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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

3 Types of Newsletters All Authors Should Follow

Usually when we talk about mailing lists on Pen and Glory, we’re talking about running and optimizing your own. But let’s put a spin on this topic: what’s in your inbox?

You probably have a lot of newsletters slipping in by the hour, but every now and then it helps to think about these lists as helpful instead of spammy or distracting. Signing up to the right lists can show you successful authors in action, teach you techniques you might have otherwise missed, and give you a front-row observation of what others are doing and what works.

Your newsletters can be a free course in publishing and what you need to do to make it in a competitive world, so let’s look at three of the best types you can sign up for. I won’t list these in any specific order, and I’ll include my pet favorite with a link as an example.

A Book Promotion List

Pet favorite: Book Bongo

I subscribed to Book Bongo arbitrarily when setting up a mass promotion for one of my books. This list is on the low end of the scale. It isn’t customized, and there’s no quality control, though it’s very friendly to authors who are getting started in book promotion.

Book Bongo has taught me that you only have 2-5 seconds in a book promotion to get a reader to click. Your cover is very important, as well as your keywords and genre. While I technically knew all of that before signing up, seeing these promotions in action has really made it hit home.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have sites like BookBub that market themselves as more of a Netflix for books, and some genres like Romance have their own dedicated newsletters. Pick whichever catches your fancy, and you’ll soon pick up on promotion tips you might have missed otherwise.

A Successful Indie Author

Pet favorite: Stacy Claflin

I love keeping an eye on authors who are further along than I am because I can see exactly what they’re doing and learn to imitate it. Unfortunately, one recent trend for a lot of indie authors is to send longer emails less frequently, but it’s still worth the effort.

The best part about subscribing to other authors is that you can watch them live in action and learn specifics about their strategies–blog tours, sales, and an ongoing release schedule. That gives you a solid indication of what works and what steps you can take to imitate that success.

What I’ve learned from Stacy? The best promotions are relational and come from tours, newsletter swaps, and consistent publishing. Writing in series is always a good idea, but don’t be afraid to switch things up!

A Successful Authorpreneur

Pet Favorite: Nick Stephenson (but I’ll be flattered if you choose my list as well!)

A lot of authors who have “been there, done that” are willing to share what they’ve learned with anyone who wants to listen. Even if you’re too busy to take a full class by someone you admire professionally, regular newsletters can offer valuable insight for those spare moments of time that you have to read them.

Usually, these multitasking authors have blogs, courses, and programs that they keep completely separate from their fiction, but you don’t need to join to get the latest news and tips.

What are your favorite mailing lists to follow? Please share your recommendations in the comment section below and join my Facebook group for self-publishing fiction writers for more discussion.

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