Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: Newsletter?

Hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
with co-hosts:



My insecurity this month: I'm trying a newsletter . . . again. I started one over a year ago through mailchimp and I never got it off the ground. In fact, I became so nervous about it that I never actually wrote a newsletter. I started one or two, but I never sent them.

This time, I'm three months into a new newsletter with Mad Mimi, and I'm enjoying myself, even if my audience is literally: my parents, my husband, and one friend. 

I'm only putting out one newsletter a month, but I finally put the "Newsletter Sign Up" button on the right. Yes, it took me three months to get that integral part done. 

And, for the March/April newsletter (Mapril), I'm running a promo: whoever signs up for my newsletter will receive a 100% off coupon for Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry at Smashwords. 

So, I admit I don't know what I'm doing. I'm taking advice from my teen daughters who told me to "keep it simple, mom." (Hmm, was that last change of word intentional?) Each month has only three to five sections. The Mapril newsletter has the Special Offer (Flicker), News, New in 2016, and For Writers sections. It's pretty short. 

Why am I so nervous about newsletters when I write blog posts all the time? 

Because they are supposed to be the biggest marketing tool of authors today. 

Yikes! That means it has to have it all, right? Meaning, beauty, perfection? 
That last word strikes a painful G7 minor chord played on a dusty organ in my soul. 
I don't do perfection. Ever.
(To prove my point, I just used a sentence fragment and I hate those in essays and most fiction, so why do I use them on my blog? Agh. The truth is out. I sabotage the word perfection with every fiber of my "I refuse to be type A even though I lost hair in high school over an Honors Society event I had to organize as HS V-P" purposefully type B self.)

On the plus side, I had an article accepted for and published in the March IWSG Newsletter, so I'm learning how to do newsletter writing with some help from all of you!

So . . . do you think newsletters are the biggest marketing tool of authors today? And, do you have one? If so, how do you tame the newsletter beast? And, how often? And, do readers actually sign up for these dastardly things?

My newsletter sign-up






The IWSG Newsletter sign up is here!



News:
Chrys Fey has a new book out!
An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments. 

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs. 

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything? 
Seismic Crimes at Amazon

Milo James Fowler has a new book coming soon!

Private eye Charlie Madison saw his share of murder and mayhem during the war. But he's never seen anything like this on home soil. The culprit can't be human. A mandroid, then? Cyborg?

Madison's investigation takes him deep into the underground world of extreme fighting -- duels to the death, showcased beneath the city's biggest casino. Along the way, he discovers a new steroid quietly coming out of Little Tokyo. If rumors are true, it can turn a man into a killing machine.

Before vengeful police can find and execute the murderer, another officer is found slain. With rogue yakuza, the Russian mob, and Federal agents in the mix, Madison must put the pieces of this violent mystery together before the city loses another good cop.

Problem is, the killer may be one of his own clients.

Death Duel pre-order at Amazon

Angela Brown has a new MG book out!

Twelve-year-old Casey doesn’t think life could get any more unfair. Plans for her special basketball tournament are tossed aside by her sister’s wedding plans. She even has to be a bridesmaid now, with all the lace and silk and—oh, the horror! All she wants is an escape, but she never imagined she’d be swept away to a world of Mother Goose rhymes, fairy tales, stories of Arabian Nights, and oh, by the way, all but one fairy godmother has been kidnapped. 

Casey learns she’s been summoned as the Fable Ranger to lead the search and rescue of the missing wish-makers. But she’s not the hero they want. In the world of fairy tales, damsels aren’t meant to swoop in and save the day. 

Now all Casey wants is to go home, but the veil between worlds is on lockdown. Taking fate into her own hands, she embarks on an airship flight to find the phoenix tears that can open her way home. Her journey would’ve gone as smooth as the perfect layup if it weren’t for that pesky bounty the evil Dovetail has placed on her head. But if Casey fails, the Arabian Nights will disappear forever—and leave her trapped in a world unraveling one fairy tale at a time.

Fable Ranger at Amazon

And, Randi Lee with Stay Classy Publishing and a huge crew of wonderful authors has a new Anthology coming out soon!
The Thing That Turned Me: Anthology
I'm honored to have a story included. :)


Lastly . . . I'm not joining A to Z this year due to family requests and general craziness. 
Best wishes to all who are A to Zing and writing posts every day!
I'll be lurking but not posting most of the month, and prepping posts for the 5 Reasons to Write Series (with guests) kicking off in May. 


Have a newsletter? Have you read the latest books? Know of more releases?


42 comments:

JLR said...

Personally, I don't read or sign up for newsletters. As for stressing out about that awful word "perfection", I know they can be good for marketing, but the way I go about things is this: if it's causing you stress, it better be really enjoyable to do. For me, that means I can "let go" of perfection for any writing that isn't my novel. But that's just me. Good luck!

L.G. Keltner said...

I keep thinking about starting a newsletter, but I've always chickened out so far. I'm afraid no one would sign up, and if they did, I'd somehow screw the whole thing up and make myself look silly. Maybe that should be one of the insecurities I tackle this year.

Good luck!

Murees Dupé said...

Congratulations to all the authors with new releases. I started a newsletter too, but never posted anything. In fact, I don't think anyone signed up yet:) I think your daughters are right. Keep it simple and make it you. Good-luck.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I don't have a newsletter - honestly, I don't know what I'd put in it. Everything pretty much goes on my blog. :)

Working on my Five Reasons post!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I ran a newsletter for my series for years. I think offering a variety in a newsletter works best. I had a section on industry news, one on my news, one that featured another author, and then my upcoming appearances. If I did one now, I'd include an article that would help my readers. Just be creative and have fun.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I think newsletters are a great way to reach out to readers and keep them updated. But they aren't the only way to promote books, so don't worry if it takes time for yours to grow. And people do get tired of reading them, just like the time commitment of blogging, etc. so once a month or even less often seems like a good goal.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to all the authors!
I'm glad Chrys does the IWSG newsletter. I would've been a miserable failure with it.

Stephanie said...

A newsletter is a great way to reach reader. I tried a mailing list once and never really got off the ground with it. I plan to try something similar in the coming weeks. Good luck.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for your thoughts, JLR. It's so true that any writing other than our craft can definitely be let go, if needed.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, LG!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Murees! I don't think I knew you had a newsletter. I'll have to stop by and get signed up. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's what I feel like, too, but I'm trying it out anyway.

Looking forward to your post!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Diane!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for your tips, Natalie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think it's really cool that she's having different authors write different parts.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Stephanie!

cleemckenzie said...

I have a love-hate relationship with newsletters.

Crystal Collier said...

What?!? No reason to be nervous. You're just talking to your friends. I like to include things I'm comfortable with--like short book reviews or inspiring articles or giveaway, etc.

Crystal Collier

Juneta Key said...

I signed up. I have a newsletter but I have not really done anything with nor do I have an opt-in yet---however applying principles I read and watched in webinars about email and stuff I have just over 50 on my list. I started it 2013 I 9, 2014 I had 15, 2015 I had 33 and since 2016 it has jumped to 52. I am working on my opt-in now. And eventually I hope to move to sending it out at least once a month, but I'm not quite ready yet.

I have looked for one on your blog every time I have visited, so happy to sign up.

I look for "receive blog post via email" but have not see that for your blog or did I miss it?

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Juneta Key said...

I signed up. I have a newsletter but I have not really done anything with nor do I have an opt-in yet---however applying principles I read and watched in webinars about email and stuff I have just over 50 on my list. I started it 2013 I 9, 2014 I had 15, 2015 I had 33 and since 2016 it has jumped to 52. I am working on my opt-in now. And eventually I hope to move to sending it out at least once a month, but I'm not quite ready yet.

I have looked for one on your blog every time I have visited, so happy to sign up.

I look for "receive blog post via email" but have not see that for your blog or did I miss it?

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Christopher D. Votey said...

Ah, Newsletters...

I eventually need to start doing them. I'm not looking forward to it, because I have to spend more time trying to think how to make them to want people to do what I want, rather than just share what I think is important.

I tried doing one years ago, asking if people would want to. Many said yes, but the actual work of putting their name in a box proved too much for people to actually sign up. I even did the heavy lifting for them, and nothing.

Sarah Foster said...

I think keeping it simple is definitely a good way to go. I tend to sign up for newsletters if I'm going to learn something that isn't on the author's blog. You don't just want the same exact info in multiple places.

Yolanda Renee said...

I used to publish newsletter for several entities. Yeah, me. LOL But I've no desire to publish one now. I don't know enough people to make it worthwhile. LOL and as far as fans, I can count those on one hand. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Ah, we're on the same page. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Crystal!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Juneta!!!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I know what you mean . . .

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's so true, but it's tough to figure out which content to put in which place.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I know what you mean!

susanbruck.com said...

Writing a newsletter is way to scary for me! When I was teaching, I wrote a weekly newsletter, but doing it for my blog--. But I'm still working on other things, like posting more often. A to Z should help.
Good luck with your newsletter!

Julie Flanders said...

Good for you for starting up the newsletter! I have considered it but always chickened out. I hope you will end up enjoying yours and reaping some rewards from it.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Tyrean,

DON'T panic... Have fun with your newsletter. If you are stressing over it, it will come across in the newsletter. Be yourself... Show us WHO YOU are and your newsletter will be a success. Try not to put so much on it... It's not the only way to get yourself out there... HAVE FUN with it....


Congrats on the article, that is awesome!

Congrats to Chyrs, Milo, Angela, and all of us in the ANTHOLOGY... it will be amazing!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Michael!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

You're braver than I am. I haven't attempted a newsletter yet. I know I should, but I don't know what to put in it. One of these days, I'll do it. Maybe. I signed up for yours. Nice article in the IWSG Newsletter, by the way. I'm not doing A to Z this year, either, because of time constraints. Congrats to all the new releases!

Chemist Ken said...

I bet that you didn't feel like you knew what you were doing back when you first began writing stories either. It will be the same with the newsletter. Just jump right in and don't worry about it. It will get better and better every month, and soon you'll be a pro.

Patricia Lynne said...

I tried a newsletter a few years ago, but felt like I never had enough to do it regularly enough.

Christine Rains said...

I do have a newsletter, and it's tough to say how much it does for me. Reading the Mailchimp stats, only about half the subscribers even open the email. I keep pushing forward with it, because I've heard the same thing as you about how effective it's supposed to be.

Congrats to all the authors with new releases! And I'm super excited about the anthology too. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Ken!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's what I've been worried about, too.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Good to know, Christine! I'm not sure if people will read mine either, but I'm going to just keep trying anyway.

:)

Jeff Chapman said...

Good luck with your newsletter. It's a list of people who might buy your books and, most important, you own the list.