One of the most common things I hear from my coaching clients is that they don't know what to write about. No, I'm not talking about when they're penning fiction; often, then the problem is that they have too many ideas, too little time. I mean in the dreaded e-newsletter.
Does this sound like you? You have all the intentions to write one, but every time you sit down at the computer, you wind up drawing a blank?
Or you start to write, then think 'No, this is boring. I don't want to turn people off?'
If this is the case, I want you to remember that these people are on your list because they want to hear from you. You didn't obtain their information illegally. They can unsubscribe any time they want. It's more than okay that you contact these people with your upcoming news!
Of course, that doesn't mean you should send pointless emails. Think of them like a letter to a friend - in fact, try writing one and imagine your best friend on the other end of the line. This can often make your tone lighter, and the content feel more authentic. You're less likely to come off as a sales-focused fanatic (PLEASE BUY MY BOOK NOWWWWWWWWW) and more likely to be someone people get excited about when they see your name in their inbox.
So, now that you hopefully have the confidence to send, here are some ideas for e-news content:
-Information on your current work-in-progress.
-New release information
-Opinion pieces: ask your readers their favourite between two cover options, or for the blurb they think sounds must intriguing, or their favourite name for a character. It's a win/win! You get solid info, and they feel valued and like an important part of your decision-making process
-Information on your writing space
-Fun research you've discovered related to your work-in-progress
-A recent book you've enjoyed in the genre you write
-A recent film or television show you've enjoyed in the genre you write
-A focus on a previously released title
-Fun facts about the genre you write in
-Extra scenes or chapters
-Fun exchanges between beloved characters, e.g. a text message conversation, or email back-and-forth
-Sales or discount/promotional information
For me, the two key takeaways are:
Make it something you would want to read yourself. Make it a benefit to receive, not a sales pitch. Offer the free cake; don't ask them to buy the bakery.
Keep it brief. It doesn't need to be a Twitter post-length piece, but it shouldn't be an appendix to your novel either. Keep your e-news short and to the point, and your readers will stay there with you.
What about you? Do you have any e-newsletter tips you've found successful?