When I realised, somewhat belatedly, that you can’t be an author today without an author platform, I started a blog. But then I read that no author platform is complete without a newsletter. I’m still a little hazy on what the newsletter should do, but I’ve subscribed to a few myself to see how other writers entice people to sign up. Below is a sample of newsletter material:
- Writer 1: (1) Progress on My Current WIP (2) my idea for my next book (3) an eBook sale (4) recommended reading (5) a giveaway.
- Writer 2: (1) Pre-order My Latest Novel (2) Read the first chapter (3) Get a great marketing tip
- Writer 3: Buy My Latest Novel at the launch price of $0.99 and get the following bonuses:
- An ebook copy of My Previous Novel
- A chance to win a signed paperback edition of My Previous Novel
Another thing I’ve read is that people don’t just sign up for the sake of it, they need an incentive like a giveaway. Now, I’m somewhat dubious about the incentive value of My Latest Novel (not suggesting it’s bad but hey, a zillion other writers are offering the same), so I’m not sure what to give away. Writer 1’s giveaway above was an electronic gizmo worth $20, which I’m sure is an incentive, so for a while I thought I’d go one better and give away a Lamborghini. But there’d always be the niggling suspicion that people are more interested in the Lamborghini than in hearing about My Current WIP. Highly unlikely, of course, but not to be ruled out.
So here’s my latest wheeze – a story. No, wait – it’s not just any old story, it’s a story about you (the winner, that is). Be the first to answer the My Story Question in the newsletter and I write a story specially for and about you, prefaced, signed and sent to you in a folder with a nice colour picture on the front. How about that?
But I hear you ask, “How can he write a story about me if he doesn’t know me?”
Good point. So to give me a little help, you’ll answer a couple of questions:
- What historical character would you like to go on holiday with?
- What would be your destination of choice?
You get the idea. Not exactly serious. Probably zany, in fact. Oh, and for good measure, you’ll name one object that must appear in the story. Anything you want. I like a challenge after all.
Now that’s not all. Persuade anyone else to subscribe and both of you win a
BMW pair of socks postcard from Mayotte! This unbelievable offer will run until the end of May, so be sure to spread the word!
Not forgetting, of course, the staple fare: for writers, a free critique of a short story or chapter, and for readers the next instalments of Loss and The Authorised Biography of Curtis. All this makes Yours Curtisly the newsletter you cannot miss! Next issue out on Monday!
OK, now I’ll be straight. Although many people say a newsletter is essential, I’ve also read that it’s a time suck with negligible results. So I’m testing it out until Perfume Island is released, at which point I’ll see. And I’ll post about it for the Writers’ Co-op. In the meantime, it’s fun to do, so if you fancy your own My Story, a postcard from Mayotte or simply being part of this whole experiment, follow the arrow…