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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering how many other writers publish a newsletter and what success you have? I have an e-newsletter which I send out once a month to about 700 readers and I get a small spike in sales for a while, but I wonder if it's worth it. It takes about 6-8 hours to put together, but most of my readers seem to like it, but I'm still not sure it's worth the time. Other comments and experiences are welcomed.

Larry Buttram
 
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I'm not sure what is in your newsletter that takes six to eight hours to format, but consider it this way:  8 hours is 480 minutes a month.  You have 700 loyal readers.  Are those readers worth approximately 40 seconds each out of your time each month?  If the answer is yes, you continue to produce the newsletter (but maybe look for ways to automate some points to shorten the time).  If the answer is no, drop it.

I also publish a monthly newsletter with almost a thousand subscribers now.  I consider it invaluable.  It provides me with a monthly opportunity to reach out to my readers, and gives me a solid core of readers I can turn to for feedback.  Some of my subscribers are also writers and editors for a few of the RPG industry sites and publications, so articles get reproduces in other media sometimes and increases my potential audience.

 

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Let me ask this... how did you grow your susbscription to 700 readers?  What was your plan to get there?

And, if you see that spike in sales, is the spike wortht the time you put in for the newsletter?  If so, keep it up.  A monthly reminder isn't so bad to just nudge everyone and say, "Hey, I'm still here..."

(I ask the first two questions because I've considered starting some kind of newsletter...)

8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In response to the question regarding how can a newsletter take 6-8 hours a month--I always include a short story or essay with my newsletter which I personally compose. And, with my lack of editing skills, I have to go over it a half-dozen times to make sure it's suitable. I also have a contest for my readers to submit a sample of their work, which I then edit to make sure it's appropriate. I also do research on issues which I think my readers will find interesting.

Regarding how I built my subscriber base, most of them were from readers who purchased my books at book-signings over the years. Some of them are from readers I've never met who sent letters or e-mails. And a hundred or so are from friends on facebook.

From what everyone is saying, although it probably doesn't pay for itself on a monthly basis, I guess, in the long run, the newsletter is worth it. Now if I can just get up to about 2,000 readers....

Larry Buttram
www.larrybuttram.com
 
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