Author Newsletters ~ A Love/Hate Relationship

by Michelle Griep @MichelleGriep

Recently I attended a writing day with some authorly type buddies of mine. These are the big kids. The ones who’ve zipped around the writerly block on their scooters a time or two — without skinning their knees. Honestly, I just try to keep my mouth shut so drool doesn’t leak out at the corners.

Anyway, the topic of author newsletters came up. They all have one. Every last one . . . except for moi. Talk about peer pressure.

So, I voiced my biggest concern, that hey, who really needs one more stupid piece of spam filling their inbox? But here’s the deal . . . apparently when people sign up for a newsletter, they actually want the dang thing. Go figure.
Hence my little venture into researching the ins and outs of author newsletters. Want to know what makes for a great one and what makes one end up in the trash? 

What To Put Into a Newsletter

  • snappy content that has takeaway value for the reader, in bullet points or links, not uber long paragraphs

  • an attention grabbing subject line

  • introduce readers to something that expands their world — a new author buddy, for instance
  • a call to action — nothing grandiose like save all the starving children in Zimbabwe, but a smaller task such as be my friend on Goodreads
  • an unsubscribe button — which seems counterintuitive but makes for happy, happy people
  • timely updates on new products, such as new books
  • a forward button or social media share buttons so your readers can spread the love

What To Leave Out of a Newsletter

  • sales pitches that beat the soup out of the reader
  • pop-ups
  • third-grade grammar mistakes
  • fonts galore with crazy type-sizes turning the whole page into a clown-filled circus

After all this research (and peer pressure), I guess I’ll give this newsletter thing a whirl, probably three times a year. What are some of your favorite things about newsletters? Anything I missed? Leave your sage advice in the comment section.

Author Michelle Griep


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Follow her adventures and find out about upcoming new releases at her blog, Writer Off the Leash, or stop by her website. You can also find her at the usual haunts of FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.