from their website or conducting an interview with them. This allows your readers to find new authors and expands your community further.

7) Add a Video.

We all love the written word, but there’s no denying the popularity of video. People spend an average of 6 hours and 48 minutes per week watching online videos. So, if you’re looking for author newsletter ideas that keep readers engaged, this is one you shouldn’t overlook.

Here are some ways to use video in your newsletter:

  • Create a welcome message to new subscribers.

  • Give a brief update on where you are with your latest book.

  • Answer some questions you received from readers.

  • Provide a behind-the-scenes look at your writing space.

  • Film a series on the research you did for your book.

  • Do an informal chat with another author.

  • Share your book trailer

8) Highlight a Quote or Interesting Fact.

Not every piece of your newsletter needs to be a certain length. In fact, smaller bits of information are usually easier to consume. Plus, they can break up text in your newsletter, especially if they’re featured in some way — like a graphic.

So, in your newsletter, consider highlighting a passage from your book, a quote that inspires you, or just an interesting fact that’s relevant.  

9) Send a Fun Survey.

One of the best author newsletter ideas for engaging readers is giving them the chance to share. Applying this to your newsletter can make subscribers feel valued and strengthen your relationship with them. As a bonus, it may give you some inspiration for future newsletter content. 

So, consider sending out a fun survey for subscribers to complete. Ask them what books they like to read, topics they enjoy learning about, hobbies they participate in, etc. Sprinkle in questions related to your work, such as which cover they like best or who their least favorite character is.   

For best results, make sure to...

  • Keep the list of questions short 

  • Provide an easy way to answer (e.g., an embedded form)

  • Space out surveys throughout the year

Takeaway

Creating and maintaining a newsletter isn’t easy. But if you put effort into providing your subscribers with valuable content that educates, inspires, entertains, and engages them, you’ll be more likely to reap great rewards.

So, give the author newsletter ideas above a try. See how you can apply one or more to your next (or first) issue.

Need help growing your own list? Schedule a free ebook promo with The Fussy Librarian and provide readers with a link to sign up!

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