So… last week I set up a new “newsletter onboarding sequence” for my author newsletter.
Now, when a reader signs up for my list they get a few welcome emails automatically. A free novella (aka: reader magnet), a survey question, an introduction to me, and an invitation to try a new series. The welcome messages are spaced out over a few weeks.
I did my best to make them entertaining.
As a result, I’ve been waking up to email replies in my inbox. When I tell readers about me, they tell me about themselves.
It’s lovely, really. ☺️
I’d been worried that opening myself up to emails from strangers would be overwhelming or negative, but my readers aren’t strangers in the strictest sense. We’ve shared some thoughts already, via the medium of a story.
No doubt I’ll get a dickish reply at some point — humans are gonna human — but so far, it’s been great.
Perhaps I worry more than I should? But it’s true that writing under your own name can be fraught or even dangerous. Thus I’ve been tiptoeing into the author life with a certain amount of trepidation.
What’s My Newsletter For?
As a reader, the newsletters I enjoy most are conversational. They show me interesting things and reveal the author’s unique perspective. They give me a little window into an interesting person’s brain.
Meanwhile, on the author side, it seems there’s a knack to being entertaining and genuine while maintaining good boundaries for your own safety and emotional comfort.
I’ve been thinking about what Dongwon Song said here:
Having a brand is about editing. It’s pruning back the parts of yourself you don’t want to show so that the world sees the parts of you you do want to show. Maintaining a brand, a public persona, is made easier by being true to yourself. But a purposeful intentional version of your truth. Find out who you are. Do it on purpose.
The B word makes me cringe, but at some point it becomes inescapable. If I continue to write, strangers will develop a mental picture of me. Why not offer some positive truth for that mental picture?
I mean… Why not have some fun with this?
Our little publishing business is called Adventurous Ink for a few reasons. Adventure is an important concept to me: in life, in writing, and in what I read. I want to enjoy all the genres and see all the sights and try new things and see new places!
I believe my love of adventures, fictional ones and real ones, could form the basis for a good author newsletter.
- Adventures in reading
- Travel photos and stories
- Fun experiences
My main complaint about author newsletters is that they’re boring. Buy my book! Buy my book!
Okay! Yes. I absolutely want your book. But I want more than a link to click on. Entertain me, O entertainer! Just a little bit. Give me a reason to smile or think when I open your newsletter. 😉
Adventure is a good starting place for me. It’s a (true) passion of mine that can organize my newsletter and align with what I’m selling. That is: fictional adventures.
I’m onboarding new readers to my newsletter. And I guess I’m onboarding myself to being an author?
I’m figuring it out as I go. But that’s okay…
It’s just another adventure. 😂