Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Author e-Newsletters for Dummies

... (or, "Where's a book by that title when I need one???")

Myra here. Nearly five years after the publication of my first novel, I finally felt ready to attempt an author newsletter. I decided a quarterly publication schedule would work best for me and sent the first issue out in March. The summer issue went out last weekend.

Since I’m still fairly new and inexperienced when it comes to author newsletters, today let’s talk about what works, what doesn’t, and why anyone would subscribe to an author newsletter in the first place!

As I recently discovered, there are tons of online resources for e-newsletters in general and a few specifically for authors. (Maybe I should have done this research several months ago before launching my own!) Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Basically there are four primary aspects for creating and delivering an effective e-newsletter:
  1. A subscriber base (friends, family, fans).
  2. Interesting content.
  3. Attractive, easy-to-read layout.
  4. Dependable e-newsletter mailing service that suits both your skills and your budget.
Subscribers. With the intention of eventually launching an e-newsletter someday, I started collecting names and e-mail addresses a few years ago using sign-up sheets at book signings. So when I was ready to publish my first issue, I already had 40 or 50 victims . . . er, subscribers. (Close family members were added by default. That’s the price they pay for being related to me.)

In addition, I created a subscription page on my website and posted links on both my Facebook profile and author page. I also announced the upcoming newsletter launch on Twitter and Facebook and gained several new subscribers prior to the newsletter release date.

Content. The number-one piece of advice you’ll find anywhere is to offer subscribers something of value. One source recommends tailoring content so that at least 75% focuses on benefiting the subscriber, leaving only 25% dedicated to promoting yourself or your product.

Obviously, faithful readers want to know about your life as an author, and of course they’re interested in your latest book releases. If you’re speaking or signing at a special event, that’s important news. Anything unique or especially interesting about research for your latest novel is also a great topic.

Readers enjoy more personal glimpses into the lives their favorite authors, but be cautious about what and how much you share about your family or private life. Newsletters can get forwarded who-knows-where, so, as with the Internet in general, use common sense.

Favorite recipes are fun, as are contests, Q&A sections, interesting statistics, and expert advice about something your readers care about.

Layout. Think white space and bullet points! Don’t overwhelm your readers with dense blocks of text. Choose an easy-to-read font, no smaller than 10- or 12-point. Anything sans serif, like Helvetica, Arial, or Trebuchet, works great.

If you choose to use multiple text columns, consider how much scrolling up and down you’ll be asking your reader to do. For a two-column newsletter, I prefer one wider column for the longer articles, with the second, narrower column reserved for short items like table of contents, calendar of events, news tidbits, social networking links, etc.

Photos and graphics add visual interest. Again, though it’s nice to give readers a glimpse into your family life, vacations, leisure time, etc., use discretion.

Newsletter mailing service. A good service will assist you in almost all the areas mentioned above, including maintaining a subscriber database, creating subscription forms you can use on your website or blog, and providing a variety of layout templates to choose from along with other design aids. (Sorry, you have to provide your own content.)

These services usually offer tracking so that you know how many recipients actually opened your newsletter, which addresses bounced, and how many readers clicked on links. The services can also help you avoid breaking any spam rules by making it easy for subscribers to opt in or opt out.

The most popular e-newsletter services include Vertical Response, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and Mad Mimi. Pricing plans vary, so do your research and decide which one best meets your needs.


And now, a few words of advice from Seekers with e-newsletters.

Julie Lessman usually publishes her newsletter two or three times a year and uses the services of AROD Web Design.

Julie says, “I think a newsletter needs to be fun and bold and give a reader more insight and secrets to both you and your books than they can get anywhere else. It should almost be like a personal letter giving favorite friends a glimpse into who you are and connecting with them on a personal level. I always include pix of my reader friends, a new contest, excerpts, pictures of movie stars I envision for my characters, final book covers and sometimes the evolution of a cover from first draft to final.”

Subscribe to Julie’s newsletter here.

Mary Connealy doesn’t have a set schedule but sends out a newsletter with the release of each new novel. Her subscription service is actually a Yahoo Group.

Mary says, “A newsletter should reflect your voice and writing style. I try to make mine fast paced and funny. I have as my goal to be able to do it myself. I've tried a few paid newsletters because they are so much prettier and classier than a Yahoo group but I haven't been able to figure out how to lay them out and I've quit every time I've tried in frustration. I KNOW I could do it, but I just keep QUITTING.”

Subscribe to Mary’s newsletter here.

Cara Lynn James issues her newsletter twice a year. Her newsletters are composed using a template from a Mac program called Pages (part of iWork).

Cara says, “I include a lot of pictures, especially ones that relate to the setting of my newest book. Since I write historicals I like to write something about the setting or era I'm writing about.”

Cara doesn’t use a newsletter hosting service, but you can subscribe at her website here.

Missy Tippens sends out quarterly newsletters with the occasional “special news” edition. She uses Vertical Response as her newsletter service and adds, “I love it!”

Missy says, “Be personal (I love how funny Mary's newsletters are!). Include links to your website, blogs, and your books. Make it short and sweet. Include photos of events or book covers.”

Missy’s subscription info is on her homepage.

As I mentioned, I’ve opted for quarterly issues but would likely send out brief special editions for late-breaking important news. I also use Vertical Response, and you can subscribe to my newsletters here.  Archived versions are also available on this page.

Your turn. How many author newsletters do you subscribe to? What type of content do you most look forward to reading? What turns you off? How often do you prefer to receive mailings from your favorite authors? Any standout newsletters you’d recommend?

If you’re an author with an e-newsletter, what additional advice would you offer? Feel free to include  subscription info in your comment!

Join the conversation today to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my latest release, A Horseman’s Gift, the second novel in my Horsemen of Cross Roads Farm series.

Filipa Beltran is tired . . . sick and tired of living out her parents’ dreams. After years of guitar lessons and the seemingly endless string of part-time jobs to pay for them, Filipa makes a drastic decision to leave New York and the hope of becoming a professional musician behind and return to her hometown, to move forward with her life--on her terms.
 The past year has been nothing short of crazy for Nathan Cross. Once set on becoming a big business mogul, Nathan’s plans derail following his father’s untimely death and his mother’s whirlwind remarriage. Now he’s headed back home to carry on his father’s legacy running an equine therapy program . . . and trusting God to sort out his future.
 When Nathan discovers childhood friend Filipa is also back in town--to stay--he finds it hard to swallow. Maybe she wasn’t the girl he thought, or else she wouldn’t sacrifice everything her parents dreamed of for her. Can Nathan and Filipa find contentment in their God-given gifts?

93 comments:

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, Myra, this blog is a class act, girlfriend, SO well researched and informative!! You sure did your homework, my friend.

I thought it might be fun to show one of my newsletters because my husband is an artist and designs them, so I'm pretty proud of them. If anyone is interested in taking a look, here's the link:

Julie's Newsletter

Hugs,
Julie

Casey said...

Darn, Julie beat me to the first comment.

I LOVE Mary's voice in her newsletter and Julie's always is great with Keith's layout skills.

I don't subscribe to a TON of newsletters and must admit that I don't really read them. I always try and scan them, since I know authors put a lot of time into them. But when it's just recipes and grandkid pics, I tend to just hit delete.

I'm AWFUL aren't I?? It's not for not liking, it's just a matter of time. A good one is hard to find, but awesome when they come along!

Lyndee said...

Wow, Myra, such great nuts and bolts information. Another 'keep and print' column from Seekers! All of you are so generous. Can't thank you enough!

I also want to thank this community for offering prayers for me on the loss of Trinket. Tonight we discovered that my neighbor's dog was also hospitalized Saturday night. The police and Vets believe that both dogs were poisoned with rat poison. It was a malicious crime. Your virtual hugs got me through this day. Thank you. I know that with God our Father, this too shall pass, but it sure is nice to be among caring friends. Blessings.

Tina Radcliffe said...

This is on my to do list.

I guess this is confirmation TO Do has arrived.

Thank you, Myra, I am now only slightly terrified of doing a newsletter.

You aren't awful, Casey. Honest. And we need to hear honest feedback.

Mary Connealy said...

Which reminds me, it's almost time for another newsletter AND I forgot to send one out for the Sophie's Daughters Trilogy when it released.
That's what's know as an 'ID Ten T' error. Or if you don't spell out the number as as word it's an ID10T error.

I make my share of those.

Connie Queen said...

A Newletter?X#$#

I didn't even know authors had those.

I'm not a computer gal. I rarely post anything on Facebook, although I do skim through postings ever couple of days. I'm never on Twitter. Besides Seekerville, there are no other blogs I check out daily. I don't own a Kindle, except we did just buy one for my son for his birthday. My cell phone is one of those cheap ones that is almost impossible to text on. If you text me, I will call you back so we can talk.

Connie

Anonymous said...

I get about six and I try to read the content, but don't always hit everything.

As a writer, I'm not sure I want to do a newsletter. I did them for years some before computer layouts were available, so It' s not the newsletter design that gets me, it would be the time and having enough pithy content.

Tina Pinson

Ausjenny said...

Im subscribed to more than I realise I am subscribed to. I enjoy hearing whats happening and what's coming up. Its a good way to keep the reader (me) informed. I also like when some authors have giveaways. Some have had a chance to name a character or something similar.

(today is a slow day think I did to much yesterday. headache is gone but still dizzy and tired but each day will get better right!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm daunted. This is just what I needed, Myra, a step-by-step because I haven't taken this plunge as yet.

I'm wondering why HORDES OF PEOPLE haven't asked me to jump on this????

:)

Great info. Now I'll feel guilty until I do it.

Or I'll eat more chocolate.

Yeah.

Maybe that.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Casey, you make a good point.

A newsletter should be in the author's voice as stated...

But I like that you shared what didn't work for you. That's huge for any author and if I ever jump into this arena, I'm going to remember those words of wisdom from the young and the beautiful Casey.

I think LaVyrle Spencer (whose work I love) used to write a letter to the reader in the backs of her books, didn't she? With pics of what she and hubby were doing and what was coming up next. I loved that glimpse into her life.

But then it was LaVyrle Spencer and she was righteously awesome!

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, Seekerville! I'm just having breakfast and getting my act together. I'll be back in a bit to chat.

But first, so very, very sorry--and angry!!!!--that some creep is so cruel that he'd poison someone's innocent pets. Lyndee, that just breaks my heart. Praying for you and your neighbors who have been victims of this awful crime.

Debby Giusti said...

Lyndee, how terrible about what happened to Trinket. Continuing to send hugs and support.

Debby Giusti said...

Myra,
Great info. I haven't taken the plunge yet. Perhps your information will spur me on.

Having computer problems today. UGH!

Ganise said...

Myra!
Interesting post, thank you. I enjoyed it. I'm not suscribed to many authors' newsletters. I guess this post got me motivated to check out some more.
Julie Lessman! Wow, what a first. I'm looking foward to seeing what the Queen of Quirks has got for us tomorow! (Yessiree, you should be proud of that man of yours!)

Lyndee..Lord have mercy. Thank God for His grace that gets us through.

Wishing you all the best!

Ganise

Kav said...

I couldn't tell you how many author newsletters I subscribe too. I subscribe when I stumble onto the offer so I get a few now. Just signed up for a few more. Thanks for the links. :-)

As a reader I enjoy the thrill of getting a newsletter from a fav author. Especially enjoy tidbits of research and little extras pertaining to a story. And love being notified when a new book is coming out. As hard as I try to stay on top of things, someone always seems to be sneaking out a new book that I knew nothing about!

And sadly, the final verdict on the Heartsong Presents line of the Reader's Services 'book clubs' is that they are NOT available in Canada. Very frustrating as there are some great authors writing for Heartsong (like Myra) and I was hoping the books would be more readily available up here. I am going to lodge a complaint. Anyone care to join me? :-)

Jan Drexler said...

Here's Myra, leading us all into new, unexplored worlds again...

And I loved your summer issue. It was a great variety of information and not too long to read in a few minutes!

I enjoy reading the newsletters - and I also appreciate that they don't come out too often. Once a quarter, a couple times a year, or when a new book releases is plenty.

I also enjoy it when each newsletter reflects the author. Wouldn't we all be disappointed if Mary's newsletter didn't make us laugh, or if Julie's didn't just bubble?

This post is being filed for future use!

Lyndee, my sympathies, again. Our dog was poisoned 22 years ago, and I still remember the shock and grief at losing him in that way. So sad.

Janet Dean said...

Myra, as always I'm impressed how savvy you are!! Thanks for the great info that I'll file away for the day I take the plunge.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Lyndee, I'm stunned by such cruelty.

Hugs, Janet

Marianne said...

This is coming from a reader, not a writer...and i love your post. i like learning things about the author as it gives some perspective to the novel. i would love to win your novel, Myra. Thanks for the chance.

marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, LYNDEE, my heart is heavy for you over the loss of Trinket. It's never easy to lose a pet, but to lose it this way is heartbreaking and I am praying for you and the other family AND that they catch this unstable person.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

GANISE ... "bubble"??? Or you saying I'm like my brother used to say -- "half a bubble off"??? ;)

Hugs,
JUlie

Cara Lynn James said...

I discovered writing newsletters wasn't the awful chore I thought it would be! My daughter likes to type them up for me and do all the 'difficult work' for me.

Ganise said...

JULIE LESSMAN!! =)
Dang girl, I don't know why, but I'm so excited to see you today!
Bubble? Haha, that made me laugh. wait, was I supposed to? (Whispering) what does half a bubble mean?
*grin* love your one in a million personnality, my friend!

Hugs to everyone else also, you guys are great!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Lyndee, I didn't see this earlier! I'm so stinkin' sorry about this. I cannot imagine the mindset of cruelty that goes with an act like that.

I read about these things and firmly believe that people who deliberately poison pets are one step from turning on humans. They feel so "Justified" in their cruelty.

Grrr.... I'm sending Ruthy hugs your way. Huge ones.

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, had breakfast, changed from jammies to "real" clothes (sort of), and the computer is up and running.

JULIE, you early bird, you! I really envy you for your "artist-in-residence." It would be so nice to turn over the design aspects of this business to a talented guy like that!

CASEY, I really appreciate your thoughts about newsletters! I subscribe to several, myself, and often skim for the content I'm most interested in. I wonder if that's more typical of writers reading other writers' newsletters than it is of genuine reader fans of a particular author.

Myra Johnson said...

TINA, I was terrified about doing a newsletter, too. That's why I put it off all these years. Not to mention my concern about whether readers out there really care about having yet another author newsletter hit their inbox. But I thought if I kept it simple and not too frequent, maybe I'd get (and keep) a few subscribers.

Myra Johnson said...

MARY, you crack me up. As usual. "ID10T"????

CONNIE, I have to admit, I'm in love with technology. Couldn't function without my computer, tablet, and smartphone! However, I draw the line at texting as a means of "normal" communication. I save it for brief "must-know" info that is better read than spoken.

Myra Johnson said...

TINA P, yes, newsletters are another time drain. I'm still weighing the pros and cons.

AUSJENNY, I do like the idea of using a newsletter to host some kind of giveaway. I'm already thinking ahead to my fall issue and what I might offer. BTW, keeping you in our prayers and hoping you feel stronger every day!

Myra Johnson said...

RUTHY, that's my philosophy: When in doubt, eat chocolate. And those author letters in the backs of novels? I ALWAYS read those! It's nice to get a glimpse into the author as a person, as well as any insights into what inspired the story.

DEBBY, sorry about the computer problems. Not fun. And I bet you could write a really interesting newsletter featuring not only your books but your insights into life as a military wife and mom.

Myra Johnson said...

GANISE, nice to see you this morning! And I've been admiring your beautiful and interesting name! Can you tell us the correct pronunciation?

KAV, it's so nice to know there's actually someone out there who reads and enjoys author newsletters!!! But so sorry about the Heartsong debacle and no books to Canada! As I've said before, it's equally confusing for the authors in transition.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Myra, You are always so full of great info. smile

Like the rest of us, I'm feeling the hint that we should climb on board and just DO IT.

Thanks for all the great info.

Lyndee-so sorry. Praying.

Myra Johnson said...

JAN, thank you for your kind words about my newsletter! Also for re-emphasizing the point about a newsletter reflecting the author's voice. Mary's and Julie's are great examples!

JANET, come on in! The water's fine! (I'll hold your hand if you want me to.)

Myra Johnson said...

MARIANNE, nothing is so heartwarming to an author as hearing encouraging words from a reader! Bless you!

CARA, it's great your daughter helps you with your newsletter! I wish my girls had the time and inclination to help with mine, but they're both super-busy with family and their own areas of ministry.

Myra Johnson said...

SANDRA, hop on anytime! I bet your newsletters would be filled with great travel adventures!

Ganise said...

Awww, Myra you're so sweet, thank you! :) The right way to prounouce my name? I'm glad you asked, because it's not a common one and I have to continually tell others this..
Here, for fun try listen to it (in latin) here :
http://translate.google.com/

Blessings!

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks, GANISE! So . . . it came out "GAN-ice." (Long I.) Is that right? And does your name have a special meaning? I'm always fascinated by names and their origins.

Leslie Basil Payne said...

Thanks for the great info! Although this is way down the road for me, it is good to get the thoughts in motion.

The thing I find especially encouraging about this post and all the comments is you all don't seem overwhelmed, you just do it. Perhaps a little chocolate is needed, but that's a given anyway. :0)Thanks for your impressive examples to so many.

Myra Johnson said...

LESLIE, so we don't seem overwhelmed, huh? Sweetie, "overwhelmed" is pretty much the story of my life most days! There's so much more to the writing business than I ever imagined.

But would I trade a second of it? Not a chance!

Of course, I eat a LOT of chocolate.

Tina Radcliffe said...

ID10T error.

It took me ten minutes to figure this out.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yep. Fake it til you make it is the name of the game.

When I was in my nurse career and I got floated to another specialty, the kiss of death was to let a patient know you were uncomfortable. But you were. New unit. No idea where the supplies were, layout on the floor was different, even the IV pumps were different. So you would fake confidence. It made everyone feel better.

Well the same thing is true with writing and your persona.

Fake it til you make it.

Currently I spend 90 % of the time overwhelmed. The other 10 % yes....taking Leslie's advice. Eating chocolate. Dark with sea salt.

Mary Connealy said...

BTW I just got your newsletter, Myra. It was beautifully and professionally done.

SHOW OFF!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Ganice, work on explaining it. Connealy is ridiculously hard to pronounce. NO ONE ever gets it right by accident.

so I've come up with this way of describing it. Connealy sounds like Oh Really.

that's about as close as I can get.

Mary Connealy said...

CASEY!!! You like my newsletters?

Wow, I should write one once in a while.

I'm going to seriously consider it.

Although getting people to sign up is pretty hard, having to actually WRITE ONE on top of that? Wow, it's ALWAYS SOMETHING!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

CONNIE QUEEN what is this?

A Newletter?X#$#

Are you cussing about newsletters?

Susan Anne Mason said...

I love author newsletters! It's so fun to get the 'inside scoop'.

Julie's is my favourite (to be fair, I haven't seen any other seeker's yet). I love seeing the behind the scenes happenings in choosing covers, getting the news on what she's working on now. Even better than Nora Roberts' newsletters!

Will have to check out a few more!

Cheers,
Sue
sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Myra Johnson said...

TINA--"fake it till you make it." Oh, yeah, been there, done that, still doing it, in fact!

And I am going to use your nursing experience in my wip. My MC, who's a nurse in 1919, just got promoted to a supervisory position and is feeling like a fish out of water.

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, MARY!!! See above--faking it till I make it!

You, on the other hand, are success personified with all your wonderful books out there, and more just waiting to roll off the presses! And an endearing sense of humor, to boot!

Missy Tippens said...

Lyndee, I'm so sorry about the poisoning! That's just horrific. I'll be praying for you and your neighbors.

Ganise said...

Myra! :)
Yes, that is right.
For all I know, my name does not have a special meaning. It's a combination of Garry and Denise (my sweet parents).In English it's confusing, but it was first and foremost given as a French name (which we also speak).
Love your fascination with names, It's the same thing with me!

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, a great post. And so interesting to hear what readers like in a newsletter.

Missy Tippens said...

Ooh, Myra, I love that we're making Ruthy feel guilty! :)

Myra Johnson said...

SUE!!! A fan of author newsletters!!! You are our "person of the moment"!!!

But . . . comparing Julie to Nora Roberts??? I can't wait to see her "bubble" over this news!!!

Myra Johnson said...

Yes, MISSY, anything we can do to increase Ruthy's guilt. She bosses us around so much that we have to apply reverse pressure any way we can.

Speaking of Ruthy guilt, she should be feeling VERY guilty for not laying on the usual buffet of gourmet treats this morning! She KNOWS I'm a total kitchen dropout!

Mary Connealy said...

HALF A BUBBLE OFF.......
Is a carpenter term. If you've ever seen a carpenter's level there is a bubble in the tube of liquid and if the level (which looks like a short yardstick) is absolutely level that bubble is in the dead center of the liquid.
The whole term is Half a bubble off the plumb line.

And in the snarky brother world it is the equivalent of saying, "You're a few French fries short of a Happy Meal."
Or "The wheel's still spinning but the hamster has died."
Or, "I used to be schizophrenic but we're all right now."
Or, "Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most."

Ganise said...

HAHA! You preach it, Mary!
Got me chuckling, thanks for the explanation! Hey, I remember this carpenter thing..!
:)

Ausjenny said...

Lyndee I to am so sorry for your loss and that it was deliberate makes it even worse. sorry I missed this earlier.

Tina, I also didn't get the id10t at first.

I am up cos I am feeling sick. have been for a few days but its not been bad tonight It feels almost like it did in hospital and I really wish I had one of the antinausia meds. Its not that I will be sick I just feel it and it makes it so hard to sleep. I find sitting up helps more than lying down.

Casey, Im like you dont read all the newsletters. I like the ones that are not as regular unless there is news. I am not big on the recipes either but I know some like them.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that Leslie has figured us out. Our reasoning, Leslie, is that if it is not FATAL to anyone, it's worth a shot, right?

:)

The chocolate does make us less murderous. Well. Me, anyway. Some of these others are TOUGH CHICKIES!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jenny, I'm sorry you can't rest comfortably! Dagnabbit, I wish we were half-a-world closer.

Ganise, what a fun explanation of your pretty name. And I've known Connealy is half-a-bubble off for years, but we downplay it.

She likes guns, you know.

Best to keep a low profile.

Myra Johnson said...

Does Seekerville have a chocolate shop? If not, we should open one. For medicinal purposes, of course.

Carol Moncado said...

Jenny -

I keep meaning to tell you I'm praying for you and glad you're feeling some better [but by the time I scroll the end of the comments, I forget about 2/3 of what I was going to say...]

I subscribed to more newsletters than I'd like to be :p. Mostly because of the 'if you want entries to win x book by author y you have to sign up for MY newsletter' thing. I hate that. I get why. But I hate it.

I know I get Julie's. I thought I got Mary's but it may be on my other email. Need to sign up for the others. I like gettin' 'em from y'all.

Speaking of names... Am reading the first Kincaid book. Mary signed it for me "You don't look like an avacado".

Because she'd asked me how to pronounce my name and Moncado is "mon" like "Welcome to Jamaica mon" and "cado" like "avacado".

Now... time for a nap...

Myra Johnson said...

Hi, CAROL! So you're saying the book you might win is NOT by the author whose newsletter you subscribed to??? Interesting.

And it's true--you don't look a thing like an avocado.

CatMom said...

GREAT post, Myra--thanks for sharing this info. with us. (Another definite Keeper Post for moi!) ~ I'm not sure of the exact number, but I do subscribe to more than a few author newsletters--and LOVE them! I really enjoy hearing from fave authors at least 4 times per year--but certainly understand when some authors can't send them that often (or prefer not to). One enjoyable newsletter that comes to mind is from author Deborah Raney. She sends out a newsletter for each season of the year, and I always enjoy her latest news and photos she includes. ~ Thanks again for this post, and since I'm a member of the Heartsong club, no need to enter me in your drawing.*smile* Blessings, Patti Jo

Myra Johnson said...

Hi, PATTI JO! I get Deb Raney's newsletter, too, and it's one I always look forward to. She makes you feel like next-door neighbors chatting over the back fence.

Others on my list are Robin Lee Hatcher and DiAnn Mills.

Donna said...

Lyndee, I'm so sorry to hear about Trinket! My heart goes out to you and your neighbor.

Carol Moncado said...

Yeah - Myra. Like

"Here's my book review of Myra's new book and I'm giving away my influencer copy!!! To enter:

comment on this blog

For extra entries:
follow the blog
sign up for my newsletter

I'll announce the winner blah blah blah..."

If it was "your" newsletter [since it's your book being given away], that would be one thing [since I'm wanting to win your book, obviously I'm interested in you/your books]. But the hosting blog? I may or may not be interested. It still annoys me, though I do get WHY some people would choose to do it.

And thank you Myra. I do my best not to look like an avacado. [Mary did suggest green makeup and dreds for the gala last year ;)].

Donna said...

I only get three or four author newsletters. I like to see what they have been working on and any insight into their writing process. I also enjoy shared scripture, recipes and anything they think will be interesting to others. I signed up for the Seeker's newsletters that I hadn't already. Thanks for the links!

Myra Johnson said...

CAROL, I suppose all those contest entry opportunities generate more subscribers, but I see your point. However, I'd rather get subscribers who actually want my newsletter in their inbox, not because they might have another chance to win something.

Oh, and I'd ignore Mary's makeup advice. Somehow I don't think avocado green (on the face anyway!) is quite your color!

Myra Johnson said...

DONNA, thanks for sharing your thoughts on author newsletters. It's so helpful to know what readers like and don't like.

And thanks for subscribing to Seeker newsletters! We really appreciate your interest!

Ausjenny said...

Carol, I understand what you are saying about subscribing to a blog etc. I know people want more followers but just cos you subscribe doesn't mean you look at the blog. I follow so many blogs but really only visit a small amount. I guess it is one way to see who really reads contest requirements. I normally ask for a comment on the interview or question to the author but I still get quite a few looks good enter me. I have had authors ask a question to be answered to go into the draw and will still get enter me with no other comment.

Myra Johnson said...

Jenny, that's one thing I really love about Seekerville. At least 99% of our commenters actually join in the conversation. I really dislike visiting blogs where there are so many comments like "Nice blog. Please enter me in the drawing." They completely miss the point.

Ausjenny said...

Myra, thats how I feel. I dont advertise giveaways as much now as I have regular readers who will post. I want the author to know the reader cares about what is posted.
I dont post at blogs to win (ok sometimes I do) but mostly I post to be part of the blog. most I do visit daily do not have giveaways except here and I dont come here to win. I come for community.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm not a fan of trick newsletters unless I'm doing them.

Or cutesy contests unless I"m running them.

Or dragging people kicking and screaming into my website unless they have chocolate and are refusing to share.

Because that's just wude, wude, wude!

But I'm watching this conversation with an eye toward the connectivity to readers. Because I love that. And I don't get to chat it up with all of them on my blogs or facebook.

Myra, you've brought this to my rapt attention. Good job, chickie!

Jennifer Thompson said...

Nice blog.

Please enter me.

Thanks

Jennifer Thompson said...

OK...I was just joshin.

I only subscribe to one newsletter and got bore with it and delete them as soon as it come into my inbox.

Nope...it doesn't belong to any of you :)

I do think that I've tried to sign up for Julie's a couple times but don't think I've ever received one.

I do sign up for blogs and keep up with them in my reader through gmail! Love that thing!

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I will be dropping by with cake...mmmm...yummy!

Jennifer Thompson said...

I should learn to proof before I hit publish...

Julie Lessman said...

GANISE!!! It's fun to see you here, too, my friend. I am SO glad you joined Seekerville because I always smile when I see your name. And tomorrow is my day on the blog, so be sure to drop by, okay?

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SUE, YOU SWEET THING YOU -- my newsletter is "better than Nora Roberts'????

HOLY COW, girl, now if I could only have her mailing list, I'd be all set!!

Thanks, my friend, you ALWAYS lift my spirits!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JENNIFER, say it ain't so!!! You've signed up for my newsletter and never have gotten one??? Well, heck, that's not good.

I have you in my address book, my friend at jthompson711 at a gmail address -- is that correct?

If you want to see my last newsletter, scroll up to the very first comment today and click on the link, okay?

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY a day early. I'll be looking for that cake tomorrow, sweetie, because it's my blog day, so be sure to come by.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

TINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just NOW saw your new pic -- it's AWESOME, girl!!! You look like a teenager, which doesn't exactly endear you to me, you know ... :)

And a newsletter is not bad when you have a handy husband like you and I do, so get him to design it for you.

Hugs,
Julie

Audra Harders said...

Oh Myra, thanks for spelling all the details out! There's so much to consider when compiling a newsletter, I don't know where to start.

Of course, I don't plan to offer a newsletter for a while yet. This post is huge keeper, not to mention inspiration.

Rest assured all your wisdom has a permanent place in my OneNote notebook on promotion : )

Thanks Myra!!

Nancy C said...

Oh, Myra, this is such an excellent resource. Thank you.

I appreciate author newsletters that are every few months, and newsletters that are easily read in a few minutes. Content-wise I like to hear about the author's latest project, maybe some tidbit the author found in research, and where/when they might do a book-signing, blog tour, whatever. I guess I like author newsletters that 'touch base' but don't take too much of my time :-)

It's late so I'll look forward to reading the comments tomorrow.

Nancy C

Helen Gray said...

Myra:

I know, it's late, it's late. I've decided I must be sweet. Blogger keeps eating me!!!

I subscribe to a few blogs and literary agencies, but no author newsletters. I tend to skim the ones I read.

Walt Mussell said...

I can't even imagine a newsletter at the moment, but I hope I get to that point.

Sarah said...

Hey everyone!!!
Enter me!
God Bless!
Sarah
Blanch,N.C.
sarahrichmond.12@gmail.com

Myra Johnson said...

JENNIFER!!! You had me for a minute there, you trickster, you! And happy birthday!

See, SUE, I told you Julie would bubble at your Nora Roberts comparison!

AUDRA, glad to be of service. Or am I just being a guinea pig???

Myra Johnson said...

NANCY C, your thoughts mirror mine. Just enough content to touch base and bring readers up to date. And try not to be boring!!!

Better late than never, HELEN! We miss you when you aren't here bright and early with that coffeepot!

WALT, your day will come. And when it does, you will know.

Myra Johnson said...

SARAH, Sarah, Sarah. Did you not take note of my remarks above about joining in the conversation rather than simply typing "enter me"??? Come back next time and really chat with us here in Seekerville, okay, dear?

PatriciaW said...

Fewer and fewer e-newsletter subscription, I'm afraid. Just too much stuff flows into the inbox. Then, between blogs and Facebook, it feels like I already know 75% of the information. So it's rare that I read even the ones I get. I can appreciate, though, a newsletter that only shows up 2 or 3 times a year. I'll take a peek because just maybe there's something special in there.

Myra Johnson said...

PATRICIA, thank you for your honesty. You're right--most people's e-mail inboxes are already overflowing. And when you toss in the whole social media thing, it all becomes a huge time drain. That's why authors with newsletters should do their best to make them brief, entertaining, and relevant.

Valerie Comer said...

First off, thanks for helping me reduce guilt that I haven't sent a newsletter for a while--because I have no new news right now.

I use YMLP (Your Mailing List Provider) and enjoy them. I've sent three so far.

I've got a series on my blog featuring a variety of authors and the newsletter program they use, if anyone's interested. Come on over and just put newsletter in the search box.

marybelle said...

I subscribe to quite a few author newsletters. I love to know which books are coming & and when.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Shelia Hall said...

I Subscribe to 5 authors newsletters

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks, VALERIE, MARYBELLE, and SHELIA, for dropping by!

VALERIE, I appreciate the heads-up on the newsletter info on your blog. For anyone interested, here's the direct link.