Review in Practice: Newsletters – Bonuses & Reader Magnets, Frequency and Auto-RespondersPosted: August 1, 2022 | Author: kayelynnebooth | Filed under: book marketing, Book Promotion, Book Review, marketing, Newsletter, Review in Practice | Tags: Kaye Lynne Booth, newsletters, Reader Magnets, Reader Platform, Review in Practice, Writing to be Read | 5 Comments
One aspect of book marketing I’ve been delving into is newsletters, or reader’s groups, if you prefer. It sounds a lot better to say, “Join my Reader’s Group” than it does to say, Subscribe to my Newsletter”. This is a suggestion that Andrea Pearson of the Six Figure Author Podcast offers, and I like it. Andrea Pearson is like the newsletter queen, marketing her own books through her newsletter successfully and teaching others how to do the same. She offers courses on Newsletter marketing among others through her website, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken the basic course, and I also have her Publish Strong box set. You can read my “Review in Practice” for that set here.
Other things that Andrea recommends is emailing frequently, like once a week, and I believe Kevin J. Anderson also follows this practice. To me this sounds like a lot. I feel like I would have to really like an author to not be annoyed to receive emails that frequently from them. After signing up for KJAs newsletter and receiving his auto-sequence, I found that it was kind of cool, and because some of them included newsletter bonuses of free books, I didn’t mind receiving those frequent emails at all.
But, let’s face it. We’re all not as prolific as KJA, or even as prolific as Andrea Pearson. Especially if you’re just starting out, you may be lucky if you can produce a book a year. I realized a while back that I wasn’t prolific and wrote a post about that here. Just as you need a hook for your stories to make readers want to read more, you also need a sales hook in your newsletter to make them want to read other things which you’ve written so you can grow your fanbase and email list. If you don’t write fast enough to produce several books a year, and if you don’t have a big backlist to draw from, don’t overlook the value of a good short story. While it’s true that short fiction is tougher to sell than novels, when it comes to newsletter magnets, short fiction can be an author’s friend.
In order to better understand how to make a newsletter work for me, I’ve subscribed to the newsletters of several big name authors to see how they set up their reader magnets and auto-sequences.
The Case of the Vanishing Boy is a short mystery story by Kristine Kathryn Rush that I received for free for signing up for the WMG Grab a Book and Chill newsletter; what indie authors call a reader magnet, designed to draw in new readers. ‘They’ say short fiction is harder to sell, whether we’re talking single stories, collections or anthologies. As a creator of anthologies, I believe ‘they’ are right. But short fiction can be great to use for newsletter bonuses, and/or reader magnets. This little mystery story was just the right length for me to enjoy and to made me feel as if I’d received a good value in exchange for my email address
Kristine Kathryn Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith are both hybrid authors who have been in this business for many years and are both masters of short fiction, so receiving this story really was a treat. It was a fun mystery that could be read in one sitting. It’s hard not to give away spoilers on short stories, and for mysteries, spoilers could mean death. So instead of giving the whole brief plot away, let me just say that it was a fun mystery that could be read in one sitting. It was well-written and entertaining, stirring up questions throughout and providing a satisfying ending, just as a mystery story should.
A much darker read is He Meant No Harm, by Dean Wesley Smith, which serves as a second reader magnet for the WMG Grab a Book and Chill newsletter. I guess they figure at least one of the two books will appeal to you. Again, I’m not obligated to review, but did enjoy this brief trip down memory lane with the protagonist, although it left me walking away with a very different feeling from the one I had after reading the Rusch story, so perhaps they are onto something by offering two very different stories. This story was very brief, so my complaint here was that I was disappointed that there wasn’t more to it, (but that might just be me). It did have a full story arc, I just would have liked to have a bit more before it ended, so I guess I felt a little cheated.
I can’t say that about the reader magnet for the WMG Newsletter, The Rusch Reader: A Newsletter Exclusive, however. Just the opposite in fact. This collection of short fiction provides a delectable sampling from Kristine Katherine Rusch’s various short fiction series and spans across her genres, of which there are many, written under various pen names, as well as her own. The Rusch Reader is a book length collection of short fiction, all well-written and entertaining, all quite enjoyable to read, some which were downright memorable. And when you read as much short fiction as I do, that’s saying a lot. But the thing that adds the most value for me was the last sample book, which wasn’t a story at all, but a short non-fiction book on how to negotiate, which is invaluable for authors everywhere. Signing up for the newsletter is the only way you can acquire this fantastic collection, a sampling that may turn you into a die-hard Rusch reader, you must subscribe to Kristine Katherine Rusch’s newsletter, which makes it a great reader magnet and well worth giving up my email address.
For signing up for the Kevin J. Anderson reader group, I received a copy of one of his Dan Shamble Novels, Working Stiff, which I had previously read and reviewed in his Zomnibus. (You can read my review here.) His Dan Shamble books are always entertaining and fun to read, so this is an excellent choice for a reader magnate. Although it is not typical of his science fiction or fantasy series, but it is a way to get readers to take a look at what else he has available.
His second email in his auto sequence delivers a link to listen to his Clockwork Lives audiobook for free, which is pretty cool and making me feel even more value delivered.
His second email in his auto sequence delivers a link to listen to an audio reading by KJA of “The Percussor’s Tale” from the Clockwork Lives steampunk novel, written with Rush drummer Neil Peart, for free. This is pretty cool and making me feel even more value delivered.
The fifth email in his auto-responder offers another free book, The Kevin J. Anderson Complete Booklist and Reader’s Guide. What a clever way to make things easy for his readers. I’m impressed.
The sixth offers another free ebook, Blindfold. Which all leads into an offer to join his “KJA Special Forces” street team in the eighth email to be delivered over a month’s time from when I subscribed.
Previously, I had let my newsletter fall to the wayside for more than a year, but this research endeavor has convinced me that my Newsletter is one of my most valuable marketing tools. The subscribers are added to your email list, providing you with a direct way to engage with your readers, and you own that, not some third party middleman.
When I went back into my Mailchimp account, I found that they’d made a lot of changes and I had difficulty finding my way around and locating my past newsletter campaigns. I have since revived my newsletter, but I’m still struggling to figure out the auto-responder and other technological stuff. I’ll get it eventually. For now, I’m emailing monthly and figuring it all out as I go. I’ve managed to change my reader magnet, so when you join, you receive a free copy of my short story collection, Last Call & Other Short Fiction, and set up a Book Funnel link to deliver it, (I think – If you decide to join, I’d appreciate feedback to let me know if it is working properly).
My subscribers are not growing very fast, but I figure that will come in time, too. Different genre books target different reading audiences, so it’s more difficult to market as a multi-genre author, but with time, I’ll figure that one out, too. My newsletter journey is just beginning. If you’d like to join my new reader’s group to receive updates on new releases from WordCrafter Press, myself and others, as well as upcoming writing events, you can join here: https://mailchi.mp/64aa2261e702/klb-wc-newsletter. You’ll receive a copy of my short story collection just for joining. I do hope you’ll all come along for the ride.
For Kaye Lynne Booth, writing is a passion. Kaye Lynne is an author with published short fiction and poetry, both online and in print, including her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction; and her paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets. Kaye holds a dual M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing with emphasis in genre fiction and screenwriting, and an M.A. in publishing. Kaye Lynne is the founder of WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services and WordCrafter Press. She also maintains an authors’ blog and website, Writing to be Read, where she publishes content of interest in the literary world.
Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.
Invitation: Multi-genre Newsletter Swap GroupPosted: April 11, 2022 | Author: kayelynnebooth | Filed under: Advertising, book marketing, Book Promotion, Book Release, Books, WordCrafter Press | Tags: Book Promotion, Kaye Lynne Booth, Multi-genre marketing, newsletter swap, newsletters, WordCrafter Press | 13 Comments
I do things the hard way.
Always have. I can’t seem to help it. I follow my heart instead of my head. But, once I chose a path, I am determined and stick to it. And when it comes to authoring, I bypass the easy path and stick to the rougher roads, learning as I go.
For my first novel, I chose the western genre, which isn’t exactly the fast lane to bestseller-dom. I publish poetry and anthologies. Most folks in the publishing industry will tell you these are much harder to sell than novels. And I’m a multi-genre author, who writes one-offs instead of series. Again, harder to sell, harder to build a fan base, because readers of my westerns probably won’t be interested in my paranormal stuff, or my short fiction collection, which has time travel, vampire, satire and origin stories all wrapped up between the covers.
If you have been following this blog and reading my posts, or if you subscribe to my newsletter, you may know that in the coming year my planned releases include the poetry anthology we just released, a nonfiction writing reference anthology, two science fiction/fantasy/horror/paranormal anthologies, and a fantasy fairytale anthology, and the re-release of my original western novel as a series starter. And yeah. That’s a lot. And no, not one of them will be an easy sell.
So why don’t I chose an easier path?
Well, for one thing, I enjoy working with other authors and compiling, editing and publishing poetry and short fiction anthologies allow me to do that. Also, I do it because I love a challenge. I find ways around or create solutions to help me through them, determined to make it all work even though it may be a rougher road. In fact, I’m trying to create a solution to the multi-genre author promotion thing right now.
But I think most of all, I have to write the stories that my heart wants me to tell. I’ve never tried writing to market. I like to write stories which excite me, and I’m not sure that a story written to fit into a certain genre or category would do that. And while some multi-genre authors stick to genres which are similar or sub-genres, I do things the hard way, so my genres span across the literary expanse, making my reader audience more difficult to find.
Let me tell you, it’s not easy for multi-genre authors to find and engage with all of their various audiences for the reason stated above. A reader may love your fantasy novel, but they may not care a bit about reading or learning more about your new steampunk novel. I hear there are super fans out there who fall in love with the author and will read anything they write, but as for me, I haven’t found any yet. And I’m betting that’s true for many multi-genre authors. It can be a real puzzler, figuring out ways to extend your reach in all of the genres that you write in, but I may have come up with one way to make that happen.
More authors add up to extended reach, so I’m proposing that we create a newsletter swap group, comprised of multi-genre authors and all cross-promote each other’s books in our newsletters. We can all share new releases, and since we won’t all be releasing at once. Since all swap group members will be multi-genre authors, our audiences will already expect to hear about a variety of books and genres, so we’ll have a better chance of reaching readers who will buy our books. Every group members reach will be extended by the reach of all participating authors, and we will all have something else to say in our newsletters besides “Buy my book!” And best of all- it’s free promotion
Join us in uniting our promotion efforts for more followers and higher book sales.
I know a couple of authors who are already interested in taking advantage of this cross-promotion opportunity. If you are a multi-genre author who puts out an email newsletter at least monthly and wants to extend your reach for your books, I want to hear from you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Newsletter Swap” in the subject line. Tell me you’d like to participate, which genres you write in and tell me about any releases you have scheduled. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kaye Lynne Booth lives, works, and plays in the mountains of Colorado. With a dual emphasis M.F.A. in Creative Writing, writing is more than a passion. It’s a way of life. She’s a multi-genre author, who finds inspiration from the nature around her, and her love of the old west, and other odd and quirky things which might surprise you.
She has short stories featured in the following anthologies: The Collapsar Directive (“If You’re Happy and You Know It”); Relationship Add Vice (“The Devil Made Her Do It”); Nightmareland (“The Haunting in Carol’s Woods”); Whispers of the Past (“The Woman in the Water”); and Spirits of the West (“Don’t Eat the Pickled Eggs”). Her western, Delilah, her paranormal mystery novella and her short story collection, Last Call, are all available in both digital and print editions.
In her spare time, she keeps up her author’s blog, Writing to be Read, where she posts reflections on her own writing, author interviews and book reviews, along with writing tips and inspirational posts from fellow writers. She’s also the founder of WordCrafter. In addition to creating her own imprint in WordCrafter Press, she offers quality author services, such as editing, social media & book promotion, and online writing courses through WordCrafter Quality Writing & Author Services. When not writing or editing, she is bird watching, or hiking, or just soaking up some of that Colorado sunshine.
Sign up for the Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Newsletter for and book event news for WordCrafter Press books, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of Kaye Lynne Booth’s paranormal mystery novella, Hidden Secrets, just for subscribing.
An Adventure in Digital Book MarketingPosted: May 14, 2018 | Author: kayelynnebooth | Filed under: Advertising, Books, marketing, Promotion, Writing | Tags: Advertising, book marketing, Book Promotion, Book trailer, Delilah, newsletters, Paid Promotions, Writing, Writing the Rockies Conference | 1 Comment
Since February, I’ve been giving myself a crash course in book marketing and promotion, especially in regards to social media marketing, because it’s the cheapest route for getting your books out there that I’ve found. Which is not to say that it is the most effective, or that paid promotions aren’t more effective. Those are things I cannot yet say. Ask me when I’m a successful and wealthy author. Perhaps I will know the answer by then.
While educating myself in areas beyond my own expertise, (I’m a writer, not a marketer), I launched a marketing campaign and created promotions of my own to get a feel for what works for me and what doesn’t. Since that time, I’ve dipped my toes into the pool of paid promotions, as well. Among the methods and techneques tried: I now have a slowly growing mailing list for my new monthly newsletter. I’ve sent out two so far, and have so far met with medicore success, and I launched a media campaign for Delilah which included a few modest paid promotions, social network promotions of new advertisement photos, sending out press releases to select Colorado newspapers pushing the local author angle, and my very first book trailer which I created myself.
It’s hard to determine the success of any of my efforts as yet, although the press releases resulted in runs in two newspapers that I know of. What that adds up to in sales, I don’t yet know. Although there was a small increase in sales April, there doesn’t seem to be a correlation with any of my promotional efforts. Sales come slow, and often, only after great effort on the author’s part, I think. Only time will show the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of my first marketing campaign.
The newsletter email list is growing slowly, but it is growing. The weird thing is, when you sign up in the sidebar pop-up, you get a link to a free e-copy of my paranormal mystery novelette, Hidden Secrets, but only a handful have been claimed. I even sent out the link in the newsletter for April, and still subscribers are not claiming their thank you gift. Of course, only a little over thirty percent are opening the newsletter, so I don’t know how much help it will be. I’m asking all who read this post to subscribe to my monthly newsletter using the sidebar pop-up, and then claim your free gift. The newsletter is monthly, so it won’t clutter up your inbox, and Hidden Secrets is not available on any other platform.
I don’t know if the book trailer had any effect on sales, but I sure did have fun creating it once I figured out what program I could use to get the job done. After looking at numerous free programs that claim to make book trailers, it turns out I had the program to do the job already installed on my computer in my Microsoft Office 2013 Power Point. A little more self-education on what can be done with Power Point and how to do it, and I had myself a book trailer, which I absolutely love. It’s amazing what can be done with software I already own. Made me happy. Even if it doesn’t bring one sale, I think it’s cool. I’d post it here to show you, but the free plans on WordPress don’t include video capabilities, so if you’re interested, you can see it on my Delilah Facebook page. I hope you’ll check it out.
I’ve learned a lot from my search for knowledge in book marketing and promotion. While SEO is still important, it’s valued different than it used to be, because search engines now operate differently, according to Hubspot’s 20 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2018. Technical terms like bounce rate may be beyond my limited understanding, but I understand enough to realize I need to give SEO more thought when designing my content. It would be a lot easier if my books would just shoot up to the top of the best sellers charts overnight and rode there for awhile. Maybe then I could afford to hire somebody to do all this brain numbing stuff for me. I always try to write using keywords. Isn’t that enough? I only had a very basic understanding of SEO to begin with, and if I try to take in too much SEO talk at one time it gives me a headache, but I’m determined to give it my best shot.
So, that’s my first big marketing adventure. I may not be able to tell how effective it was at this time, but I know I’m learning a lot as I go. The adventure isn’t over yet. In July, I’ll be at my first face to face event, when I sit on the alumni panel for Western State at the Writing the Rockies Conference and print copies of Delilah will be available. I’m both excited and nervous, but I know it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. Be sure and catch next Monday’s post to learn more about the conference
As to the effectiveness of any of it? I’ll let you know.
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