Back in February, authors Joshua Robertson, Allison D. Reid and I combined our regular author newsletters into one newsletter called Weekly Fantasy Fix. We take turns each week, putting together our individual issues packed with our updates, articles, giveaways, writing tips and more. Although, so far our response has been really good and we’ve seen consistent growth, we want to make it better.
So with that in mind, last month (June 2016) I put together a little poll to see what subscribers of authors newsletters were looking for as far as content, and also what entices them to subscribe. So far we’ve had 45 people respond, but we are looking for more. Here are the results so far, but I’ll keep updating them as I get more responses.
The first question I asked is what entices the reader to subscribe to the author’s newsletter to begin with. If you can’t get people to sign up to your newsletter, then it’s all kinda pointless. (Just so you know, respondents were able to pick more than one answer.)
So far 86.7% of the people who took the poll say they are most likely to sign up if they’ve already read the author’s work. This reinforces my belief that giving away the first book in your series (or a book if you don’t have a series) is a good idea. Most people are not willing to risk their money on a new author, and you need them to sign up to your newsletter to sell more books.
55.6% have said they will sign up if the author is offering a freebie. So if you have your first book free and offer the second free to new subscribers, you’ve now increased your chances of getting a new signup (this is of course assuming they liked your first book and actually want to read the second). It’s really important to note that you shouldn’t offer a book that is already free to download. If they can already get it free, they’re not going to bother signing up for your newsletter. I’ve even known some authors to write a short story or novella that fits with their current series, but isn’t essential to the series, and make that a subscriber only deal.
Only about 28.9% of the people have said they would subscribe based on referrals from family and friends, but still… it’s always a good idea to get your readers to tell their family and friends about your work.
There were various things added to the others category:
- Reading the author’s newsletter (1)
- Updates on interesting blog posts (1)
- They provide valuable content (2)
- How to’s and tips (1)
- Visuals and a great blurb (1)
- Sales/Discounts (1)
- Depends on the genre (2)
- Free sample chapters (1)
- General interest (1)
The next question had to do with the content. I asked what they enjoyed reading in an author’s newsletter. (Again, they were able to choose more than one answer.)
80% said they want to hear about what the author is working on right now.
66.7% want to hear personal stories about the author, and new release announcements.
56.6% want to read articles about the author’s genre.
55.6% want subscriber only discounts and giveaways.
51.1% want to see writing, editing and marketing tips for authors.
48.9% want to see spotlights on other authors in their genre.
44.4% want to have access to subscriber only short stories and flash fiction.
40% want to see genre related artwork and fan art
Only 3 people have added to the other category so far:
- Sneaks peeks of their work.
- Spotlights on other authors their author loves.
- Only author related material.
I think focusing on the top three or four things would be the best idea, and then maybe casually mentioning some of the others so that everyone is happy. We cover all these areas in Weekly Fantasy Fix. It’s a newsletter written for both writers and readers (especially since most writers are readers… or at least they should be), so if you want to check it out, you can sign up at the end of this post. We also give away 3 free books to our new subscribers, so it’s definitely worth the look.
Also, we’re looking for more responses to get a better overall view of what people are looking for (and we’re hoping this information will help other authors too). If you can help spread the word and share the poll form with your family and friends who love to read, that would be great!
Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!