There’s one distinct difference between a good author and a great author: a good author knows what their audience wants, but a great author knows what their audience needs. They understand who their audience is, what drives them, and, most importantly, how to sell to them.
This is where your author newsletter comes in.
A newsletter is one of the most valuable book marketing tools at an author’s disposal.
Because it allows authors to build genuine relationships with their readers through exclusive offers, book releases, anecdotes, and other subscriber-only benefits. In essence, it allows authors to build a sense of exclusivity around their brand. This upgrades your marketing efforts and can lead to increased sales.
Passive readers itch to get more involved, and ideally, your irrefusable offers will entice both passive and involved readers to make a purchase.
If you’re a new author, you probably have several questions, including some about the content you should put in your newsletter, how to make it engaging, and where to start when building a mailing list to begin with.
Here are nine ideas that will help answer some of those questions.
1. Updates on Your Writing Projects
Readers love to feel involved in the writing process. Open the curtain and let them behind-the-scenes—show them exclusive content from your latest project, ask for their opinion, run a poll, or keep them updated on your progress.
You’re promoting your book at face value, but this kind of positioning cultivates a sense of community among your readers. And when the time comes to release your project, you’ve incentivized a purchase from your audience by making them feel like they were just as involved as you were in its creation.
And there’s more.
You can use these projects as leverage to invite your email list to buy any coaching program, services, or courses that you offer. If your email list enjoys watching you build successful projects in real time, they’d probably enjoy watching you teach them how to do it in your other services, too.
2. Exclusive Content
Exclusivity is a great marketing strategy for an author’s newsletter. Offer your subscribers exclusive content that they won't find anywhere else. This can include:
- Bonus chapters
- Deleted scenes
- Sneak peeks of your upcoming books
Giving your subscribers something that no one else has access to can be an excellent way to build loyalty and keep your readers engaged.
3. Book Recommendations
Remember: your email list is composed of fellow readers.
Many of them have read your book because they’re interested in the topics and genres you’re interested in. That means they probably like the same books you like.
Your newsletter can include a list of books that:
- You couldn’t put down
- You’d recommend for a specific purpose (to learn more about a topic, to learn how to do something, etc.)
- Are on your to-read list
- Readers may enjoy if they enjoyed your book
- Were part of your research for your book
If you’ve researched your target audience, then you know what they like to learn about. You might even consider setting up a forum for readers to discuss topics related to your book.
4. Personal Stories and Anecdotes
No one wants to feel like they’re reading an automated newsletter. You can humanize yourself to your audience by sharing anecdotes that relate to your experience as an author, entrepreneur, or thought leader. It’s even better if you can connect your stories to your audience’s pain points.
What kind of message would resonate with them the most? What would convince them to invest in your offers down the line?
You could include:
- The moment your life changed forever
- A personal milestone
- Your success story
- What inspired you to write a book
You have the freedom in your newsletter to connect to your audience however you want. Just make sure the delivery is relatable and understandable to avoid sounding like a spam email.
5. Contests and Giveaways
Everyone loves to win. Contests and giveaways are especially enticing to audiences because winning doesn’t often require much of them. Including a contest or giveaway in your newsletter can increase audience engagement and grow your email list. But what’s the best way to run a contest in an author newsletter?
To start, determine what prize the winner will receive. Some giveaway items include:
- Signed copies of your books
- Free subscription to a course/product
Then, draft an email for your newsletter including what participants have to do to win, how long the giveaway will be active for, and when the winner should expect to receive their reward.
The important part is to include a form where the participants can include their contact information (specifically, their email).
You won’t benefit much from your current subscribers’ contact information. But if you post about the giveaway on other platforms, new participants will have to include their email to enter, thus building your email list.
Just remember: there’s a difference between a giveaway and a contest.
Giveaways mean participants don’t have to do anything other than enter to win.
Contests typically refer to a competition where participants submit original work.
Be sure to include which type you’re running on your email/post.
6. Q&A With Your Readers
Like sharing anecdotes, Q&As can forge a deeper connection with your readers and create a sense of camaraderie.
First things first: Make it easy for your readers to participate.
Encourage them to send in their questions via email or through a dedicated form on your website. Then, let your readers know that you’ll read off—or post—a few select questions on your chosen platform. You can also use social media to collect questions or host a live Q&A session on platforms like Instagram or Facebook Live.
Once you've gathered a handful of questions, it's time to craft your responses. Use a conversational tone and an active voice to make your answers engaging and relatable.
You can also use the questions you receive as inspiration for future blog posts, social media content, or even book ideas.
If used correctly, Q&As are a goldmine of audience insights.
7. Writing Tips and Advice
This is another great way to introduce your email list to your other high-ticket offers (courses, services, consultations, etc.).
Include free writing advice in your author newsletter like:
- How to brainstorm
- How to polish the final draft
- Publishing advice
- Unique insights into your writing process
- How to find literary agents
Ideally, the advice you include would be a watered-down version of the insights you offer in your paid services.
Then, after providing the free sample in your author newsletter, you can pitch your high-ticket offers down the line.
8. Exclusive Discount and Offers
Your author newsletter is a perfect platform to showcase your latest works and promotions. What better way to entice your readers than with exclusive discounts and offers?
There are endless ideas to drive sales:
- Limited-time discounts
- Special bundle deals
- Exclusive pre-orders
- Signed Copies
Make your readers feel like they're part of an exclusive club, and watch their anticipation soar.
9. Collaborations With Other Authors
Collaborating with other authors in your niche can be a way to inject fresh perspectives and engage your readers. You can team up for joint Q&As, co-author thrilling short stories, or even invite guest posts from fellow authors.
By collaborating, you not only share the workload, but also tap into each other's fanbase, reaching new readers who might be interested in your writing. You can cross-promote each other's books, exchange insights, and spark meaningful conversations that keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
But collaborations don't have to be limited to fellow authors. You can also collaborate with other literary professionals such as illustrators, editors, or literary agents to bring unique and valuable content to your newsletter.
It's all about expanding your horizons and creating a diverse and enriching experience for your readers.
Win Your Audience Over With Your High-Value Author Newsletter
The digital world is crowded. As a modern author, it’s your responsibility to cut through the noise in order to reach your target audience. Utilize an author newsletter today to win over your readership and provide high-value content they won’t forget.