Friday, March 15, 2013

Workshop # 9 - Creating a Newsletter

We touched on the topic of newsletters at the end of our Friday, 01 March 2013 post: Push Marketing - Make it Seamless.  As much as we all love to talk about social media and blogs, there are some readers who still get a warm fuzzy from a newsletter popping into their email inbox.    Collecting a list of reader email addresses and sending them the occassional note or newsletter is a tried and true PUSH marketing method.

Never created a newsletter? No worries, here's one method to create your own...

In the example below, I'm using MS Word 2010 on Windows XP.  Newsletter templates are standard in MS Word.  Simply open Word and select "New" from the "File" menu, then select the "Newsletter" option from the available templates.

A variety of Themes are available for your newsletter.  Select the theme that best suits your PERSONA and writing.  Since I write futuristic, urban fantasy, and my blog is music focused, I chose the "Edgy Smudge" design because it has an urban feel.  (Note: be sure to have your computer connected to the internet, so that a wider selection of designs are available for your use.)

Double click on your desired theme / layout and the base document will load into an active Word document.  Use your mouse to select specific elements if you want to change the colors or font sizes.

Upload pictures and text, as needed.  Remember, you are creating a newsletter to communicate to your readers. Here are a few design and content suggestions:

  • The first thing your readers should see is the cover of your latest book.  Be sure to mention that 'buy' links can be found on your website.
  • Make your web address prominent - remember, your website should be your home base for communications.
  • Include the location of any appearances, book signings, workshop you will teach, etc.
  • Make sure your content is aligned with your PERSONA, website, blog, marketing collateral, etc.
  • Pay it forward: sometimes readers like to know which books you are reading and what music you listen to while writing.  Why not help out another artist or author by mentioning their work?
  • Pictures are a good thing!  Relevant pictures are even better.

KEY STEP: Once you are finished writing your newsletter, print it to a PDF file for emailing.  PDFs are much smaller file sizes than Word documents, especially if your newsletter contains pictures.  By having a small file size, your email is less likely to bounce back as 'undeliverable due to file size.' 

How do you print to a PDF?  The version of MS Word that I use includes PDF Complete as one of the printer options.  By selecting PDF Complete as my printer, my document will print to a PDF file instead of to a paper output printer.  You can also use the Adobe software suite or packages like CutePDF Writer.

How often should you send out a newsletter?  Quarterly seems to be the common practice, but the real answer is: Send out a NEWSletter when you have some new NEWS to communicate to your readres.

If you have collected a reader email list, consider PUSHing book launch, book signings, or any other events / adventures via a newsletter.


  1. Lots of good info on what to include and to make it professional. I've copied your list of bullet points.

    I use Mail Chimp to manage newsletter signups and to do my newsletter. They have several templates. The reason I use them, instead of putting it out on my own are:

    1. They provide for an unsuscribe option. I tell all my readers that when they enter a contest they are also put on my newsletter list. Though most of them don't choose to unsubscribe, I do want to give them the option.

    2. I don't end up with problems getting put in SPAM because there are too many people in the list. Most email clients these days have a spam filter that has a limit on people in the TO or CC or BCC fields. Depending on how a user sets their filter, it could be as little as 10 sendees. With a current list of 200 for my newsletter I would get dropped in spam folders without using something like MailChimp. Their engine sends it out as a "single" email to each person.

    I'm not a salesperson for MailChimp. There are other similar programs out there. I just like their forever free option for up to 2,000 subscribers. As my newsletter only comes out 4 times a year right now, it works for me until my list reaches the 2,000 mark. Then I'll have to pay a monthly fee, but by then I'll be happy to do so because it should mean I'm selling substantially more books.

  2. Nice post! I really want to learn how to create and write newsletter, so that I can earn lots of money. And your blog gave me lots of knowledge about it. Thank you for sharing!

    Progressive Business Publications

  3. Thanks for guide,it looks not very hard.