I don’t. Ever. And if I do, because there is some kind of contest or giveaway, I either use a spare e-mail address, or I relegate the newsletters to my “junk” folder, or I unsubscribe rather quickly. I am simply not a newsletter person.
But as an author, I have a newsletter, and I try to get people to sign up for it (See sidebar–> )
Wow, what a hypocrite that makes me! I am hoping that the people signed up are those who actually want to receive news of my new releases and promotions via e-mail, and I only send those – no “updates” or chatty newsletters ever.
Yesterday an author friend of mine had a nice discussion in a comment thread about this, and I listened carefully to the advice and opinions of the more successful authors who participated. Lots of people discussed giving away free content (which I do!) to get signups, or offering exclusive content. I know others who run periodic contests to keep subscribers interested. But one person pointed out a truth that I keep thinking about. She said: but I already follow you on other social media.
And I think that is exactly the thing that makes me sort of ambivalent about the newsletter. If someone follows this blog, they will get my updates. If they follow me on twitter, facebook, G+, or Pinterest, they will get my updates. If they follow my author page on amazon or goodreads, they will get some updates, too. So why am I asking for yet another follow? I guess I want to reach people who don’t already follow me via other channels. But how do I assure that?
I put a newsletter signup, along with other social media links, in the back copy of my books, so people who like me can follow me on whatever platform they enjoy. But why is the newsletter supposedly the big one? Shouldn’t I be just as happy if they decide to follow me on twitter instead?
I think I should be.
I know the reasoning behind the newsletter preference, and I do agree. Newsletters are platform independent. So, if facebook goes the way of MySpace, or if twitter suddenly changes their algorithms, or if Pinterest shuts down, I will still have a way to reach my readers. I get it. But…who says email addresses are any more permanent? I have changed emails a few times. Gone from yahoo to gmail. Opened accounts for the sole purpose of using them to sign up for things or for making online purchases. Why are we assuming a newsletter subscriber is any more dedicated than a G+ follower?
All very confusing to me. I got into this gig because I wanted to write, not market. But I suppose you can’t have one without the other.
So anyone out there subscribe to email newsletters? If so, do you read and enjoy them, or toss them in the junk folder? What would it take to get you to sign up, and stay invested, in a newsletter? Or if you are an author, how do you get and keep your subscribers? And what do you think the benefits are of having them?