Saturday, November 01, 2014

Indie Writers and Mail Chimp?

Image by RaHul Rodriguez (Flickr)
Everyone seems to say one of the most important early steps an indie writer can take is to develop a mailing list and send out newsletters to your fans. 

After I thought about the purpose behind my newsletter (to connect with fans), I was ready for the technical side. 

Two steps are involved:

  1. Make a launch pad from your website and/or blog so that readers know where to go to subscribe.
  2. Set up an account that will allow you to create, send, and track e-mailed newsletters. 

I decided to try MailChimp because they offer:

  • Templates to personalize for your website (a launch page) and for the newsletter itself,
  • One-button mailing, once you finalize that newsletter template (which can include photos and a banner, if you like),
  • Free storage and tracking of subscribers and newsletters (what they call 'campaigns'), and
  • Reports on how your mailing performs.
So I wondered:  How difficult could this be? Well, it only took me five months to actually get up the courage to send out my first e-mailed newsletter. Hooray! Did this last night while waiting for kids to ring the doorbell on Halloween.

I'd like to compliment MailChimp for its many HELP features (posts and videos) that walk a newbie through how to make most effective use of their services.

I also found this post by Steena Holms for the Writers in the Storm blog especially useful in simplifying the steps I needed to take. Steena says to remember that everyone starts out with zero subscribers. Check out her timely advice at: "The How and Why of Writer's Newsletters."

So, if YOU would like to subscribe to my newsletter, just go HERE to subscribe to Beth's quarterly newsletter Or, drop me a line. 

"Spicy Spam" by epSos.de (Flickr)
My newsletter will go out quarterly (thus avoiding that nasty label, spam), promises privacy for my subscribers, and hopefully will give my readers a few extras -- early release announcements, discounts, and a little back story along the way.

Please comment if you would like to share your experiences in reading, writing, or managing your writer newsletter. 

May your own reading and writing go well.