Thursday, August 6, 2009

Marketing your book with an on-line newsletter (part 2)

An on-line newsletter is an effective marketing tool for many products, but it’s especially effective for marketing your book. Here is how to go about designing, developing, and distributing your newsletter:

1. Determine the topic of your newsletter and a good name for it. Just because you are a writer, your newsletter doesn’t need to be about writing. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. There are only a limited number of writers who will buy your book. Instead, make your newsletter about a broad topic related to the book. That way, you will attract potential customers. As writers, it is only natural to want to attract our writer friends to our book, but your real market is with those who are a fan of the topic. So if your book is about turtles, find people passionate about turtles.

2. Once you have determined the topic of your newsletter, begin developing a list of subjects that will become the different sections of your newsletter. For example, since you are writing a book about turtles, you could have your newsletter about turtles as well. Or, you could make the topic of your newsletter larger (conservation, for instance) than the topic of your book in order to make room for future books on similar topics. Anyway, for within the newsletter, you might have a general conservation section (where you put in short pieces about what is currently happening in the world of turtle conservation), you might have an events section (where you list local and national events, TV shows, movies, etc., about turtles), and you could have a section about your current activities (where you would list your activities in turtle conservation as well as how you are doing on the book).

3. Email or blog. You can distribute your newsletter by email or make it into a blog and distribute an email when you have posted a new newsletter. The choice is yours. The important part is to provide information that is entertaining and useful to your readers. Pack it with information that will convince them that you are a good writer and will make them want to hang around for the publication of your book.

4. Don’t make the newsletter about selling your book. Instead, make it about providing your readers with information. The sales will take care of themselves. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore promoting your book when it’s about ready for publication and it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put promotions in your newsletter for pre-publication sales or special sales after the book has been out a while. You should do all of those things but do them tastefully. Your readers will look forward to your newsletters if they know that it is truly a newsletter and not just another hard sell.


5. Be sure to list in the newsletter the launch of your book and book signing events. Your readers will want to keep up with you.

6. Give your readers a means to sign up for notification that the latest newsletter is out. You’ll want to build a distribution list. In the newsletter, ask your readers to send it on to others who might be interested and have new readers email you to be added to the distribution list. Through this, the list will grow and you will have a natural audience for marketing your book.

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