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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Why I Love Newsletters and you should too!

Readers ask me all the time "how do you know all this stuff?" "Where in the world do you find all these great deals!" "How can I be a part of the awesome that is you?" (okay, that last one was a lie, but this is my post). The short answer is newsletters.
*After a comment below I wanted to clarify there is a difference between subscribing to a newsletter and subscribing to an author's blog site. If you subscribe to the blog site you will get all their posts in your email. Just like you do for I Smell Sheep (right?right?). Newsletters are separate from the blog.

I subscribe to every author and publisher newsletter that interests me or our readers. Why? Instant and exclusive information. Many authors reward newsletter subscribers with heads up on sales, special sneak peeks, first look at covers, signings, exclusive giveaways, and the really cool ones share WTF-ery. Publishers post sales and you have a chance to learn about debut authors.
Bloggers, this is a valuable resource of information to pass onto readers. They will be amazed at all the inside info you have access to and think you must know everyone who is anyone in the industry. Well, not so much anymore cause I just let that cat out of the bag. Now that all you readers know my secret, that doesn't mean you should stop following me and the I Smell Sheep social media for information, because I not only follow author's newsletters I have sheep spies that get bring me their trash (This is a total lie. Please don't stop following  me!)

"OMG, if I subscribe to all these newsletters my mailbox will explode!"
Don't worry. Authors usually send out newsletters once a month or when they have something important to pass onto readers.

If you are an author you should have a newsletter. This is a foot in the door of fans and readers. They don't have time to surf every author website they might be interested in, but they all check their email daily. If you can get each newsletter subscriber to share your promotional information on their social media...that can add up to a lot of exposure and not the put you ass in jail type! Remember to not abuse this power. Send them once a month and/or when you have important info to pass on

*Hint, hint readers. If an author is going to reward you with newsletter awesome, help a writer out and share any info they ask you to pass on. It is just one big sharing circle of book loving! (again, not the put your ass in jail type)

"How do I get readers to sign up?"
Exclusive content for subscribers only. This could be giveaways, sneak peeks, deleted scenes, recipes. Be creative so readers look forward to what they are going to find with each newsletter. One author gives folk lore about the full moon that month. I have learned some cool stuff. Maybe swag only available for newsletter subscribers like a pen or an *Extra Super Special Bookmark (E.S.S.B.). It wouldn't be unreasonable to ask for a SASE to receive the E.S.S.B. because swag and postage are expensive! Make sure the reader provides their email when they ask so you can confirm they are a newsletter subscriber before you send them the E.S.S.B. You must be stingy with the special swag and give it ONLY to subscribers, otherwise it is no longer E.S.S.B, it is just a B. Another idea is exclusive trading cards.
*you can make E.S.S.B.s by customizing some basic ones. Add beads on a tassel, glitter (always use glitter when you can) and of course sign them!
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Have I convinced you to join newsletters or start one?


  1. I've signed up for a few of my favorite authors newsletters but now I may have to sign up for more.

    1. They are great because they sum up all the new and upcoming stuff. You can skim them, get the info you want quickly.

  2. Thanks for this great post! I'm just starting out, so the hints about what to do with a newsletter are great. I subscribe to a handful of authors' newsletters, and always like the ones that feel a little more "exclusive" (like exclusive early sneak peeks, etc.). I think free content is a great idea, but the E.S.S.B. idea is gold! Glitter FTW. ::runs off to design bookmarks::

    1. Yay glitter! Would love to see the final product. Post it in the I Smell Sheep Facebook group.

  3. Nice post. Hope authors keep in mind that daily blog posts are not "newsletters"; it makes me unsubscribe.

    1. Good point. Subscribing to an author's blog isn't the same as subscribing to their news letter.

    2. This was something that I'd realized in the last month or so, that there is this differentiation in blog articles in your email vs. newsletters.

      I've changed my own signup message to include "If you would like future articles in your inbox..." It's at least a way to give heads up on what to expect after sign up.

    3. I am going to add something about this in the post above. Didn't realize readers might get confused about this. Thanks!

  4. You are talking about one of my favourite authors newsletters, Lori Handeland :) I do subscribe to a lot of them. If I like a book/author/series enough to hunt down the authors website, and I can subscribe to a newsletter, I do. But I don't often search for websites I have to admit.