It’s a snowy last Sunday of the month. Where I am, at least. And I’m enjoying a quiet day watching the snow fall, while catching up on laundry. I’m also preparing to learn more about MailChimp and newsletter preparation.
I don’t have a newsletter yet; I struggle to think of what I might include in one. So I’ve been thinking about what I like in the author newsletters I subscribe to.
I like personal anecdotes. And funny recollections. The occasional recipe (I’m not much of a cook, but if it’s baked goods or a crock-pot meal and it sounds or looks yummy, I might give it a try). I enjoy snippets of works-in-progress, or upcoming releases. I love when an author shares experiences from the heart. What I am not fond of are sales pitches. I’m the first person to hang up the phone the minute I hear, Hello, this is _____ from _____, and I’m calling to tell you about _____–*click*
Part of me feels bad. I picture some young person in a windowless cubby spending five minutes every day breathing in and out, and practicing their spiel, while summoning the nerve to make that first call, fully aware that if they make a hundred calls that day, they’ll be lucky if ten or fifteen people actually listen to their entire pitch. In many ways, I am that person.
I’m aware that when my books are available for sale, I’ll spend minutes every day breathing and focusing on self-encouragement before making my way online to write a newsletter or post a FB update. Check sales’ stats. Maybe read a review, or two. Or not. Everything I’ve read from seasoned authors suggests such self-torture is not only needless, it’s foolish. So maybe I’ll have someone else read reviews and share with me only the good ones. I don’t know yet. And that’s what prompts the guilt regarding that poor sales person on the phone.
Rejection sucks. Receiving it, giving it, it’s never fun. But like the persistent snowfall accumulating outside the window next to me, it is what it is. All you can do is adapt to conditions. For me, for my sanity, for personal and financial safety, I don’t tolerate unsolicited sale’s pitches. Especially from strangers. If I want or need something, I seek it out. Online. In a store. Or, I welcome it, like with newsletters.
Newsletters are a great way to keep current with favorite authors or professionals. It’s a simple, efficient, and personal method of sending and receiving information. That is wanted.
Newsletters save recipients the hassle of daily website or FB check-ins to discover when an author has a new release out, or where they’ll be signing books, and when. How they spent their week, or month. What they like to do on weekends, or eat at Sunday brunch. Whether they’ve rallied from the flu, or the loss of their parent or beloved pet. If they prefer wine or water. Tea or coffee. Chocolate or salty snacks. Who or what inspires them. Their teen or spouses’ latest hi-jinks. The offerings are as varied as the people who send them out, and people that receive them.
That is why I’m spending some time thinking about what I might share in a newsletter, while I try and master MailChimp (a newsletter subscription provider). While I do that, I’d love to hear if you subscribe to newsletters, and if you do, what type? What prompts you to subscribe? What information do you enjoy receiving, or reading about? How often? If you’ve ever unsubscribed, what prompted you to take that action?
Personally, when I’ve unsubscribed from a newsletter, it’s because it’s no longer relevant–a travel or business blog, club or association I’m no longer interested in, or belong to–but occasionally I’ve unsubscribed because the sender’s content seemed geared only to selling their product, not providing me an entertaining or informative read. Which is why I need your feedback to help me make my eventual newsletter something you’re more likely to subscribe to, something that will add value to your life rather than rob precious minutes from it. Speaking of…
Thank you for giving me a few precious minutes of your time. Today. And everyday you pause to see what I’ve posted. I appreciate it. I really do.
There is no such thing as something for nothing. ~Napoleon Hill