In A Tweeting Age, Does Email Really Matter?

by Trish

Perhaps you think that an email newsletter is a rather outdated form of communication for authors. I mean, we Tweet, we Facebook, we text. Isn’t email going away?

Not for everyone.

Even though incoming college freshman at many colleges don’t even receive email addresses ending in .edu and are getting iPads to store their textbooks on, email still is very much in vogue with other audiences. The Boomers for instance have fully embraced email, Gen X still uses email, as does Gen Y. Because email is now so prevalent in business, email newsletters are seen as a vital marketing tool in order to sell a known commodity.

And books are known commodities.

1. If you write any sort of book, think about how your readers find information, not how you do. Authors typically know each other, so they’re not all that keen on reading an email newsletter. But are other authors your audience? If not, you should think twice before refusing to send an email newsletter to your fans.

2. Think short. Email newsletters often need be only one or two paragraphs announcing a new book, pointing people to a recent article you wrote or a discussion on a blog somewhere that you think is applicable to your readers. Book authors often consider writing short to be impossible, but practice. Write one paragraph to your audience once a week. Even if you don’t send it out quite yet, it conditions your brain to find interesting tidbits that can be delivered short and often.

3. Consider current SPAM laws. A lot of authors I know refuse to do an email newsletter, but send an email out to a list of people every time they publish an article or appear at a bookstore. To the FTC, this is considered spamming your audience. Any time you do not ask permission before you send unsolicited, REGULARLY SCHEDULED emails to even one person, you are spamming. Be a decent person. Be a respectable author. Stop spamming. Find an email subscription service (MailChimp, ConstantContact, or Aweber) and get permission to send emails.

Emails do matter. Done right, they will help you. Done wrong, they will harm you.

How are you using email?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy March 15, 2011 at 5:20 am

Hi Tricia,
I have to say that I’m fairly new to email lists (I definitely use Aweber – exactly for the reasons you suggested), and from what I can tell thus far, you are absolutely correct: Short and to the point is better.

I am glad I stumbled on to your blog; I like your approach! I can learn a lot from you, and will be signing up for your newsletter. Thanks!
Kath 🙂

Trish March 15, 2011 at 8:20 am

Hi, Kath,

So glad to have you. Great call on Aweber! (I adore them.) Hope I can be of real help to you in days/months to come!


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