Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Insecure Writers Support Group: Newsletter Nerves

Hello fellow IWSG members! This is my first post in our monthly communal ventilation of fears so I’m still a little curious what it’s all about. I’m working on a different project than usual right now—I’m starting an author’s newsletter! I’ve never done one before so I’m a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. I’d love to get some feedback from fellow writers who do one, and fellow readers who subscribe to them.

Here’s my plan. I want the newsletter to be something more than just periodic announcements of my new releases and instead to be something people will read for the content. So what I’m going to do is include a travel article and a short story with every issue. Regular readers of this blog know how much I travel! The newsletter will, of course, mention any new releases and each issue will include a coupon for a free or discounted book. I’m figuring on having it come out monthly via Mailchimp.

So. . . what do you think? Anything I should add or take out? What has worked for you in your own newsletter? Besides adding a link from my blog and in the back matter of my books, how else can I advertise it? (And what if no one signs up?) Any suggestions for layout? I’m clueless when it comes to design so any tips will be much appreciated! Also. . .I need a name! "Sean's newsletter" sounds lame. Any suggestions?


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Your newsletter could be one of the more interesting ones out there. Your travels alone could rivet the attention and arouse the curiosity of everyone who receives it. It could spark an idea in someone for a new book. Your latest trip to Morocco must hold great nuggets of scenes of a culture which we only dimly are aware of.

Your instincts I believe are right: folks are weary of advertisements for books masquerading as newsletters -- I wish you luck.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I like your idea. It's new, it sounds like fun. I'd sign up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome to the IWSG! You're in the right place.
Check out this coming Monday's post at the IWSG. Author Elizabeth S. Craig is covering newsletters. And she is an expert on the subject.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love your ideas for your newsletter. I have to admit, mine never got off ground zero this last year because I didn't have a theme. I think that your theme works and suits your blog. As far as names go, how about Sean's Journeys, Sean's Travels, Sean's Stories from the Extraordinary . . . okay, I'm not sure, but is there a way to work the travel and story theme into the name? Maybe the next commenter will have a great idea!

Welcome to IWSG!

I'm Tyrean Martinson over at:
My writing e-mail is:

Deborah Osborne said...

I like the idea of a newsletter that tells me about different places. Something useful would be good too. Any tips on travel writing you could share?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Welcome to the IWSG! Hmm, I don't really have much experience with author newsletters, but your idea sounds interesting, especially the part about the travel articles. Good luck with it! :)

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Sean's Gone Beyond
A Bag of Sean
Tripping the Life Fantastic with Sean
Newsletter (by Sean)
Sean's Collection of Riveting Tales of Adventure and Thrilling Literary Dalliances
Midlist Writer Goes Global
Around the World in 80 Days (with Sean)

I could do this all day...

IWSG November Post

Patsy said...

If just started a newsletter myself and still trying to decide what to include in it. I do agree with you that the content should be more than just details of releases.

alexia said...

I love travel, so it sounds good to me! Everyone says the key to getting people to sign up is offering a free something to entice them. I've used Mail Chimp before, its easy and works well. Good luck!

Stephanie Faris said...

I've thought about doing a newsletter and I never got around to it. I think people are just looking to learn more about you. So if you can perhaps post photos of yourself on tour and maybe what you're working on now in addition to exciting promotional announcements. It's important that it makes a connection between you and the reader.

Nick Wilford said...

I like the idea of the short story and articles. There should definitely be some good content in a newsletter, and it's nice for people to feel they are part of the select few to get to read it... although hopefully you will get more than a few sign-ups! I'm yet to get myself a newsletter but it's definitely on my list.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Hi. Thanks for stopping by my blog on IWSG day. It's taken me a while to get back to everyone. I live quite a full life! Love your blog. What a great life you have, traveling and writing. Your newsletter sounds interesting. I'll sign up for it. I don't do a newsletter. I stick to the blog. I write lots of theatre reviews.

The photos on your blog are gorgeous. Love the food pics! I also write about food and restaurants sometimes on my blog. Include the food and your pics in your newsletter, and you'll soon have us coming back for a second helping.

I don't know what to name your newsletter. Maybe you could have a contest in your first one to get ideas?

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.