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How important is an author newsletter?

All of the book marketing professionals I follow emphasize that creating a newsletter should be a very high priority for authors.


The pros say part of the reason a newsletter is so important for authors is because it's the only mechanism that allows authors to connect individually with all their followers on a regular basis.


Websites don't do that, but they make great “storefronts” for authors.


Blogs don't do that, but blog posts stimulate search engine algorithms.


Social media doesn't do that, although it’s pretty good for brand awareness.


Newsletters also capture statistical information about which individual newsletter subscribers are reading what type of newsletter content. And that allows authors to improve the content to connect with more followers.


The best book I've ever read about newsletters is Newsletter Ninja by Tammi L. Labrecque. The home page of her website has a bullet list of the benefits of using author newsletters, and it has links to sign up for her newsletter and the free "Rock Solid Foundation" course she teaches online. (I'm one of her newest students.)


The marketing folks Reedsy have a detailed blog post about the importance of a newsletter and how to get started. They even offer a free online course.


Tim Grahl, who has helped Hugh Howey and others, says THE #1 GOAL FOR EVERY AUTHOR IS TO GROW AN EMAIL LIST. In one newsletter, he shared his technique on how to get the first 100 subscribers.


What kind of results do newsletters produce for authors? David Wogahn is my digital publishing guru, and his company formatted the award-winning eBook version of Abraham Lincoln and Mexico that I edited. One of his recent newsletters had a Q&A interview discussing how one of his clients used email marketing once a month for eight months during the COVID-19 pandemic to help launch her latest book.


What are the best Email Marketing Services (EMS) of 2021? The folks at EmailToolTester posted this analysis in September of 2021. For my newsletter "Cats and Dogs and Books," I'm using MailerLite so I can learn about its capabilities before recommending it to authors who don't have newsletters. For a newsletter I've managed since 2016 to help promote the Lincoln book, and which has more than 700 subscribers, I use MailChimp.


To summarize: 1) Book marketing pros say creating and maintaining a newsletter is a high priority, and 2) a least one case study shows an author newsletter can produce significant results. So, why are many authors reluctant to create and use newsletters? I have some insights, which I'll share in a future newsletter. Sign up now so you won't miss it...


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