Today we’re thrilled to share a Writerly Wednesday post by the fantabulous Jae.
Not that we have to introduce Jae, but it seems rude not to. She’s not only a successful writer and editor but she also organizes amazing promotions for authors that readers really love, and she’s an amazing ambassador for the community. We’re thrilled Jae has agreed to share her wisdom by contributing articles to help sapphic authors. We’ve learned so much from Jae over the years, and we highly recommend you sign up for her author newsletter.
Take it away, Jae!
How to Structure Your Newsletter
In past newsletters to authors, I mentioned how important it is to have a reader newsletter. But how do you structure your newsletter? What do you put in it? And how often do you send it out? I’ll cover these questions today and in future installments.
Let’s start with the structure of your newsletter:
- Nowadays, most people’s attention span is short, and no one has time to read long, essay-like newsletters (There are a few authors who can make those work, but they are the exception rather than the rule). My advice would be to keep your newsletters short.
- Most people don’t read newsletters—they scan them, so make sure your emails are scannable. Break them up into sections via bolded subheadings, and use frequent paragraph breaks.
- You could have recurrent sections that you’re using in every newsletter. For example, I always have a “What I am working on” and a “What I am reading” section in my newsletter; Clare Lydon always ends her newsletters with a question for readers to answer and then shares some answers in the next newsletter, etc.
- Include images, but don’t rely on them. Visuals are great for breaking up blocks of text. However, spam filters can’t read images, so image-heavy emails have a higher risk of ending up in the spam folder. Plus depending on your readers’ email settings, pictures don’t load automatically, and if you rely solely on images, all your readers see is a blank message like this, which doesn’t give them any idea what they are supposed to buy:
- Put the most important thing first. What’s the one thing you want your subscribers to see? Put that at the top of the newsletter, just in case some readers stop reading halfway through.
- Include a clear call to action. What do you want your readers to do after reading the newsletter? Buy your new book? Enter a giveaway? Check out your shiny cover?
- Include a link. Make it as obvious as possible—buttons or blue links works well. Don’t just link the image (Not every reader knows to click on the image). Send a test email to yourself and make sure all the links are working before you hit the “send” button.
More about the author:
Sandra Gerth is a writer and an editor who divides her time between writing her own books and helping other writers revise and polish theirs.
She holds a degree in psychology and worked as a psychologist for eight years before transitioning into a career as a full-time novelist—the best job in the world as far as she’s concerned.
She earned a certificate in editing from the Academy of German Book Trade and is now the senior editor of Ylva Publishing, a small press that publishes women’s fiction.
Under her pen name, Jae, she has published sixteen novels and about two dozen short stories. Her books have won numerous awards and have been #1 best-sellers on Amazon on various occasions.